German digital bank Fidor is to expand into Russia through a joint venture with local venture fund Life.Sreda.
Munich-based Fidor has established a reputation in European banking circles as a disruptive innovator, utilising a full range of social media, crowdfunding and P2P lending techniques and digital currency services to build its business.
Founded in 2009 in the middle of the financial crisis, Fidor has built an online banking community with about 160,000 users, with deposits of €78.1m and lending of €63.9m at the end of December 2011.
Under the agreement with Life.Sreda, Fidor will bring its Web 2.0 community banking expertise to bear on the front-end, while the VC will provide the working capital of the joint venture, as well as access to the back-office of affiliate company Probusinessbank.
"The Eastern European market offers some very interesting opportunities," says Matthias Kröner , CEO Fidor Bank. "Russia has a huge growth potential in the financial sector. In addition, no one has yet implemented in Russia the community oriented approach used by Fidor Bank. Together with our partners, we see good prospects for our joint online project opening access to innovative financial services to everyone".
The start of operations is scheduled for the first half of 2014.