The financial technology world is to get its first 'startup factory' with the launch by incubation platform HitFox Group of FinLeap in Berlin and San Francisco.
Unlike a typical accelerator programme - which aims to provide the fuel for fledgeling businesses to grow - the startup factory instead generates its own ideas for new companies and provides the funding, resources and mentorship to nurture the venture until it can stand on its own two feet.
At launch, 30 serial entrepreneurs and financial services experts, technologists, product managers and graduates from companies such as HitFox Group, Goldman Sachs, McKinsey, DKB and Fab.com are working on FinLeap’s first companies. The group aims to launch between four and six companies within its first year with seed funding of between EUR05-EUR5 million per startup.
FinLeap will be lead by serial-entrepreneurs and HitFox Group founders, Jan Beckers and Hanno Fichtner, and includes PayPal Europe’s former strategy director, Jochen Siegert and former New Buckland Principal and business mentor Nasir Zubairi among its ranks. Within the next 12 months FinLeap expects to hire more than 150 professionals for the company builder and its subsidiaries.
“The financial market is both enormous and extremely slow to change from within," says Beckers. "There are many opportunities to improve existing products and services and offer entirely new ones. It was a very logical step for us to apply our model to this market next.”
Founded in 2011, HitFox developed from a single startup to a multi-national company builder with numerous ventures in the fields of AdTech and BigData and more than 300 employees on three continents.
“Being successful in FinTech for us primarily means being a lot closer to the customer," says Jochen Siegert. "New technologies allow us to move much closer to the customer and erase information imbalances, while also decreasing current transaction costs to a minimum with automated processes. In this pursuit, we are developing new solutions entirely in-house or partnering with banks and financial service providers.“