Thiel backs French biz banking startup Qonto

Thiel backs French biz banking startup Qonto

With a slate of stellar investors onboard, Qonto, a French digital business banking service for entrepreneurs and startups, is gearing up for launch.

The firm is planning to open its doors in April, promising clients the ability to join online within five minutes, getting a current account with an IBAN for sending and receiving payments, and physical and virtual Mastercard cards.

According to Les Echos, founders Alexander and Steve Anavi Prot decided to set up the company after running into barriers trying to get banking services for their previous startup, an electronic cigarette specialist.

They have secured EUR1.6 million in funding from Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures and French investor Alven Capital, among others.

Local authorised e-money institution Treezor has been brought in to handle back office operations, with Qonto focussing on a front end designed to be simple, efficient and transparent.

Details on what that means are still hazy but the company's site says it will have a collaborative interface with specific logins for different types of users, validation workflow for spending and receipt upload, and automatic retrieval of online bills.

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