Zurich-based account aggregation app Numbrs has transformed into a bitcoin storage vault after blaming jealous banks for killing off its original business model.
At the turn of last year Numbrs managed to secure CHF27 million in funding, CHF17.5 million of which came from Saidler & Co Finance, which is owned by Martin Saidler, who helped launch Numbrs.
This came after the firm warned that it would have to cut its headcount in half after a funding round in the "high double-digit million range" fell through.
In response, Numbrs changed its business model to focus on a paid software-as-a-service subscription model in Germany and the UK.
Now it has pivoted once again, moving its headquarters from Zurich to 'Crypto Valley Zug and kitting out an old Swiss army alpine bunker as the secure backbone for the launch of a bitcoin wallet app.
Numbrs CEO and chair Fynn Kreuz told Swissinfo that changes to European Union laws to create Open Banking should have made it easier for agile fintechs to plug into the financial system and reach customers.
“It should have allowed us to roll out our business by storm. But some banks tried their best to make the lives of third-party providers as complicated as possible and squeeze them out,” he said. “We came to the conclusion that increasingly complicated regulation around mobile banking and our dependency on banks prevented us, in the long run, from building the quality product that we wanted to build.”