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For Modus3, which specializes in simplifying flows, not everything went as planned. Faced with issues that were hampering its own mechanics, the fintech had to review its processes and refocus its business model.
by: Marc Auxenfants
photo: Modus3
featured: Darren Douglas and Graham White

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Darren Douglas is an entrepreneur at heart. At the age of seven, to earn his pocket money, the Dubliner collected cans with his friend Graham White, which they then took back to the nearby recycling factory. Soon after, they reinvested the money they earned into a “small lawn care business”.

“Coming from a modest background, we’ve always had to be creative to make money,” says Douglas. Thirty years later, and after a career in finance as a compliance officer and risk analyst, Douglas moved to Luxembourg to launch his startup, Modus3, with White, based in Canada. The entity is currently housed in the Lux Future Lab and LHoFT.

“The tool uses artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, which take this information into account and run the client’s processes.”

A Fluid Process

The business plan is simple: to put some order into the banks’ business processes. “I’ve spent a good part of my career finding simple solutions to these business problems, which at first glance seem insoluble,” explains its co-founder and CEO.

When it comes to managing and organising working methods and IT equipment, financial institutions are far from efficient. “In the fund industry, for example, each business area has its own documentation and IT processes,” he notes. “These are not configured to communicate with one other. »

The startup founders then imagined an IT infrastructure that would group together tasks such as invoicing and bond management, or control, compliance and risk operations, in a single platform with dedicated apps for each process.

This would ensure a continuous flow of operations, based on simplified, standardised work rules adapted to the organisation’s critical activities.

“The tool uses artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, which take this information into account and run the client’s processes,” says Douglas. A beta version of the platform was expected to be operational by the end of August 2019.

“We now want to prove that our product is good, and to do so we cannot afford to deviate from our current strategy.”

Refocusing and project mode

However, not everything went as planned: the IT team the founders of Modus3 had entrusted the design of the fintech solution with delivered a prototype that did not meet their expectations.

After the unpleasant surprise, they decided to pause their initial launch and take a step back. They reviewed their business model to refocus it on all production flows, and no longer only the individual processing of business processes. They are currently recruiting a new team, one that is ready to take up the challenge and support them in their vision.

“Mistakes are both necessary and inevitable. They improve your resilience and determination to succeed,” says Douglas. “We’ve learned the lesson the hard way: now we follow the work of our developers more closely. We set regular milestones and deadlines, so we can prevent risks as early as possible.

“We now want to prove that our product is good, and to do so we cannot afford to deviate from our current strategy,” the CEO continues. In all probability, the infrastructure will be operational in August. The next step will then be to launch the platform by the end of 2020 for five other fund and asset managers in Luxembourg and Canada.

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