At 27, Leonhard Kossmann is among the youngest company co-founders at LHoFT. He describes his entrepreneurial journey with Fundvis.
Ecosystem heads began turning when Fundvis, one of Luxembourg’s newest fundtechs, won the startup jury award at the Digital Finance Summit in Brussels. For fresh-faced CPO and co-founder Leonhard Kossmann, the win was a major milestone in a journey he is still very much at the beginning of. “I think founding a company is something you grow into. I think it’s a journey,” he told Silicon Luxembourg.
The German-Luxembourg national, who studied economics and data science, received a taste of the tech startup lifestyle in 2020 when he built a hobby-sharing application. The app, which was based in Berlin, had several hundred users but was eventually taken down, for lack of marketing power, or as Kossmann said: “We didn’t feel ready.”
The youngster returned to Luxembourg in 2021 to complete his master’s thesis working with ICT and cloud computing firm EBRC. It was there that he began to see the potential for new tech startups. “I feel like Luxembourg is IT-interested and a progressive state, but IT has not really crept into the different areas of the industry and, for sure, not the fund industry. And that was kind of the birth for the idea which would later become Fundvis,” he explained.
Kossmann met Tobias Degünther, a founder with over 10 years’ IT consultancy experience who would later become Fundvis CEO, thanks to his father. The former outlined the industry challenges, notably, a lack of real-time collaboration, leaving colleagues “playing document ping pong.” And he invited Kossmann to join him in the new venture.The CPO said: “We are a good match because Tobias is more business-minded, and I was more tech-minded. Then we started thinking about how to develop a solution for this problem.”
Less than 12 months after they began conceptualising an easy-to-use solution, the B2B platform officially hit the market in October 2022. Aimed at medium-sized companies of 15-20 people, the technology aims to connect all fund industry players, from onboarding to ESG reporting, in real-time. Kossmann said: “The vision is to have a modular-based Fund Management Platform that is API friendly. We want to digitalise the SMEs of Luxembourg’s fund industry. Because it’s becoming a major pulling factor for MANCOs or medium-sized AIFMs to say ‘we’re digitalised’.”
Two large banks and a depository tested Fundvis during the pilot phase since which the firm has on boarded a legal company and AIFM as development partners.
“In that sense, the team is my mentor, but then also there are people that I can talk to, also my father, and my parents in general”Leonhard Kossmann, CPO and co-founder of Fundvis
Work continues on the solution and Kossmann reckons that it will take four years to reach the level of functionality he’d like. “We have a very large potential customer base of depository banks, legals, AFMs, Mancos and RTAs, and every one of them has different processes. So it’s also a lot of customisation. That is easy for us to handle because we have a low code back end, which makes it adaptable from different client perspectives.”
Previously a bootstrapped startup, Fundvis is currently fundraising for a seven-figure seed round. Kossmann believes that the challenging economic climate will not be an issue, his confidence no doubt buoyed by the fact that at the 2022 Digital Finance Summit in Brussels, he pitched to five large Benelux VCs.
Fundvis was among the five winners of LHoFT’s Catapult accelerator programme and was also invited to pitch at Fit 4 Start.
One year into the venture, Kossmann is thankful to Degünther for the invitation to join this learning journey. He credits his success so far to the support received from his eight-strong team, a workforce that he expects to more than double in the next 12 months.
“In that sense, the team is my mentor, but then also there are people that I can talk to, also my father, and my parents in general,” he said.