SBT Venture Capital manages a $100m FinTech VC fund investing in the most promising growth stage companies in the financial services industry. According to General Partner Matteo Rizzi, Luxembourg has a very particular setting, mixing up large and global banks branches. Smart start-ups could use Luxembourg as their testing environment and then expand. What are the most promising trends? How to align investment with bank strategies? What FinTech sector(s) Luxembourg should focus on? Well-known as one of the “40 most influential FinTech executives in Europe” Matteo Rizzi will be in Luxembourg on March 3rd for an exclusive keynote talk. Be among the 100 happy few!
At SBT Venture Capital‘s you are investing in promising FinTech companies and start-ups. According to you, what are the hottest trends?
FinTech is a relatively new area of disruption, with two categories of start-ups, competing with or enabling banks.
Alternative Lending (retail and SMEs) is certainly a rapidly growing area, with several start-ups breaking into this field.
Ubiquitous payments, linking consumer to merchants to marketplaces or to banks in their different shape or forms are also widely present in terms of start-ups working on it, usually combined with a PFM or some form of loyalty and couponing.
Authentication and access management, especially in the mobile context, are also a critical area where technology has a lot to adapt.
Alternative currency, capital markets disintermediation, remittances and new B2B payments routes would complete the picture.
How are banks reacting to FinTech and how to align investment with bank strategies?
There are more bank FinTech funds established in the last 12 month than in the previous 20 years, and align ROI versus strategic is the biggest challenge.
Banks are also more and more realizing they need to work with start-ups, directly or through a program. It’s very difficult to integrate a start-up in the existing infrastructure, so many banks try to create an agile and independent environment to experiment and then bring it back to the core.
What do you think about Luxembourg’s FinTech industry and potential?
Luxembourg, IMO, has a very particular setting, mixing up large and global banks branches and a vibrant local eco-system.
Innovation could spread fast, and smart start-ups could use Luxembourg as their testing environment (but scalable enough to stay relevant) and then expand.
Being also the treasury operation center of many large corporations, B2B FinTech Innovations become very compelling, for payments.
You are also organizing FinTechStage, a european FinTech event. What is the purpose of it and what is this year agenda?
FinTechStage want to become the FinTech Innovation flagship for Europe, to start with.
The goal is very simple, make bridges between Investors, Bank Innovators and Start-ups to build a number of catalysts in Europe, mixing local and international communities.
The first event is March 31st in Milan, see agenda on www.fintechstage.com, then we go to Barcelona in May 18-19, 2015, and more dates are coming.