This is a Startuprad.io exclusive interview

 

In this interview, we talk to Antti Tarakkamäki (https://www.linkedin.com/in/anttitarakkamaki/) – co-founder of Bankify (http://www.bankify.io/). Antti is from Finland and founded his first company with 17 years, in our interview he not only tells about this story but also about his current startup Bankify, which helps with their app to fulfill financial goals. Their app is mainly targeted at millennials. Part of their agenda is fun, better user experience, and financial education.

Bankify is no regulated bank but works with banks. They are looking for clients who want to use their tools via API or SDK.
Bankify is also currently raising a venture capital round, with a convertible note. If you want to participate let us know and we hook you up.

We are media partners of Euro Finance Tech and we have been there to talk to some startups for you.

We really enjoyed Euro Finance Tech, you will find some outtakes during our 12 days of Christmas and you can also have a look at our Instagram profile

 

 

Meet Bankify

[00:06] Announcer: Welcome to Startuprad.io. Your podcast and YouTube blog covering the German startup scene with news interviews and live events.

[00:20] Joe: Hello and welcome everybody. This is Joe from Stratuprad.io your startup podcast and YouTube blog from Germany today. As you may be able to hear from the background am still at your finance tech around us. There’s right now lunch going on, but I still do have Antti here with me. Hey, welcome.

[00:37] Antti: Thank you very much. Nice to meet you. And hello everyone there. Back to screens.

[00:43] Joe: You are one of the co-founders of Bankify. But can you tell us a little bit more about you, what you do, what you did before we get into those details?

[00:55] Antti: Absolutely. Absolutely. I actually started my first company age of 17. Well, I’m very proud of that. In Finland Helsinki.

[01:04] Joe: What did you do?

[01:05] Antti: Yes, it was part of a junior achievement program, so young enterprise. So actually I was still in high school, but yes. And it wasn’t only me, five others, so six of us. We founded actually a physical product helping opening bottles and jars that point of time very handy.

[01:23] Joe: Well, in terms of health and key, I would have thought of something like keeps you warm but also opening bottles totally fine with me. And what did you do then?

[01:35] Antti: At the early stage startup?

[01:36] Joe: Whatever you want to talk about.

[01:43] Antti: Great. I mean that was a great post for the entrepreneurial career for me. And it was still early days, 20 years ago. So I also realized that education is also the key to get forward. So I finished my master degree in Helsinki School of Economics and then worked for large corporations. Not only Finland based but internationally. We were buying and selling companies. That was a great experience, but I didn’t give up for the entrepreneurial spirit. And that’s where I’m doing my dream job right now.

[02:13] Joe: Okay. And you co-founded Bankify. Where are you guys headquartered?

[02:17] Antti: Helsinki.

[02:18] Joe: Helsinki. I heard it’s very nice in the summer and freaking cold in the winter.

[02:22] Antti: Yes. I’m happy to invite you there.

[02:26] Joe: In the summer.

[02:28] Antti: You choose.

[02:29] Joe: That’s fine. When did you set up your company? What was kind of the driver that got you started? And what does it actually do?

[02:39] Antti: Yes. So both me and the co-founder, they’re all finance professionals. So we had really big frustration, especially in the age of digitalization. That’s why finance is such a troublesome and difficult. And most of don’t even have the education, so how to handle it. So this problem we wanted to solve in the field of personal finance management. And that was the kick start for Bankify 2016. and some of you might actually hear about a conference called Slush.

[03:16] That is a creative inspirational event. So we founded a company there.

[03:20] Joe: It’s in Helsinki. It’s during wintertime there. Early December.

[03:25] Antti: Yes. Right. And it’s like 20,000 people gathering together. Tech enthusiastic people, a lot of startups, a lot of investors. It’s actually in the beginning of December this year. So if anyone joining, let’s meet there.

[03:40] Joe: It may be too early this year to go there, but maybe I can include it next year into my travel schedule. So talking about Bankify, what are you guys doing there? I read something about an APP, but that’s on everything, right?

[03:57] Antti: Yes. And as our product is an application, but actually our business concept is slightly more. But first of all, we are solving real-life problems. Especially with the younger segments. So millennials who are becoming more independent in their financial life and we want to make it easy to start with. I mean take the first small steps. So we believe in smart financial choices of today for a better tomorrow. Basically, that’s the vision.

[04:34] Joe: And how do they assist and what’s kind of smart decision? Not to buy a Ferrari now on credit or something.

[04:44] Antti: Yeah. Actually, there are some car goals already in our APP. I don’t remember the first probably Porsche or something.

[04:52] Joe: I didn`t know that before.

[04:55] Antti: So good guessing exactly. I mean you can start as little or as small as you want. And micro saving is one of our actually key features. And it’s a perfect example. How do millennials actually, what is their attitude towards finance? They don’t want to live on credit anymore. I mean, there are already studies about that. They are eager to do the saving. But saving it’s not easy, It’s difficult. Especially how to get started. How to stay motivated.

[05:27] How to continue it over time. It’s not pouring your money to your saving account. I mean, what’s in it for me? I mean you want to have the use case to where you need them money and then typically we’ll also want to spend it.

[05:42] Joe: I see. And that`s everything in Bankify? I only mentioned that a couple of these features. We are also focusing on them on the millennial segment in a way that we want to actually personalize the finance experience. And now we’re talking about the mobile application way of banking. And education is also part of our agenda. And making it also a bit fun and social.

[06:15] Joe: That’s not typically what you relate finance with. I vividly remember when we’ve been hosting like a live stream with a robot advisor, founders of Robot Advisors. One of them said very memorably investing is the opposite of sexy. So how do you do that?

[06:34] Antti: Yes, officially, of course, I don’t want to make finance to 60, but I definitely want to make the experience more joyful for end users. And this is also. We’re actually in this banking conferences where we at now. A lot of these players are still struggling with. I mean they don’t know how to read, how to create experiences to this new generation. The users already have in their social apps, in their game apps. That’s kind of behavioral expectation. Banking apps also should do more interviews, especially if you want to stay relevant for this new generation.

[07:15] Joe: So to talk about it very meaningful. You do banking apps in the style of Facebook.

[07:20] Antti: Yeah, actually we are not a bank or we don’t want to be a bank. A regulated player, but yes, we deliver enhancement solutions. So application features or we call them actually a micro-services to banks and financial institutions. Who can either get them from us white label solution or as an SDK or API integration.

[07:48] Joe: So very simplified you are offering parts. And some of those parts and some of the parts of the bank together will be a new mobile banking app for example.

[08:04] Antti: Yes. Besides the banking, of course still comes from the bank, which is their core business. But our features can be seen as an enhancement which is improving and boosting the user experience. And increasing the engagement or we can also say stickiness to the application. And now it’s in Europe especially. It’s really high on our agenda open banking. So the perfect way for us to deliver is also using these open banking interfaces, API`s as we call them.

[08:38] And it seems to be very interesting for the banking players in Europe. but also Bankify is on a next stage looking to expand to North America, to Asia. And we want to be an international player.

[08:53] Joe: And everybody who would like to learn more can go down here in the show notes and have a look. And we just got into another part. So what are you currently looking for here? For example, on those banking events? What are you looking for? Like corporation Partners, investors, clients, good food.

[09:18] Antti: I liked the German food. It’s similar in Finland. The fish definitely. But we are here to partner and as a standalone application. We wouldn’t enter Germany as we see a way. But B2Bmakes perfect sense to us and we want to find the local partners to do it. And besides of that, go to market expansive requires a capital. So we are definitely also looking for investments. Our next round is A round. We are launching end of this year, so also happy to talk to anyone interested in investing. But I also think the whole Fintech ecosystem is getting more mature. And we see more banks and Fintech joining forces now. And that’s a great atmosphere. For example, in this event today.

[10:09] Joe: Great. And for everybody who would like to learn more or reach out to you directly, we’ll also have down here to link to your LinkedIn profile.

[10:17] Antti: Very welcome to contact me either through LinkedIn or go to our website, bankify.io. Happy to have a heads up or chats also on your experiences. How to get the impact on he millennial segment through advanced technology and Fintech products.

[10:37] Joe: Thank you very much.

[10:40] Antti: Thank you.

[10:46] Announcer: That’s all folks. Find more news, streams, events and interviews at startuprad.io. Remember sharing is caring.