‘Complex products which have relied on face-to-face sales - that’s where we’re going to see the next fintech innovation,’ said Jay Reinemann, Managing Partner of Propel Venture Partners and one of the guests discussing the state of European fintech at a breakfast this morning kicking off this year’s WIRED Money at the British Museum in London.
Sitting alongside Greg Williams, Executive Editor of WIRED and BBVA’s Head of Digital M&A Juan López Carretero and Johan Lorenzen, CEO of recent BBVA acquisition Holvi, Reinemann explained. ‘Mortgages, for example - products that take time’. He explained he was very interested in businesses that go beyond the markets that had already seen lots of disruption, such as lending.
López Carretero thought we may see disruption in back-end services such as compliance and regulation. ‘The successful startups are those which identify a niche and then target them effectively,” he said, pointing to Holvi, who have a financial services platform aimed at the freelance market in Finland, Germany and Austria.
Holvi’s Lorenzen pointed to a market that many are talking about - Insurance. ‘Insurance is a category that feels like banking did a few years ago - everyone trying to work out a regulatory framework to encourage new entrants.’
The trio also discussed the state of fintech investment in Europe. ‘London is still hugely important, but a business like ours shows that innovation and funding has spread across Europe ‘ said Lorenzen.
Reinemann was very encouraged by the investor make-up in Europe. ‘I’ve been doing this for 15 years, and the investor make-up has changed from investment bankers to entrepreneurs - who bring considerable experience to the table.’
López Carretero felt that Europe had caught up with Silicon Valley, but suggested that people should keep an eye on Asia and Africa. ‘Progress - particularly in the payments space - could see them leapfrog Europe.’