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Digital banking Updated: 02 Apr 2020

solarisBank, awarded as one of the best fintech startups in Germany

The company, in which BBVA invested in 2018, was named best startup in growth stage at the Fintech Germany awards.

The ‘Golden Garage’ section of the ‘Fintech Germany Awards’ chooses every year since 2015 the most outstanding fintech startups of the country in six categories. In this occasion, solarisBank has been singled out as the winner in the Growth Stage category, where companies that are already expanding internationally also competed.

Event organizers include prominent representatives of the financial center of Frankfurt, such as the renowned financial newspaper Börsen-Zeitung, Business Angels Frankfurt RheinMain and TechFluence, a fintech industry research platform. “Our ‘Golden Garage’ award offers young entrepreneurs in particular the opportunity to enter into dialogue with FinTech insiders and representatives of the financial center and to expand their network,” said Jens Zinke, Director of Börsen-Zeitung.

According to the organizers, cooperation between fintech startups and incumbent institutions is key to the sector’s future and, in this sense, the awards aim to become a springboard that fosters these connections.


The awards ceremony took place in Frankfurt, Germany.

To choose the winners, 16-expert jury paid special attention to factors such as the company’s financial viability and business model scalability, as well as their exit ability. The jury also take into consideration the business concept stated by the entrants, the competitive advantages they offer, their positioning, financial plan and management approach.

Other winners in this year’s edition were Authada, in the Early Stage category, Barzahlen in the Late Stage category and TransferWise in the Foreign Fintech category. Also, Exporo was singled out as the best tech proposal for the real estate sector and wefox the best insurtech solution.

Third-party banking services

solarisBank, founded in 2016, offers generic online banking services to other digital businesses through its platform. Through the use of APIs, the company allows these companies to offer banking services, including payments, virtual IBAN, accounts, deposits and transactions or digital identification services and cards. In 2018, BBVA invested in the company’s ‘Series B’ round.

Part of the reason for BBVA’s investment was because of a similar vision the bank shares with solarisBank - namely the need for a shift in the sector from closed to open. It was this vision that led to BBVA moving ahead of the game in opening up its APIs before the implementation of PSD2. It was also for this reason BBVA launched its banking-as-a-service Open Platform business last year in the U.S. and BBVA API_Market in Europe in 2017.

solarisBank’s business model has established the company as a pioneer in Europe’s nascent open banking movement, being one of the first startups to offer Banking as a Service. solarisBank has quickly become one of the most widely recognized fintechs in Germany. In 2018 it was included in KPMG’s 'Leading 50' list, and just 12 months after it was founded, its earned the 'Fintech of the Year 2017' award from German publication Payment and Banking.