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March 16, 2017

7 new fintech solutions for the age-old problems facing entrepreneurs

Until relatively recently, freelancers, entrepreneurs and small business owners had limited options when it came to managing their finances. Mired in red tape, traditional business banking was often slow, expensive and frustrating. Thankfully, all of is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. The rise of fintech, the buzzy portmanteau of financial technology, is disrupting these archaic models. From paperless budgeting to peer-to-peer lending, this rapidly growing sector is enabling small business owners and freelancers to take control of their finances with bespoke solutions. One successful fintech startup here at betahaus is Holvi.

Funding Circle

Now in its seventh year, Funding Circle offers peer-to-peer loans to entrepreneurs and small businesses, for whom more traditional funding avenues might be off-limits. You can borrow anything between €5,000 and €1,000,000 over a period between 6 months and 5 years, ideal if you need a cash injection to grow your business. Or, if the idea of investing in other startups appeals to you, Funding Circle offers a no-nonsense pathway into peer-to-peer investment. You can choose which kinds of businesses you’d like to invest in, with a minimum investment of just €20. They cite an average return of 6.4% for lenders, although as with all investment this can’t be guaranteed.


If you deal with clients in multiple currencies, and the high fees and poor exchange rates are getting you down, French startup IBANFirst might be for you. It makes use of real time exchange rates in 17 foreign currencies, and has recently expanded to include Banking-as-a-Service, or BaaS. You can open a corporate account in minutes and access leading fintech services and experts, without the enormous costs involved in working with traditional banks. For starters, it’s completely free to open a company account.


Invoice factoring is when a business sells its invoices to a third party (or factor) at a discount, freeing up cash to meet immediate needs. It can be a useful tool in aiding cash flow, but for many small businesses the necessary minimum sales volumes prohibit working with a traditional factor. Cue bezahlt.de. Founded by one-time employees of Kreditech, bezahlt.de aims to bring invoice factoring to the freelancers, entrepreneurs and SMEs that have been neglected in the past. They will deal with invoices starting at just one euro, and cash is released in just 24 hours. Plus, the first invoice is free.


While Excel might have been fine for managing your first employee, if you’re now organising salaries and bonuses for a whole team, maybe it’s time to ditch the spreadsheets in favour of a one-stop HR solution. Personio is a holistic web app that allows you to manage all of your employee’s data, salaries, vacation and even the initial recruitment. It is fully customisable, and its servers are located in Germany for optimum data security. Plans start at €129 per month.


Property investment is a complicated and at times heavily-guarded sector. This means that significant real estate opportunities are usually out of reach for smaller investors and individuals. Enter London-based startup Brickvest, a crowdfunding platform that aims to rid real estate investment of these constraints. Investors can fund projects starting with as little as a €1000, although for now the platform is limited to those with an existing investment portfolio of €500,000. A Brickvest member can sell stakes using the platform at any time, creating what Brickvest hope will be a more transparent, accessible and liquid real estate investment landscape. Fees apply for both investment and exit, but it’s free to browse potential deals.


Insurance can be a murky world, filled with old-guard salespeople who insist on communicating entirely by fax machine. Thankfully, Clark offers a fully digital insurance solution for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Simply create a free online profile, and Clark will match your insurance needs to other brokers in just a few clicks. Their algorithms will even analyse your current insurance situation and automatically propose improvements to your existing insurance deals.

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" People matter! Community was always what we were all about. ‘’

In June we launched #PeopleInbeta - our monthly blog post series in which our Content Manager - Vihra interviewed teams and freelancers from the betahaus community to present the variety of creatives we have in ‘haus, to understand their missions and get some useful advice for our audience. We talked on topics such as sustainability (with PlanA) , decentralized digital identity (with JOLOCOM), curated music experiences (with Bespoke Sounds), freelance photography (with Sara Herrlander), full-stack development (with Obst Digital), design (with LAUDO) and much more.

Interview with LAUDO at betahaus | Neukölln
Interview with Obst.Digital at betahaus | Neukölln

"The Summer is the best time to host Backyard sessions and BBQ’s’’

In the summer, we launched a couple of new events in Neukölln like Freelancers, Unite!, The Backyard Sessions and My friend’s BBQ. 

Freelancers, Unite! developed as our productive coworking session with freelancers from in and outside the ‘haus. Once a month, we picked an important freelance topic (such as taxes, time-management, etc) and invited experts to give us insights on the topic. We saw so many new faces and had the chance to come back closer to where we started from - the freelance, grassroots culture. 

Freelancers, Unite! at betahaus | Neukölln

Another event, which started in July (and turned out to be our favourite events) were The Backyard Sessions. Organised by our queen of Neukölln - Robbin – the Backyard Sessions are our creative evenings with live music jams, movie screenings and cocktails. 

The Backyard Sessions at basement.berlin
Movie Screening at basement.berlin

This last event was hilarious because for quite some time, nobody knew exactly who organised it or invited them. The friend was throwing a BBQ for the community in the garden and this led to all our members joining and staying after for a beer or two with us.

‘’My favourite moment this year was the second friends bbq which was actually cancelled because of the rain forecast. But despite the bad weather, people show up and it turned into a super nice intimate evening with Elizaveta and Paul giving a garden concert.’’ - Robbin (Community Manager, betahaus)

''In July, it was great how the casual after-work BBQ turned into an impromptu acoustic blues jam session with Elizavetta Barsegova and Paul, who have the voice of an angel. Actually, all of the My Friend's BBQ's and Backyard Sessions were AWESOME.’’
- Paige (Head of Marketing, betahaus) 

The Garden at betahaus | Neukölln
My Friend's BBQ at betahaus | Neukölln

"As a coworking space, you have to give stage to important topics.’’

This year we released a new event format in Kreuzberg called ‘’The betaSalon’’. It's an open panel discussion which aims to give stage to important topics and give free speech on them. The fist one we did on the EU elections, last month we talked about changemakers, but our favourite one for this season stays ‘’Mother + Founder’’ where we partnered with FemGems podcast and recorded a live podcast episode for them having Madeleine Gummer von Mohl (betahaus co-founder), Kristine Zeller (co-creater of ooshi period underwear) and Luisa Hoffman on the stage.

betaSalon at betahaus | Kreuzberg

"We should fight for a more human-centered tech development’’

Every September, our co-founders take part in the Techfestival. in Copenhagen, spending a few days disconnecting from the daily life and focusing on creating a better, more human-centered tech future. This year the think tank which included our co-founders Madeleine and Max came up with the TechPledge. The Tech Pledge was made to emphasize the need for a new direction in tech. Similar to the Hippocratic oath for doctors, the Tech Pledge is a promise to make tech a force for good and ensure responsible and sustainable tech leadership. It’s a commitment to driving a new direction in technology.

Techfestival. 2019 in Copenhagen

"Startups are transforming European football as we know it.’’

One of the most exciting projects for betahausX this year (which is also continuing in 2020) is their new startup challenge called The Werder Lab - a global startup competition that aims to reimagine the way clubs like Werder work with athletes, fans and partners.

"You should leave time for the things you love most’’ 

This year couldn’t end without us having our favourite events - the end-of-the-year holiday party and the BETAPITCH Global Finals. On the 6th of December we saw the 9 finalists of the regional BETAPITCH competitions pitching in front of our jury. Congrats to Troy from Hamburg for winning the big prize.

We finished the year at our Holiday Party celebrating anything and everything at betahaus | Neukölln together with our members, friends of friends and our favourite artists from Passiflora LIVE, Tapete and Kotoe.

Love at The betahaus Holiday Party 2019

Thank you for being with us in 2019. It's been a crazy big year for us and it wouldn't been possible without your support, trust and the hard work of our amazing team. Have an amazing holiday time and we'll see you again in 2020.

With love,


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