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.
Ellie: Two years ago we adopted a new legal structure for Jolocom GmbH according to the purpose model of ownership, manifesting our commitment and dedication to building a self-sovereign organization. That means we can’t take VC funding or sell public shares of the company.
Volker: Jolocom is a community driven organisation – both in a tech sense but also much further beyond. We’re hugely involved in the DWeb community where we organize and attend events for the decentralized community. Every year we also help organize and attend the DWeb Camp in San Francisco, which brings together all kinds of creatives so this technology of tomorrow is built in a collaborative way.
Next to that on-demand experiences have become firmly embedded into people’s everyday lives - be it a mobile app to book a ride, send flowers to your loved ones or order lunch to your office. It’s all possible and has made premium features like real-time tracking a standard. The online consumer expects nothing less and certainly doesn’t like to wait.
Making that quick and instant gratification happen is another story though. Groundbreaking ideas and innovations are needed to tackle all these factors. Does your startup have one?
Volker: There is this really nice place, called Green Rabbit with salads and baked potatoes where I like to go to. Sometimes I just keep it simple and go to Lidl.
Ellie: I eat a lot in west.berlin cafe which is here around the corner and I love the Matcha Lattes from Starbucks.
The information in this article was put together for you by our Fintech member Holvi. Holvi offers digital banking with inclusion of all services a modern entrepreneur needs in his business to collect, spend, and manage her or his money. From built-in paperless bookkeeping apps to smart invoicing and an integrated online-shop where you can sell your products or services. Its service is available for small businesses and entrepreneurs in Finland, Austria, and Germany. Time to ditch your traditional bank?