Venmo may lose its opportunity to get to Europe with stealth startup Cookies coming to repeat its success story in the region. Cookies will first come to Germany in the first quarter of 2016, but will gradually roll out in other European countries as well.
Just like Venmo, Cookies is all about a seamless experience of paying your friends without any fee. As promised by the company, users can expect a smooth and quick onboarding experience and a great design. Trust for the solution will be built upon a variety of factors, among which are users' profile pictures in the app. Cookies will also be supporting Square Cash and PayPal.me custom URLs that users can share with friends. Group payments will also be available in the app for making it easier to split the costs in a group of friends.
At this point, interested Europeans can sign up on the official website for news and for the beta app as it is in the polishing process to come out as a market disruptor. The European market is a tricky region to work in with such a solution as bank transfers are free with only an IBAN code being necessary.
However, Cookies are assured in the value of the solution. As Cookies' Co-founder Lamine Cheloufi shared with TechCrunch, “The payment field in Europe is kind of broken. And if you take a look at dating apps, you have Tinder and then you have some apps that people are not using. In the payment space, you don’t have this kind of phenomenon.”
There have been companies that tried to occupy the free niche, such as Lydia or Pumpkin in France. However, the companies didn't seem to solve an actual problem. Users did not see the value of another app that has to be connected to a bank account when they already had a banking app.
Cookies can succeed if the company can make P2P payments even easier and more viral. In addition, the founding team has a great impact on the future of the company; at least, the founding team is promising.
With an international team of 22 people from 12 countries, Cookies have two very notable co-founders: Garry Krugljakow and Lamine Chelouﬁ. The two co-founders used to work together for German FinTech startup Number26, which, according to TechCrunch, can be granted the title of the best banking experience in Europe. Apart from the co-founders, there are other employees from Number26 who are now a part of the Cookies team. However, Cookies is not competing with Number26 as they are not trying to reinvent banking. With bright people massively migrating from Number26 to Cookies, it is safe to say that both the companies have their fates tied.
Explaining the idea to TechCrunch, Lamine elaborated, “We’re not a classical e-wallet. Most companies, such as Venmo are based on an e-wallet model. In Venmo, if I transfer money to you, it’s going to be parked somewhere. Then you have to transfer it to your bank account. From our side, we make a classical bank-to-bank transaction.”
At this point, Cookies seems to be poised to become a big deal in Europe and shake up the market and the long-time banks. The amazing combination of international talents in the founding team and a history of success is promising.
“As a fast-growing, ambitious business, we experience things that amaze even us. And we are regularly confronted by challenges that have to be efficiently and effectively overcome. We have to use unconventional methods to reach our goals—so-called “hacks.” Test, measure, optimize—what works for us as a startup can also be applied to everyday life. We’ll introduce you to these “life hacks” here. We want to astound you with what can be achieved with a startup mentality,” Cookies said in its official blog.