MEDICI now! Startup Stories highlights the companies that are shaping the new financial technology industry. Keep an eye out each week for new stories! If you or someone you know should be highlighted, send us a note. Without further ado…
Company Name: FinFabrik
Name/Title: Alex Medana, Co-Founder & CEO
Industry Segment: Capital markets and wealth management
Target Markets: Asia but open for business for the rest of the world
LTP: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Alex Medana: I’m Alex Medana, CEO and Co-founder of FinFabrik with two amazing co-founders Florian Spiegl (COO) and Marcel van der Vliet (CTO). I have spent a little over 16 years in financial services in operations mainly in Prime Brokerage and Brokerage. Two years ago, I quit to set up (as everyone would do) a blockchain consultancy that was both a complete failure and success. Failure because we signed NDAs with a lot of banks and couldn’t monetize anything as the tech and the banks were not ready; success because I started to get noticed as someone coming from the industry who explains blockchain in simple terms and what it really means for financial services today, in 5 years or in 10 years.
We set up FinFabrik last summer shortly after acquiring a retail brokerage platform that we white label to brokers, private banks, retail banks, and investment managers.
LTP: Give us a paragraph pitch for your company.
AM: FinFabrik is a tech builder focusing on bringing software solutions as a service to capital markets and wealth management institutions. We believe that true differentiation lies in the service provided to the end-customers. For us, technology has to be cost-effective, useful, usable and more importantly: used with the client in mind all the time. The best experience drives revenues through new client acquisition as well as higher activity from existing users.
We are bringing three core products to market: BrokerFabrik, a fully integrated software system on which brokers can run their entire business, offering trading services to retail clients. AlgoFabrik is an algorithmic trading platform for highly specialized investment activities such as market making, statistical arbitrage or hedging. Our latest solution – still under development – is WealthFabrik where we integrate the technology that we have to power trading execution and investment decisions and build a portfolio construction function and user experience on top of that which is powered by machine learning layers.
LTP: In a sentence or two, what problems are you solving today?
AM: Only one sentence or two? I could be very lyrical here! Simply put, we address three things:
- Poor client experience in investment solutions, with user interfaces built in the ‘90s that are not engaging at all.
- Complex and costly architecture that cannot scale efficiently or adapt to the client needs.
- Lack of tailored services for the end user (which I call caring, you can call it behavioral economics) that go beyond segmentation and standardization.
LTP: Who are you selling to?
AM: We are white labeling our solutions to brokers, private banks, retail banks, investment managers – and, increasingly technology players that move into financial services.
LTP: Why did you start the company?
AM: The three of us see great opportunities in specialized software for investment management that is built by people from the industry – and puts the end-user first. A lot of the solutions in this space are outdated and have not seen any innovation in years. We believe that modern software as a service has to be highly modular, easy to integrate with legacy systems, delight the end-client and help save costs via automation built on machine learning. Ultimately, we started the company together as we believe that as founders, we bring highly complementary skill sets to the table – and now also have a fantastic team to make it happen.
LTP: What’s the most important change coming to your segment in the next 3–5 years?
AM: The usage of artificial intelligence and blockchain is creating a paradigm where the cost of deploying client-centric solutions is coming down significantly. For once, we are able to design an experience where a customer feels “taken care of,” thanks to data analytics capabilities.
LTP: What’s your next milestone?
AM: We are going live with BrokerFabrik in May of 2017 and we are looking for opportunities to help incumbents lower their costs as well as delight their end-users. Converting our healthy client pipeline into happy clients is paramount for us now.
LTP: What’s the one thing you wish customers knew before a sales meeting with you?
AM: We are a team of practitioners with a lot of experience in retail & private banking, capital markets business, operations, and technology. We speak the same language as our clients, understand their problems (because we had to deal with the same issues not so long ago) and can unlock value very quickly.
LTP: What keeps you awake at night?
AM: I feel that we can accelerate even more. It is my job to create an excitement around our vision and direction. We run a business that happens to be in FinTech and growth and cash flow are on my mind 24/7.
LTP: Anything else you want to say to our audience?
AM: Thanks for reading my thoughts so far. We are constantly looking for sharp colleagues, partners, and clients for long-term mutually beneficial relationships. Whilst we have various products in capital markets and wealth management, we are tech builders that can deliver tailored solutions in an agile and lean way.
Please feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com
Bonus – User’s Choice Question
LTP: How do you see the future of financial services?
AM: A lot has been written or talked about “platformification” (horrible word I must confess) but I really think that platforms are going to be built around the user experience. Behavioral economics will play a key part in this. If you are as excited as me about this, I will be happy to connect and take you through our grand plans.
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