Welcome to Dr. Tamaz Georgadze, CEO & Founder of Raisin GmbH, a leading company that gives customers the possibility to choose attractive deposit offers from European banks – online and from the comfort of your home.
Thank you for accepting an interview from FinTechnews.org.
Let me start with an easy question. I read from your web-site the following:
Raisin’s goal is to provide savers the best interest rates! As the leading marketplace for investments throughout Europe, we give you access to exclusive savings products from all over Europe – raise your interest with Europe’s #1 deposit marketplace
That’s great. However, let’s put the case you are in a 14 years old students’ classroom. How you would explain your business to them?
Savings and deposits are the most relevant financial product for Europeans with more than EUR 10 trillion being held in current and savings accounts. In the current low interest environment savers receive virtually no interest from their local banks and by now are sometimes even charged negative rates. Across Europe there are still banks that pay higher interest rates. However, despite a single European market, these products are often not accessible to savers due to barriers such as a different language, no knowledge about the offer, administrative requirements, online banking access etc. We bring together savers and banks across borders: As the leading marketplace for savings and investment products, we give our customers access to attractive interest rates from all over Europe. With only one registration, customers can open and manage deposits with currently 41 partner banks from 18 countries through a single online banking system. Our customers only have to verify their identity once and do not have to contend with varying, complex account opening procedures in foreign languages, nor is their physical presence required.
Does Raisin function exclusively on-line?
Yes, if you want to invest in savings products of our partner banks, you have to access one of our online platforms at some point. Some of our products are also offered through financial advisors and banks to their clients in person.
Who is your typical customer? Is this a B2B business, B2C, or what?
Our average customer is around 55 years old, called Michael and works as an employee somewhere in Germany. As of today, most of our customers are retail clients but since last year, we also offer savings products to German business customers.
How does Raisin make money?
Raisin receives a commission from its partner banks. The service is free of charge for our customers.
Now that we know better your company, could you please tell us something about your history. When did you start? How?
Before I co-founded Raisin together with Michael and Frank, I spent 10 years with McKinsey & Company, last several years as a Partner leading the McKinsey Savings and Investment products Service Line for EMEA countries. Some of my clients were interested in attracting client funds also from overseas but language barriers, the verification of identity and the sending of documents posed obstacles that retail clients could not overcome on their own. The solution to these problems became the idea for our business model.
I imagine you have some competitors, correct? What is your competitive advantage? What is your unique offer to the market.
We are the first deposit marketplace to be established in Europe (and also worldwide). Our competitors are mostly traditional banks which offer their products directly to the customer and do not take part in platform business. In the narrow field of savings marketplace offerings, we have a number of copy-cats across Europe. Still, our customer reach, number of partners and breadth of offering are unparalleled. Recently we have reached EUR 5 billion brokered thanks to our more than 100.000 customers. Last year, we started to serve business customers and soon we will be also offering additional asset classes to our retail clients. The trust of our customers is our most valuable asset!
Where do you see yourself – I mean your company – in 5 years? What are the strategic plans of Raisin?
In 5 years from now we will be the go-to place for anyone in Europe who wants the best selection of simple savings and investments at a low cost, delivered fully online., We will continue to deliver the best customer experience to our marketplace customers, and in parallel be available through a large number of brokers, banks and financial advisors as a white-label partner to them.
How do customers get in touch with your company?
Most clients get in touch online and via phone. Customers value the high quality of service delivered through those channels – more than 90% of our customers are willing to recommend us to their friends and family.
Let’s talk about your people. How do you recruit your FinTech experts?
Berlin is by far Germany’s startup hotspot and is also Germany’s only metropolis. The city is quite international and vibrant and therefore attracts talent – and in particular tech talent – from all across the world. This allows us to take a strong tech driven approach and to hire the best talent with various backgrounds.
Last question. How difficult is to start a fintech company today?
You simply need a good idea, great colleagues and a little bit of luck!
Thank you very much.
Have a good day!
Raisin is present at the first The Innovation Fintech and Insurtech Conference, Valencia, organized under the umbrella of FORINVEST 2018.