With the current COVID-19 pandemic placing most people in lockdown and our increasing reliance on the internet, it is only natural that most services are now going online. While ‘Digital banking’ is not new, it is definitely adapting well.
One of the leading fintech names in the EU — Meniga — that offers digital banking technology to some of the world’s largest banks has reached a new milestone. The Iceland-born startup has just raised €8.5 million in a ‘strategic’ investment round. Now, London-headquartered, the company was founded in direct response to the Icelands’s financial crisis in 2008 and is now keen to boost digital banking across Europe.
Meniga’s strategic investment round led by big names
The latest funding round for Meniga was led by Customers Groupe BPCE, the second-largest banking group in France, along with Portugal’s Grupo Crédito Agrícola and the company’s long-standing strategic partner UniCredit. Current institutional investors including Velocity Capital, Industrifonden & Frumtak Ventures also invested in the digital banking platform provider.
The latest funding will be utilised by the company for Research and Development and for strengthening its sales and service teams to meet the growing demand. In an exclusive interview with Silicon Canals, the company’s CEO and co-founder Georg Ludviksson says, “The funding will be used for continued investment in Meniga’s R&D activities, and to strengthen our company’s sales and service teams, in order to meet growing demand and to consolidate our presence in each of our respective markets.”
Elaborating on business plans for 2020, he adds, “A key focus for 2020 will be to continue offering our support for existing and new customers, to help them provide the best possible tools and services for people to manage their finances during the turbulent times brought about by COVID-19. This is what we started out doing in the wake of the financial crash in 2009, so when it comes to our ‘crisis offering’ I’d argue it’s probably one of the strongest out there.”
Recently, the UK company also announced that it has been successfully registered as an Account Information Service Provider by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK.
“We are extremely pleased to welcome Groupe BPCE and Crédito Agrícola to our growing group of strategic investors. Partnering closely with our customers is a key part of our strategy to be the preferred digital innovation partner to our clients. An equity relationship is an excellent way to strengthen such partnerships”, he adds in the company press release. “We appreciate the continued vote of confidence and growing business we have with our impressive global client base“.
Core mission: Helping people lead better financial lives
Meniga was founded back in 2009 off the back of the financial crash in Iceland. Ludviksson reveals, “From the start, we set out to help people lead better financial lives and this is still our mission today. Over the past ten years, there has been a notable investor appetite for fintechs and challenger banks which, helped by regulatory changes such as PSD2 and Open Banking, has supercharged innovation within the financial industry. Consumers today are not settling for anything less than world-class user experience and tools that can help them manage their day-to-day finances with ease. “
Meniga ensures that major banks and other financial services providers globally are able to compete with, and exceed, the value being offered by their competitors. The company’s digital banking platform enables its clients to use personal finance data so that they can innovate in their online and mobile channels. Their product offering includes data aggregation technologies, personal and business finance management solutions, cashback rewards and transaction-based carbon insights.
Boosting digital banking across Europe
Meniga has continued its successful run over the years. The company’s headquarters are situated in London and it has offices in offices in Reykjavik, Stockholm, Helsinki, Warsaw, Singapore, and Barcelona. “Something that makes Meniga stand out is our global reach. With offices in London, Reykjavik, Stockholm, Helsinki, Warsaw, Singapore, and Barcelona, customers across 30 different countries, and reaching over 90 million end-consumers, we have a great understanding of the various needs of different markets. There is nothing we haven’t seen over the years and we have learned what works best where, how and for whom.” adds Ludviksson.
‘Digital banking software is not slumping‘
The coronavirus has adversely impacted many businesses but Digital banking software has not slowed down. Meniga has witnessed a surge in people demanding help with their personal finances ever since COVID-19. “We recently surveyed a cohort of senior European bankers and found that 90% of respondents acknowledged that a good digital banking user experience for their customers will be more important in the post-COVID era.” remarks Ludviksson.
Commenting on the current scenario, Ludviksson says, “Digital banking software is not slumping in importance because of this crisis, we’re fortunate when it comes to our product offering. If anything, digital banking and personal finance becomes even more relevant in times of economic downturn, and this also means we have a core revenue stream that is fairly recession-resistant. One thing we’ve done in response to COVID-19 is to reposition the marketing message of our products, going back to our roots and focussing on selling core budgeting and personal finance management products.”
As for the current year, Meniga will be focused on offering its continued support to existing and new customers. “We will provide them with the best possible tools and services for people, to manage their finances during the turbulent times brought about by COVID-19. This is what we started out doing in the wake of the financial crash in 2009, so when it comes to our ‘crisis offering’ I’d argue it’s probably one of the strongest out there.” adds Ludviksson.
Image credits: Meniga
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