6 Swiss Fintechs That Managed to Expand Internationally During the Pandemic

6 Swiss Fintechs That Managed to Expand Internationally During the Pandemic

by May 17, 2021

In 2020, Switzerland’s economy shrank 2.9% as a results of the COVID-19 pandemic, the worst annual contraction in 45 years.

Startup funding declined 7.4% while fintech funding fell 38% as investors spread their financing more thinly, avoiding rounds of more than CHF 200 million and early stage startups, according to the 2021 Swiss Venture Capital Report.

A deeper analysis of the Swiss fintech sector in 2020 by the Lucerne University Applied Sciences and Arts shows a slowdown in the growth of the sector, a trend evidenced by the increased share of companies with low-sized total funding, and a workforce that failed to grow at mid-sized companies.

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Despite these challenging times, several fintechs have managed to rise against the odds, continuing their momentum in 2020 and 2021 by entering new markets and strengthening their footprint. Today, we look at six Swiss fintech companies that have continued growing over the past two years, and even expanded overseas.

SME lending fintech TradePlus24 strengthens footprint in Australia, UK, and the Netherlands

Credit Suisse-backed Tradeplus24 launches with AFG to access brokers nationally

Credit Suisse and SIX Group backed TP24 launched in Australia in late 2020 after raising CHF 120 million in debt and equity in February.

The launch was further bolstered by joining the Australian Finance Group (AFG)’s panel of finance providers as its only fintech partner to offer its flexible credit line product.

AFG is one of Australia’s largest broking groups with 2,975 finance brokers that work with close to 7,500 Australians each month. Tradeplus24 was selected to join the panel in recognition of its unique model, which uses insurance to underwrite a pool of SMEs’ account receivables.

“Our globally unique structuring, insurance and financial engineering and a strong use of data allow us to deliver a solution that was previously only accessible to large companies to SMEs across the globe”, said Ben James, Group CEO.

Tradeplus24 also started its roll out into the UK and Netherlands in early 2021, market launches are expected later this year.

Regtech startup Apiax opens German subsidiary

Swiss Regtech Apiax Begins Operations in Germany and Secures Fresh Funding

Zurich-based fintech Apiax said in February 2021 that it had won its first customers in Germany and opened a subsidiary in Frankfurt to better serve the market. The announcement came on the back of fresh funding the startup raised from the Frankfurt-based Futury Regio Growth fund and existing investors including Xange, E.ventures, Diventures, Sictic, Zuercher Kantonalbank, Tugboat and former UBS Chairman Peter Kurer.

Apiax is a regtech startup that builds digital solutions to help financial institutions be compliant with complex regulations worldwide. With Apiax, the rules are consumable via an app or can be integrated directly into banking processes through an easy-to-use API.

Apiax’s expansion to Germany follows previous similar initiatives in the UK, in March 2019, and Singapore, in October 2019.

Numbrs launches personal finance app in Spain

Numbrs launches personal finance app in Spain, via Numbrs.com

Numbrs launches personal finance app in Spain, Illustration via Numbrs.com

Personal finance app Numbrs launched its smart wallet in Spain in March 2021 after releasing the app in Germany in 2014 and the UK in the summer of 2020.

Founded in 2014, Numbrs is a Swiss fintech that offers an app that aggregates bank account and credit card information. Numbrs Smart Wallet facilitates mobile banking and personal financial planning by allowing users to manage all their bank accounts, crypto and loyalty cards on one platform.

The startup raised a total of CHF 27 million in 2020 after changing its business model to a paid software-as-a-service (SaaS) subscription model. It’s looking to launch in France and Italy next.

Wealthtech provider Additiv opens new European head office in Frankfurt

Additiv opens new European head office in Frankfurt, Illustration via AdditivAG, Twitter

Additiv opens new European head office in Frankfurt, Illustration via AdditivAG, Twitter

Wealthtech provider Additiv announced in October 2020 the opening a new European head office in Frankfurt. Additiv already had offices established in Singapore, Dubai, Nairobi, Bucharest as well as headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland.

The new office focuses on European customers, overseeing local customer operation and delivery needs within the new “financial capital of Europe,” the company said.

It aims to support strategic growth as the company increases its focus, particularly within Germany, Austria, Benelux and the Nordic region initially, although additional offices within these regions and beyond are planned.

Established in 1998, Additiv provides a business-to-business (B2B) SaaS cloud ecosystem for financial institutions to deploy client advisory, servicing, and expert tools in wealth and credit management.

Local Community Lending platform Loanboox awarded a German license

Axpo Holding AG platziert ersten Green Bond über Loanboox

Loanboox team, Photo: Dominique Hügli, COO of Loanboox, via Twitter (@DHuegli)

Loan marketplace operator Loanboox was granted a license by Germany’s financial regulator BaFin in April 2020 and plans to further expand its business in other member states of the European Economic Area (EEA).

Zurich-based Loanboox is a peer-to-peer (P2P) debt financing platform for public sector borrowers and institutional investors and banks. In 2020, debt financing on Loanboox rose by 50% to CHF 7.1 billion, serving over 600 borrowers and 120 investors. As of late-2020, the platform served more than 600 borrowers and 120 investors in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, France and the Netherlands.

Cash deposit network Instimatch Global expands to the Middle East

Image credit: Qatar Financial Centre

Image credit: Qatar Financial Centre

Instimatch Global, a digital marketplace for trading cash deposits across multiple geographies, sectors and currencies, entered the Gulf market in February 2020, partnering with a leading Qatari institution and a group of local partners to establish a joint venture.

Board members of the new company include Michael Schmidt and Hugh Macmillen of Instimatch Global, representing the Zurich-based fintech, along with two local partners, representing the local group, and an additional independent member.

Instimatch Global also secured a range of leading banks as new clients in the region, including Ahli Bank QPSC and Gulf Bank.

Launched in 2017, Instimatch Global connects borrowers with lenders within the huge unsecured money markets, providing more efficient access, better pricing and the ability to diversify counterparty risk.