Fintech Founders, Execs Dominate Forbes 2023 Under 30 Europe Finance List

Fintech Founders, Execs Dominate Forbes 2023 Under 30 Europe Finance List

by March 30, 2023

Forbes has released its annual Under 30 Europe list, recognizing the continent’s top 300 brightest founders, entrepreneurs and executives who are building bold companies that are out to combat climate change, fight fraud and reinvent the banking industry.

In the finance category, fintech founders and business leaders are dominating this year’s list. Of the 30 duos and personalities listed, 23 are from the sector, applying technologies like blockchain and data analytics as well as digital platforms to address climate change, the business funding gap as well as startup investment.

Robert Pasco, 29, Co-Founder and CEO, Plend

Robert Pasco, Co-Founder and CEO, Plend

Robert Pasco is the co-founder and CEO of Plend, a consumer lending startup based in the UK he co-founded in 2020 after an eight-year career in tax and accounting.

Plend offers a consumer lending platform designed to help people access affordable credit. The platform is powered by open banking and uses live, forward-looking data, enabling customers to lend at affordable rates that were otherwise locked out from affordable credit due to inaccurate or completely invisible credit records.

Plend secured GBP 40 million in seed funding in November 2022.

Przemek Kowalczyk, 29, Szymon Sypniewicz, 28, Co-Founders, Ramp

Przemek Kowalczyk, Szymon Sypniewicz, Co-Founders, Ramp

Szymon Sypniewicz and Przemek Kowalczyk are the founders of Ramp, a UK-based startup offering payment infrastructure to connect crypto and traditional finance.

Through its core on- and off-ramp products, Ramp provides businesses and individuals across 150+ countries and territories with a streamlined and smooth experience in converting between cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies. Ramp is integrated with the world’s major payment methods, including debit and credit cards, bank transfers, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and more.

The company has secured over US$120 million in funding.

Ibrahim Alkurd, 26, Founding Partner, Lavaliere Capital Management

Ibrahim Alkurd, Founding Partner, Lavaliere Capital Management

Ibrahim Alkurd is a founding partner of Lavaliere Capital Management, a digital asset investment firm managing over US$30 million. The firm offers professionally managed digital asset investment products and counts among its investors high net worth individuals (HNWIs), family offices and fund of funds located within the US and internationally.

Aside his role at Lavaliere Capital Management, Alkurd is also a tech and finance entrepreneur that has founded three other companies, a charity and invested in dozens of businesses. His five most recent investments are Guider, Kalaam, Shawarma Shack, Causal, Skillza.

Nils Feigenwinter, 22, Leon Stephan, 26, Co-Founders, Bling

Nils Feigenwinter, Leon Stephan, Co-Founders, Bling

Nils Feigenwinder and Leon Stephan are the founders of Bling, a German fintech startup that helps families with young children bank better. The company develops educational payment cards and applications to help children deal with finances, and learn to use digital money and allows them to understand their income and expenses and become money-wise.

Bling says thousands of families are leveraging its services and more than 10,000 children using a Bling card as their first personal payment experience.

Thomas Bohner, 28, Chaim Finizola, 29, Maxim Piessen, 28, Co-Founders, Credix Finance

Thomas Bohner, Chaim Finizola, Maxim Piessen, Co-Founders, Credix Finance

Thomas Bohner, Chaim Finizola, and Maxim Piessen are the founders of Credix Finance, a decentralized credit platform that connects investors with fintech credit opportunities in Latin America. The company offers financing to businesses in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico and has provided US$30 million so far.

Credix Finance recently raised US$11.25 million in a Series A which it said it would use to accelerate the development of its platform, team growth, and integration with Web3 projects.

Ayelen Denovitzer, 29, Co-Founder, Solvo Finance

Ayelen Denovitzer, Co-Founder, Solvo Finance

Ayelen Denovitzer is the co-founder of Solvo Finance, a finance company working to make crypto simple, easy and understandable by curating the best, high-quality investments.

The Solve Finance app’s initial release include two key features: Savings, a yield-generating product, and Bundles, which provides diversified exposure to a set of high-quality investments in different areas of crypto. In September 2022, the company announced the close of a US$3.5 million fundraising round.

Prior to Solvo Finance, Ayelen worked at digital bank Revolut, where she oversaw the roll out of the company’s crypto product for its 25 million users worldwide. Born and raised in Argentina, Ayelen started her career as a consultant at Bain and Company where she worked with consumer products companies and financial services firms.

Albert Geisler Fox, 25, Co-Founder and CEO, Performativ

Albert Geisler Fox, Co-Founder and CEO, Performativ

Albert Geisler Fox is the co-founder and CEO of Performativ, a company that develops modern solutions for the asset and wealth management industry. At Performativ, he oversees operations and is closely connected to the engineering department.

Originally trained in the institutional asset management space, Geisler Fox spent most of his career with Danish asset management consultancy Kirstein. At Kirstein. he was officially head of data, managing a small team of data scientists. Prior to his employment with Kirstein, he worked as a DevOps engineer at Meebox, and as a financial researcher at Danish television station TV 2.

Leanne Holder, 29, CEO, Giving To Services

Leanne Holder, CEO, Giving To Services

Leanne Holder is the CEO of Giving To Services, a crypto startup that aims to recognize and reward public service workers with financial support.

Holder is a multi-award-winning entrepreneur, a delegate to the UN Women UK CSW67 and a winner of the 2023 Women in IT awards.

Her business successes have led to her being named Best Newcomer in the Wirex Rising Women In Crypto Power List, one of the Top 7 Crypto CEO’s in the world, as well as one of the UK’s most Inspirational female entrepreneurs in 2021.

Ankush Jain, 29, Co-Founder and Chief Investment Officer, Aaro Capital

Ankush Jain, Co-Founder and Chief Investment Officer, Aaro Capital

Ankush Jain is the co-founder and chief investment officer of Aaro Capital, a UK-based digital asset investor. As chief investment officer, Jain directs the firm’s investment strategy, leading fund selection and portfolio construction.

Before co-founding Aaro Capital, Jain was part of the multifund investment team at US$24 billion Nedgroup Investments, where he was actively involved in the asset allocation process as part of the International Investment and Strategy Committees. He also advised on manager screening and manager selection across multiple asset classes.

Jain has broad experience in financial markets, working closely with both institutional investors and HNWIs, and has been actively trading cryptocurrencies on his personal account since 2017. He is also a CFA charterholder and a member of the CFA Institute.

Cristian Dan, 29, Co-Founder and CTO, Yayzy

Cristian Dan, Co-Founder and CTO, Yayzy

Cristian Dan is the co-founder and CTO of Yayzy, a fintech platform that uses payment data via open banking standards to automatically calculate the carbon footprint of each purchase a user makes. The platform also provides users with tips to help them reduce their impact.

Dan is a self-driven software engineer with strong technical and communication skills who’s passionate about developing products focused on customers’ needs. He holds a master’s degree in Distributed Computing and Systems in Internet from Universitatea Babes-Bolayi.

Georgia Stewart, 27, Co-Founder and CEO, Tumelo

Georgia Stewart, Co-Founder and CEO, Tumelo

Georgia Stewart is the CEO and co-founder of Tumelo, an impact-focused fintech firm based in the UK.

The company’s solution gives retail investors and pension members visibility over their underlying fund holdings and a shareholder voice on issues they care about at companies they own, such as gender equality and climate change. Its white-label software plugs into existing investment platforms and pension portals, driving positive engagement between investment providers and their clients and, ultimately, influencing better stewardship across the asset management industry.

Prior to co-founding Tumelo, Stewart worked for Jupiter and Alliance Trust on sustainable asset management, as well as Fauna and Flora International on natural capital. She studied Climate Change and Conservation under a Natural Sciences degree at Cambridge.

Sébastien Lubineau, 27, Gabriel Thierry, 25, Baptiste Wiel, 25, Co-Founders, Karmen

Sébastien Lubineau, Gabriel Thierry, Baptiste Wiel, Co-Founders, Karmen

Gabriel Thierry, Baptiste Wiel, and Sébastien Lubineau are the co-founders of Karmen, a company that provides instant, non-dilutive financing offers for digital small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Through its plug and play digital platform, the fintech startup allows companies to securely share data from their billing, accounting and banking suite of tools in a matter of minutes to assess credit risk and determine in less than 48 hours whether or not the player is eligible for financing.

Karmen closed a EUR 22 million equity and debt financing round in February to expand its platform, launch in new markets, and recruit new talents.

Philip Kelvin, 29, Co-Founder and CEO, Tranch

Philip Kelvin, Co-Founder and CEO, Tranch

Philip Kelvin is the co-founder and CEO of Tranch, a business-to-business (B2B) buy now, pay later (BNPL) platform based in New York City and London.

Tranch enables software-as-a-service (SaaS) and services providers to be paid upfront and offer their customers flexible payment options up to 12 months. By offering the Pay with Tranch payment method at checkout, these businesses are able to offer an alternative way for their end-customers to pay for contracts worth up to US$500,000.

Tranch is backed by investors including Global Founders Capital, Y Combinator, Soma Capital, FoundersX. It secured US$100 million in seed equity and debt funding in January.

Bastian Larsen, 29, Founder and CEO, BlackWood Ventures

Bastian Larsen, Founder and CEO, BlackWood Ventures

Bastian Larsen is the founder and CEO of BlackWood Ventures, a pan-European early-stage venture capital (VC) firm focused on supporting visionary entrepreneurs within fintech, Web3, and cleantech.

Prior to founding BlackWood Ventures, Larsen worked for BlackRock in London, Geneva, and New York, where he co-led the global product strategy for the firm’s US$10 billion merger and acquisition (M&A) hedge fund. He holds an MBA from the University of Oxford and a bachelor’s degree from Copenhagen Business School.

Jacob Lindberg, 29, Co-Founder and CEO, Vinter

Jacob Lindberg, Co-Founder and CEO, Vinter

Jacob Lindberg is the co-founder and CEO of Vinter, a regulated index provider specialized in crypto assets. The company collects digital asset data from hundreds of sources, transforming proprietary strategies into investable products.

Vinter works with leading issuers in Europe to create exchange-traded products, and is behind the first crypto indexes in the Nordics approved by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).

Vinter raised US$3.4 million in seed funding in January 2022 to hire senior data analysts and scientists, build out its team of backend developers and technical data engineers, and expand its business reach.

James Long, 29, Investment Director, UBS Next

James Long, Investment Director, UBS

James Long is a founding member of UBS’s US$200 million corporate venture capital unit, UBS Next Investments. Long focuses on early-stage opportunities and handles everything from deal sourcing to portfolio management.

Prior to joining UBS, Long worked in the strategy and consulting service line of Publicis Sapient for five years, advising financial services companies. He initially joined the strategy team at UBS in 2019, which subsequently evolved into UBS Next.

Nina Mohanty, 29, Co-Founder, Bloom Money

Nina Mohanty, Co-Founder, Bloom Money

Nina Mohanty is the co-founder of Bloom Money, a company that helps immigrants borrow and save money in a transparent and straightforward manner and which uses a community-led approach to financial services. The startup has secured a US$1.2 million pre-seed round, according to Forbes.

Mohanty’s professional background is in fintech, having worked at companies such as including Mastercard, Starling Bank, Bud, and Klarna.

Daniela Raffel Torrebiarte, 29, Vice President, Dawn Capital

Daniela Raffel Torrebiarte, Vice President, Dawn Capital

Daniela Raffel Torrebiarte is the vice president of Dawn Capital, a London-based venture firm that backs European founders building next-generation software. She joined Dawn Capital as an associate in May 2020 and was promoted to vice president in the shortest time at the fund to date.

At Dawn Capital, Raffel Torrebiarte looks for exceptional businesses in the fintech and future of work space in the UK, Germany, Austria and Switzerland (DACH), and the Iberian markets.

She joined the firm from Capital on Tap, a London-based SME-lending fintech where she focused on automating customer onboarding, product and partnership development, and operational improvements. Before that, she was at McKinsey, advising retail banking clients on how to implement new technologies and ways of working.

Charles Read, 29, Founding Partner, Rarestone Capital

Charles Read, Founding Partner, Rarestone Capital

Charles Read is a founding partner at Rarestone Capital, a VC firm headquartered in London which invests in projects related to distributed technology, blockchain and the metaverse.

Rarestone Capital focuses on offering founders long-term financial and intellectual capital, supporting founders and technologists globally. The firm reached US$100 million in assets under management (AUM) in 2021.

At Rarestone, Read focuses on all things gaming, virtual and augmented reality and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Since 2017, he has invested in over 100 startups across the Web3 stack, many of which became unicorns and helped move the industry forward.

Sylvan Martin, 28, Norman Wooding, 28, Co-Founders, Scrypt Digital

Sylvan Martin, Norman Wooding, Co-Founders, Scrypt Digital

Sylvan Martin and Norman Wooding are the co-founders of Scrypt Digital, a company that offers traditional brokerage services for the crypto world, like market making and prime brokerage.

Wooding is a serial entrepreneur who has been involved in the blockchain and digital asset space since 2014. At Scrypt Digital, he’s in charge of evolving the strategic vision, promoting an agile and entrepreneurial working environment while building innovative products and investment solutions.

Martin is an alumni board-member of HWZ Zurich and prominent figure in the Swiss business landscape. At Scrypt Digital, he is responsible for frictionless operations, team management, as well as business relations.

Claudia Stankler, 28, Chief Operating Officer, Connectd

Claudia Stankler, Chief Operating Officer, Connectd

Claudia Stankler is the chief operating officer of Connectd, a community-driven technology platform connecting investors and advisors with leading and relevant startups. The company’s platform offers a three-sided early-stage funding marketplace supported by SaaS resolution to provide data for startup investment.

Connectd counts more than 1,650 members worldwide and says it has supported 1,250 funding round and helped place more than 1,100 advisors.

Stankler has a varied work experience. Prior to joining Connectd, she served as the head of operations for Nutrifix, a wellness company, and Tlero, a mental health company.

Cecilia Wang, 27, Investor, Accel

Cecilia Wang, Investor, Accel

Cecilia Wang is an investor at Accel, a renowned American VC firm that has funded the likes of Facebook, Slack, Dropbox, Flipkart, and Vox Media. She joined Accel in 2021 and focuses on fintech, software and consumer businesses.

Prior to joining Accel, Wang was Revolut, working on product strategy and helping the company reach profitability. Previously, she worked at Citi’s banking, capital markets and advisory group in New York and London.

Wang was born in Sweden and grew up in Hong Kong. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley.

Ruth Williams, 24, Principal, BNY Mellon

Ruth Williams, Principal, BNY Mellon

Ruth Williams is a principal in the digital assets business at the Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon). At the bank, she leads product experience as BNY Mellon develops its digital cash offering and is building their first blockchain engineering team in Europe.

Based in Dublin, Williams joined BNY Mellon in 2022 from Meta, previously known as Facebook, where she dealt with fintech, payments experience and commerce products.


Featured image credit: Edited from Freepik

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