Venture Leaders Interview: Meet Nicolas Blanchard of Swiss Regtech Apiax

Venture Leaders Interview: Meet Nicolas Blanchard of Swiss Regtech Apiax

by July 30, 2018

The Venture Leaders heading to New York in September will be meeting major players in the finance industry – big banks and insurers, who have to deal with a tangle of red tape that only gets more complicated.

Nicolas Blanchard will be ready to convince them that he has the solution.

This is the 3rd part of the Fintech Startup Interview serial powered by Venturelab.

Venturelab brings this autumn 10 Swiss Fintech Startups to New York

Apiax Nicolas Blanchard

Nicolas Blanchard

Who are you, and what’s your big idea?

Apiax is a regtech startup based in Zurich. We build powerful and flexible tools to master complex financial regulations digitally. Our idea developed in our previous roles, where we advised banks on business processes, and the banks kept asking us if we could help them keep the process uptodate when regulations change. That client need, in combination with increasing regulatory complexity and ever more open-banking initiatives, opened our eyes. That’s why we started to develop a solution that allows financial service providers to create digital regulatory rules that are always uptodate and verified, and that integrate into their environments effortlessly.

Where do you see the biggest opportunities in fintech over the next five years? What problems urgently need to be solved?

Financial services are increasingly digitized. This also means that regulatory compliance needs to become digital. In other words, digital regulatory rules are the missing piece in the puzzle of digital financial services. This is in our view one of the most urgent problems to be solved. Our vision is to allow financial institutions to master complex financial regulations efficiently,freeing them to focus on business development and giving their clients great brand experiences.

What is pushing you towards international expansion?

The topic of regulatory technology is international. Worldwide, financial institutions know that they have to change the way they handle regulations. The need for a solution that does not just allow to master regulatory complexity, but also empowers business development, is undisputed. Regulatory compliance is also international in substance. The most pressing topics that we can solve with our technology have a cross-border character. Thus international expansion comes very naturally to us.

What do you see as the greatest obstacle to expansion into the global market?

First, we would say that as a Swiss company, we have a very good starting point. Regulatory compliance is a core competence of financial institutions, and it helps that we are based in the heart of one of the biggest financial centers in the world and that our team brings together loads of first-hand experience in the industry. Other than that, we face the usual challenges: expansion always comes with increased complexity, from all kinds of perspectives, and we certainly will have to master these challenges.

What attracts you to New York as a business development destination?

New York is one of the main financial centers in the world. It hosts many of the most important financial institutions. Beyond that, it is also a symbol of opportunity. New York stands for the idea that with a good idea, but most of all with hard work and dedication, you can achieve something extraordinary. As a startup, we are certainly chasing the American dream. So New York for us is a logical step in business development.

How is the Venture Leaders program beneficial for your startup?

What we find most valuable is the idea of connecting founders with founders. There is nothing more valuable than honest feedback from someone who has themselves gone through the startup journey. That, and the customer and market validation we get, along with the networking we can do, makes the Venture Leaders program very valuable for us.