“It could be over in three months from now”. I was sitting in the house of figo co-founder André Bajorat and we were chatting about the potential of turning figo from a B2C banking app into a banking API provider. I had just returned from my master studies in the US a few months before and was eager to pitch André my crowdfunding business idea. I was hoping to get some introduction to people that were working in the space and perhaps find a cofounder. Instead André presented me the opportunity of figo and Open Banking. I wasn’t sure where this could lead to, but that uncertainty made it even more excited. Fortunately, I decided to pause the work on my own idea and joined figo in January 2014. During my master studies, I have spent a lot of time with people with an entrepreneurial mindset, back home in Germany my friends and network were in investment banking or consulting. I remember a few reactions but one in particular: “You are selling access to bank accounts to accounting tool providers? How will that ever be a successful company?”.
Bye bye figo
Well, all of that is past now. But so is my time at figo. After more than five years with figo I have decided to leave the company. My last working day was already end of April but I am continuing to support the company as a freelancer for some months – mostly for handing over Bankathon activities to the new team. I was incredible lucky to be part of this journey and are proud of what the team has achieved. It was definitely not an easy way with many ups and downs, but that’s exactly what I wanted. I have learned a lot in the past five years not just about FinTech and startups but also about myself. I am eager to apply all these learnings to what’s coming next.
But what is coming next?
Working with FinTech entrepreneurs and startups on a daily basis enabled me to be observe closely what is happening in the scene. The number one reason I always preferred to work at figo with our startup customers instead of our bank customers was to be able to see which areas are hot. After five years it is now my time to apply this knowledge: I have started working on a FinTech idea of my own. At this stage, I cannot promise you that I will bring it to market but I know I will learn a lot in the coming weeks and months. I am certain I will be able to apply the knowledge one way or the other and are excited to spend time on building early-stage products again. You can be assured that I will write blog posts about this journey 🙂
I have tried to prepare myself as best as I can for this switch but eventually a lot of things need to be figured out along the way. I am looking forward to that and are also happy to have some more time for other things too. Next to working on my own idea, I will be spending my time with reading, blogging, learning Hindi and I would love to continue support others with their FinTech ideas / projects too. So please do reach out to me if you think I can be helpful in any way.