kwitt, Lendstar, and Cringle: timing, feature vs. product, and activities-based banking

Venmo, MobilePay, Cookies, kwitt, N26’s MoneyBeam, PayPal, Wavy, Lendstar…and now Cringle. All of these services, apps, and companies have in common that they are used for P2P payments. Some of them failed, some of them are very successful, some will be and some won’t. Cringle, the Berlin-based startup, believes that it can be successful and has thus started their second crowdfunding campaign on Companisto (link to campaign). Besides P2P payments, Cringle also wants to offer a B2B payment solution allowing retailers and online shops to accept payments through Cringle. I won’t go into their B2B offering, but it merits to say that the German online payment market is dominated by PayPal, bills, debit and credit cards, and that the mobile payment space is yet to be dominated. Here I will look on their P2P payment solution. P2P payments not compatible with how money is handled in Germany and niche approach to circumvent incompatibility From a fundamental point of view Cringle’s success depends on process innovation. Process innovation can be defined along the following lines: „Process innovation means the implementation of a new or significantly improved production or delivery method (including significant changes in techniques, equipment and/or software)“ [8]. And Cringle is

ING-DiBa, N26, revolut: fairly good incumbents and FinTech re-unbundling

According to Gründerszene, the Berlin-based solarisBank might raise a Series B. Whether this will indeed happen does not matter (the news is actually from October). What matters, however, is solarisBank’s position in the FinTech value chain. solarisBank is a banking platform which owns a banking license and offers financial services such as bank account management, credit card issuing or KYC (know your customer) services. In short, the bottom of the stack, the infrastructure of FinTech companies — as some would say — the boring stuff. In contrast, N26 and revolut are doing the exciting, customer-facing stuff; offering an easy to use, nice looking banking app. From a strategic perspective, however, the „boring“ stuff, is actually the sexy stuff (if banking can be sexy at all). This is not only because solarisBank per se is attractive (in many cases they are the backbone of FinTechs), but also because N26 and revolut are playing in an extremely difficult market. Slow customer acquisition and market saturation Whereas there are several difficult things about banking, the one I am referring to is customer acquisition. For instance, Scalable Invest, a robo advisor partnering with ING-DiBa, shows how difficult customer acquisition can be and, in turn,

GETAWAY a German P2P carsharing start-up that got rejected on Die Höhle der Löwen (DHDL)

In the course of the German start-up show Die Höhle der Löwen (DHDL) GETAWAY, a P2P car sharing startup, pitched but got rejected. GETAWAY wants to enable spontaneous car renting. The investors rejected the start-up because they do not own the appropriate expertise, considered the valuation too high or because they thought that the capital required to get the company started was too high. Most of the money GETAWAY wanted to rise would flow into equipping each registered car with a hardware module that coordinates the sharing (tracking time and fuel, and allowing access to the car through the app). GETAWAY installs this hardware module and if you an early adopter in a certain area you will get it for free. Getting one car ready costs the company between 400€ and 450€. This is a lot of money especially if the startup does not charge for it. Hopefully (for GETAWAY, not users) it is a proprietor system so that no other competitor could build upon their infrastructure. The car’s owner determines the price you pay for a drive and insurance is included in it. The company wants to finance all that by a 33% commission. Edgar Scholler, the CEO of