Have you ever thought on how the changing digital world will affect our banking and finance possibilities and what does the continuous technology development lead to?

In Future Female’s meetup, we learned about the future of finance with our two speakers, sharing their thoughts on the financial evolution and its possibilities.

Johanna Palin, Chief Legal Officer from Invesdor started the evening. This fintech company is setting the benchmark for European digital finance as a Nordic market leader in crowdfunding. The average funding raised via Invesdor doubled in 2016 and some of the success cases has been f.ex. Stupid Stupid GamesPapu DesignHeeros SystemsAllas Sea poolFriends & Brgrs, and Iron Sky.

Why crowdfunding

Raise funding is self-explanatory, but a major differentiator between crowdfunding and for example bank financing is that you can build brand awareness. Every company wants happy customers, but best way to engage clients is that they are shareholders also. Sometimes the best return on a campaign is feedback from the market and crowdfunding gives you market validation at the same time. If a company is getting ready for public listing, marketplaces usually requires to have at least 100 shareholders to ensure liquidity for the share once listed. With crowdfunding, a company looking to enter new markets can combine marketing and sales with raising funding for the actual expansion. And by targeting a fundraising campaign to the countries that the company wants to expand into it can acquire local shareholders who can then act there as brand ambassadors.

But why people want to invest, as both equity and debt crowdfunding investments are generally regarded as high-risk investments?

I wrote earlier to my blog some business tips (in Finnish) from the founder of BrewDog, which is an alternative small business owned by thousands of people worldwide who love craft beer. It came clear from their success story that crowdfunding has been one of their key elements in marketing, and customers who are also shareholders do it for support and status but of course profit in mind as well. These same three elements Johanna mentioned.

6 key factors for successful funding round

  1. Well-planned marketing is the most important thing!
  2. Lead Investors
  3. Great Story
  4. Simple Structure
  5. Good Network
  6. Valuation, which is mathematic calculating but art as well.
Elina Räsänen, Holvi & Johanna Palin, Invesdor


How to build a European challenger bank in Finland

Our second speaker Elina Räsänen, Head of Marketing & Communications from Holvi, told us how is digitalization influencing the banking industry? Holvi is for entrepreneurs, to make their life a little easier. Clients don´t need to know what is Holvi, but it´s one simple service which combines everything you need to start and run a business: manage your business efficiently, paperless bookkeeping, easier invoicing and your stylish online store.

We also heard that Holvi team has 16 nationalities and no one has banking background. Is that their secret of success?

Actually it is one of them but also that they are concentrating fully on customer experience. They focus on segment they feel passionate about and they also know from experience what it´s like to run your own business. Technology of course is the key element as well as they are agile with all the layers of the stack: infrastructure, operations, UX, marketing and technology with code built fully in-house. It helps also that they are independently regulated and authorised payment institution. Holvi owns the customers relationship directly and have full control on the supply chain. Who has data has the power.

The biggest regulatory change in the history of finance

After new EU regulative change in 2011, banking is everywhere, not just at a bank. This was the foundation of building Holvi. From 2018 onwards, after PSD2, banks are obligated to provide any third-party providers access to their customers´account through open APIs (application programming interface). Goal is to increase competitiveness and give customers better value.

Consumers expect financial services to be faster, less formal, more personalized, easy accessible, cheap and fully digital.

PSD2 forces banks to give account and payment data to third party providers so they conduct online and mobile payments on behalf of the customer. Banks can also partner with agile fintech companies to compete in certain areas. F.ex. You might be using Facebook or Google to pay your bills, making PsP transfers and analyse your spending, while still having your money safely placed in your current bank account. From technology side, this means the birth of “contextual banking”.

Non-banks can enter the financial market and new entrants can focus on offering just a single service and connect to other service providers through cloud solutions and APIs.

So again we can say that integration of digital technologies into everyday life helps entrepreneurs as well as customers. But also regulatory changes have been and will play the big role in the future of finance and everything else, especially in Finland.

Sari Future Female


Hope you received lots of new information and inspiration from our meetup and from this post. You can find event photos on our Facebook page.