Financial technology companies typically seek out investors in the start-up stage; it’s the sure way to grow. Investors decide what support you need beyond the financial and bring about experience, guidance and passion to the chosen industry. Potential investors will want to know what makes a business stand out. Rod Beer, Strategic Relations Director at UKBAA, said, “Investors bring the money but also give support. So there needs to be chemistry – you need to get on. The key thing to remember is that some investors, like Angel Investors, aren’t going to exit for seven years or more. So it can be a long relationship.”
This week the fintech world held its breath as Revolut and Atom Bank’s valuations were marked down by investors. One of its investors marked Revolut’s valuation down by 46%, a troubling amount for one of Europe’s top neobanks. A Revolut spokesperson said, “We do not engage in speculation on our valuation. Since our last funding round, in which we were valued at $33bn, Revolut has continued to perform strongly in all its markets, has continued to hire and expand, and reported its first year of profitability.” Established in 2014, Durham-based Atom Bank saw a markdown of 31% after raising funds in 2022 to a valuation of £460 million.
One bank looking to escape the wrath of investors is London-headquartered Black Banx. Amazingly, this digital bank has no third-party or external investors; the only person who invested money into the platform was the founder and CEO, German billionaire Michael Gastauer. Since its launch in 2015, Black Banx has amassed more than 20 million customers, $1.1bn in revenue and a growth rate that other fintech companies should be scared of. Gastauer has single-handedly made Black Banx the success it is today. Without any investors, it’s been a risky gamble but one that has paid off.
Who are Black Banx, and what do they offer?
As a neobank focusing on cryptocurrency, Black Banx is committed to protecting the free flow of money worldwide, with no discrimination on a person’s monetary history. In its essence, it’s banking without borders. By allowing customers to manage their money via an app and online, Black Banx has increased the simplicity of online banking, dramatically reduced transaction times, and aided in global financial inclusion. The bank serves people in well-established economies and the underbanked in countries with less access to the financial system or where the sitting government prevents people from freely participating in the global economy.
Residing in London as one of the world’s largest digital banks, Black Banx operates in 180 countries and territories in both established and emerging markets. Its international network covers markets accounting for approximately 90% of GDP, trade and capital flows. Throughout their history, they have been where the growth is, connecting customers to opportunities, enabling businesses to thrive and economies to prosper. The neobank aims to help people to fulfil their dreams via access to financial services.
After launching in 2015, Black Banx continues to impact the very nature of banking profoundly. It has established itself rapidly as a binding force for innovation surrounding customers’ ever-changing wants and needs concerning banking. Noticing the rise in globalisation, approximately 80% of Black Banx’s operations are in cross-border payments, whilst 20% is cryptocurrency and currency-related trading. With particular strength in Asia-Pacific, Latin America and North America, the digital bank has been international in scope since being founded by Gastauer in 2014.
Black Banx offers private and business accounts. For their private clients, they have continued to progress in executing their global payments and wealth strategy, notably in Asia Pacific. As a result, the bank grew its net private client funds held on account by 110% from $4.2bn to $8.8bn between June 2021 and June 2022. Black Banx products can be tailored to an individual’s needs, giving customers complete control of their assets. Meeting customers’ requirements from a breadth of geographical markets, Black Banx is an active force in responding to evolving business and personal banking needs in established economies and reducing financial exclusion in lower-income nations.
What does Black Banx offer?
– Private and corporate group accounts in 28 FIAT (government-issued currency) and two cryptocurrencies
– International payments in 28 FIAT and two cryptocurrencies utilising local instant settlement systems whenever practicable (e.g. FPS, SEPA instant credit, etc.).
– Instant remittances between platforms in 28 FIAT and two cryptocurrencies
– Multi-Currency Mastercard Debit Card (metal and plastic) plus virtual cards
– Real-time currency exchange services available 24/7
– Real-time crypto trading services available 24/7
– Savings accounts that pay interest in EURO, USD, GBP, and JPY
– Batch upload or API for executing a large number of business customer payments
Michael Gastauer has proven that lacking investors doesn’t limit success. In fact, with the markdown of both Atom Bank and Revolut, Black Banx is exceeding expectations in comparison. Gastauer’s determination to create a successful fintech company without external input has been monumental in reaching the clientele numbers he has.