Startup Spotlight: Imburse
Welcoming Imburse to FinTech Connect!
Twitter Handle: @imburseag
Oliver Werneyer, CEO
Carl Strempel, CFO/COO
David Scott Turner, CTO
Mark Jerome, Co-founder and Head Developer
Founded: Zurich, Switzerland - 25/02/2018
Tell us about yourself: Imburse is a universal payments connector. Our payments technology agnostic platform enables a vast “Payments as a Service” ecosystem that simplifies the integration of payment technologies for companies to a single integration. Integrating with Imburse gives access to all payment technologies, to collect or pay out, in any market (now and in future) and a single reporting/reconciliation source. Our clients reduce their costs significantly, vastly increase efficiencies and are able to quickly modernize their IT systems. Accessing payment technologies has never been easier.
How have you funded your growth to date?
Angel funding and founder cash
What's been your greatest challenge in growth to date?
As we are in B2B Software sales, our biggest challenge is runway and corporate politics. Sales cycles in this business are extremely long, which is tough on a startup with limited resources. Corporate politics interfere with the business value of a proposition and means we are often exposed to delays or project cancellation due to no fault of our own.
What's your 'origin story'?
We are actually a pivot. About 7 years ago we had one of the first flight tracking apps on the app store (FlyNRate). As a way to make money we wanted to sell flight-delay insurance but our insurance partners could not give us real-time pay-outs for our clients (only the product). We needed real-time payments and the insurers we clear that they do not have the priority or the money to make any IT system changes (only can do batch payments) no matter how much they would like to have this capability. Which means we had to find a way to deploy real-time payment capabilities for an insurer where we could not make any major changes to their IT system. That is how Imburse v 0.01 was born. We got a lot of interest in that capability (i.e. immediately updating an insurer’s payment capabilities with nearly no impact on their core IT systems).
What is your advice to people seeking to kickstart their own business?
Always build a business with multiple co-founders. It is critical that there is a core of passion and diverse capabilities from the outset. This has been a vital factor for us and is something I really recommend to others. Diverse views, expanded networks, diverse experience and multiplied passion are great for the tough times.
Do you have customers yet? If not, how far into your business lifecycle are you?
Our product is live and we have 3 clients (1 x Global insurer, 1 x pan-European insurer, 1 x global reinsurer), we have strategic partnerships with major PSPs (WorldPay, Worldline), credit card companies (Visa) and distribution agreements with EY/Visa.
What are your goals for the next 18 months?
We are closing out our major deals and convert deals in the pipeline to break us right through the € 5 mil ARR, close our Series A round and grow the team and technology through all of Europe and into North America. We are also targeting to have live deployments with companies form 5 different verticals in 10 countries across 2 continents, proving the market traction and vertical agnostic nature of our platform and get ready to hyper-scale.
What is your greatest achievement as business thus far?
We have been able to convert all our major deals in less than 10 months, where sales cycles average around 15 months and can easily take 20 months. It is down to the great architecture (simple to deploy) and the impact we make to business, for which we have won the “Finance IT Innovation Award 2019” in the category of “Ecosystems” (Business Engineering Forum)
Why did you choose FinTech Connect?: The founders have been attendees before and know that this is a high-profile event with a good reputation. Hence it is a no-brainer for us to be at the event if we have the opportunity to.
Why should our community come and meet you at the show?
We would love to meet people from the community because our ecosystem is an enabler for all parties. We enable payment technologies who are available through our platform to more easily sell their products to large corporates (no hassle on IT integration, it’s free to be in our ecosystem for payment technologies), we make it easier for large corporates to access payment technologies and allow all supplementary services around payments (fraud checking, AML, KYC/KYB, sanction checking, etc.) to easily connect in and also sell their services. We are a true enabler and orchestrator of payments and create value for our community.