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Six Hamburg-based start-ups shaking up financial sector

User-friendly, individual and swift newcomers to Hamburg's fintech scene

Around 600 start-ups including 40 fintechs with over 1,000 employees are based in Hamburg at present. Fintech refers to computer programs and other technology that supports and enables banking and financial services. Hamburg is considered exemplary in a sector rated as one of the fastest-growing for venture capitalists. Last year, around EUR 91 million were invested in Hamburg-based fintech companies, according to a survey by the Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB).

The following gives an overview of the big main players that use advanced technology and promising newcomers. They are involved in diverse areas such as comparison portals, crowd funding, insurers and payment processes.

1. Kreditech

In 2016, KMG and H2 Ventures ranked Kreditech, a so-called scoring company, seventh among the 50 leading global financial start-ups. Founded in February 2012 by Alexander Graubner-Müller, Kreditech gives loans via the internet. Algorithms score a customer’s credit risk with higher precision than traditional credit bureau based systems. The proprietary credit scoring technology uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to process up to 20,000 data points per application. Kreditech gives people with little or no credit history or the “underbanked” access to credit. The start-up’s investors include the World Bank and Peter Thiel, founder of PayPal.

2. Deposit Solutions

Founded in 2011 by Dr. Tim Sievers, Deposit Solutions is now considered the world’s fastest growing financial start-up. The provider of the open banking platform for deposits connects banks and depositors across Europe amid the ongoing low-interest era. Deposit Solutions provides the infrastructure for Europe’s deposit banking and co-operates with Deutsche Bank and the FFB, the German subsidiary of Fidelity, among others. Since late 2015, Deposit Solutions has operated its own retail channel ZINSPILOT in Germany. This allows savers whose banks have not yet integrated their open banking platform to access third party deposit products, starting with a deposit amount of just EUR 1.

3. Finanzcheck

Founded in 2011 by Moritz Thiele and Andreas Kupke, allows customers to compare diverse loans using the latest scoring technology and is rated Germany’s leading credit comparison portal. Since 2015, the service has been available to business clients including brokers and banks. In June 2017, Finanzcheck entered a collaboration with the Berlin-based bonify start-up. The move gives bonify’s clients access to’s personalised instalment loan comparisons and suitable means of financing.

4. Figo

The B2B start-up figo is Europe’s first banking service provider and offers third parties innovative banking services. By integrating the figo banking API, applications, products and services can be linked to over 3,100 financial sources. The interface is the key to a multi-banking financial platform, which guarantees users comfortable and secure handling of banking data. Founded in Munich in 2012, the company relocated to Hamburg in 2014. Its partners include Deutsche Bank and Payback. In August 2017, figo GmbH announced a collaboration with Consorsbank, a brand of BNPParibas, in Germany.

Promising newcomers

Company pensions are often highly complex issues. Penseo offers both employers and employees a chance to learn more about such insurances. A chatbot offers digital advice and eases the conclusion and management of a contract. To this end, the start-up collaborates with various providers and gives an overview of the likely pension sum for greater transparency.

Founded by Benny Bennet Jürgen and Carlo Ulbricht, Nect aims to combine simplicity with safety. To this end, the start-up has developed a verified, digital identify called the Nect ID making it easier to register on banks and insurers’ webpages. The ID can be used in nearly every branch meaning users no longer have to use their email addresses or remember passwords. In future, the Nect ID can be entered on a mobile phone and confirmed per fingerprint. The user is always in control of their personal data, which is transferred in a secure format. The digital ID is scheduled to launch in 2018.

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