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PayPal is backing a German startup to help you save, not spend

[FRANKFURT] A German fintech firm that counts PayPal Holdings Inc among its investors wants to expand its internet platform for bank-savings products to the US.

Raisin GmbH, which claims to be "first and only pan-European deposit marketplace," has hired Wealthfront's Paul Knodel to create its US business. If all goes to plan, the operation will go live within 12 months.

"We had initial discussions with potential American partner banks," Chief Executive Officer Tamaz Georgadze said in an interview. "There's been great interest." He was born in Georgia and was once a partner at McKinsey & Co.

Raisin was founded by Mr Georgadze, Frank Freund and Michael Stephan in 2012 and has raised almost US$200 million in funding.

So far, the Berlin-based company has brokered more than 13 billion euros (S$19.9 billion) in customers deposits to over 75 partner banks. GMr eorgadze wants to increase that to 20 billion euros by the end of 2019, and double that number next year. On Raisin's website, financial institutions offer their savings products, mainly competing on interest rates.

The German capital has become a hotspot for ambitious German fintech firms: Peter Thiel-backed smartphone bank N26 also plans to expand to the US, while banking platform provider Elinvar recently won Goldman Sachs Group Inc as an investor.

Raisin's last round of funding was at the beginning of this year, when it raised 100 million euros. The company's investors also include Index Ventures, Ribbit Capital und Thrive Capital.

"Our goal is to use the money from this financing to reach profitability, which should be achieved within the next two to three years," Mr Georgadze said, adding that he might eventually like to stage an IPO.