Realizing the Potential of Embedded Finance: Our Investment in Toqio
Embedded finance is hot and our newest investment, Toq.io, is making it easier than ever to build, launch and monetize financial propositions globally. Read more in TechCrunch.
Why is everybody so excited about embedded finance?
There has been a buzzword spreading through the venture space for the last few years which everyone seems to repeat everywhere “embedded finance.” It sounds quite fancy and, if you think about it, it is cool to imagine getting a loan with the same simplicity and slickness as shopping online.
So far, embedded finance has mostly been around payments, also some lending options to an extent, but it is definitely far away from its full potential. But it is no secret that the two biggest stakeholders in this equation, supply and demand - companies and end-customers - are craving more embedded finance:
The reason why customers want embedded finance offerings is simple: they want financial services tailored to the core experience and being offered where and when needed. For instance, we have seen that the adoption of online payments and even Buy Now, Pay Later offerings has now become a crucial part of the customer journey when buying online. And customers love it!
Companies are always trying to find ways to increase customer lifetime value (CLTV) because increasing it (i) makes the company more valuable and (ii) enables the company to increase customer acquisition spending and consequently fuel growth.
How do embedded financial services increase the customer lifetime value?
- It increases the lifetime of customers - Financial services are very sticky products and have proven to increase the lifespan of customers
- It improves the margin as an additional source of revenue
- It improves the overall experience for customers and happy customers remain more loyal and spend more
- It reduces friction and effectively increases conversion - especially true if we look for instance at online checkouts
What are the complexities of embedded finance offerings?
Financial services might be an extremely attractive space but there are two closely connected factors that make businesses shy away from it: regulation and technological complexity.
The financial services space is frightening: “If you don’t comply with regulation in any given industry, you will get a fine. If you do not comply with regulations in financial services, you will go to jail.” After the financial crisis of 2008 regulators have increased scrutiny in the space and many entrepreneurs stay away from it for this reason.
Embedding lending, payments or banking products has traditionally been very complex given the high amount of integrations needed with different stakeholders involved: license providers, core banking systems, PsP, gateways etc.
Nowadays, you can get a BaaS provider to service you, but those are normally all-in-one solutions with rigid structures and limited customization. Hence, using a BaaS provider does often not give you the desired outcome and integrations can get complicated.
All in all, be it with specialized providers or with inhouse capabilities, if you want to embed financial services in your current offering you need to find all the providers required, (often) integrate with them individually and finally orchestrate it. And that is complex, time consuming and costly!
Toq.io operates in the BaaS space, but it is NOT a BaaS provider. There are enough of those! So what does Toq.io do?
- Is Toq.io providing you with the banking license? No
- Is Toq.io providing you with the core banking system? No
- Is Toq.io providing you with KYC or AML checks? No
- Is Toq.io providing payment rails? No
Toq.io doesn’t do any of these things, BUT they efficiently connect to the players that do.
Toqio is building the leading B2B SaaS platform for digital finance that allows businesses to quickly build, launch and monetize financial propositions globally. Toqio is already integrated with all solutions required to launch different types of embedded finance offerings (card schemes, KYC providers, license providers, PSPs etc.) and offers businesses the possibility to pick and choose their preferred providers and integrate with them in days instead of months. All this through API integrations, which makes it an extremely scalable platform.
This modular solution is a real game changer in embedded finance as businesses can choose their preferred solution within Toq.io’s marketplace. These building blocks are not only interchangeable but also (to a certain extent) modular which makes them very attractive to their first target customers, mainly non-banking financial institutions, large-scale enterprises and corporates.
When we first met Eduardo and Mike, we quickly realized what an outstanding duo these founders made, combining deep knowledge of traditional financial services and its tech stack as well as a great vision on what a product needs in order to succeed in such a complicated industry. Having met over 20 years ago when working together as consultants, these repeat founders exited their first venture to Grant Thornton in 2015 and after putting together a world-class team decided to start their new venture in 2018.
Since day one, the team has managed to onboard rare talent (spread all over the world!), build an outstanding product and a strong sales pipeline. The team has ambitions to expand this scalable solution outside of Europe and we are glad to be co-leading this Series A with Seaya to make it possible.