Stephan Heller (Founder, CEO) © Nils Lucas
What inspired you to found your startup?
Finding the right financing solution and products is really difficult as a company. The market is extremely fragmented and it is impossible to find solutions fast and easy. Only offline corporate finance brokers allow this, but it’s extremely expensive and slow. At my previous startup Watchmaster.com I was trying to find a working capital loan to buy inventory. That’s when I saw how broken this market is and immediately wanted to build a solution to fix it.
How do you define success for yourself and your company?
Deliver the best customer experience for businesses to find, compare and close the best financing solutions. We want to be the largest financing provider in terms of financing volume in this space.
Is there anything you’d do differently if you could do it again?
Since this is already my second venture backed startup I had some previous experience. However the key learning I have is to pay a lot of attention to hiring. It’s so important to build the right team. You make mistakes but overall you should focus on building the best team and enable them to be successful.
What problem does your product solve?
FinCompare specialises in getting businesses the financing they need, no matter what size, industry or stage of business they are in.
Where do you see your company in 1/5/10 years?
There has been huge growth in the alternative and online business financing sector in the last few years. Businesses have more options than ever before. We want to be the number one place for businesses to go to find the right financing solution.
How are you different?
Independence. Speed. Trust. We are the leading business financing marketplace right now, and we give businesses all of their financing solutions in one place.
How often does your product/service show up in a user’s day or week?
A lot of SMEs don’t understand alternative financing. We aim to help educate them on that. So if business search for a solution we want to be there for them. This happens not on a daily basis but at least every 3 months.
Impact: how are you doing good and building a better future?
We help businesses learn about financing solutions, find a loan, apply for a loan, and get funding. We have a dedicated finance specialist assigned to every business, helping them along the way. This has a huge economic impact on society as a hole. Most of our customers would not have found that perfect financing solution. This would have resulted in fewer revenue by missing out on a huge deal, job cuts by a liquidity squeeze or not investing into the right machinery for future growth.
How has the startup scene in Berlin changed?
We see the third and fourth generation of founder. The ecosystem moved away from the 22 year old Rocket founders from WHU, to the independent entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds. This is only the beginning and I think we will see a lot more activity in the next years.
What are the pros and cons of launching your startup from Berlin?
It’s the best city in the world and I moved here from London. There are no other successful industries in Berlin other than startups. So everyone is very focused. This is fun. The alternative is only the rave and club scene which drives a lot of creativity.
Bonus Question: Anything else that we need to know about you?
I’m the oldest brother of 6 children and build my first company when I was 16. A website to share party photos and play flash browser games.
FinCompare was featured in “The Hundert Vol. 10 – Startups of Berlin“, October 2017.