Dr. Tamaz Georgadze (Co-Founder, CEO) © Jasper Kettner
What inspired you to found your startup?
It was back in 2008 when former McKinsey consultant and Georgian national Tamaz Georgadze was asked by colleagues to help them privately to opening savings accounts in Georgia. Helping them with the verification of their identities and carrying documents from Germany to Georgia he understood on a personal level how hard it is to open bank deposits across borders. This experience inspired him to conceive a platform that would blend cross-border horizons with the simplicity of an online platform.
How do you define success for yourself and your company?
Always start with the customer – earning and keeping their trust is key to our success. Furthermore, we believe in an inspiring team: Hiring the best talent and collaborating across teams are prerequisites for achieving outstanding and lasting results.
Is there anything you’d do differently if you could do it again?
What problem does your product solve?
Despite the common ECB key interest rates and currency, local interest rates on savings products differ vastly in the EU. Before Raisin was founded, customers that were interested in cross-border saving had to deal with language barriers, special administrative requirements and sometimes even had to travel to the respective country for authentification. With Raisin, all of it is possible online, via one single sign-on and requiring just one single identification.
Where do you see your company in 1/5/10 years?
We aim to be the leading marketplace for convenient access to simple and relevant savings and investment products from across Europe. Started with fixed term deposits, we will also offer our products to corporate clients and integrate investment products into our portfolio by the end of this year. Furthermore, we will continue to strengthen our presence on the European market and will soon launch a localized Italian platform.
How are you different?
We were not only the first deposit marketplace to be established in Europe, we are also the leader in our league – in terms of customers, investments and number of partner banks. Furthermore, we are offering the majority of the highest available interest rates across Europe.
How often does your product/service show up in a user’s day or week?
At least every other week when our customers get our Raisin newsletter.
Impact: how are you doing good and building a better future?
We bring together savers and banks across borders: Retail investors invest with small and medium sized banks across all over Europe. From a macroeconomic point of view, retail investors benefit from higher interest rates and stimulate growth in poorer EU countries. Banks also benefit: They can easily control their liquidity and therefore widen the scope for future lending and stimulating their own growth. So far, we helped our customers to earn an additional €28.5 million in interest.
How has the startup scene in Berlin changed?
In a certain way, Berlin has „grown up“: It has become by far Germany’s startup hotspot; not only in terms of the number of companies, but also regarding the its infrastructure with almost innumerable startup associations, meetups and initiatives.
What are the pros and cons of launching your startup from Berlin?
Berlin is not only Germany’s startup hotspot, but also many of the most successful German fintechs have their headquarters here. This is clearly an advantage for finding tech talents. Furthermore, Berlin is Germany’s only metropolis, it is quite international and vibrant and yet cost of living is still rather low compared to other cities. Therefore, Berlin attracts talent from across the world. This allows local fintech companies to take a strong tech driven approach.
Bonus Question: Anything else that we need to know about you?
Our employees are the most important asset: This is why we really put an effort into our recruiting process to make sure we get the right people and the right mix. We are a very international company with colleagues from more than 20 different nationalities and about 40 % of women on the team. We regularly offer knowledge exchanges, invite CEOs and founders of other companies to share their insights, invest in trainings, do sports together and have a good time at our yearly company retreats.
Raisin was featured in “The Hundert Vol. 10 – Startups of Berlin“, October 2017.