KB SmartSolutions launches cooperation with DEPO Ventures
Banks and financial technology start-ups (in other words fintechs) represent two different worlds. They have different DNA, speak the different language, and the partnership between them may not be easy. However, it can bring many benefits. Not only for both parties involved, but mainly for the client. KB SmartSolutions, the member of the Komerční banka Group, and the investment company DEPO Ventures currently launch their cooperation. Its main goal is the search for promising start-ups, mainly thanks to the expansion of the joint field of activity. Start-ups with smart solutions that could potentially complement the current portfolio of Komerční banka, under the wings of KB SmartSolutions, will be searched for not only in the Czech Republic, but also beyond its borders, especially in Central and Eastern Europe. The partners also want to jointly support the local start-up ecosystem and strengthen the position of start-ups in the region. Mutual support will also take place in the areas of sponsorship and networking.
"The cooperation between KB SmartSolutions and Depo Ventures is a logical step. Both companies are an active part of the start-up ecosystem in the Czech Republic and Central Europe. That's why we decided to join forces and not only support this ecosystem together, but also use our cooperation for a more effective search for start-ups with smart solutions, especially fintechs. Fintechs are not our competition, as it might seem at first glance, but our natural allies. In order to build the banking of the future, we need to learn to cooperate with them much more and connect the best of both worlds. Thanks to cooperation, banks and fintechs move forward faster and learn from each other," says Patrik Nový, director of KB SmartSolutions.
The bank can offer start-ups its know-how, resources, client database, excellent distribution network or management experience. It has many years of expertise in a number of areas, thanks to which it can help start-ups to build operations in a better and more effective way, link IT systems, devise more efficient distribution, better economic management, or better negotiate with suppliers. Fintech, on the other hand, can show the bank an innovative view of the world of finance, a new way to think about everything, bring a fresh and creative view of things, a wider scope and speed in developing an original solution thanks to being unbound by corporate rules and regulations. It can "infect" people in the bank with his approach to doing things more flexibly and quickly.
"We are looking for customized start-ups for KB SmartSolutions. Our analysts monitor the entire market and look for original technological projects that fit into Komerční banka's investment strategy. Such an individualized process, during which we actively search for start-ups ourselves, is more time-consuming, but at the same time more effective. It can take a long time to passively wait for a start-up to register itself or appear somewhere," says Michal Ciffra, partner at DEPO Ventures.
Companies that offer so-called smart solutions are in the spotlight
As the name itself suggests, KB SmartSolutions targets companies that have smart solutions and bold goals. They want to help build the banking of the future. It focuses not only on relatively well-established companies that already have, for example, the second generation of their product on the market, but also on slightly younger companies, but already at the beginning of the growth phase. Cooperation with DEPO Ventures can help, for example, with the search for suitable start-ups outside the borders of the Czech Republic.
"The fintech and start-up ecosystem in the Czech Republic and Central Europe is getting richer and more stable every year. Organizations to support it are constantly increasing, even becoming for it actively trying. That is good. We are trying to help and build the ecosystem itself. There is plenty of money on the market, but the start-up itself only has a chance to get it if it has a clear business model, goals and scalability of the product, as well as prerequisites for expansion," says Patrik Nový.