Thomas Hürlimann, Board of Directors at Hiscox; Roman Rittweger, CIO and Founder of ottonova Holding; Dr. Gerrit Seidel, Managing Director at yabeo; Nikolaus von Taysen, Founder of Payworks & Circula and Pay.On, as well as Kilian Thalhammer, Advisor, Investor, FinTech Expert at Wirecard discussed the current status and developments of M&A in the FinTech Industry with Julian Ostertag from Drake Star Partners leading as the moderator of the panel. Together, they discussed the impact of digitalization on the FinTech industry as well as the reasons and fundamental issues that make a FinTech successful and attractive for investors. The discussion then moved to an exchange of opinions about the current state of fundraising and the ongoing M&A activity within the industry.
Panel moderator Julian Ostertag led with the question of what is driving the current FinTech surge, starting with the innovation gap seen in the market. Mr. Rittweger then explained the main market gaps tied to customer experience and drew attention to the importance of considering an insurance viewpoint. He went on to illustrate the negative aspects and problems of the German health insurance system as an example of customer experience and a gap where FinTechs can actually help through further investments.
The panelists then went on to discuss the common public mistrust towards banks and insurance companies as an example as to how the market must change since digitalization combined with the FinTech boom has the capacity of an industry-wide impact.
By moving to the payment side of the financial services, moderator JulianOstertag and Dr Gerrit Seidel discussed the possibilities for FinTechs to really create an entire value chain or whether it is easier to actually create specific services and products that are better for the consumer. Nikolaus von Taysen further gave an outline about the need for innovating the complete industry and market.
However, all panelists agree that despite the urgent need for innovation and fundamental change, many FinTechs are actually not rethinking the entire value chain, but just improving the existing value chains through faster and cheaper technology. Kilian Thalhammer, however, argued that even though there is indeed not too much market disruption in the B2C world, there is in fact a change happening on the B2B side with new players entering the market.
The panelists further discussed the current success of FinTechs giving an outline why they appear to be so attractive for investors. They additionally compared the European and the US situation, pointing out that the progression of the FinTech industry in Europe is in fact slower and that there is still much room for innovation and execution in Europe.
The panel then concluded with an outlook of the future regarding current as well as new FinTechs and what they think is still to come. Overall, the panelists believe that the FinTech industry still offers a huge opportunity for both, growth investments and M&A transactions, as many FinTech sectors like insurance and banking have just started to see innovation.
Drake Star Partners
From left to right: Dr Gerrit Seidel, yabeo; Roman Rittweger, ottonova Holding; Thomas Hürlimann, Hiscox; Nikolaus von Taysen, Payworks & Circula and Pay.On; Kilian Thalhammer, Wirecard; Julian Ostertag, Drake Star Partners