This week – to continue mapping the FinTech ecosystem in the CEE – we interviewed Alexey Malyshev, CEO of SDK.finance. SDK.finance is a back-end software for the quickest technological start of any FinTech products.
What is the problem you are solving?
In the tech agile environment you have to embrace changes quickly to stay afloat. Financial companies and banks across the globe strive to pioneer innovation to their customers’ experience. But that normally entails huge capital expenses and is time-consuming. In order to win the race you need something more. And that’s where we step in, suggesting a fast, seamless, and what is critically important much cheaper solution. We launched a first ready-to-go multiproduct FinTech platform which enables financial institutions, banks, and major merchants, to decrease CAPEX 90% and launch financial products 5-10 times faster without compromising the quality of the product.
What is the solution you provide? How is it unique?
The unique thing about our product hides in the words “first ready-to-go” and “multiproduct”. Before the uprise of WordPress, websites were built from scratch every single time. We thought it would be great to have a WordPress for FinTech products that would enable to build a variety of financial products like payment systems, e-wallet, loyalty program, gift cards using prefabricated core. For instance it takes just one day to launch your own e-wallet using SDK.finance platform.
When did your company story start? Where are you now?
We came up with the idea of launching SDK.finance platform in 2014. Our team consisted of 3 people at the time but we had previously developed a number of financial products together. Since then our staff expanded to 13 people, we have made two releases of our product and won 13 clients from eight countries including USA, UK, Spain, Czech Republic, Ghana and Ireland. Apart from customer’s recognition we are regular participants and finalists of frontline industry competitions. For the last year we were showcasing our solution at Pioneers Festival, Bank Innovation Israel Exec FinTech and BNP Paribas International Hackathon. We are keen on granting every single person a more seamless financial experience and that what fuels our enthusiasm and converts any challenge into another milestone.
Describe your team!
The engine of our business is a team of tech aficionados who apply their best-in-class expertise to deliver a high-end result for our clients. As I have mentioned before currently we have 13 people on board, 11 of those are developers.
What are the next goals?
Regarding the product: our team releases our own API and the 3rd version of the platform by the end of 2016. There is hardly an IT application nowadays that doesn’t provide an API specifying how an application should interact with the rest of the IT ecosystem. No need to write a code from scratch for third-party providers. The launch of our own API will enable seamless integration with 3rd party providers so that they can bring together top-notch technology providers and existing best-in-class development tools to create their own FinTech masterpiece. As for geographical expansion, we are targeting Asia and South America.
What was the biggest difficulty in your business that you had to cope with so far? What are the areas that are the hardest to handle as a startup?
Running a startup is akin to hitchhiking with a finite amount of resources throughout countries and continents. Nothing can be more stunning yet extremely challenging. During these two years of travelling we had bumps and bruises but rewards were worth it. We are full of ideas but are tangibly constrained with resources since we are a self-funding business. Raising external funding is one of the top priorities for now.
How do you see the startup ecosystem in the region?
CEE, FinTech is a perfect combination of never depleting source of brilliant ideas and still evolving financial sector. It is obviously diverse since there are countries which gave birth to a number of FinTech unicorns with a global reach and those who are just about to follow their example. We believe more initiatives like CEE-Fintech and CEE-Startups as well as additional funding from Western Europe and Asia will level up our region so it could compete with such mature FinTech hubs as London and Silicon Valley.