NOAH London Conference 2019 | A fireside chat with Tamaz Georgadze, CEO of Raisin.
Full interview video coming soon.

Raisin is the leading pan-European savings and investment marketplace connecting retail customers with banks looking to expand or diversify their deposit reach. Raisin is one of the leading fintech companies in Europe and has been featured on The FinTech50 list of the top 50 fintechs across Europe in 2016, 2017 and 2018. As one of the best-funded fintech start-ups in Europe, it has raised over 170 million Euro from renowned investors including Index Ventures, Ribbit Capital, Thrive Capital and PayPal.

As CEO, Tamaz Georgadze leads Raisin and takes care of partner bank acquisition, business development, legal and regional expansion efforts. Prior to building and scaling Raisin, Tamaz has spent 10 years with McKinsey & Company, the last 3 years as Principal leading also McKinsey Savings and Investment products Service Line for EMEA countries.

Priscilla Tenggara: So we’re here today with the CEO and co-founder of Raisin, Tamaz Georgadze. Thank you  for joining us at NOAH London, We’re really happy to have you. 

Tamaz Georgadze: Thanks Priscilla.

Priscilla Tenggara: So a bit about Raisin, I know you’ve started in 2013 and since then, you’ve raised over 200 million dollars in funding and have partnered with various notable companies. Can you tell me about what has surprised you from the idea in 2013 to the success now in 2019?

Tamaz Georgadze: What’s most surprising is that marketplace banking, which hasn’t been in the financial industry before, works quite well — Especially in such simple products like savings and deposit. Consumers like having choices, better rates and multiple providers integrated into one platform. Additionally, banks and suppliers like the idea of having platforms take over its customer acquisition, service and interface towards the customer.

So the biggest surprise is that the idea works.

Priscilla Tenggara: mhm, and since the start of the company, which trends have you been able to ride off of and which trends do you expect in 2020?

Tamaz Georgadze: What helped us a lot is the parallel growth of open banking in terms of financial institutions, neobanks rising and opening up to third parties. For example, we partnered early on with N26, a fellow Berlin based fintech company, also recently with Yolt, with Monies and with others who want to provide financial services without having to do it themselves. So that’s one of the trends which helped us a lot. 

The other one, more on the middle level, is that we tried to create a real single market in Europe. Regulations help us in that regard but it’s still not enough, so the market is very much fragmented; but there are some basic principles like post-guarantee schemes that help our business model a lot.

Priscilla Tenggara: really incredible, especially with all partnerships that you’re able to gain with this model. 

And as you first started, what has your strategy been in terms of recruiting the best managing team and executives to run the company?

Tamaz Georgadze: Back in 2013 when I launched with my co-founders, we had two objectives: do good while having fun and working. So I think the most important criteria is personal fit. People not only have to fit in the team but they also have to have fun while creating the product. 

So now we have over 300 people and our team is very diverse. We have people from the US, to Israel and to Germany. I myself am from Georgia and we all have a great time.

Priscilla Tenggara: During your time as CEO what has been your biggest milestone? What milestone is next to come?

Tamaz Georgadze: In terms of numbers, I think our first 10 Billion Euros in deposits placed was a big milestone this year; we’re very proud of it. And in terms of stepping into something outside our core area, we started expanding outside of Germany 4 years ago and our businesses in the UK are growing quite nicely; our Spanish business is also growing, and we recently announced that we would enlarge into the US market.

The second is that we started offering investment and pension products, which is a big milestone outside of our initial space. It went really well and now we have over 10,000 users and have bought a pension specialist called Fairr.

Priscilla Tenggara: That’s amazing, and as you’re expanding rapidly, what has been your approach to marketing in new markets?

Tamaz Georgadze: In terms of marketing, we rely heavily on our performance channels. When we enter the market, we want to understand how our marketing economics work and how to optimize that. And once our product and conversion work in the market, we increase more brand channels. For example, we’ve been doing TV ads for 3 years. It’s been working quite well and we use the blueprints and test it out as we expand in new markets. 

Touching back on brand building, what helps is that in the marketplace perspective, our  brand is as strong as our partner’s, so when our customers see the different offers from banks and providers, the credibility naturally has a spill-over effect.

Our funding through Goldman Sachs and Paypal have also helped our credibility, especially in B2B areas and finding potential partners.

Priscilla Tenggara: And one last thing, in terms of NOAH, I know it’s not your first time, what keeps you coming back and what aspects have helped Raisin grow?

Tamaz Georgadze: Two things actually, I really like the format. It’s really punchy and straight to the point. And the second is that I like the crowd. It’s very diverse and provides as many investors as startups, which I find very unique to NOAH. 

Priscilla Tenggara: Great to hear that! Thank you for your time and we really appreciate having you again this year. I hope you enjoy the rest of the conference.