Meet Penta, a digital bank for SMEs – FinTech Startup of the Week

Meet Penta, a digital bank for SMEs – FinTech Startup of the Week

29-Nov-2016 by Triin Linamagi

Opening a bank account for your business is one of the most important decisions for any entrepreneur and business owner. For small innovative technology businesses it can often be a painful process. Penta has a solution for this!

With only two days away from our Demo Day in London, we’d like to introduce you our FinTech startup Penta – business bank accounts for disruptive businesses.

Originally from Germany Luka, Lav and Sir have been working together for years before establishing Penta. We had a chat with Penta team to find out more where the idea behind Penta came from and how they are changing the banking scene for small businesses.

Tell us about Penta, where did you come up with the idea and what’s the gap in the market you are addressing?

Penta started out of our team’s deep frustration with banks in our former startups. Several times a week we were forced to leave our offices to go to the branch. Our banks lacked the modern products and services that our business needed to scale. At the end of each month, we were hit with expensive hidden fees. Our banks were outdated. And we became fed up with the overall inefficiency and lack of modernity that they provided.

We’re strong believers that banking is one of the key pillars in every business. But today’s banking is doing a disservice to thousands of startups that want to focus more on their business and less on their banking.

After speaking to our peers in other startups, we realized that we share the same problems. In fact, it’s a problem that a whole industry shares: we’re building high-tech businesses for the 21st century while our banks are stuck in the 20th century. And for us, that was unacceptable.

After realizing this, we embarked on our calling: to empower businesses through their banking. To make business banking easier than ever by offering the best apps and services in one place so that you don’t have to download and maintain 15 different apps for your business. From optimizing cash-flow, automating accounting as well to give the best options for sending money abroad. All provided through our partners who have built the most advanced business apps and services that are proven to help startups scale and save time.

Currently, we’re testing our Alpha and plan to go live in the spring with a selected number of startups in Germany.

Tell us about your team – what makes you the best team to build a digital bank?

Our founding team have been friends and colleagues throughout the years, so we’ve been sharing the same pains with our banking for some time. In our executive team, we have over 50 years experience in software engineering and building businesses. We’ve grown businesses that have scaled and some that we’ve sold giving us the ability and experience to really understand and help high-tech startups increase their efficiency and save time so that they can do what matters most: focus on their business and on their customers.  Our team at Penta will focus on empowering businesses by making banking easier and more efficient than ever.

Our board is made up of brilliant people extensive experience in banking, compliance and security in some of the biggest banks and companies in the world. They’ve been incredibly helpful in shaping Penta through their advice, mentorship and knowledge. These people are really a key factor in helping us to build the most efficient bank account for startups.

We are now 1 week away from the end of the Startupbootcamp Fintech program, what have you accomplished so far? Have you set up new milestones to reach? What is your key takeaway from the Program?

To say the least, we are very lucky to be accepted to Startupbootcamp FinTech Program.

Overall, the most important part and the biggest take-aways came from the people that were around us. The mentors, the Startupbootcamp team and the startups.

From day one, our goal was to build a bank account for startups with startups. We immediately embraced the network SBC provided to really listen and understand the pain points that startups have with their banking. We’ve now interviewed over 80 high-tech businesses all around the accelerator and at different co-working spaces in order to understand the banking problems startups have. Many of the startups we interviewed are frequently interacting with us and even helping us improve our Alpha! We couldn’t be more grateful for this as these are the entrepreneurs that are helping us go the extra mile to create a bank account that delivers real value for startups.

We’re readily testing and optimizing Penta to start accepting a wider range of high-tech startups in the spring with products like automated accounting, cash flow-management and low-cost international transfers.

Whenever our team is thinking of a new product to put in the pipeline, we always sit down with and interview a few startups to get an understanding if this is really something that will deliver value for them. Ultimately, our goal with every product we try to release is to help startups scale more efficiently while saving them time so that they can concentrate more on their business and less on their banking. Startupbootcamp has been pivotal in helping us reach this goal.

It’s been an unforgettable three months. I think that everyone at Startupbootcamp can agree that we’ve all become a tightly knit family (or even a little bit of a cult!) over these past 12 weeks. We’re going to miss the accelerator, the desk to desk banter, idea exchanges, and late night “UberEats” orders. But we’re really excited about going back to Berlin with our team to push on with what’s looking like an exciting and challenging roadmap in the years ahead.

Want to find out more about Penta? Come and meet them on our Demo Day, check out their Website and follow their news from Twitter!