Fintech, or financial technology, is a popular concept that has been around for a few years. And in Europe, many startups are finding new ways to use it for good.
‘Fintech for Good’ is a ‘global not-for-profit movement advocating for greater transparency, accountability and social responsibility in the finance industry.’ It brings together finance professionals, technical engineers and leading economists, and aims to show what could have been achieved if society had used more sustainable budget management systems. Fintech for Good startups are a prime example of innovative platforms aiming to work with the financial services industry to achieve greater impact.
In this context, ‘good’ can be defined in several ways, including but not limited to improving access to financial services, increasing transparency and accountability in the financial sector, or promoting sustainable development.
The primary goal of ‘Fintech for good’ startups is to change how people think about money and positively impact the world. Consequently, the startups are making a difference in the lives of those they serve and helping to create a more sustainable and inclusive economy.
“The history of innovative finance concepts such as deferred capital and insurance has always been to improve the wellbeing of the people – farmers making it through harsh winters by borrowing; sailors sharing the burden of their losses at sea. But, somewhere along the line, we forgot what it meant and who it was all for. ‘Fintech for good’ is a sign that we’re finally starting to listen to people again, and now all we need are startups and founders that have the vision to channel them to the areas with the most impact,” says Andrew Chong, co-founder of uPledge.
In the Netherlands, particularly in Amsterdam, the ‘Fintech for good’ trend is taking off well. Firstly, the Dutch have a reputation for being early adopters of new technology. Secondly, the city has a large and growing population of ex-pats, who are often more open to trying new things.
As fintech in Amsterdam is booming, some startups use technology to help consumers manage their finances more efficiently. Here are some of them.
Founder/s: Mathys van Abbe
Kinder is a tech-for-good startup that aims to increase private donations across sectors through its online knowledge platform and digital fundraising tools for charitable organisations. The Dutch startup has collaborated with Impact Center Erasmus and Duke University, and developed a state-of-the-art vetting framework to assess the performance of charitable organisations.
Founder/s: Jacqueline van den Ende, Tim Molendijk, Lara Koole, Jeff Gomez, and Liza Rubinsten
Carbon Equity is a fintech platform that democratises access to impact private equity. The platform allows regular investors to invest along with experts in top climate venture capital and private equity funds, with a minimum as low as €100,000 and soon €10,000. The company aims to grow a highly motivated community of investors ready to fight climate change with their capital.
Founder/s: Jide Odunsi, Oladipo Delano, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji
Netherlands-headquartered Moove Africa is a mobility fintech company that provides vehicle financing to mobility entrepreneurs.
The company embeds its alternative credit-scoring technology onto ride-hailing and e-logistics platforms, allowing access to proprietary performance and revenue analytics of mobility entrepreneurs to underwrite loans.
Moove, operational in Nigeria, Ghana, and South Africa, runs flexible rental and lease models with partner drivers who can own the vehicles after agreed tenures.
The Social Handshake
Founder/s: Sandra van Beest
The Social Handshake is a fintech startup that makes doing good easy for companies and individuals. The Amsterdam startup allows employees to automatically donate a small or large part of their salary to charity through Payroll Giving.
With Payroll Giving, a user can give a monthly donation to charities of their choice, straight from the paycheck. 100 per cent of the donation goes to charities. This ‘fintech for good’ startup also includes tax incentives for employees and strengthens the purpose of companies.
Founder/s: Frederik Mijnhardt, Wouter Witvoet
Secfi provides equity planning tools to help private company employees and shareholders make better financial decisions for their equity from offer to IPO.
The platform provides company-wide education for startups to help their team make the best decision for their situation. It also provides one-on-one guidance with licensed equity strategists and financing products, enabling employees to own a stake in the company they helped build.
Founder/s: Krik Gunning, Chris van Straeten
Fourthline offers an end-to-end KYC and AML compliance solution to regulated institutions like banks, fintechs, and brokers. The Amsterdam-based company helps banks and fintechs with their gatekeeper’s function by verifying the identity of thousands of new customers daily.
The Dutch fintech verifies millions of identities for customers like N26, Wirecard, Allianz, Yolt (by ING), and many more. The company aims to protect the online financial system by using innovative technologies to develop the safest and most customer-friendly digital KYC solution.
Founder/s: Andrew Chong
uPledge is a crowdfunding solution that helps investors improve their financial wellness, while connecting them to verified sustainable startups.
In line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, the Amsterdam-based startup believes that equity crowdfunding needs to provide an investor experience that is more sustainable without compromising on a positive financial impact on the lives of ordinary people and the broader community.
Founder/s: Eli Pollak
Apollo Agriculture helps farmers in emerging markets increase their profits. The Amsterdam-based startup uses agronomic machine learning, remote sensing, and mobile technology to help farmers access credit, high-quality farm inputs, and customised advice.
Founder/s: Tatiana Pastukhova and Bartosz Kiera
Based out of Amsterdam, Teenit is an educational smart budgeting app for teenagers. The platform aims to improve the financial literacy of teenagers by providing insight into budget creation and money management.
The app uses incentivised learning, based on the teenager’s real-life spending and gain experience, to help them develop healthy financial habits. The platform also offers videos, data insights, and interactive quizzes to engage and prepare teenagers for the financial challenges they might face in adulthood.
CEO: Dennis Kromhout van der Meer
Duurzaam Investeren is an Amsterdam-based crowdfunding platform for sustainable energy in the Netherlands. The platform serves a growing group of investors who want to invest in sustainability but also demand a responsible financial return. The company does it by matching the investment providers with private investors.
Catch our interview with Paul Down, Head of Sales at Intigriti.