Cringle Cofounder Konrad Maruszewski Discusses Fintech, 2nd Companisto Crowdfunding Campaign

Cringle, a smartphone app for users who want to quickly send money to friends across Europe, has returned Companisto for its second equity crowdfunding round, aiming to raise 600,000€ for 9.09% equity offered. The fintech equity crowdfunding campaign has raised over 135K€ with more than 200 investors during its campaign’s first week. The largest investment to date is 10K€.

Founded in 2014, the German platform has partnered with Deutsche Kreditbank AG (DKB), establishing an important bridge between traditional banks and fintech, thus making a contribution to the digitization of payments. Valued at 6M€, Cringle was co-founded by Joschka FriedagMalte Klussmann,  Konrad Maruszewski and Frane Bandov. DKB, Consurbank, Deutsche Kreditbank AG, Microsoft and Deutsche Vermögensberatung are Cringle clients, and are helping the platform reach more than 10 million potential customers. Investors include Axel Springer, Yabeo Capital, Michael Brehm.

I recently connected with Maruszewski regarding this second round, the state of Fintech in Germany and  Cringle’s future plans.

Erin: Why you decided to circle back on Companisto for your second round?

Konrad Maruszewski: Back in 2016, we had a very successful crowdfunding campaign on Companisto with 1400 investors, which even exceeded our expectations. We even doubled our primary investment goal of €400,000 and received € 800.000. In addition to this amount, we received tons of positive feedback from the Companisto community. This feedback and the commitment of the crowds was crucial for us to learn and improve our app. It is also important to mention that we have received offers from multiple crowdfunding sites, but as we did pretty well in the past with Companisto and have already established a community there, it was only logical to go with Companisto again.

Erin: How is Fintech evolving in Germany?

Konrad: Fintech is not only a buzzword in Germany, it’s taken pretty seriously. There are well known success stories like N26, which have proven, that there is a huge potential in the German and European markets, but it’s not limited to that; there is a lot more undiscovered potential and many small start-ups still writing their own stories. Of course, we should mention that Brexit helped Germany to get its focus back; after London lost its charm, Berlin and Frankfurt became the most reasonable choices for fintechs to host their projects and go international. After the clocks started ticking, a lot of London start-ups “migrated to” Berlin, fearing that London would became a cluster at one point.

Compared to USA or Scandinavian countries, Germany is still behind but of course it is also gives start-ups like us a chance to improve and grow. For instance, we aim to become the number one European P2P solution in Europe.

Erin: Who do you see as Cringle’s key competitors?

Konrad: To be honest, we see ourselves as the number one solution in Germany and Austria and this is our short term goal. We are also aware that there are a lot of European and international solutions when it comes to P2P, but what we actually take into account and compete with is mainly cash.

Erin: Which other platforms and/or banks are you eyeing for partnerships?

Konrad: We have some interesting potential in our pipeline but of course are not allowed to name them yet. In general, these are banks, more like direct banks, and companies who have their own community.

In addition, it would be fair to say that we are developing some unconventional payment products at the moment. Our focus is and will be P2P at all times, however, we always think about new products that would surprise our user base and make their lives easier. We will be happy to talk more about these projects once we advance a bit more.

Erin: What are your plans for growth?

Konrad: First of all, we are planning to finance our further European expansion with the funding we are going to receive. We are in talks with several partner banks and plan to expand into most of the SEPA Europe. Also, we are planning to invest more money to reach our European sales targets both for the app and the API partners and also improve the app for further, for a leaner customer experience. Of course, we need to spare some of the investment for the development of the new products I have mentioned earlier. Lastly, we already doubled our user base and investment numbers in the past 12 months, which made us even more ambitious. We have even higher goals for the upcoming months now and are working non-stop to reach these targets.

Stay tuned – exciting months for Cringle are coming!

52 days remain on Cringle’s Companisto campaign, with an option to extend until 22 December 2017.

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