As our world becomes more purpose-driven, ethically aligned companies will want to bank with an institution that shares their values. Remagine wants to be that bank, co-founder Sebastian Dienst said.
Based in Berlin, Remagine’s goal is to reshape financial services through founder-friendly and tech-driven financial solutions that inspire businesses to be more successful, sustainable, regenerative, and impactful. Their next step on this process is a partnership with SolarisBank which will provide bank accounts for purpose-driven European startups.
Helping found Remagine is Dienst’s latest step in more than a decade of working in the B2B space. He was a founding member of Shore.com, a B2B SaaS solution for local merchants and was once a venture developer at Rocket Internet. Now with Remagine he can take the experiences he’s had and build the products and services he needed along the way but which he struggled to find.
The new banking product, which is now in beta, fits nicely into the purpose-driven mission, Dienst said. In addition to the usual features, it offers added expense management tools and financial analytics. Depositors can see how much of their funds are being allocated to planet-friendly investments like renewable energy and organic agriculture. Use a card and see the carbon offsets created. In the works is a lending product that incentivizes companies to act responsibly through a lower interest rate.
“It’s really a bank for companies who want to be part of the solution,” Dienst said. “We want to shape incentives around money so it’s a race to the top, not the bottom. ”
Even though an estimated 96 per cent of German companies hold their accounts with legacy banks, many of them are unhappy with that option, Dienst believes. Give them a new option and you’ll get their business. More than 500 companies are on Remagine’s waiting list, with groups gradually released as capability expands. Many of those early registrants are digital-first companies.
Since we last spoke over the summer a few geopolitical events have crystallized the importance of acting in an environmentally responsible manner. Once viewed by many as something foreign because its effects were only seen in faraway places, climate change suddenly became a reality in Germany as massive floods devastated regions of the country. Some see the planet in a stage of environmental emergency, one that’s increasing inequality.
For many, COVID-19 was a circuit breaker. The status quo was halted, leaving many to take a breath and evaluate their lives. That self-analysis bleeds into their business lives as they seek more sustainable ways to live and conduct business.
“I think it’s all part of this one big question that happens over the next years and decades,” Dienst said. “Are we going to make it or are we going to go down as a civilization?”
Another trend Dienst sees occurring is the “re-bundling” of banking services. Since the crash, many fintechs made their hay by unbundling financial services and recreating specific aspects of the banking experience. As the successful ones seek to grow they wish to add more services to create the level of value that attracts more clients that need more complex services than smaller players who may not even need all the capability from each of the types of services the fintechs initially offered.
By spending time with their clients Remagine has been preparing for that expansion of service by developing features such as a multi-bank option that allows customers to plug in accounts from other banks and trigger transactions. Virtual cards allow companies to strictly monitor card use by limiting the types of purchases they are allowed to complete. Users can create as many ledgers as they wish within one account.
“In some ways we were already going to market with an advanced product, catching up on integration with accounting tools,” Dienst said. “In six to nine months I see us at a place where a 30-50-person company can sign on the Remagine platform and use us as their primary bank account.
“We want to be a partner with companies and entrepreneurs who are on this mission to ‘remagine’ life, to ‘remagine’ hopefully a better future.”