We visited the company solarisBank in Berlin.
Their banking platform (BaaP) allows partner startups & companies to create financial products and services.
Here is the interview – have a look at the team, their cool office space – and the great office view.
Hi solarisBank! What is your core business?
Banking as a platform.
We are the first fully licensed banking platform and see ourselves as a tech company with a banking license.
What does this mean?
With a simple API connection to our platform, we enable our partner companies to become financial players themselves – so they can offer financial products to their end-customers.
How did you get to your business idea and when was your company established?
The initial business idea of solarisBank was created within Finleap, a company builder specialized in fintech.
The plan at Finleap was to build a banking partner focused on the needs of fintechs and startups, since many fintechs need a licensed partner to bring their business model to life.
Traditional banks neither have the technology nor the mindset to be a suitable partner for young startups. Out of this perspective, the idea of solarisBank was created.
However, we soon realized that the need for a state-of-the-art banking platform with modern APIs was not just from fintechs, but also from more established digital companies.
To be more specific, these companies showed interest in creating new revenue streams by offering financial services to their end-customers.
By now, we’ve gathered that even traditional banks are interested in working with solarisBank to build digital banking products more quickly and efficiently.
Are you using Venture Capital? And if – who are your Venture Partners?
We are using venture capital, and have investors such as Arvato Financial Solutions (a Bertelsmann subsidiary), SBI Holdings from Japan, Finleap as well as other institutional and private investors.
“In March 2017, we closed our Series A financing round
of 26.3 m Euros.”
In which countries are you active?
Currently, we’re active in six European markets.
Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Austria, Great Britain and Greece.
Are you planing to expand your venture in other countries? And if – where?
In terms of first steps, we plan to keep expanding within Europe by passporting our banking license to other European countries.
For the second steps, we’re looking at the Asian market to set up a joint venture with our strategic investor SBI.
Where do you see the company in 5 years?
“As a globally active banking platform, we see ourselves working with a multitude of international partners towards the goal of offering financial services to end-customers whenever and wherever they need them.”
How many employees work at your company right now?Are you planing to expand?
At the moment we have 90 people working at solarisBank, and we’re planning to have 120 to 130 team members by the end of 2017.
What is the average age of your team members?
What kind of attitude should new employees have in order to work at your company?
All solarisBank employees share a deep belief in technology, paired with a passion for entrepreneurship.
“We want to reshape banking by building the world’s first banking platform.”
Obviously this is not an easy process, so every employee has to be willing to take challenges and be creative in their efforts to overcome them.
Why is it fun to work at your company? Do you offer any employee benefits? Do you offer new employees a relocation service or help to relocate?
We’re creating and continuously shaping a workplace with many benefits such as free coffee, drinks, fruit, breakfast as well as yoga classes and language course.
But most of all, we’re into creating a workplace with a fun atmosphere: we celebrate our successes – the small and the big ones – together.
We exchange knowledge via all hands meetings. We work out together. We even run half marathons together.
And with people joining us from all over the world, we make sure that everyone feels at home in Berlin and at solarisBank.
Where is your office located?
Our office is located on the 6th floor of Anna-Louisa-Karsch-Str. 2 in Berlin Mitte, close to Hackescher Markt.
Did you get help from an interior designer by designing the office?
It used to be the old office of the magazine “Stern”, which we re-designed and renovated ourselves.
For the design of our lounge for example, a huge room close to the rooftop terrace, we actually asked all solarisBank employees to hand in suggestions how to furnish and design it.
The suggestion with the most votes from all employees won and was implemented afterwards.
Thank you Team Solaris Bank for this interview & the photoshooting!
Location: Berlin, Germany Website: solarisBank
Photos: copyright by the photographer Andreas Lukoschek