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German fintech company builder FinLeap raises €21M at €121M valuation


By Steve O’Hear for TechCrunch

Berlin-based FinLeap, which is a German-style company builder specialising in fintech, has raised €21 million in new funding. Backing is said to come from original investor HitFox Group along with institutional investors from the insurance industry, including Hannover Re, the third largest worldwide reinsurer.

TechCrunch understands from a source close to the transaction that FinLeap’s latest round gives the company a post-money valuation of €121 million (based on a €100 million pre-money valuation). Noteworthy, I’m told by one source that this is more than double what FinLeap was valued at during its last undisclosed funding round 8 months ago.

“In the last 20 months, we built nine new companies and typically invested between 500,000 and 5 million euros,” says FinLeap co-founder and managing director Ramin Niroumand in a statement. “The first companies will become profitable this year and we are excited to be a key player in driving the digitalization of the European financial market forward”.

Those sentiments echo Jan Beckers, CEO of the HitFox Group and chairman of FinLeap, in a call I had with him a few months ago. At the time we compared notes on London and Berlin’s fintech scene and Beckers was particularly bullish on the opportunity for technology to disrupt the insurance industry by bringing more transparency to the insurance market and through digital or mobile-first brokers. It already counts online-insurance broker Clark as one of its startups. That puts FinLeap’s new investors firmly in focus.

He also talked up the successful launch of solarisBank, which holds a full banking license and is offering banking as a platform so that other startups can jump on the fintech gravy train.

Other FinLeap created startups include Savedo, a marketplace for investment products; FinReach, a software-company that has created an automated account switching kit; Valendo, an asset-based lender; Pair Finance, an online debt collector; and, a digital platform for real estate investments. I’m also told that further ventures targeting financial and asset management are already in the FinLeap pipeline.

To that end, each newly formed FinLeap startup typically receives seed investment of between €500,000 and €5 million. In addition, companies get access to its network of investors, operational talent and customers, an integrated technology platform, and, in FinLeap’s own words, “highly efficient processes”. How very German. In total, FinLeap and its portfolio startups employ over 250 people.

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