Fintalent.io is an invite-only project platform that enables remote access to M&A, strategy and digital professionals in more than 2,900 industries. Corporates can put together individual specialists or teams at short notice. The Fintalent platform has been live since December 2020, consists of more than 600 Fintalents and continues to show strong growth. Manoj, CTO and Ömer Güven , CEO founded the platform together in 2019. The team has now grown to six permanent employees, half of whom are responsible for the technological development of the platform. We have now interviewed Ömer:
Ömer, how did the idea for the Fintalent platform come about?
After seven years in investment banking and banking, I wanted to pursue my other passions like diving, traveling and motorcycling. So I quit my job, packed my backpack and got on the plane to Thailand. In the beach cafes among bloggers, web developers and designers, I realized that my skills also enable me to work from anywhere in the world.
Between mountain tours in north Vietnam and river trips along the Mekong, I was involved in corporate transactions with global project teams and quickly realized how efficient it is to work in virtual teams.
The uncomplicated access to global talent enables a specific problem to be solved quickly, unbureaucratically and cost-effectively. Traditional strategy consultancies and M&A boutiques work according to the agency principle. So you have to utilize existing overhead costs and fixed resources. The pricing and actual work performance is non-transparent, the consultant employed is unrelated to the subject and there are sometimes conflicts of interest.
So the idea for the Fintalent Platform was born: Talent-as-a-Service! This means that with just a few clicks and as required, the customer can put together a team of strategy and M&A professionals who have both industry knowledge and the required technical skills and abilities. Since every professional works with their own integrated “time tracker”, there is full transparency towards the customer and billing is accurate to the minute. This means that cost savings of 70% – 80% are possible with higher quality consultants because we hardly have any overhead costs that the customer has to bear.
What distinguishes Fintalent from other freelancer and remote platforms?
The clear differences are focus, quality and infrastructure. We focus on the areas of M&A, strategy, private equity, venture capital and FinTech and work together with corporate M&A, strategy and business development divisions. They like to use our platform because they can quickly and easily expand or reduce their team in a few hours or days.
Furthermore, we are of interest to private equity and later-stage VCs, who in turn use our Fintalents for their portfolio holdings in order to support them with projects or in inorganic growth.
What differentiates us is that the Fintalents not only have finance knowledge, but also technical and digital knowledge in more than 2,900 industries. For example, oncologists or electrical engineers are also on our platform, but they have investment banking or management consulting experience from the globals. So you can not only show the technical product know-how, but also put this technical knowledge in a business context.
Thanks to verticalization, we can also offer the appropriate infrastructure, e.g. access to specialized and expensive data service providers such as Bloomberg or CapIQ. These cannot be presented for a smaller consultation or by an individual freelancer.
How do you ensure the quality of your talents?
We are particularly proud of the quality of our talent and community, who are our most important asset. Since Fintalent is an invite-only platform, only recommended professionals or target people scouted by our team can register. We follow a strict selection process, which includes background checks, personal interviews and skills checks. Most of our Fintalents have degrees from top business schools and come from global investment banks, strategy consultancies or tech ventures.
How do you solve the classic chicken and egg problem of platforms?
We are particularly strong in the acquisition of well-known customers and the exciting projects in particular attract very good talent.
Former investment bankers or strategy consultants used to work 70 to 100 hours a week. They were also exposed to unnecessary “face time”. With us they see a new future in order to use their skills and the freedom of remote working.
As a Fintalent platform, we are one of the first movers in this area. We not only concentrate on customer acquisition, but also on the community idea. We also focus on tailored training opportunities for financial professionals. As a result, the platform offers added value for our highly qualified talents.
Why did you start up here in Liechtenstein and in the Technopark?
The German-speaking area is very important to us and one of Fintalent’s main markets. In addition to our location in London, our branch in Liechtenstein allows simplified access to other member states of the EEA. At the same time, it brings with it the local and economic proximity to the Swiss market. We chose the Technopark because it offers a unique atmosphere. We can also quickly talk to other local startups and network partners and exchange ideas.
You probably benefited from the Corona situation, right? How did you handle it? What are the biggest challenges at the moment?
Corona has shown many companies that remote work and flexible working are very possible and has thrown us three to five years into the future, which will have a very positive effect on us as a remote work platform in the medium and long term. Nevertheless, Corona has not left us without a trace; our customers are large corporates that depend on a stable environment and, especially in 2020, forward-looking planning was hardly possible. We can already see a significant recovery in 2021 and many customers are resuming their M&A and corporate development activities.
What is your roadmap for the future?
We are currently making very good progress with enterprise and private equity clients. We want to become the No. 1 alternative for every customer who still relies on traditional strategy consulting and M&A advice to this day, and who wants to have access to over 2,000 talented people without diluting the quality.
Thank you Ömer and good luck for you and the Fintalent platform!