The ten startups leading the charge in Spanish fintech

The ten finalists for Spain in this year’s Open Talent competition went head-to-head at the South Summit conference to determine who would be crowned the country’s overall champion. Here’s what these upcoming innovators have to offer.

The world’s biggest fintech startup competition, BBVA Open Talent, is now in its eleventh edition. Judging for the final stage of the competition will take place on Thursday, October 24th.

Ahead of that the ten finalists for Spain, which were revealed in August, finally competed directly against each other just last week. They pitched in front of a panel of judges at South Summit, during which aspiring unicorn Cobee was announced the overall country winner.

Although the remaining nine contenders didn’t claim the top spot, their innovations were still impressive enough to earn them a top ten ranking, so here’s a rundown of this year’s finalists and how they’re each looking to disrupt the fintech sector.

Cobee (Madrid)

Cobee, this year’s Open Talent Spain winner, set an ambitious tone during its pitch, to become “the next Spanish unicorn”. Cobee is a service providing companies a simple platform with which they can manage flexible staff compensation and benefits. This aggregation approach allows staff to see all of the contributions available in real-time.

The SaaS model is designed to remove the need for manual processes, allowing businesses to issue everything from meals and transport to childcare and medical insurance.

Due to the digital design, the average employee membership is over 70 percent, according to the company. That coupled with the ease of use has resulted in return on investment becoming up to four times more than traditional methods.

Micappital (Madrid)

Micappital is an investment-focused offering built to let users manage and capitalise on their savings in a way that will yield the most profit possible. As a resident of Open Space, the company was winner of the Open Talent regional Madrid competition in 2017, making it particularly well-versed in the BBVA way of working.

The service provides advice on any Spanish financial organisation without withdrawing funds from customers’ bank accounts. Fees are only charged once users have experienced profitability on their savings.

Communications between Micappital and customers are personalised, with reactive adaptable investment updates and suggestions provided based on how markets will impact savings.

Finteca (Barcelona)

Finteca reviews the mortgage of individuals, analysing existing policies before then suggesting up to three improved options available from other banks.

If necessary, the startup also acts as an intermediary that oversees the evaluation to coordinate all correspondence and proceedings between the customer and bank, detailing all the finer details including benefits and risks.

Finweg (Madrid)

Finweg ensures any manual payment processes are made digital-friendly, producing digitised tools for banks with which they can manage tasks for clients, such as clearing of cheques and promissory notes.

Blockchain is used to keep the exchange of information between banks, financiers and regulators a collaborative but secure process.

For financial organisations using Finweg, benefits include the reduction of operating costs in addition to less chance of error and fraud.

Fundeen (Ávila)

Fundeen is an equity crowdfunding platform that has a specific focus on renewable energy, allowing interested parties to make investments in campaigns from as little as €500.

Investments of this sort were once restricted to large investment funds and energy firms, but Fundeen obtained approval to roll out its business model from government agency CNMV.

The company claims that those participating in investments of energy projects on its platform are capable of achieving a return on investment of over seven percent each year.

GreeMko (Madrid)

GreenMko’s tool assesses how well a company is performing on an environmental level. This means calculating its usage of electricity, water and other fuels to effectively measure how green it is.

GreenMko will digitise all client data to determine their performance, then provide training and planning support to the customer so they’re able to actively monitor their environmental structures independently in the future.

Demonstrating its services first-hand, GreeMko will actively collaborate with BBVA Open Innovation to measure the carbon footprint at the Open Summit on Thursday, October 24th.

LISA (Madrid)

Lisa Seguros Inteligentes is an online insurance service across the web and mobile, issuing policies to SMEs, professionals and freelancers.

Offering flexible support, bespoke insurance options are developed exclusively depending on the diverse needs of clients.

From legal defence and personal protection to travel assistance and cybersecurity, Lisa offers support for various sectors as well as options such as microinsurance and on-demand.

Lucas (Madrid)

Lucas offers flat tenants a way to buy the property they rent. This is done with a percentage of their monthly rent acting as a “capital credits” investment that steadily builds up, with a view the home can be snapped up in up to five years as customers invest 5% while Lucas contributes the rest.

The startup is targeting millennials in city-based apartments who demand flexibility as it blurs the lines between renting and purchasing. Should the customer eventually decide not to go through with a mortgage, Lucas claims 5% of the initial invested capital is returned.

While Lucas’ model serves consumers looking to buy, it also provides access to real estate funds and banks to ensure that mortgages are accessible when the time to purchase comes. Like Micappital, the Lucas founders are very familiar with Open Space, having worked there – and subsequently got married to each other on the back of that co-working experience. Having sought advice of startups living at Open Space, the pair were able to refine their product.

Urbanitae (Madrid)

Urbanitae is a property-centric crowdfunding platform through which investments from €500 can be made by individuals or investment firms that want to get behind large real estate developments.

The aim is to offer people a better return on their savings than they’re currently receiving from more traditional methods of saving, with options to invest in residential, commercial and industrial properties.

Another way the company looks to differentiate is by providing a strictly online-only system that removes paperwork, site visits and other processes that involve red tape.

Woonivers (Madrid)

As of January 2019, it became legal for non-EU citizens to demand tax refunds when making purchases in stores. With that in mind, Woonivers introduced a digital service for mobiles that enables the processing of tax-free payments.

The VAT refund can be applied via an automated process and Woonivers notes it is effectively trying to provide customers with more time, and money, to shop with local retailers, satisfying both parties.

Now that Cobee has been crowned the winner for Spain, there are just a couple of weeks remaining before the global winner is revealed too. This Madrid-founded startup will pitch against Australian digital receipt service Slyp, and South African insurance service Pineapple.

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