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Behind the Idea: twentyone

When it comes to access to financing services, there’s nothing businesses want more than the simple life. And where the traditional players are falling behind, twentyone is coming forward to lead the way.

Twentyone is an alternative solution to traditional business banking, simplifying operations by offering business current accounts for organisations of all sizes. The fintech startup is part of the AAO Holdings Group

Twentyone
Danny Brewster, group CEO, AAO Global

With over 15 years of experience in financial services and technology, including 11 years of experience with Bitcoin, AAO Global group CEO, Danny Brewster, is passionate about simplifying complex and laborious structures for customers and businesses.

His focus is on ensuring that the benefits of digital finance apply to businesses of all sizes with the simplest of integrations.

Here Brewster discusses the idea behind the creation of twentyone, including its rise to prominence and its exciting plans for the future:

Tell us more about twentyone and its offering

We’re a fintech startup with a mission to help businesses of all sizes access financial services that can help them achieve their goals and reach their full potential.

Now, you might be thinking, ‘Oh great, another bank’. But here’s the thing: we’re not a bank at all. Instead, we’ve created something new – a business current account, unlike anything you’ve seen before. And the best part? It’s been designed by a team of incredibly talented software developers who are basically rock stars in their field.

Our platform makes it ridiculously easy to do business, and we’re proud to say that we’re fintech in its purest form. We’re not just another boring high-street bank with a shiny app – we’re a tech-first company that’s disrupting the industry and making things better for businesses.

What problem was twentyone set up to solve?

Like so many other entrepreneurial businesses, we were born out of frustration with the status quo. When we tried to set up our own business on the Isle of Man, we quickly realised that finding a bank to support us was nearly impossible. There was just too much red tape, too much bureaucracy, and too little understanding of our needs.

But instead of giving up, we decided to take matters into our own hands. We knew there had to be a better way, and that’s when twentyone was born. We’re a team of innovative, open-minded, and tech-first thinkers who want to create a home for businesses that struggle with traditional high-street banks.

But that’s not all – we’re also here for the entrepreneurs, the fast-paced start-ups, the innovators, and the growth businesses that are looking to be the next big thing. We’ve designed our business accounts to deliver on all levels – they’re easy to use, with great communication, first-class service, and all the tools and services you’d expect.

Since launch, how has your company evolved?

What started as tight knit five-person team dedicated to bringing Bitcoin to more people worldwide, twentyone has become an eighty-plus-person team spread between Manchester, Dublin and the  Isle of Man, delivering an alternative to business banking for the UK and European Union. It’s always inspiring to see small teams grow into something big and impactful!

What has been the biggest challenge or most ‘tricky moment’ to overcome?

We’ve certainly had our fair share of challenges along the way, but we’re proud to say that we’ve overcome them all with grit and determination. One of the biggest hurdles we faced was a last-minute change of plans when a funding deal fell through at the eleventh hour. It was a fight for survival, and we came incredibly close to failure – within 45 minutes, to be exact. But we didn’t give up. We rallied together and secured the funding we needed to launch our business and take it to the next level.

Another challenge we faced was managing rapid growth and hiring nearly 100 new team members. It’s been a whirlwind, but we’ve made sure to stay true to the core values that have brought us this far. We never forget that we’re still a start-up, battling to establish our place in the world.

Despite these challenges, we’re proud to have built a world-class and resilient team I am honoured to lead. We’re constantly pushing ourselves to be the best we can be, and we’re excited about what the future holds.

What are your biggest achievements or ‘proudest moment’ so far?

We’ve been working hard here, and it’s been an incredible journey. Recently, I took a day off for the first time in four years – and to my surprise, everything ran smoothly! It was a huge relief to see that our teams are so capable and independent, and it gave me even more confidence in the amazing people we have here.

One of the recent highlights for us was delivering our proprietary software end-to-end onboarding, assessment, and account management functionality. It was a challenging project, but our team pulled together and did an incredible job. Seeing our hard work come to life was an incredibly rewarding experience, and we’re excited to continue pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.

And, of course, there’s nothing quite like seeing your branding out in the wild for the first time. It’s a moment of pride and excitement that’s hard to describe. We’ve poured our hearts and souls into building this company, and seeing it represented in such a visual and tangible way is an incredible feeling. We’re proud of the brand we’ve built and the values it represents, and we can’t wait to share it with the world.

How would you describe the culture of your company?

Our culture is at the heart of our organisation, which has been ingrained in everything we do from the very beginning. As we’ve grown and expanded our reach, we’ve made sure to keep our culture vibrant and alive.

So, what exactly defines our culture? Well, it all comes down to our core values.

Compassion is one of our key values – we take the time to understand our people and clients, and we’re always there to lend an ear when they need us. It’s a value that resonates throughout the company and guides all of our internal and external interactions.

Another essential value for us is integrity. We believe in acting responsibly and building honest relationships based on trust and transparency.

We’re also big believers in value-centricity. We strive to be value-adders in everything we do, making sure that everyone gets the most out of their experience with our business.

And finally, trust is a cornerstone of our culture. By being trustworthy and reliable, we can foster comfort and build strong relationships with our teams and clients.

What’s in store for the future?

Looking ahead, it’s clear that the key to success is all about growth and adding value for others. That’s why we’re really excited to be launching our services across the UK and European Union this year.

We’re committed to making things as easy as possible for businesses and offering them a whole suite of services from just one provider. And that’s just the beginning – we’ve got big plans for international expansion in the years to come. It’s an exciting time for us and for the businesses we’re working with!

Author

  • Tyler is a fintech journalist with specific interests in online banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

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