Weavr is on a mission to make embedded finance safer for customers and the financial institutions who have to take responsibility for their customers’ money.
Founded in 2018, with headquarters in London, Weavr is backed by Tiger Global, which led its $40million Series A in 2022 to deepen operations within Europe and expand to the US and Singapore.
In this week’s Behind the Idea, Alex Mifsud, co-founder and CEO at Weavr, shares an insight into life at the company and why it’s important to ‘leave that ego at the door’.
Tell us more about your company and its offering
Weavr is a cloud-based platform that provides everything digital businesses need to source and integrate financial services into their applications, and everything financial institutions need to offer and securely deliver financial services that are embedded into third-party applications.
What problem was your company set up to solve?
By integrating financial services within their applications – for instance an accounting application that also collects payments and pays your suppliers – software businesses are able to create huge customer value and also monetise that value, generating significant additional revenue from their existing customer base. However, embedded finance – as this approach is called – is expensive and risky for software companies to undertake.
Weavr makes it far easier and much less risky. We provide all the aspects required to make an embedded financial solution secure and compliant with regulation, without requiring significant investment and specialist skills from the software businesses that use it.
Since launch, how has your company evolved?
The company has been delivering its solutions to customers since November 2020. Initially, the focus was on enabling startups to integrate financial services. As its model, and value, has become proven, Weavr is now supporting established software and digital businesses to deliver embedded finance to their existing customer base.
This is especially relevant now as we enter a period of depressed demand and increasing costs. Embedded finance enables software companies to grow revenue by increasing revenue per (existing) customer and reducing customer churn, without upping marketing spend.
Weavr allows them to do so quickly and with minimal effort; specifically for this current difficult economic environment. Weavr’s pricing has evolved to enable them to do so with minimal upfront and ongoing costs, while sharing in their success.
What has been the biggest challenge or most ‘tricky moment’ to overcome?
The transition from selling to, and supporting, early-stage startups to more established customers was harder than we expected. Not only was the sales process very different from selling to founders, but there was the additional challenge of countering the perception that Weavr is a cheap alternative to banking as a service (BaaS) when, in fact, Weavr offers a much richer set of services and facilities than most BaaS providers.
The way we have addressed this is to coin a new phrase to describe our approach – we have called it ‘Plug-and-Play Finance’ to highlight the comprehensive nature of our solutions compared to the BaaS offerings that require additional investment and operational effort to get them to work.
“We have a relatively ‘fluid and flat’ working culture, with an emphasis on collaborating together as equals rather than on the authority that comes with roles”
What are your biggest achievements or ‘proudest moment’ so far?
There have been many achievements along the way, and the company is starting to get broad industry recognition but, to me, the greatest pride comes with seeing our customers’ ideas come to life. For instance, our top three innovators, who we supported from their launch, raised over £50million between them last year. It is of course they who should get the credit for this, but it makes me proud to have been part of their journey in some meaningful way.
How would you describe the culture of your company?
We’re highly ambitious. Can you be ambitious and still be decent and nice? I think so.
The formula is to leave that ego at the door. We have a relatively ‘fluid and flat’ working culture, with an emphasis on collaborating together as equals rather than on the authority that comes with roles. I like to see roles in the context of servant leadership where each line manager’s primary responsibility is to ensure that their team continues to thrive and to be successful.
I think we genuinely value diverse personalities, and we strive to make room so that everyone can feel they belong.
What’s in store for the future?
We expect an exciting year ahead, serving larger and more established software and digital companies, extending the range of financial services we offer, and serving our first customers outside UK and Europe, starting with Singapore as a gateway to the exciting Asia Pacific market.
Over the course of last year Plug-and-Play Finance, our unique approach to embedded finance, started to get noticed by financial institutions. Weavr’s technology can be deployed in a white-label form to be operated under the financial institution’s brand; indeed, late last year we signed our first letter of intent for such a project.
In 2023, we see an opportunity to deliver to financial institutions the technology they need to create a new breed of ’embeddable financial products’ rather than offering discrete APIs to issue cards or create accounts within a BaaS offering. This approach, we believe, will help achieve mass adoption of embedded finance, but more importantly, will make embedded finance far safer for customers and the financial institutions who have to take responsibility for their customers’ money.