Qonto, the neobank for SMEs and the self-employed, celebrates two years in Spain and does so with triple-digit growth in both revenues, customers and operations. The person in charge for Spain, Carles Marcos, is optimistic about the evolution for the next few years and underlines the commitment of the fintech gala for our country, in which it has just opened a headquarters in Barcelona.
What is the balance of these two years, the bank has met the objectives set?
We have managed to grow in the last twelve months at triple digits in revenues, customers and operations. In billing we have increased by 600%, in users we have multiplied by three and in transaction value we have increased by 350%, to 400 million. The projection of clients, based on the experience in France, was to have around 40,000 in Spain by mid-2021. This objective has not been met because we have found ourselves in a different situation and our clients are medium-sized SMEs, not so much micro-SMEs and freelancers, which reduce the potential client base, but this typology carries out more operations and has a greater number of employees and, therefore, Therefore, our income grows more. In billing we have beaten expectations and this is what investors see as important.
What are the forecasts for the next few years?
The bank has set itself the goal of going from 150,000 current clients to 500,000 in the four markets where it operates (France, Germany, Italy and Spain) and that at least half of them are outside the French country. Therefore, we are talking about very important growths. For this year, globally, we have budgeted to double the billing. I cannot provide more information.
“We will not offer loans to SMEs in the short term and we do not discuss entering the segment of individuals”
Has the company managed to be profitable?
Right now we spend more than we generate, we continue to receive money from investors (104 million last year). The objective is that in 2023 the business in France will be profitable, but not internationally, because we prefer to continue investing to accelerate the growth of activity.
What new solutions and services are you considering launching the bank, soon?
We will continue to provide tools for SMEs and freelancers to automate their financial management. The credit part is essential, but we have decided to continue our offer through our partner Growly, because we want to consolidate the project with the solutions we have at the moment. Obviously, introducing improvements such as multi-accounts and betting on financing through partners.
Is the fact of not having your own financing products slowing down customer acquisition?
What we have discovered is that our clients prefer to diversify with different entities and what they see is that with Qonto they save on bureaucratic procedures and on the automation of expenses. Financing is key, but there is already a lot of competition, so this type of product will arrive in the medium or long term. On average, SMEs have three banks on average and our clients have us as the main entity for their daily operations, for expenses (card issuance, transfers, payroll payments). Our value is a more agile experience; Customer Support; and to be the banking Netflix, with a clear pricing policy and a subscription model without smoke bombs or hidden fees.
“We want to go from 150,000 clients to 500,000 in three years globally”
Does the bank plan to open up to the world of individuals, since it manages the payment of company payroll?
In payroll we partnered with Payfit this year, which automates the calculation of payroll and facilitates the sending of the same, but we do not plan to offer our services to individuals. Many of our clients ask us, but we think that we have to focus on what we do to offer the best service and we want to be leaders in a certain segment. There is no internal discussion to explore different avenues of business and open ourselves to individuals.
Why has the bank established its headquarters in Barcelona?
The decision was made because it is an important innovation point and has a lot of potential to attract talent. Our intention is to have 30 workers at the Barcelona headquarters by the end of the year and reach one hundred by the end of 2023.
What is the client’s profile, is there a diversification or are there certain activities with a greater weight?
We have a very broad segment typology. We analyze this and see that the segment of activity that has the most presence does not reach 3% of the total. There is also great geographic diversification.