Penta co-founder gearing up new venture Relio for Swiss SMEs
Penta’s co-founder, Lav Odorović, has created a new venture called Relio targeted at Swiss small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Relio is currently in the swings of applying for a fintech licence from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (Finma), according to its website. It is yet to launch, currently signing up users to its wait list.
The start-up recently graduated from F10 accelerator, which operates a base in Zurich, in addition to its hubs in Madrid, Barcelona, and Singapore.
It claims to be backed by “two institutional investors”, but the identity of these backers is not yet public knowledge.
Penta’s investors include HV Capital, RTP Global, Presight Capital, and ABN Amro Ventures – which all contributed to Penta’s €30 million Series B.
Addressing gaps left by challengers
The account will include a “real-time” data dashboard, multi-user access, and integrations with various accounting tools.
Its website guarantees a 24-hour application process for businesses with a Swiss IBAN.
“Challenger banks such as Revolut, Neon and Yapeal have already won over many retail customers in Switzerland”, the challenger-bank-to-be explains.
It therefore wants to solve the problem exclusion which can arise from challengers’ mass market approaches, which focus on “intuitive user interface and lower prices”.
“Our promise is compliance without complications,” says Odorovic, who points the fintech’s investments in “regulatory tech”.
Switzerland is home to a number of consumer-focused challengers. These include Alpian, a digital banking and wealth management firm, and Neon, which scrapped abroad card fees for its customers last year to compete with European challengers N26 and Revolut.
Odorović co-founded German digital bank Penta alongside Jessica Holzbach in 2017. The fintech was designed to bank freelancers and small businesses.
Penta claims to have accrued more than 25,000 customers among European companies.
The company’s headquarters lie in Berlin, with another office in Belgrade. It mainly services German and Italian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Penta called 2020 a year of a “difficult economic environment”. Despite this, it hails its signing of integration deals with KfW Instant Loan, WeltSparen, and Datev.
Finleap bought a major stake in Penta back in April 2019. Shortly after Finleap acquired Penta, Marko Wenthin – co-founder of Penta customer SolarisBank – became Penta’s new CEO.
Wenthin said in March 2020 that the ultimate aim of Penta is to create “a veritable one-stop-shop of services” which go “way beyond banking”.