The case of FinTech-startup FIN: to grow from a marketplace to a social product

20 July, 2022


FIN is a financial services marketplace already operating in the Kyrgyz market. The idea of their new project is an API solution which allows end-users to buy all sorts of products and services with interest-free installments without having to go to the bank's website itself.  We talked  project founders Saikal Alymova and Erzhan Turdubekov to find out how their project plans to evolve into an open banking concept. 

FIN is one of the ten participants of the Startup KPIs Day, which was held by the Startup Central Eurasia Platform on 7 July.

An API (Application Programming Interface) is an interface and a special protocol to use the functions of one application inside another. For example, a shop or an educational platform can place a special form on its website so that it is convenient for a customer to apply for a loan or installment directly on the platform without having to go to the bank's website itself. 

According to the founders, the fintech industry is moving towards a multi-line system that will make it easier for users to use banking products and services. The banks themselves will benefit from the API tool, because it will be easier to package their new financial product and bring it to the user.

 — How did you come up with the idea for the startup? 

When we were working on another project and looking for funding for it, we could not get full information about the banks' products either on the banks' website or on their social networks. We spent a lot of time communicating and searching for the right option, and then decided to create our own platform which would solve this problem.

— How was your business model originally set up and what does it look like now?

The first monetisation model, when we were operating as a marketplace, was a commission per lead. But banks were not interested in paying for leads, they were interested in the product. Then we started offering banks and retail partners our API solution, and it became of interest to everyone. This is how we came up with a new business model: we receive a percentage of the amount a person is credited for when they purchase a product or service from our partners. 

– What results have you achieved in numbers?

Our team has now achieved a result of 30% leeds conversion. This is the proportion of those users who have seen our banking product tool on the website and continued to interact with it. The proportion of those visitors who end up getting the product is 7%. 

— What kind of investment have you attracted before?

First, we received about $50,000 from angel investors and used our own budget. Then in 2021, we went through the Accelerate Prosperity accelerator in Kyrgyzstan. Now we are opening a round A and want to raise about $2.5 million of investment to spend on development, marketing, scaling the project and legal assistance.

—  What are your future plans?

We plan to expand in the Uzbek market during this autumn and become residents of IT Park Uzbekistan. This will have a positive impact on our reputation. Then we plan to further explore the South-East Asian market and by November we will have already registered a legal entity in Malaysia. 

Our final goal in terms of product development is to make it social. If our API tool has an open source code, any entrepreneur will be able to embed it on their website completely free of charge.

Photo: FIN

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