February 1, 2022 in Entrepreneur Advice, Fintech

8 Ways to Make Your FinTech Startup Stand Out from the Crowd

Back in 2017, we shared some of the perspectives from our network about how to make your fintech startup stand out. Read on below.

“FinTech startups should come to investors with a data-driven perspective on why someone should invest. They shouldn’t say ‘We’re perfect for you because you invest in fintech.’ Rather, they should talk about many touch points, including other CEOs who vouched for the quality of the investor. They should also state specifically what they want other than money; almost no one does this or has given thought to it.”

— Arjan Schutte, Managing Director at Core Innovation Capital and Village Capital FinTech Advisory Board Chair


“Particularly for early-stage companies, do not raise money at such a high valuation that you price yourself out of raising your next round. Chasing the highest valuation now will achieve less short-term dilution, but may limit the company’s ability to raise money in the next round.”

— Peter Sanborn, Director, Global Corporate Development at PayPal and Village Capital Fintech Advisory Board


“Consumer facing FinTech startups should focus on cohort curves and cohort analysis. Only about one-fourth of the companies that should be obsessed with the cohort view of their business are actually looking through a cohort-lens.”

— Caribou Honig, Founding Partner at QED Ventures


“As a FinTech startup, you should be willing to change the market. The FinTech market is moving at a frantic pace. With regulation constantly changing and barriers to entry getting higher, listening to the market is more important than ever.”

— Clarence Bethea, CEO at Upsie and Village Capital portfolio company


“If your business is about selling to banks or regulated institutions, front-load security and regulatory hires, or at least be upfront about your plan. That should save you substantial time in the early phases of your sales cycle.”

— Manuel Silva, Partner at SanTander InnoVentures


“Become a time capitalist. Your greatest resource and asset is not tech, team or cash. It’s your time. Audit your time and use it judiciously, as though it’s your most limited and precious asset (because it is).”

— Doug Speight, CEO of Cathedral Leasing and Village Capital alumnus


“With the number of startups chasing the large market opportunity in fintech and insurtech, it’s easy to get lost in the noise of many companies with similar value propositions vying for competitive advantage. While everyone can make up a “here’s why we’re different” pitch, the most convincing way to show this is to demonstrate that you know your customer base better than anyone else, and are relentlessly motivated to solve their problems better than competitors can. If you have been part of the customer base and experienced the pain points of what you’re trying to solve yourself, even better.”

— Victoria Fram, Village Capital Co-Founder and former Managing Director at VilCap Investments, LLC


“When I started, I wish I had known how long it really takes to build a great business (7–10 years vs. my initial expectation of 2–5 years). I also know how much opportunity there is once you reach a certain size threshold; it’s no longer about ‘if’ you’re going to make it, but ‘how big’.”

— Manu Smadja, CEO of MPower Financing and Village Capital Portfolio Company



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