Today we have Valentino Pediroda from modeFinance answering our questions.
modeFinance is the First Fintech Credit Rating Agency in Europe.
Our questions are in bold.
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Who are you and what’s your background?
After a PhD thesis in Mechanical Engineering, on the development of numerical methods for engineering design, and more than 50 scientific publications, I started teaching as an Assistant Professor at the University of Trieste, where I met Mattia, at that time one of my students. As we felt we had some cool ideas to develop, Mattia became co-founder of what would later become modeFinance, founded in 2009. Together, we developed the core of modeFinance’s credit rating, the MORE methodology, which landed us being certified by ESMA as the First Fintech credit rating agency in Europe in 2015. Our project grew up, from just a university-exit startup to a real company. In 2013 we launched the very first beta version of s-peek, our mobile app dedicated to SMBs and consultants, which is now lending to the European market. Last year was very important to us because we were awarded by the Horizon 2020 EU program and are officially able to produce banks rating evaluations, the only Rating Agency in Italy and one of the ones in Europe certified to do so independently.
What is your job title and what are your general responsibilities?
I am modeFinance co-founder and CEO, together with Mattia Ciprian. I’m in charge of the strategy and the internal organization of modeFinance.
Can you give us an overview of your business?
modeFinance develops a bunch of different products, both for big companies, SMBs, individuals and agencies. We offer credit risk management, platforms and application services, public credit ratings and credit reports.
And…we launched s-peek, which is a Freemium solution developed to help SMBs, companies and consultants evaluate their counterparts’ financial health, to better choose the partners to work with. It’s both a web and a mobile app, the only one tailored for small businesses and the first to be launched for mobile!
Tell us how you are funded.
We started in Area Science Park, Trieste, the oldest and biggest scientific park in Italy. We had a small investment by Innovation Factory, which is the Area Science Park pre-seed. After that we had two small shareholder changes (me and Mattia still have the majority of modeFinance) with two capital increases.
Why did you start the company? To solve what problems?
The main idea is to democratize the Credit Rating, making it accessible to anyone and remain independent.
We know the rating is very important, so we want everybody to have access to that – only the financial elite.
Who are your target customers? What’s your revenue model?
s-peek is developed for and with SMBs and individuals: we help freelancers, consultants and small businesses to better choose their partners, based on their financial health. We rate more than 25million companies in Europe.
If you had a magic wand, what one thing would you change in the banking and/or FinTech sector?
Transparency and independency
What is your message for the larger players in the Finance industry?
Make use of s-peek to all your corporate clients: if they manage their liquidity having good clients (which you can check with s-peek), you have less credit risk trouble 😉
What phone are you carrying and why?
Nexus. Why? I use many Google products.
Where do you get your industry news from?
Twitter is a great source to find any Fintech player in the world, from the journals to influencers and bloggers. We read The Economist and the Wall Street Journal.
Can you list 3 people you rate from the FinTech sector that we should be following on Twitter?
Chris Skinner, from thefinanse.com, @Chris_Skinner
Pascal Bouvier, from finiculture.com, @pascalbouvier
Rachel Wolfson, from Tech_Talks, @Rachelwolf00
Can you suggest the name of an Angel Investor or VC that might be interested in being profiled?
Marc Simoncini from Jaina Capital.
What’s the best FinTech product or service you’ve seen recently?
Backbase and their connection between artificial intelligence and PSD2, to turn a mobile app into a smart virtual assistant.
Finally, let’s talk predictions. What trends do you think are going to define the next few years in the FinTech sector?
Fintech now is really B2C oriented. I definitely think the next trend will be B2B!
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