John Shen, Co-Founder of the Chinese FinTech Xencio, will be holding a talk about his Founder Journey at the upcoming FinTechWeek Vienna 2019. He told the Brutkasten in advance how he intends to help SMEs in Austria with their accounting and controlling.
Originally Xencio was founded in Shanghai in 2015. “As part of the GIN programme, we were then selected and invited to come to Austria,” said John Shen, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Xencio. The FinTech in Vienna was then selected for a batch of The Ventury, in whose premises in weXelerate the team still has its Vienna office.
The foundation of the local GmbH finally followed in January 2019, the local team consists of seven people – another 30 employees are stationed in Shanghai. Among other things, the local team has also received FFG funding, which will be used to advance the R&D activities of the AI-based product.
Xencio also used the start-up package of the Vienna Business Agency. Here, among other things, the costs for travel, accommodation and coworking space were subsidised, as well as 10 hours of coaching worth 2,000 Euros. This created a good basis for Shen and his local co-founders – an Austrian and a New Zealander – to get off to a flying start in Vienna.
Corporations in China, SMEs in Austria
Xencio offers software that uses artificial intelligence to analyze cash flows so that forecasts can be made and further strategic steps planned. In its home market of China, the company primarily serves corporations with this solution, and in Europe, the German company Merck was one of the first major customers. For Austria, on the other hand, the founders have their sights set on the numerous SMEs, which are known to form the backbone of the local economy.
The SMEs differ from the corporations in terms of maturity level as well as in terms of technical requirements. For example, most corporations want an on-premise solution because they have to comply with the relevant compliance and security requirements. For SMEs, on the other hand, an SaaS solution in the cloud is a much easier way to access, which reduces the corresponding inhibitions.
Via the banks (PSD-2) to Austrian SMEs
Shen wants to access the local SMEs via the local banks – because these have a close relationship with their B2B customers. “In this way, we want to enable the established banks to offer their business customers functions similar to those that the Challenger banks offer the end consumer,” says Shen. Functions such as number-based forecasting are currently still ignored by many SMEs – which in turn can have a negative impact on their economic success.
Companies can either load an xls or csv file exported from their own bank account into the Xencio software, which is then automatically cleaned and analyzed. Or they can link their bank account directly to the software so that the data is transferred via the open API.
The EU Payment Services Directive (PSD-2) plays into the team’s hands here. Thanks to this regulation, it is already possible for FinTech’s data to be tapped by banks if the customer explicitly approves this – thus enabling new services to be offered accordingly. In the future, Shen would also like to use this as a basis to enable, for example, salaries to be transferred automatically or a warning to appear in the SME dashboard if one of his customers is late in paying.
FinTech Xencio guest at the FinTechWeek Vienna
Shen will share more details about his career as a Founder and the international journey of his start-up company in a talk at FinTech Week Vienna. The FinTechWeek will take place from 18th to 25th November at different locations in Vienna. Further information about FinTechWeek Vienna, including highlights of the program, can be found at this link.