Memo Bank: why you should remember this name (and why we are investing!)
We are happy to announce our recent investment in Memo Bank! A brand new full-stack bank for small and medium enterprises. We led their €20m Series A alongside Bpifrance, Daphni, Founders Future, and 60 French entrepreneurs.
You might have heard of the company under its “stealth name”, Margo, well forget it, it’s now Memo Bank!
But don’t call it a neobank!
SME banking is a huge market. In France alone, there are 140.000 SMEs, i.e. companies generating €2m to €50m in yearly revenues and employing 10 to 250 employees. They borrowed €130bn from their bank to support their operations and growth but have not gotten the attention they deserve compared to consumers (who benefit from product innovation and intense price competition) and larger corporations (who get great customer service with dedicated well-trained bankers covering them).
At BlackFin, we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the future of SME banking, analyzing changes in the market, and understanding what a true and powerful disruptor should look like.
Memo Bank is much more than a “neo” bank! This is a full-stack bank, and this is the first one in Europe dedicated to SMEs. Full-stack means they have a full banking licence and an internally developed core banking system:
- In June, the company successfully obtained its banking license from the French regulator ACPR and the European Central Bank (ECB). This is the first time in 50 years a new bank is created in France!
- In addition to its regulatory advantage, the team has developed a next-gen Core Banking System of its own. This new generation infrastructure is truly differentiating Memo Bank from incumbent banks: it is built around one single source of data, it is easily adaptable to new customers needs and produces accounting and regulatory reporting in real-time.
Why we’re investing
Memo Bank is a bank built by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, which resonates with BlackFin’s DNA, as our investment firm was founded and is led by Fortuneo’s founders. It makes us 100% aligned with Jean-Daniel Guyot, Tristan Pontet, and Michel Galibert’s vision.
Before founding Memo Bank in 2017, the trio worked together at CaptainTrain, which was founded by Jean-Daniel Guyot and later acquired by Trainline.
Challenging the SNCF, France’s national state-owned railway company was a very ambitious move and far from easy… Which is the approach the founders adopted when they designed Memo Bank with the ambition to be a true disruptor of the SMB banking market. The team was not afraid of thinking big, and started to work on their proprietary IT infrastructure and obtaining a full banking license from day one.
Watch out for the next steps…
Memo Bank currently employs 40 people and plans for a commercial launch in September. We’re looking forward to it!