Why I Just Invested 5 million Euros into Changing the Banking Industry

Photo by Pieter Slöetjes

Hi guys! I’m Ali and this is my first Medium post. Very exciting! As you might or might not know I’m the founder of bunq. And also its main investor. Very recently I decided to invest another 5 million euros in bunq. Today I’d like to give you a little background on my reasons.

We were founded to solve a huge problem in society: banking held (and holds!) society at large by providing a uniform offering. An offering we all know has had its issues, causing trouble for many. Rather than standing by and seeing it all go down I decided to bring change to this very uniform, very traditional industry.

An uphill battle

I knew and know it was and would be an uphill battle. For instance, in the Netherlands, the market is dominated by a 3-headed cartel (ING, Rabobank, ABN Amro) who have far stretching powers, financially as well as otherwise (through lobby groups for example). Yet the immensity of the challenge was — and is — precisely why I think bunq is so important.

And so we set off in 2012, with just a handful of people to make a change for the better. Everybody called us crazy, precisely as the cliché goes. Yet, against all odds, we managed to get a full European banking permit. The first greenfield banking permit in over 35 years!

Late November 2015 we launched. At first there was much skepticism, but against all odds — again — we built a service that amazed many. With an amazingly intuitive app. So much so that the aforementioned banks have created teams that try to copy what we do.

Keeping your money clean is important

Today, despite all the hurdles that the big guys have thrown up for us, and despite all their efforts to impede us, we continue to grow bigger and bigger. Our ever growing user base is committed to this cause and loves the intuitiveness of the app. They love our ideals — that we don’t sell you out by peddling your private information to the highest bidder. By keeping your money clean, instead of investing it in all kinds of nasty businesses. Alaska pipeline anyone? Gun manufacturing? All a big no-no at bunq. It doesn’t matter how much ROI we forsake — some things are just too important.

Proud to be unlike any other

Looking at our successes I feel immensely proud. Proud to be surrounded by such capable colleagues. Proud for all those who support our cause. Proud of what we have achieved in so little time. Proud to continue to challenge those traditional banks, giving them a good run for their money. Proud to be different — unlike any other.

So count me in: now more than ever I’m convinced that bunq will continue on this road of success. Rather than focusing on profits, bunq is geared towards growth and expansion. Firstly, we invested a lot of time and effort (… and money) in creating an app with an amazing experience. Now we’re dipping our toes in the water when it comes to international marketing to become the true alternative to traditional banking.

Never heard of bunq before? Check out our app and give it a go. Experience first hand how we add a bit of zest to a very boring and traditional banking sector :)

All the best,