Solving Consumer Financial Needs with Lupina Iturriaga, Founder & Co-CEO of Fintonic
Miguel Armaza sits down with Lupina Iturriaga, Founder and Co-CEO of Fintonic, the leading financial platform in Spain, solving the main financial needs for over a million users by enabling them to make payments worldwide and control their finances in the same app.
Launched in 2012 at the height of the Spanish financial crisis, Fintonic has raised over $50 million in funding from backers including Atresmedia, Blackbox, ING Ventures, Premier Specialty Network, All Iron Ventures, Ideon Media.
Ever since Lupina left her banking career in 2004, she knew she wanted to pursue entrepreneurship and build a company. Eight years later, just as Spain was undergoing some of the toughest months of the last financial crisis, Lupina and her co-founders realized there was an opportunity to launch a platform that would help their friends and family organize their finances, identify savings opportunities, and spot unpleasant financial surprises. With this vision in mind, they launched Fintonic in the middle of a major crisis.
Building a National Credit Database
Fintonic’s timing turned out to be perfect and it wasn’t just their friends and family looking for a financial management solution, but instead hundreds of thousands of Spaniards across the country. Over the next few years, Lupina and team have created a platform with over a million users that empowers customers to control their finances and obtain affordable credits.
In a country without a centralized credit scoring bureau, Spanish consumers historically could not get access to credit without an existing banking relationship. Fintonic set out to change this model and build an application for users to build credit history through Fintonic and have access to a marketplace of partnering financial institutions bidding on the best rate for customers looking for a loan. The road to success wasn’t quick or easy and Fintonic spent several years proving the effectiveness of their business model and demonstrating to lenders their credit scoring mechanism was on to something.
In a world of growth at all costs, where sound unit economics aren’t often prioritized, Lupina has built a company that’s already breaking even and starting to turn a profit. She’s one of three Co-CEOs who each focus on different strengths and aim to create an atmosphere of commitment to their team. In exchange, they ask company employees to join them only if they believe in the company and can get behind the mission of Fintonic.
COVID Shocks & Entrepreneurial Advice
Lupina isn’t convinced the COVID crisis will be a long-lasting one, but she expects the effects of the lockdowns and the health crisis to be felt for years to come. She’s optimistic for a v-shaped recovery and, in fact, has already started to observe Spanish spending levels come back all throughout the summer. Lupina also expects this experience will lead to a more financially responsible generation of consumers and anticipates a more unit-economics-driven generation of entrepreneurs and investors. In her own words, “having a strong business model will be more important than ever”.
As Lupina reflects on her journey as a founder, she’s more convinced than ever that an entrepreneurial idea is not very important, but instead, implementation at the right time makes all the difference. And, the only way you will be able to implement correctly is by having a resilient and capable team that never stops moving forward with persistent passion and patience.
Lupina Iturriaga, Founder and Co-CEO of Fintonic, the leading financial platform in Spain, solving the main financial needs more than 1 million users, by enabling them to make payments worldwide with the Fintonic account and to control their finances in the same app.
Launched in 2012 at the height of the financial crisis in Spain, Fintonic has raised over $50 million in funding from backers including Atresmedia, Blackbox, ING Ventures, Premier Specialty Network, All Iron Ventures, Ideon Media.
Lupina graduated in Business Administration and Management from CUNEF, where she was awarded a scholarship based on academic merit, which proved her worth within the business and financial sector.
For some time she was fully dedicated to the world of banking, first in New York and then in Madrid, where she spent some years in the world of treasury and commercial banking, to finally join the company IDEON as a partner, leader in the area of financial consulting.
Lupina Iturriaga’s professional career positioned her as an expert in financial planning from a very young age and this, together with her entrepreneurial profile, led her to found Fintonic in Spain.
FINTONIC was born at the end of 2012, proving a success among those interested in taking advantage of new technologies applied to simplify and control personal finances, saving, getting the best financing and a very exclusive card and account available to its users.
Today, more than one million users are already taking advantage of this application, which offers information in a neutral and objective way, so that any citizen can make the best decisions regarding their money, save and also contract the best products from more than 50 entities directly from their mobile phones.
Fintonic’s usefulness and efficiency in managing personal finances has earned it the first Mobile Innovation Award in the Finance sector from Google, and it was named by IOS as the best Finance app, included in the select ranking of the best 20 apps, with Fintonic being the only one in Finance.
- Recognized by the Financial Times as one of the 15 leading women in the Fintech in Europe and by Forbes as one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business.
- Best Professional Career CUNEF (2018) among all the former students of the University CUNEF-UCM. This recognition is the third time it has been awarded in the history of the University.
- Star of the Community of Madrid for business value (2017). The highest award given to those women who, with their commitment and dedication, play an important role in our society.
- Included in the ranking “100 Economic Leaders for Tomorrow”, a report by the Choiseul Institute, (2017 and 2016).
- The select Blackbox By Google Entrepeneurs program selected her to participate in San Francisco, along with entrepreneurs from around the world.
- Selected among the 500 most influential women by Yo Dona magazine (2017 and 2016).
- Marqués de Oliva Foundation. Distinguished among the 25 most influential people in entrepreneurship within its “Study of the 500 most influential Spaniards”. (2019)