Shine bright like a diamond
by: Cyril Bertrand
We’re thrilled to lead the €8 million series A round in Shine, the first banking app made for (and by) freelancers, along with our friends at Daphni. After Ledger, Lydia, Fidor, Currency Cloud, KissKissBankBank and others, this is a new step for XAnge into the world of fintechs.
3rd shot was the good shot
A little time after I first met Nicolas, I offered to invest in his venture. But Printic, a Cheerz competitor, was eventually sold to a TV network. We remained good friends ever since. It was only natural that he came to us last year when looking for funds to seed Shine. Daphni was onboard (we love them and work together on Agricool) and the project was thrilling, but we hadn’t entered our investment phase yet. “See you at series A” I said… and here we are.
The progress made since seed round is stunning. In a matter of months, Nico’s team launched the product, onboarded 25K+ users and managed to achieve outstanding levels of quality / satisfaction on the market. All this has allowed us to bend golden rule n°XX of VCs which is always to go with the leader: Shine might be the smallest on its market, but it certainly is the best.
There are a bunch of existing solutions on the market, and pretty good ones to be fair. But, once again, we’re backing Shine for the quality of the solution and for its exceptional management team. And it’s not just Nicolas. The whole team, and especially Raphael, the CTO, carry a very strong culture of design and product.
Go effortless or die
Zendesk was the first thing that came to mind when I saw Shine. It’s flattering of course: we are very sensitive to good design at XAnge, and even more to effortless experiences. Effortless and convenient experience beats any feature when it comes to products : price, speed… you name it! Take a look at ABTasty, Evaneos, Lydia and Bergamotte if you want good examples of effortless startups in which XAnge likes to invest.
Attention to design appears everywhere in Shine, from general use to all these little details that make unrivaled user experience (I love the loading-page design!). It is obvious that Nicolas and his team have design in mind at every stage of product development. The first time I visited their offices, I was pleased to see how developers were spread all around the teams, rather than just sticking together. A startup that goes that way clearly has intentions regarding design and user experience. And when it comes to freelancers, offering the most effortless solution on the market certainly is the best growth strategy to follow.