Fintech inventions are not just gaining traction in the financial sector, the new toolbox is spreading throughout industries.
Traditionally, when farmers traded grain they went through an agribusiness which facilitated negotiations between the seller and the mill, malt house, or livestock producer. Overturning this model, the startup Commoditrader is establishing a digital marketplace, where more than 2,000 farmers and businesses can trade directly. The idea arose when the founder, Ida Boesen started purchasing and selling agricultural products on the international market as her day job.
Even though Commoditrader is rooted in agriculture, she and her partner, Julie Koch recognised that the company needed financial competencies from the beginning.
Although the main focus of the platform is to digitise trading with grains and raw materials, we knew that the integration of financial services would be essential to achieve a digitised trade,” Boesen explains.
While the platform is intended for agriculture, it strikes an admirable balance between agricultural technology and fintech.
So much so, in fact, that Commiditrader won the ‘Startup of the Year’ award at last year’s Nordic Startup Awards. More recently, the startup strengthened its financial competencies by recruiting Simon Haldrup, who held a managerial position at Danske Bank.
For Boesen, the most important factor for success is being deeply immersed in the industry.
“For our part, we’ve developed by collaborating with agricultural businesses and have remained focused on this specific industry. At the same time, we have continuously assessed how much we needed to take on financially, asking ourselves such questions as: Do we need to offer insurance, financing, or credit rating on the platform? In other words, we see clear opportunities to add value for our users by creating and integrating a wide range of financial offers around the platform.”
Fintech knows no bounds
It is not only agriculture that has been affected by fintech. The new tools are currently spreading, according to Christian Hannibal, who is Head of Digital Policy at DI Digital.
“Fintech itself has been a fascinating industry for many years now. It has revolutionised a traditional industry in finance. What is exciting now is that the tools and ideas that the industry has developed are starting to benefit the broader business community,” he says.
Just as robots and sensors are no longer limited to their own categories, fintech is moving beyond the banks’ walls. Businesses now receive payments in a variety of different ways and digital financial management is integrated with banking systems. What’s more, new financing options – such as crowdfunding – are starting to gain traction.
Although it’s not completely mainstream yet, it’s becoming more common for traditional companies to use fintech tools. The tools can help haulers or a sawmill to run their business easier, smarter, and cheaper,” Hannibal says.
“Fintech” is losing its meaning
The startup CrediWire emerged from the core of the fintech community, but that does not mean that customers need to be interested in fintech.
Essentially, the startup developed a platform for financial optimisation that helps companies in all industries. By making financial data easily accessible, the platform offers a financial overview, gives companies the opportunity to calculate key figures against their competitors, offers greater flexibility in collaborating with banks and accountants, and yields concrete information to make better decisions.
Amplifying the point, Nicholas Meilstrup, CrediWire’s CEO points out:
“In the past, this kind of data was only available to large companies who could afford to pay for it in real time. We’ve made it available to everyone and have created value across industries”.