“Fintech isn’t about tech at all. It’s about data.” These words were spoken by Johan Bosini at the recent Techstars-4-A-Day event, which was held at the Rise hub in Cape Town.
Bosini is no stranger to the startup scene and is currently involved with VC firm Quona Capital, as well as Switch2 Cover and Taking a Break. He’s most well known for his role in fintech startup Jumo as the managing director of digital financial services.
Before digging into his eight points, Bosini gave a small anecdote about Jumo in its infancy (which initially started out as another company called AFB).
“Jumo was an ‘accident’,” he said (having pivoted from its original concept) and went on to mention that the company (AFB) lost US$29-million during its initial days due to ‘arrogance’ in not understanding a new market. Since then, Jumo has grown into a massive fintech company, that has even attracted top employees from Magento and Barclays Africa.
The company launched credit cards in Nairobi without any insurance against them, with the initiative eventually failing.
“The fraud was remarkable. You could buy a national ID for R20.”
They approached a potential partner, who apparently threw the credit card back at them across the table, unimpressed by the idea. He was asked where customers would keep the card if they didn’t have wallets. Instead, he wanted a mobile wallet due to the increase in cellphone penetration.
It took two weeks for Jumo to build the initial proof of concept and from there the company truly came into itself.
Bosini then went on to talk about the rules for building a startup, which are:
The last bit of interesting information from Bosini was due to a question from the audience. When asked why Bosini has been running so many companies, he replied: “I liked to build things and not maintain things.”
“I’ll never leave a job after one year. I’ll leave after two,” he added. He says he re-evaluates his position and happiness after a year and nine months and evaluates life in two-year chunks.