Why we invested in Toqio?
Perspective, by Jay Wilson
Backing the category leader in interoperable finance, AlbionVC welcomes Toqio.
In March this year, I shared a few thoughts on how the market for embedded fintech has developed (here). In fact, how the promise of embedded fintech had been lost, at least diluted by buzzwords and an increasingly fragmented and commoditised ecosystem. Vendors are still concerned with financial products rather than delivering financial outcomes for end customers. I suggested the winners in embedded fintech would be those that kept customer centricity in mind and built with interoperability and orchestration at the core. With that opinion in hand, we scoured the European landscape for teams sharing and executing on that vision.
Having tracked down Toqio in early 2022, AlbionVC is delighted to announce it is leading Toqio’s £17.2m Series A fundraising.
Toqio provides a SaaS-based global financial orchestration platform that enables any business to launch financial solutions, without building and managing complex software.
Expectations around the consumption of financial services are changing, consumers and businesses increasingly want real-time financial outcomes, to consume financial services natively at the point of need. We enjoy this engagement with financial services when it works, utility is high. Fuelled by these tailwinds businesses and financial Institutions are responding, attempting to innovate with digital financial products to meet this need and capture more value from their customers. Adding FinTech capabilities can increase ARPU 2-5x according to a16z. Furthermore, due to improved unit economics, new markets become available to these innovators. A relaxation of regulations (e.g. EMI, EMD licensing), and maturation of component technologies (e.g. mobile banking and payments, open banking, IDV) led to the birth of “embedded fintech” – money poured in, $3.1bn was invested in this space in ‘21 alone (up >3x on ‘20) and market pundits estimated it would be the next $tn market.
However, as a result, the providers of core technologies in the embedded fintech market are already fragmenting, and increasingly commoditised. Those customers looking to innovate are still left with high total cost of ownership as they need to build usable products on these platforms, leading to a long time to market and the need for in-house technical expertise to combine the component pieces required to launch and maintain a full financial product.
Toqio enhances the capabilities and value of embedded fintech players and closes the cost, time and expertise gap for innovator customers, providing a full orchestration platform to build financial products. Without Toqio, a customer looking to launch a financial product would (in-house) need to integrate and productise a user interface, a customer operations layer, multiple product components (e.g. different payment solutions), a compliance and onboarding layer, and adhere to the appropriate regulatory licenses. Toqio collapses this stack, integration of all the components happens within Toqio, and its customers realise a 5-10x reduction in cost and time to market. By doing so, Toqio opens up embedded fintech to companies that would not otherwise consider launching such products.
Eduardo, and Mike, Toqio’s co-founders bring decades of experience and multiple exits to this journey. They are a dynamic duo and great foils for each other, combining technical understanding, commercial nous and a gigantic ambition. We were incredibly impressed when we first met them in early 2022 and our excitement from working with them ever since has only increased. They have built a formidable leadership team by their side, with the organisation growing 3x over the last 12 months across multiple geographies. Toqio says “We’re smart thinkers who believe in smart finance”, we couldn’t agree more and are delighted to welcome Eduardo, Mike and the whole Toqio team to the AlbionVC portfolio of leading fintech businesses.
This funding recognises the company’s impressive progress since inception, but also signifies the beginning of a global growth ambition that will see the company enter new geographic markets, including France and Germany, while scaling its presence across UK, Spain, and Nairobi. We very much look forward to working with the co-founders, and our co-investors Aldea, Seaya, SpeedInvest, and SixFinTech to realise the company’s bold ambition.
We remain excited by the promise of embedded fintech. If you are also building with customer centricity in mind and interoperability and orchestration at the core we would love to hear from you.
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