A tech company with a banking license: solarisBank offers the first banking platform for the digital economy
Berlin tech company receives banking license from Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) and begins operations with goal: boost growth of digital economy
Berlin - The German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) has granted tech company solarisBank a full German banking license. The Berlin-based company has built the first modular banking platform for digital companies, allowing them to develop financial solutions customized to their needs. Many marketplaces, e-commerce platforms and FinTech companies require close cooperation with banking institutions to enable their core services. However, traditional banks do not have the necessary technology nor the processes to meet the growing demand.
solarisBank will fill this gap as a partner for companies in the fast-growing digital economy. The ecommerce market in Germany alone had revenue of 70 billion euros in 2015. In addition to ecommerce businesses and marketplaces, solarisBank will also serve fintech companies seeking to introduce new business models and technologies to the financial industry. Due to stringent legal and regulatory requirements, hardly any fintech firms can operate without relying on partner banks. Until now, these agile startups were dependent on lengthy and cost-intensive analog setup processes with traditional banks. solarisBank aims to be the central player in the German and European fintech ecosystems by meeting the demand for fast and simple integration of banking services via the Solaris Platform.
“Traditional banks have been a drag on the digital economy because they were unable to keep up with the financial needs of companies like Zalando. This caused widespread losses of potential business throughout the industry. We’re fixing this problem by creating Banking as a Platform (BaaP). With solarisBank, businesses don’t need to leave money on the table in order to be compliant anymore. We’re open for business - our platform is already fully operational and scalable."
"Digital companies can develop new products and financial solutions with us, unlock new opportunities and expand their existing business segments. Of course, in addition to our focus on technological innovation and enabling a new banking paradigm, we meet or exceed all regulatory requirements with our full bank license,” said co-founder and Managing Director Marko Wenthin. Wenthin previously held international growth roles at Deutsche Handelsbank and Deutsche bank, in addition to founding several companies.
“At solarisBank, we emphasize technological innovation over banking. We’ve explicitly adjusted to the needs of the digital economy and turned the paradigm of traditional banking upside down”, said Managing Director Andreas Bittner, who previously held roles as Managing Director of Avaloq Sourcing AG and Managing Director of Fondsdepot Bank.
“Our services are like Lego bricks: our partners can pick the bricks they require and assemble custom solutions to fit their business needs. Partners can access Solaris Platform services via our easy-to-implement API. The frictionless and straight-forward integration enables solarisBank partners to launch quickly and concentrate on their core business. Of course, we want to reassure our partners that we are fully committed to data privacy and complying with regulations. In fact, enabling compliance for our partners is one of our key offerings.”
The demand for digital banking solutions is growing rapidly. “In the future, almost all big internet companies will depend on digital banking solutions to expand their offerings and achieve regulatory compliance. During our preparations, we couldn’t identify a single bank worldwide that specializes exclusively on technology partnerships with digital companies,” said Jan Beckers, Chairman of solarisBank’s supervisory board. “This gap is now filled by solarisBank. Through technology innovation, solarisBank will quickly set new standards.”
solarisBank is a tech company with a German banking license. The company has built an API-accessible banking platform for the needs of the digital economy. The Solaris-Platform enables digital companies to create custom solutions for their unique financial needs. solarisBank represents a commitment to the future of the digital economy and together with our partners, we work towards one vision: to boost the growth of the digital economy.
Having started 2015 in Berlin, solarisBank has grown to a team of 30. We combine experts in the fields of business, banking and tech. The tech team is led by Peter Grosskopf, former CTO of HitFox Group and software engineering company Zweitag. Peter is experienced in building tech-heavy startups and fintechs.
solarisBank is led by Managing Directors Marko Wenthin and Andreas Bittner, who have many years of management and board experience building companies in the banking industry.
Thomas Schmidt, Director of Regulatory Affairs - FinLeap had a decisive impact on the license application as well as consultation with BaFin. Supervisory board members include Dr. Gerrit Seidel, former CEO of SOFORT Bank and MD of Yabeo Capital; Matthias Sohler, founder of Yabeo Capital and former COO of UniCredit Bank AG; as well as Jan Beckers, serial entrepreneur and CEO of HitFox Group. Partners of solarisBank are the fintech company builder FinLeap among others.
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Solarisbank AG is the first Banking-as-a-Service platform with a full banking license that enables companies to offer their own financial products. Through APIs, partners gain access to Solarisbank's modular services including digital bank accounts and payment cards, identification and lending services, as well as services provided by integrated third party providers. Through this, Solarisbank creates a highly developed technological banking ecosystem for fintechs and established digital companies, as well as banks and corporates.
After having established itself as the banking partner of choice for blockchain and crypto businesses, Solarisbank founded Solaris Digital Assets GmbH in 2019 to further drive the adoption of digital assets. The 100% subsidiary of Solarisbank offers a custodial solution for digital assets to complement its existing banking services.
The Berlin-based company was founded back in 2016 and is led by CEO Dr. Roland Folz, board members Jörg Diewald, Dr. Jörg Howein and Thom Rasser, as well as COO Dr. Daniel Seifert and CTO Hima Mandali. To date, Solarisbank has raised more than EUR 160 million from renowned investors, including ABN AMRO’s Digital Impact Fund, BBVA, finleap, HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, Lakestar, Samsung Catalyst Fund, SBI Group, Storm Ventures, Visa, Vulcan Capital, and yabeo.