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Trust your team and discuss the issues with them openly

zuper : Our aim is to be the number one AI-based financial navigator

Please introduce yourself and your startup zuper to our readers!
My name is Alexey Rubtsov and I founded the FinTech Startup zuper in 2016 in Munich together with a team of financial and technology experts. Our aim is to be the number one AI-based financial navigator.

We’re building the answer for everything that’s boring, time-consuming and confusing about your finances and money-management needs – a tool that helps you to save more money, better understand your spending and improve your personal financial health overall and get a good understanding of what should be changed in your financial behavior and habits.

The zuper app is perfect for anyone with more than one bank account because it allows you to see in one place the overview of what’s going on across your accounts. It also gives personalized information, education, tips and exclusive savings opportunities based on the individual’s financial behaviour.

How did you get the idea to create zuper?
We started zuper because we saw so many people turned off by banks and financial matters and we felt that all over the world there is a clear demand from consumers that we need to change the banking environments where people operate.

I’d say that most people would rather watch another cat video on their phones than spend even 5 minutes figuring out how much they have to spend this month and how they can be financially stronger in the future.

With that in mind, we built the zuper app to provide an all-in-one money management platform that allows our users to visualize their spending, learn about finance and discover important financial opportunities. There’s no reason why building and managing your wealth can’t be at least as interesting as a cat video.

How difficult was the start and what challenges you had to overcome?
Well, money is a very sensitive topic nowadays. There are huge differences on how it is perceived in the different countries. And we all know, it’s so easy and fast to spend money – especially with credit cards that transform finances into virtual processes. It’s just so easy to lose control and miss an overview of what’s happening in our accounts. The result is that at the end of the money, there might still be too many days left in the month before we get paid again. This way zuper helps you to see how fast you’re spending, find your savings capacity and improve your financial health.

By launching in Germany, we were looking into a quite sensitive and very careful market when it comes to money and data. But there is so much potential to make an improvement in people’s lives, and with the increase in smartphone usage, we are convinced we will be able to make a great difference.

Who is your target audience?
The user of our app is either the organized optimizer, that wants to achieve more with their finances or the financially disorganized one, that feels their finances are getting out of control.

Obviously, the zuper user owns a smartphone and uses apps to improve and organize his or her life. Therefore, our target audience is the young, urban professional, who is a curious seeker and keen to try new things.

We can help everyone with a smartphone and trust in our product to improve his or her financial health and independency and get the most out of their financial resources!

What is the USP of your startup?
I’d say that nobody else in the marketplace is really focusing on the everyday person the way we are. At the early stages, our product has been similar in its feature set to PFM tools such as Bankin’ and Numbrs, but we’re working to differentiate our product with a system of deterministic data modeling for pre-approved lending, AI-driven personalization and global view of financial health that helps to educate the user about how to become more fiscally stable. In the same way that a fitness app can help you to become physically stronger, zuper can help you to become financially stronger.

Can you describe a typical workday of you?
Our team works remotely and many of us are in different time zones, so we begin the day online with check-ins on Slack. I’m usually traveling or in meetings with potential investors, but the rest of the team is aligned around a two-week sprint process focused on listening to our users’ feedback and improving the apps.

Where do you see yourself and your startup zuper in five years?
I don’t know if I can already make a precise prediction for zuper in five years. There is a lot happening in European regulation to bring more financial options to consumers, so I see very exciting and flourishing market with a retail banking opportunity in Germany and beyond.

We’re already planning our expansion to other European countries, but the German retail banking market alone is €68.3 billion Euro. I think that in the next 5 years the world financial landscape will change and the banking will be not just a payment or loan instrument but it will be a tool based on one’s individual needs and habits. It will be an organizer or a navigator of one’s financial life that will make the most of your resources-whether is a saving goal or a loan or simply the best deal on the market for whatever financial product they want to use.

Ten years from now, I think zuper will have expanded across Europe and overseas. The zuper app will be something you check as you drink your morning coffee, as critical to people’s daily lives as Facebook, the morning news or your favorite weather app.

What 3 tips would you give other Start-up founders on the way?
1. Your team is extremely important, so don’t outsource any of your business-critical activities. Instead, hire carefully and don’t be afraid to fire quickly when people aren’t working out. Trust your team and discuss the issues with them openly.
2. Keep an eye on the daily details of downloads, activations, and retention metrics, but pay more attention to the long-term trends.
3. Be aware of what the competition is doing, but don’t fixate on it. Make decisions and move towards your goals, but remain flexible as you go.

More information you will find here

Thank you Alexey Rubtsov for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

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Sabine Elsässer
Sabine Elsässer
Sabine Elsaesser is an experienced entrepreneur and media/startup expert. Since 2016, she has served as the Chief Editor and CEO of StartupValley Media & Publishing. In this role, she is responsible for managing the company and providing strategic direction for its media and publishing activities. Sabine Elsaesser takes great pleasure in assisting individuals and businesses in reaching their full potential. Her expertise in establishing sales organizations and her passion for innovation make her a valuable advocate for startups and entrepreneurs.
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