We couldn’t put together a conference in Berlin without inviting Valentin Stalf from N26, the co-founder and CEO of one of Europe’s most promising startups.
A few years ago, few people would have bet on a startup creating a bank from scratch. N26 now has over 1.5 million clients and a ton of funding.
N26 originally launched at TechCrunch Disrupt London back in 2014. The company didn’t win the Startup Battlefield. At the time, the company was called Number26 and they had 0 client. It was probably too early and too risky for our panel of judges. But we wanted to bet on them and give them some stage time.
I’ve covered N26 relentlessly over the years. They let me test the product back when everything was in German. They’re now available all around Europe (including the U.K.). And it always feels great when Startup Battlefield companies graduate and come back to Disrupt as regular speakers.
But N26 also faces a lot of scrutiny — all eyes are on that young company that wants to manage your money. N26 isn’t the only challenger bank either. It’s still fine for now as they’re all converting customers from traditional banks. But at some point, they’ll compete directly with each other.
Up next, N26 wants to expand to the U.S. It’s an interesting market as it’s highly fragmented with inconsistent regulation across all 50 states. And let’s be honest, American banks suck. They’re riddle with fees and a bad customer experience.
If you want to hear how Stalf plans to go to the next level, come to Disrupt Berlin. The conference will take place on November 29-30 and you can buy your ticket right now.
In addition to fireside chats and panels, like this one, new startups will participate in the Startup Battlefield Europe to win the highly coveted Battlefield cup.
CEO & Co-founder, N26
Born in Vienna, Valentin studied Accounting & Finance (M.A. HSG) at the University of St. Gallen, Sophia University in Tokyo and the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. During his studies he worked in a number of fields including Strategy Consulting and Investment Banking/Mergers & Acquisition. Before he founded N26 together with Maximilian Tayenthal, he was with the Internet Incubator Rocket Internet as Entrepreneur in Residence and involved in building different companies
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