Turkish financial technology (fintech) startups have received a lot of attention so far this year. It is more significant that not only unicorn startups worth more than $1 billion (14.74 billion TL) have emerged from Turkey, but also dozens of tech companies worth more than $100 million.
While one of the most notable financial technology investments of the first quarter of 2022 was made in Midas, the Mükellef (taxpayer in Turkish), an initiative created three years ago, has now received a $1 million investment to a valuation of $20 million.
The funding round was led by Finberg, a venture capital firm and a subsidiary of Fibabanka, and joined by Oyak Asset Management, Colendi, hiVC and six angel investors.
As an online platform for entrepreneurs to manage company establishments and all financial processes in Turkey, USA, UK and EU states, Mükellef also helps to the growth of the venture capital ecosystem in the countries it enters.
Objective of growth abroad
Citing reports prepared by reputable research companies around the world, Mükellef founder Okan Şafak said there has been a shift to a freelancer model after an average working time of two years, even in the larger companies.
“Based on these trends, we created our Mükellef platform three years ago, where entrepreneurs can manage all their needs from a single point of view. In the first quarter of this year, with our team of 50 people, we doubled the number of customers who want to start a business globally. We are very pleased with the interest from entrepreneurs and investors,” said Şafak.
He pointed out that the valuation of $20 million, which they reached in the third year, “makes us proud”.
Şafak called the investment an amount they needed based on their growth plan in the global market, with which he said, “We aim to further develop our services and strengthen our position with strong business partners. such as Wise, American Express, KPMG Spark and Mercury. Bank in all markets where we exist.
Additionally, he said the company plans to make inroads into Canada, the Netherlands, Singapore, Malta, Montenegro and Hungary by the end of 2022, and “offer our organizational solutions and financial support to thousands of businesses around the world”.
Focus on SMEs
Elaborating on the growth they have achieved, Finberg board member Ihsan Elgin said they have reached a total of 25 investments, including 12 in the first four months of 2022.
“After our investments in fintech startups that offer innovative financing solutions to large institutions – such as Birleşik Ödeme (United Payment) and Colendi – we focused on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which are the basis of the economy. We continue to deepen our solution ecosystem by adding the Mükellef to our investments in Figopara, Ikaspos and Normaya, making their lives easier,” said Elgin.
“We first determine the target area and focus on the best entrepreneurial team in that area. Initiatives that can grow with advice from an existing client other than advertising are our focus.
Meanwhile, the Midas and Yancep initiatives have also drawn attention to fintech investments, as cloud-based fintech startups continue to shine. Figopara should also close its investment cycle soon.
Next generation financial service
Aktif Ventures, which provides investment and advisory support to financial technology startups with the venture capital fund Mindvest, has decided to invest in Finekra, which operates in open banking.
Stating that banking will change shape with the understanding of open banking, Yakup Sezer, Managing Director of Aktif Ventures, said, “We are entering a new era in which usage patterns in the financial industry will change dramatically. “.
“In this context, we are happy to walk with Finekra on the path to open banking,” said Sezer.
Aktif Ventures, which offers the technology, infrastructure, licensing, growth and investment solutions that businesses need under one roof, in addition to opening all of its application programming interfaces (APIs) to startups under the banking service model, plans to grow with fintechs.
The first step was taken through the venture capital fund Mindvest which was created within this framework, and the decision was made to invest in Finekra.
Erhan Zengin, CEO of Finekra, said the startup is a leading product in fintech and open banking.
“Finekra offers a “next generation banking” service by transferring data to the accounting program as well as account information, making lump sum payments, creating reports on point of sale data, managing the process integrating checks, transacting with dealers with a direct debit system, and creating solutions for the B2B needs of businesses,” Zengin explained.
He said clients use Finekra instead of banking tools and Excel to avoid wasting time on operational work.
“We know that time is very valuable, we allow users to save time on operational work by leaving their repetitive tasks to Finekra. With this investment, we aim to become a leading public banking and fintech company in shifting industry dynamics with our motto of ‘next generation banking’,” Zengin noted.
“We currently support enterprises, but we will also support individual users in the coming period. Our first goal after investment is to be the first brand that comes to mind when talking about open banking and fintech in Turkey and abroad with our growing team.
TeklifimGelsin Secures Funding
TeklifimGelsin is another fintech startup that has received significant investment.
The company provides instant loans, investments, credit reports and insurance services to users through digital integrations with banks, credit reference agencies, insurance companies and other initiatives financial technology.
Compared to the various companies offering banking and insurance solutions around the world and in Turkey, the most important point that distinguishes TeklifimGelsin is the provision of tailor-made services.
In addition, TeklifimGelsin, which offers a personalized experience with its membership system, can address the entire user experience from the start by creating solutions for its users specific to credit, investment, credit and insurance claims in seconds thanks to the integrations it makes.
The personalized financial market initiative was set up under the ITÜ Çekirdek pre-incubation program in January 2021 and met the end user in June 2021.
Hedef Holding has invested in TeklifimGelsin through its subsidiary, Ideal Financial Technologies, at a valuation of TL20 million ($1.35 million).
Founded by Ihsan Cem Zararsız ve Ertuğrul Hakan Biri, the company uses open banking, allowing end users to complete financial solutions in accordance with their demands in less than 40 seconds. TeklifimGelsin member users can make their requests by comparing dozens of offers which come as per their requests.
Stating that the world is going through a period when all banking processes can be easily managed digitally at high speed, Chairman of the Board of Ideal Financial Technologies, Namık Kemal Gökalp, said: “We are always happy to invest and to support start-ups and companies. who excite us with their ideas that we think will improve.
“With TeklifimGelsin, we have added an extra feather to our investments in technology and finance. It was also very important to us that TeklifimGelsin was a national company. We believe that the future of TeklifimGelsin is very bright and will see great development in the future,” Gökalp said.
He said they are closely following the opportunities created by technology. “Areas where technology comes into play are rapidly gaining in value. As Hedef Holding, we closely follow developments, particularly in the field of technology and finance, and direct our investments in this direction.