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To what extent does working with multiple community banks factor into Synctera's ability to offer a short time-to-market for value-added services?
Co-founder & CEO at Synctera
Fundamentally, the game is about supply. There are 10x or 15x more fintechs than there are bank slots available for launch. By getting seven banks up and running, hopefully by March/April timeframe, we'll be able to do seven to ten -- maybe fifteen -- fintechs a month at launch, which is a huge opportunity for the fintechs. They know they can build on us and be guaranteed a slot to launch within two to three months. They'll build, and there'll be an endpoint for them.
The other thing that we're doing, which is really unique, is with our t-minus10 project that we're launching in January. We're effectively launching a place where there's a live sandbox. Think of it a little bit like Brex. You’re a fintech -- a pet bank -- and you want to get started. You onboard as a customer of our fintech called t-minus10. You do KYC, you deposit $50, and at that point, we give you live API keys. You can then build your app, test and print real debit cards and go to market and test the first 25 employees, that sort of thing.
It solves the conundrum for most of the fintechs that are very early, which is they want to raise money, but investors are savvy and they're saying, "We're not going to invest in you if you don't have a bank,” and the banks are savvy and they're saying, "We're not going to bank you if you don't have an investor." So they can't actually test anything with real humans. By doing this, not only do they do the normal development and go really fast, but then at the end of it, they've graduated, and we have banks lined up to say, "If you make it through t-minus10, we'll bank you no matter what."
It's a combination of that and a focus on really helping understand, from a builder's perspective, what it takes to actually launch. We've stacked the team -- myself, Kris and Dominik -- with folks that have actually built fintechs before at various stages and forms and built APIs before. I ran Yodlee for seven years on the tech and product side, and we created account aggregation, we created account verification, we created personal finance -- all those things that everyone takes for granted now with Plaid and others. It takes a certain thinking about what does a developer want in order to scale that to hundreds, if not thousands, of developers.