Financial trends to watch in 2021 and beyond, fintech insights with Pete Townsend
Suzanna Hayek met with Pete Townsend on August 24th, and they discussed trends in digital finance, startups, investing, and how Pete wishes he had been an actual rock star.
The keywords that Pete searches for to help him shape his thesis are fintech, embedded finance, digital assets, crypto, defi, blockchain, DLT, NFTs, metaverse, tokens, tokenization, etc. To him, this is all about the ongoing digitalization of finance into what he calls "digital finance"– enabling the buying and selling of financial products and services, by both institutions and individuals, through a 100% digital experience across the entire value chain, extending from how that financial product is created through to how it does what it's supposed to do (spend, save, invest, insure) in the hands of an individual or an institution.
Pete's thoughts on Cryptocurrency
Pete talked about crypto's successful 12-year proof of concept for the wider digitalisation of finance - lots to learn as we move to the new frontier of money.
He also talked extensively about crypto enabling financial inclusion and how migrants can largely benefit. He talked about how his experiences, particularly his visit to Bolivia in 2006, were stark reminders of the disparity between rich and poor. Pete pointed out that financial inclusion is not a charity but a profitable business model.
His tips for startups and investing in startups included asking the following questions:-
1- What problem are you solving, and is that problem big enough for individuals or businesses to give you money to solve that problem?
2- Does that group of individuals and/or businesses form a customer market that's big enough for you to get to $100mn in annual recurring revenue?
3- What's your plan to reach those customers? If you're B2B, how do you bring those businesses more customers, and if you're B2C, how do you monetize other businesses' interest in your customers?
4- Founder-market fit - why is this founder tackling this problem for this market, why now, and can they build and grow* the business?
5- Everything else - team, traction, technology, timing, terms & competition
And finally, he challenged everyone to guess the opening jingle to his podcast, Money Never Sleeps, for a free one-hour consultation with him.
Pete Townsend is the founder of Norio Ventures, a startup advisor, NED, podcaster @MNSShow and a self-proclaimed rockstar of financial services. Pete is based in Ireland.
Suzanna Hayek is an MA Journalism student in London. She is interested in covering social issues and ocean conservation. In her free time, Suzanna volunteers at EduPact, an initiative by a London-based non-profit, which aims to provide free online lessons to children in Lebanon – where she is originally from. Suzanna is happiest when freediving.