Fixrate has created a service for companies that want to make large bank deposits. Recently, the Steinkjer-based company landed a capital funding round of NOK 19.5 million from Schibsted Growth.
The service that has been developed will make it easier for companies and banks to find each other. In the digital marketplace, investors get an overview of possible banks in which they can place their money, and the banks gain access to a larger market of potential customers.
“This solution provides opportunities for new relationships, and helps to streamline a market that was previously cumbersome and set in its ways. The whole process of becoming a customer of a new bank and making a deposit can be arranged in less than ten minutes”, says founder and CEO of Fixrate, Brynjar Ellingsen.
A triggering innovation grant
The financial technology company needed money to realise the idea and develop the service, and contacted Innovation Norway when they started in 2016. Since then, they have received several funding services, such as start-up loans, district-oriented grants, innovation grants and innovation loans.
In 2020, the company received an extraordinary innovation grant from Innovation Norway, which was a contributing factor to Schibsted Growth investing NOK 19.5 million in Fixrate.
“Talks with investors stalled due to the corona pandemic, and the innovation grant was allocated because Fixrate had to wait for investments. The grant we gave, combined with a new pricing model from the company, allowed them to retain employees and maintain their growth rate until investors got back on track. It all resulted in a capital funding round in January 2021. This shows that the innovation grant really hit the mark in the very different year that was 2020”, says Reidar Milan Hegle, Customer Manager at Innovation Norway Trøndelag.
“We focus on sales and business, and try to avoid anything that doesn’t produce growth. We continuously digitalise our own processes, and hire people to deal with tasks that are growing too large for existing teams”, explains Ellingsen.
Aiming to become an export success
Fixrate’s main market to date is Norway, but the company aims to expand beyond the country’s borders.
“If we manage to create efficient processes, nothing stands in the way of reaching a market of over NOK 100 billion in Norway. If we get involved internationally, a conservative estimate would be ten times the Norwegian market”, says Ellingsen.
Initially, the company is setting its sights on neighbouring countries. If they manage to establish a collaboration with banks, the market potential is great.
“The concept is simple: to streamline a poorly functioning market. There are several countries where the market is similar to the one in Norway, and we strongly believe we will become successful exporters. It is important for the business sector and the welfare society, and why shouldn’t we do as well as a company from somewhere else in the world?”, asks Ellingsen rhetorically.
So far, Fixrate has transferred several billion kroner to the banks, and the Steinkjer-based company currently has 55 banks and around 200 companies on its customer list. The banks on the customer list are mainly local and regional savings banks, and investors consist primarily of established companies or public enterprises of a certain size. Examples are Protector ASA, The Norwegian Fishermen’s Sales Organization, Bergen Municipality and NEL Hydrogen ASA. These are large companies that sometimes have surplus liquidity that they wish to place.