The Czech bank Komerční banka is actively entering into a bond with innovative and disruptive fintechs and start-ups aiming to fulfill its vision to bring technological and product revolution into the banking sector and building the bank of the future. This bank wants to be a leader on the market and wants to be a trustworthy partner for all the companies mentioned, no matter the form of cooperation. That is why its recently closed partnerships appear to be such a logical step.
Crowdfunding as a part of banking services
Crowdfunding investment is something that Komerční banka aimed to include in its services already for quite some time. Property acquisition of the Czech company Upvest, which already collected a total of 156 mils. CZK in crowdfunding investments becomes the first acquisition of Komerční banka in cooperation with its subsidiary KB SmartSolutions historically.
You can find out more about the KB SmartSolutions and cooperation between start-ups and Komerční banka as a corporate in the interview with Scout Tomáš Michálek.
This partnership allows Komerční banka to strengthen its market position and so as its reputation as an innovation leader. At the same time, it is an opportunity to extend its product proposition by attractive investment opportunities and to improve the way of funding of developer projects. Crowdfunding enables developers to reach the amount of funding necessary to finance their projects. Clients of Komerční banka, on the other hand, can get safe investment opportunities to verified property projects (often even built in their neighborhood) while single investment value starts at 5 000 CZK and guaranties fixed annual revenue.
„This partnership is the beginning of a new era. The era that brings into banking new extraordinary services will be considered part of the customer’s everyday life in the near future. I am glad that we in KB SmartSolutions can contribute to this innovation banking revolution sector, “ says Patrik Nový, Executive Director of KB SmartSolutions. Nový further clarifies the motivation of Komerční banka: „Financial services keep changing constantly, and a huge change is upon the whole sector. So as do, we need to search for new models and approaches. One of the possible ways is to work together with young and dynamic start-ups and partners. “
„Upvest proved to understand the business and to have a functional business model during its three-year existence. It is a successful and professionally managed company. And crowdfunding is something that was missing out of the service portfolio of Komerční banka,“ claims Pavel Rothbauer, Company Developer from KB SmartSolutions, responsible for the partnership with Upvest.
Komerční banka will have one representative in the Investment Committee of Upvest who will co-decide what projects will be placed on the platform for funding collection. Cooperation with developers to which Komerční banka will offer an interesting combination of banking and mezzanine financing shall also be part of the deal, furthermore with investment proposition for the clients of Komerční banka. This service will be launched for the clients of Komerční banka at the beginning of the next year.
The first official joint investment opportunity listed on the Upvest platform is called Šumavská Tower in Brno, where the volume of 60 mln CZK is to be collected from investors. This complex of three buildings in the city center will be revitalized for office and retail space for further rent. For Upvest, it has been up till now the most significant investment target right from its establishment.
How to get into the world of online
It has been written a lot about what the world has learned during the last months. One of the lessons learned, especially for SME businesses, was that having an online presence is crucial nowadays. Therefore, Komerční banka has stroked up new cooperation with three important players in the Czech e-commerce – Shoptet, Alza, in connection with Expando and Webmium.
Each business or entrepreneur can choose the best way to transition into the online world based on its specific needs. The solution from Shoptet to establish a tailor-made e-shop would fit companies with considerable sales and ambition for further expansion. Moreover, Shoptet customers can connect their e-shops to Zaplaceno.cz, a payment gateway developed directly by Komerční banka, providing a combination of payment and credit products the only one on the Czech market. The integration of Zaplaceno.cz takes only a few hours, and its modules can be switched on and off based on SMEs’ needs. (You can find more information on www.zaplaceno.cz).
In case the company already has its e-shop and only searches for further distribution channels for its products, the right solution may be to join some existing online marketplaces or drop shipments. Here Komerční banka offers a full service of Alza.cz (including marketing, support, and customer service) and Expando allowing the company to connect to Alza Dropshipment easily.
Small and medium entrepreneurs with local presence selling just a few products will appreciate instead a simple solution allowing their sales through their website or social network. Paymium is a service developed by Webmium that can be easily implemented, including simple ordering and payment systems, with no need to have an e-shop.
Komerční banka established all three cooperations mentioned above with reliable and well-known partners in the Czech market. More than 20 000 e-shops with an annual turnover of around 26billion CZK use Shoptet’s e-shop solution, and all its clients praise its user-friendly administration and direct connection to distribution. Webmium providing web creation services, solutions for e-shops, and online marketing also manage a significant part of the market share. There is no need to introduce Alza.cz to Czech customers as it is the biggest Czech e-shop visited daily by more than 200 000 customers, and its offer keeps growing. Its technological partner Expando successfully interconnects hundreds of sellers on local and global marketplaces.
KB SmartSolutions keeps going!
For KB SmartSolutions, it is a great success to be behind the cooperations mentioned above and partnerships, helping Komerční banka to move forward and continuously improve the services provided to clients and yet fulfilling its strategy step by step. KB SmartSolutions continues in active search for fintechs and start-ups that are not afraid to innovate and have those „smart solutions“ in the area of AUM (Assets Under Management), services for SME business, renewable energy in connection with smart buildings, supply chain financing, e-commerce, and others.