341 Dutch startups signed up and 1 were chosen to pitch their solution to a jury of investors and entrepreneurs. According to the jury, there's a unicorn company pitching among the finalists but, if that's Flow, we can only dream 🦄.
How we got in the semi-finals
We are a fan of the competition, and when he heard the Young Business Awards were back, we signed up immediately. A few weeks later, we were selected and had to prepare for our first TV pitch.
Before the Pitch
Before Daan takes the stage, he’s asked to explain his motive for pitching today.
“We have a fantastic company located in Friesland. Fin-techs usually come from big capitals like Amsterdam or tech hubs like Silicon Valley, but we want to show that’s not a requirement. We have accomplished so much over the past two years, and we think we can win this!”
- Daan van Klinken (Founder of Flow)
For our Dutch readers who want to watch the replay, click the video below.
For our English readers, we transcribed the pitch and highlighted some Jury questions down below.
LIGHTS OFF, SPOTLIGHT ON, CAMERAS ROLLING, GO!
Daan, over to you...
Is your month longer than your money can last? One in three European households experience this as well. Our grandparents had a simple solution for this. Divide your money into jars. This used to work really well, today these physical jars are not cutting it anymore.
We translated this principle to the 21st century. With Flow, you can connect your bank accounts and automatically divide your income. Save for your holiday, set aside money for taxes and get an overview of how much you really have.
Ultimately, we help you achieve long-term goals, such as purchasing a dream house, saving for retirement, or traveling the world without having to deal with it in your daily life.
The Dutch Central Bank entrusted us with a PSD2 license, with this we can enter the European market. Now Flow can make a real difference in the lives of 195 million households. With Flow you'll have money left at the end of the month and you're building towards a financially healthy future.
Critical Questions from the Jury
The pitch was just the beginning; now Daan must answer some critical questions from the Jury.
Here is a breakdown of the top questions
Why focus on freelancers?
The freelance market is experiencing rapid growth. Many freelancers make the mistake of spending money that’s not theirs because they don’t know how much to put aside or simply don’t do it. To avoid surprises, Flow can put your VAT aside before dividing it among your other budgets/accounts so you will never have to worry about running out of money to pay taxes. It’s not that they don’t make enough money, but how they manage and spend it.
How do you compete with big banks that copy your solution?
Yes, banks can copy our features, but money automation is not a core feature for them. It takes time to develop secure connections with other banks and integrate with investment funds and non-profit organizations. Even if banks choose to make automation their core business, their main goal is to keep you inside their banking system so their goals never truly align with their users. Flow is the layer on top of your bank experience that (soon) connects your money with other banks, investment funds, non-profit organizations, and cryptocurrencies.
How do you make money with Flow?
Flow offers its customers a free plan to get started with Flow, and when they want more advanced features, Flow+ is available for €5 / month. Our partnerships also pay us when users sign up for a new account through Flow.
“I’m super excited about Flow. This is a very simple ‘If this, then that’ solution for your money”.
- Tamara Obradov (VC Fund Manager & Partner @ Tablomonto Venture Capital)
How do you plan to take over the market?
We don’t believe in old-school banner marketing, radio ads, and TV. We want to be where our customers are. That's why we collaborate with Influencers and partner up with real experts to help our customers succeed.
An example of how we got early users to sign-up is with content marketing. Alexander Klöpping wrote a blog post about how he manages his money.
We rebuild his system in Flow, made a post on LinkedIn, and mentioned him on Twitter.
When he found out, he reviewed the app and talked about it on his podcast.
After the podcast was published, we saw new sign-ups rolling-in.
For our partners, we have a trial run with Profit First to help business owners and freelancers implement Profit First using Flow, with the help of a Profit First Expert.
What if banks don’t want to give you access?
The PSD2 regulations make this impossible; banks have to open up their technology to 3rd parties. On the other hand, not all banks are willing, so they only give you access to the minimum requirements or even a little less. That's why we focus on banks like bunq because they're future-focused, driven by technology, and believe in win-win partnerships.
Wouldn’t it be better to integrate with bookkeeping software as a service?
Yes, we believe Flow is perfect for this. We see ourselves as a ‘pre-bookkeeping’ app that will give account holders and bookkeepers more control over their money. We are in conversation with some key players in this space to learn about the possibilities and impact we can make together.
On the 5th of February, we will know who made it to the finals and won the Young Business Awards. You can watch the stream on https://www.youngbusinessaward.com or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn.
If you want to get started with Flow, click here to download the app.
Now you are here, a quick update on what to expect of Flow in 2021.
We have begun integrating with central banks in The Netherlands, followed by Revolut. Monzo, and N26. This will unleash the full potential of Flow.
Once this giant step is complete, we will focus on smarter triggers, actions, and rules so that you can manage your cash flow in real-time and hit your saving goals