A professional soccer player, an actuary, a consulting manager. Max Palko could have become all of these, but – luckily for the Rockaway team – life led him elsewhere and finally led him to the position of investment…
Czech FinTech start-up BudgetBakers, developer of the Wallet and Board applications and in which the ventures division of the Rockaway Capital investment group invested in 2017, has received an investment of almost CZK 160 million (EUR 6.25 million) from Jasper Anderluh and Niels Klok, co-founders of European on-line broker DEGIRO. The investment aims to support further growth of BudgetBakers on the European market, not only through development of the Wallet application itself, but also to make BudgetBakers technology accessible to third parties via an API.
The EUR 6.25 million investment will span there years, giving the Dutch investors a minority share in BudgetBakers. The objective is to build a new pan-European platform in close cooperation with BudgetBakers and using their PSD2 licence, providing customers services in the area of managing new-generation personal finances while adding even more services.
“BudgetBakers are becoming part of a FinTech platform that has great ambitions in the area of financial services. We will be providing our technology and know-how to a new partner who will integrate into a pan-European virtual finance platform currently under development. At the same time our key products, Wallet and Board, will still operate as separate applications that we will continue to extend and develop. We are very much looking forward to the new challenges that await us in coming years in connection with this important step and what is for us a record investment,” says Michal Kratochvíl, CEO of BudgetBakers, and continues: “We would primarily like to use the investment money to improve and build the product itself, including additional language permutations, which entails hiring additional staff, from developers to management. Our head office and development centre will remain in Prague, but we are for example planning to expand local customer service call centres that will be available 24/7 in national languages.”
Technological cooperation between BudgetBakers and the new investors will take place via the new SnipTech platform. “Making BudgetBakers technology accessible via an API will allow European banks, FinTech companies, and other third-party platforms to easily implement a high-quality PFM solution and offer it to their users. BudgetBakers develops first-class technology and SnipTech will take care of sales and system certification,” says Frank Schuitemaker, who is responsible for the business aspects of APIs at SnipTech.
Jan Müller, founder and CTO of BudgetBakers, also sees great potential in cooperation: “From what was originally a small FinTech start-up, we are becoming a stable company with great potential for growth. We’ve always been striving to be the ones setting trends and introducing revolutionary new technologies, and this relationship is entirely in line with that objective. This new pan-European project has great ambitions and wants to become a leader in the provision of financial services.”
In the beginning, BudgetBakers received significant financial support, including from Jakub Havrlant’s Rockaway Capital investment group, which has been supporting BudgetBakers since 2017.
“At Rockaway Ventures we’re thrilled that BudgetBakers has succeeded in attracting investors with great experience building international FinTech companies, a robust technological base, and human resources in several EU countries. BudgetBakers thus has the opportunity to significantly expand its client base in the EU, while accessing attractive local cross-selling opportunities and great customer loyalty,” says Andrea Lauren, a Rockaway investment partner who is responsible for venture capital investment.
BudgetBakers is a Czech FinTech start-up that has been developing the Wallet personal finance management application since 2014. It was founded by its current CTO Jan Müller and product manager Martin Jiřička, and i ts CEO is Michal Kratochvíl. Soon after its inception, Wallet went international and today provides services to clients around the world, most of which are located in the USA, Russia, and Indonesia. The application is currently being used by 500,000 active users and has been downloaded more than 5 million times. In 2019 BudgetBakers introduced Board, a management application intended for small and mid-sized businesses that offers them a detailed view of their finances and the business as a whole. In the same year, BudgetBakers became on of the first non-bank entities to receive a licence from the Czech National Bank to connect to the banking API.