Digital Banking business Black Banx seems to be the fastest growing FinTech since PayPal launched in 1998. In June 2022, Black Banx announced its 15 millions customers and was estimated by Business Talk Magazine to reach a US$50 Billion valuation when doing an IPO.
Today, Black Banx announced having reached 20 million customers, which is the fastest onboarding rate the group has seen since its inception back in 2014. One of the important persons behind Black Banx´s enormous growth is Founder and Group CEO Michael Gastauer. The media calls Gastauer “one of its kind” FinTech entrepreneur, and finds “building a $50 Billion Dollar company in less than a decade is iconic”.
Asked to comment, Gastauer says “With 20 million clients, Black Banx has reached the critical mass where due to network effects and brand recognition in certain parts of the world, we are able to onboard almost 1 million new clients per month. About 12% of these clients are business customers, which will help us to increase our growth rate even further.”
Black Banx Group is not Gastauer´s first business, the serial entrepreneur founded and successfully sold two other businesses before, which allowed him to set up his single Family Office and fund Black Banx´s growth with $380 million of his own money. Similar to Elon Musk that founded Tesla after he sold his shares in Paypal, Gastauer decided in 2014 to invest his funds in a new digital banking solution that should change the world and how clients interact with their money on a global scale.
Certainly, Black Banx`s growth is quite unique, the kind of StartUp you see every few decades. It is human nature to be sceptical, however the greatest success stories in history have always been ahead of time and were based on solving a problem in a way that was hard to see or believe for contemporaries. It is what sets Visionary Entrepreneurs like Michael Gastauer or Elon Musk apart from others; the ability to find a solution for a problem that others don’t see and to focus on moving an entire industry beyond the status quo.
Black Banx is solving a global problem in the banking industry. A problem that is two fold and gets bigger every day. Traditional Banks are less and less willing to provide accounts for businesses or private individuals from other countries. Sending large amounts of money across borders is getting more and more under scrutiny, and most banks are making it difficult for their clients to send wires to “exotic” countries. With ongoing globalisation and use of the Internet and SmartPhones, the world has gotten more connected than ever before.
Black Banx is addressing the problem of a US$ 22 trillion market and solving it in a unique way. Based on its own software “GlobalKYC”, the company is able to identify customers in 180 countries in real time, and provide them with checking accounts in 28 FIAT and 2 Crypto currencies. The account opening process for a business or private individual takes less than eight minutes and is done completely remote over the internet or on a SmartPhone. When Black Banx did its first live demo on Money 20/20 in Vegas, the uber potential of this technology became obvious for the expert community from banking and finance. Where traditional banks need days or weeks to open an account for an international customer, Black Banx needs minutes. Where traditional Banks have huge efforts and manual labour costs to identify and do background checks on their non resident clients, Black Banx uses Server Power to run the fully automated and scalable identification process in real time.
When Black Banx combined its ability to provide checking accounts in minutes to a worldwide clientele with its offering to send unlimited wire transfers around the world for a lower price, faster than traditional banks, the product went viral. For customers from various industries, having difficulties to get accounts from traditional banks, Black Banx became the holy grail solving all their banking issues.
The Black Banx numbers are truly impressive for a company that launched in early 2015. In June 2022, Black Banx Group employed more than 2,100 people with offices on four continents, serving 15 million customers. Only six months later, Black Banx had more than 3,000 people working for the Group. The number of customers has grown to more than 20 million and the group has reached over $1bn in revenue this year.
With the current growth rate the company believes it could increase its total annual cross border payment volume to more than $500bn by end of 2023 and double its revenues to more than $2bn.
Gastauer´s plans to take his company public would depend very much on the right timing and how global markets will develop over the next few months. He doesn’t believe a public listing of the entire Black Banx Group is going to happen in less than 1-2 years from now.
Michael Gastauer also said he is less interested in his company’s valuation but rather focused on the technology and business model of Black Banx. His aim is to transform the global banking business, making it work like a social media network, where users can interact with exchange funds instantly, anywhere, anytime on a global scale.
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