Peter Almberg, founder of Katalysen: "It's time to start using the tech breakthroughs"
26 October, 2022
Starting a business in the fintech industry can seem like a challenge for many, but for entrepreneur and investor Peter Almberg, it's what he's been doing since the 80s, long before the internet became known. Today, he helps small companies on their financial journey using modern tools and services, highlighting the team as the most valuable asset for a startup.
Peter Almberg has a long background in the fintech sector. In 1984, he was part of bringing forward a specific kind of technology they discovered was well-suited for finance. The technology could use real-time information, enabling a new world of analytic tools, portfolio management, and automated trading, and became the base of the company Utvecklings ab Servisen – today known as the leading enterprise Fidelity Information Services Front Arena:
– We were the first in Europe to distribute stock exchange rate information between computers in real-time and had basically all banks and stockbrokers as clients. When OM was founded in the 80s, today known as Nasdaq OMX, we, together with Carnegie and SEB, were one of the biggest players for options and futures.
Today, as the founder of Katalysen Ventures, Peter aims to transform that experience and success to other fintech companies.
– We help entrepreneurs and smaller companies to succeed by investing our resources at an early stage. By resources, I mean more than just cash: our expertise, network, and ideas. Because, for a startup to succeed, we believe it will need more than just financial support; it involves everything from branding and finding clients to technical questions or just general advice, he says and continues:
– It's important for us to be active and truly devoted to our clients' interests. In these times, we're noticing how valuable it is to have a partner when things don't go as planned; to just discuss, be there as support, and make sure they're not feeling alone in this. That's the kind of partner we strive to be.
Helping others succeed
With Peter's strong track record of growing businesses in the fintech industry, he emphasizes how important it is to work hard, have a long-term sustainable business model, and be surrounded by committed people – something Katalysen is a perfect example of:
– I like to see other people succeed and be a part of a context where everyone works together to fulfill a common goal. Sometimes it's about making a dream come true; other times, it's just a matter of surviving. But it's always inspirational to be surrounded by people wanting to make a difference and create something new, he says and continues:
– But it's crucial that Katalysen also is rational and not just feel-good. Our business model enables us to make a profit from helping and supporting others which is fantastic, but it only works because it's realistic and logical, apart from something we love to do.
A business' success factors
As for almost all industries, technology and digitalization have affected the financial sphere in unmistakable ways. According to Peter, this means a shift in what indicates as being a success factor for starting a company today: going from cash to people.
– It's getting both easier and harder to start your own fintech business; easier to get going, but that also makes the competition harder. Ten years ago, I would say that you have to be at least two people when founding a company; today, I say at least three. Because the more people that are willing to work hard, the faster results will come, he says and continues:
– Having a good team with capabilities that complete each other and cover different areas will only increase in importance in the coming years. Twenty years ago, money was one of the most significant success factors for a company; today, it's often the team's social competency and devotion that decide whether a company will succeed or not.
So it's not really what a company does that determines its success, but rather how it is done. And according to Peter, this is exactly what to keep in mind when it comes to technological developments around all industries in the near future, and not least the fintech area:
– We're only scraping the surface of what's possible within tech today; there are so many solutions to our problems that already exist but haven't been implemented yet. Up until now, the development of technology has been the common topic for the world; now, it's time to start using the tech breakthroughs.
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