Meet The Founder That Turned His Startup Into A $2.2 Billion FinTech Unicorn

Meet The Founder That Turned His Startup Into A $2.2 Billion FinTech Unicorn


Recently, I met Mr. Michael Gastauer, who is an impressive man. His estimated net worth, which is around $2.1 billion USD has been acquired through a $480 million company sale and founding of a $2.2-billion startup. Having founded WB21 Group’s first company in Switzerland ten months ago, he has progressively grown it into a FinTech Unicorn.

I was curious to learn more about the company, as it just reached 1 million users.

With a portfolio expanding the globe, WB21 has opened up offices in all 4 corners of the world. With offices in San Francisco, London, Hong Kong and Singapore and soon Berlin, Gastauer has no plans to stop the momentum.

With a road map to grow at a faster pace over the next 12 months, he is on a mission to disrupt the traditional banking industry and impose WB21’s company mission statement “Banking without Borders.”

Michael Gastauer, credit: Mark Lawson Shepard

Michael Gastauer, credit: Mark Lawson Shepard

I asked Gastauer how he plans to keep up with the necessary financial licenses and regulations that are required to keep up with the company’s current growth rate. Gastauer shares that after Brexit becoming a reality, WB21 needed to make a decision under which jurisdiction the business should maintain its licensing as the U.K. was not necessarily a long term option. Serving clients from 180 counties, WB21 decided to adopt the legal approach of PayPal, and likewise to Paypal filed for its licensing in Singapore. Shortly after filing, the Central Bank of Singapore approved WB21’s operations.

WB21 is the first fintech unicorn that has been founded in Switzerland. Since it`s incorporation in August 2015 the company grew from 40 to over 100 people. As it is nearly impossible to find that number of staff in a country with almost a full employment economy like Switzerland, WB21 had to decide where they could establish their team to build operations and handle the demands of their fast growing client base.

Since its public launch in December 2015, the company has seen hockey stick type growth. Last week WB21 announced its millionth customer, and having sent over $5.2 Billion in payments across countries within the ten months. Monthly revenues are close to $10 million. Even for standards of fast growing FinTechs unicorns, those numbers are beyond what the industry has seen before.

Gastauer also shares that Investment Banks in the U.S. and E.U. are working on a first offering of WB21 shares via private placement. The underlying company valuation for the offering has already reached an impressive US$2.2 Billion.

Even after my second interview I feel there is so much more depth to the story. Like all my readers, I will eagerly watch to see how the story unfolds.


October 1, 2016 / by / in , , ,

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