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Founding story of Fundvis
Hello Mr. Kossmann, before you founded Fundvis, you worked as an internal solution architect and completed your Master’s degree in business analytics and big data. How did these two things influence your entrepreneurial path?
Studying data science gave me an impression of the multi-dimensional possibilities enabled by using data and analytics. Data has become perhaps the most precious asset for companies, since its mining happens naturally in every business context and the analytical evaluation can enhance the company’s performance while reducing hidden costs and negative process correlations. Working as a solution architect at a Luxembourgish cloud company, most of whose clients were from the financial ecosystem, was a reality check for me. I was able to get insights into multiple projects and the state of digitalization within the financial industry in Luxembourg. The realization was that even though everybody was talking about AI, reality was completely different, and most projects were about data collection and curation. Having this insight into the industry, I was quick to join my co-founder when he came along with an idea for a workflow platform to enhance cooperation, communication, and coordination in the sector.
Could you describe the key challenges you and your co-founder, Mr. Degünther, faced when founding Fundvis, considering your more tech-oriented background and his business-oriented approach?
The main challenge when we started Fundvis (which is still very present) is about change management. People in the fund sector have been used to doing their work in exactly the same way for the past 30 years. Most industry players pronounce that becoming more digital is the main goal for their internal strategy, yet they struggle to find the right provider or solution and settle for what is well established, i.e. Microsoft Excel and Outlook. Thus, our challenge was to show them the benefits of our digital solution and provide insights into how exactly this will enhance their day-to-day operations.
We were also confronted with the argument of being too techy while not having years of experience of the inefficiencies in the industry. We believe that this is actually a strength of ours and that problems can’t be solved with the same mindset that created them. From the very beginning, we set up an advisory board of industry experts and cooperated with two companies from the sector to develop our solution. Our Fundvis philosophy is that we are a no-code, agile and modifiable platform, which enables our clients to digitalize and the workflows they need. In the end, we see our offering as an industry partnership: we at Fundvis concentrate on strong yet simple-to-use tech while our clients can focus on their field of expertise, i.e AIF servicing.
Why did you decide to set up your business in Luxembourg?
We had two main drivers that lead us to set up the company in Luxembourg:
- We offer a solution designed with and for the AIF servicing industry. As it is widely known, Luxembourg is the second largest fund investment center in the world with an enormous amount of companies working in this field. It’s also the perfect development ground to find the right product market fit while being exposed to international players and gather their feedback for international expansion. We found a great ecosystem with organizations such as ALFI which enable cooperation and exchange between all players of the sector and show great effort to include the FundTechs in the industry.
- Luxembourg is offering a great amount of support for founders. We are extremely happy to be part of the LHoFT Foundation, and to have been working together with Luxinnovation on various occasions. Both organizations have been created by the state of Luxembourg to enable a vibrant and thriving start-up ecosystem and are filled with energetic and committed people. We truly feel that Luxembourg is a unique place for founders to fulfill their ambitions while benefitting the whole economy.
USP of Fundvis
Can you tell us something about the features of Fundvis? What sets Fundvis apart from other document management and collaboration platforms, and how does it provide unique value to its users?
Fundvis is a solution that was built with the help and insights from the industry, for the industry. Through our intuitive platform we enable our clients to digitalize their workflows while onboarding all collaboration partners. We embrace the design philosophy of creating no-code and intuitive solutions that can be used by every age group working in the sector with little to no training. We are building our solution on the power of data and created three pillars: data collecting, data processing and finally data analysis.
We also believe in the facilitation of work through integration of different software solutions. Our Fundvis platform is the cockpit of your daily operations in which you can steer and oversee all your fund-related workflows. We can add and display all necessary and helpful software solutions such as DocuSign, ID and KYC tools, SharePoint, Google Docs, etc. Combining the power of these different solutions helps us cover all your daily needs in operations, such as data screening, cooperation, and signing, in one interface that is easy to manage and only displays what is necessary to perform your tasks.
Can you tell us something about Fundvis’ vision? Why should a medium-sized fund manager work with Fundvis?
Fundvis’ vision is to create the Fundvis Co-Pilot, a smart AI algorithm that takes over and automates all repetitive workflows. Great examples are the investor onboarding, DD follow-ups, report creation etc. We want to free employees and companies of time-consuming tasks that take away the time of employees for what is important, i.e. client interaction and satisfaction. The great advantage of the Fundvis Co-Pilot is that we can train your company’s individual Co-Pilot with the analytical results of your process data. Doing so, we enable our clients to find their best practice workflows based on their own data, which helps them maintain and enhance company standards.
We are specifically interesting for medium-sized fund managers as they can simply adopt the product without spending time and money on an adventure by trying to build it on their own. This way both sides can concentrate on what they are best at while staying in close contact.
Translating a company’s ESG goals into simple workflows
To what extent can your software translate a company’s ESG goals into simple workflows?
Fundvis provides the opportunity to turn ESG goals into documented, structured and interactive workflows. We help companies set internal and external standards for their operations, while enabling them to verify their work and efforts. We have seen that, unfortunately, a lot of companies were facing greenwashing allegations. Using our solution, we enable the companies to integrate their data sources and perform investments following a structured and recorded workflow, checking all necessary steps and recording all interactions.
We are also able to facilitate the interaction with complex ESG topics, such as the assessment, and categorization of funds, or their regulation-compliant setup. Digitalizing the workflows on our platform and re-using them as templates and quality ensuring principles helps your workforce find its way while being able to interact and get in touch with all involved players via the platform.
Impact on ownership and overall efficiency
Aside from the financial aspect that poor workflow management inevitably brings, could you provide more details on the impact on ownership and overall efficiency?
On average, the different clients that we currently have at Fundvis are able to save 20% of time on their workflows. Enabling their employees to free up their time from repetitive and manual tasks for what’s important, i.e. the client interaction. Some obvious examples include the simplified data collection via Fundvis’ data room environment with pre-defined tasks and interactions to follow. This saves the time otherwise spent on endless email interactions by collecting all the necessary information and in the system, so that even very detailed pieces of information can be found at any time.
On the other side, we also see that we enable the cooperation parties to save time in the interaction with one another as we enable them to chat with their counterparty, sign documents directly on the platform or give executive feedback on certain decision-making points. It’s also very convenient to reassign tasks to another team member as the workflows are extremely precisely formulated and every task is detailed with a description and shows the history of interaction between the different players.
Ownership is also a very compelling point that receives much attention in our solution. We ensure that the different users are able to create, customize and interact with their own workflows if they have the right user clearance. We enable them to assign different user and access right to create their own tailored digital working environment.
Plans for the future
Where do you see Fundvis in the next five years? What service developments will we see at Fundvis? What about your target clients?
We see ourselves as a global solution for the AIF servicing industry, especially the SME players. Our goals are to enable and enthuse the smaller industry players to work with the latest tech and be on top of their game to compete with the big names or just enhance their productivity and efficiency.
We will see very exciting developments with the Fundvis Co-pilot, which is ultimately aimed at enabling full automation of repetitive workflows and taking this burden off the workforce. Being a data collecting and processing company will enable us to enhance the analytical approach of Fundvis and create a spot-on solution for every client.
We want to become the AI assistant software for your financial and administrative workflows, thus granting our clients a more focused, efficient and powerful future.