When finance management is a passion. Interview with Flipful founder – Janis Putnins

Guided by the needs of today’s customers and combined with a vision of financial well-being in society, a new product was created – Flipful. It offers users to protect themselves from the consequences of unplanned expenses. In the interview, the founder of Flipful, Janis Putnins, talks how he came up with idea of creating a new financial tool Flipful, tells us about the service itself and its advantages.

Janis, you are the founder of the fintech start-up Flipful. What role does finances play in your life?

Today due to Covid-19 circumstances, more than ever, people have felt the importance of savings. The unexpected situation in the country also contributed to unplanned expenses. Many have lost their jobs. But what if we devoted more time to arrange our finances?

Finances are an essential part of everyday life that needs to be organized. Arranged financial issues make you feel confident about your future, so to speak, you create an “airbag” for unexpected changes in life or sudden unplanned expenses. I don’t think everyone should be a professional accountant, but basic knowledge will be useful for all. Financial literacy not only improves the financial situation, but also raises the quality of life in general and reduces the level of daily stress.

I have been managing my finances since I was 16 years old. From personal experience, I know what it means to live “from salary to salary”. I have both – studied and worked in the financial sector for many years, including going through a period of financial crisis. Therefore, I have experienced better and less good times, as well as successful and less successful examples.

Tell us more about your work experience in the financial sector!

My work experience in the banking sector has been observed since I was 19 years old. Initially, in Swedbank I worked as a customer service specialist for individuals, providing advice to businesses on banking services and opportunities. Later, as a project manager, I developed a solution for companies in terms of cash flow – how to plan the flow of incoming and outgoing payments and select the right tools for business support

My experience at Luminor (ex DNB) was more related to digital banking solutions, such as the introduction and launch of mobile banking. In this area, it was very important to understand the customer experience. In general, with more than 10 years of experience in the banking sector, I had worked on various aspects of financial management and projects, which also helped to develop a comprehensive understanding of customer needs.

Name 3 main reasons why you created Flipful!

First of all, people need a solution that allows them not to borrow money from third parties and so deal with unplanned expenses on their own. Flipful provides people with an ethical alternative to get their earned salary when needed for unplanned expenses. And in a situation where you need to see a doctor urgently, you no longer have to take a fast consumer loan.

Second, of course, it cannot completely change the culture of consumption (it will not solve all the problems), but based on many researches (for example, Wendy De La Rosa with 3 psychological tricks to help you save money), it gives a feeling of inner peace (decreases emotional tension), and also helps to improve the financial situation in the long term.

Third, I am fascinated by the product development process that has a positive impact on people. If I can come up with a solution that people need and would like to use – I think that’s a very important reason to choose to do so.

What are Flipful development plans? What improvements are you working on?

People now have the opportunity to withdraw their salary when needed. The next task for us will be to introduce the possibility of diverting part of their salary to savings automatically to create an ‘airbag’ so that people can freely make and organize their savings. In the future, we also plan to provide personalized advices that would increase people’s knowledge of how to organize their budget, start savings, and manage their finances. We have now created a basis for financial literacy education, but as we continue to work on this project, we plan to combine the available services with information from the user’s bank. Such a solution will allow a person to receive very specific and personal recommendations.

Wolves Summit 2020 – FinTech finalist

Wolves Summit is one of the biggest business conferences in Europe, which is highly valued by Startups, Investors, Corporates and Executives.

It is the place where innovation meets business and capital.

The 11th edition of Wolves Summit is happening in the Polish capital, transforming the iconic Palace of Culture and Science into an entrepreneurship hotspot.

The organisers, among which is the Capital City of Warsaw itself, expect to welcome more than 2,500 participants this year, including 450 startups, 250 VCs, and 450 corporate representatives. As for the networking opportunities, no less than 4,500 one-on-one meetings are expected to take place over the two days of the event.

For B2B fintech startups, this year’s Wolves Summit has got something special in store. The conference’s strategic partner GTR Ventures offers a prize package worth $10,000 for the winner in the fintech category, including two complimentary passes to and profiling opportunities at the GTR Ventures 3rd Tradetech Showcase Competition. That event will be held at the prestigious Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore on September 8—9.

The Showcase Competition, which takes place a week prior to the Formula One Night Race in Singapore, is part of GTR Asia — the world’s largest international gathering for local and international organisations: from banks to multinational corporations and SMEs, independent financiers, commodity brokers, traders, insurers and risk managers, lawyers, consultants, ECAs and multilaterals.

Wolves Summit has also partnered with the British Embassy, Israel Embassy, Newcastle Startup Week / Plan Digital UK, Enterprise Singapore, and Navispace. The latter will award the winning startup in the IoT and Healthcare category with direct entry to the semi-finals of the 12th Innovation World Cup with prizes worth a total of $500,000.

HackForce – Won 4th place

The first virtual hackathon in Latvia HackForce ended with LIVE pitches of all 28 hackathon ideas aimed to find solutions for the crisis caused by coronavirus. Thanks to the high interest, teams hard work and potential, the initiative gained huge interest by the public and media. In 48 hours over 850 people from 25 countries joined the public Slack, 70 mentors helped the team succeed, and at the end, live-stream has been viewed already by over 15 000 people. The President of Latvia Egils Levits also joined the live-stream to congratulate and thank the teams. 

Top teams were chosen by the jury with professionals from the startup community, the government, investors, and the health industry. Jury who chose the top teams were: Edgars Labsvīrs, Director at National Health Services, Olga Barreto Goncalves, Chief Startup Instigator at Investment and Development Agency of Latvia, Cristobal Alonso, CEO at  Startup Wise Guys, Andris Berzins, Managing Partner at Change Ventures, Solvita Kostjukova, CEO at ALINA and Reinis Znotiņš, Deputy Minister at Ministry of Education.

Flipful team won the 4th place with the solution: One-stop solution for managing government supported standstill payments.

Problem: The Latvian government has promised to provide 75% of salary payments to employers affected by the consequences of the virus in order to avoid the liquidation of companies. Flipful’s team is developing a corporate support tool – a solution to idle payments management as a one-stop point to make processing easier for both the National Revenue Service and businesses, making it simple and understandable without additional administrative burden.

The team: Jānis Putniņš, Ivans Dorohovs, Darja Nipere, Viktors Saulītis.

For further development of the project, the team was rewarded with EUR 2 500, of which EUR 1 500 was allocated by the Ministry of Economics in cooperation with the Latvian Investment and Development Agency and EUR 1 000 – Swedbank Latvija.

TechChill 2020 – Finalist

TechChill is one of the leading tech and startup conferences in the Baltics.

This year 50 teams from 20 countries are competing for the main prize – 10 000 EUR with no strings attached, the fast track to Startup World Cup Finals in San Francisco, advertisement place in Forbes, AWS credits and more. Meet the fifty lucky teams that will pitch their idea on TechChill stage: 

The 10 startups pitching at FinTech vertical are:

1. EVOestate.com (Estonia)
2. CostPocket (Estonia)
3. Flipful (Latvia)
5. Fertrado (Lithuania)
6. Raison.Ai (Estonia)
7. Winngie Technologies (Turkey)
8. Quppy (Cyprus)
9. AVA – Systems (Australia)
10. Manu LT (Lithuania)

We are thrilled that the record number of applications for Fifty Founders battle was received – 261 applications in total. This year all participating startups are divided into 5 verticals – MedTech, GreenTech, FinTech, B2B, and B2C. And as predicted the most applications were sent from such regions as Baltics and Nordics, but every year the event becomes more and more international, and we are very happy to see Australia, Kosovo, Puerto Rico, Gambia, Armenia, and more represented. This year the applications were sent in from 37 countries in total, indicating the global scope of our competition. 

During TechChill Day One, on February 20, the jury will evaluate all fifty startups by their 3-minute pitches on stage. On Day Two, five finalists were chosen by the jury, one from each vertical, who will pitch on the main stage and compete for the prizes. During the final pitch, founders are given the chance to tell their idea not only to the official jury, but also to international investors, business angels, accelerators, media, and to the audience of 2000 people.

TechChill 2020 evaluation jury included Marijus Andrijauskas, Portfolio Principal at Startup Wise Guys, Jonė Vaitulevičiūtė, B2B SaaS Batch 14 Managing Director at Startup Wise Guys, Yina Ye, Investment Analyst at OpenOcean, Egita Poļanska, Head of Operations at Startup Wise Guys, Arta Abasina, Investment, and Operations Director at Overkill Ventures, Voldemars Bredikis, Managing Partner at Commercialization Reactor, Kasper Suomalainen, Investor at Superhero Capital, Andris K. BerzinsManaging Partner at Change Ventures, Uldis Žeidurs at Startup Wise Guys, Ilona Gulchak, Partnerships Manager at Commercialization Reactor, and Matiss Neimanis, Managing Partner at Buildit.

Startup Wise Guys 2020 – Alumni

Startup Wise Guys is the leading B2B startup accelerator in Europe.

Flipful is now proud alumni of Startup Wise Guys accelerator and member of its international community, which brings together professionals from various fields across the globe.

The 3-month intense program has been very beneficial for the Flipful team to improve business offering to customers, so that we can deliver even better service to our customers.

Also, it is a great recognition for the team that it makes a valuable impact to the Northern Europe community.

FinTech Inn 2019 – Finalist

FinTech Inn is the largest and most significant international FinTech conference in Northern Europe.

Flipful was selected among the most successful companies as FinTech finalist.

European and global fintech companies, investors and everyone interested in the latest financial technology turned their attention to Lithuania.

Here the largest financial technology conference Fintech Inn in Northern Europe and the Baltic States will be held for the 4th year in a row. With over 60 speakers presenting the latest and hottest fintech trends, the event is expected to attract over 3000 participants representing more than 500 companies worldwide.Kęstutis Šetkus

Kęstutis Šetkus

“This year we have invited a very impressive group of speakers from all over the world – from the USA and Canada to Germany, China and Brazil. This is a great opportunity not only to learn from the best, but also to discover new possibilities during two-day business meetings,”

says Kęstutis Šetkus, Head of the Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology.

It is expected that the conference will be attended by such fintech market leaders as insurtech star Matteo Carbone from Italy, nanopay in which Goldman Sachs, one of Wall Street’s leading banks, has invested more than 10 million US dollars, Laurence Cook, CEO from Canada, fintech startup Raisin that acquired MHB Bank in Germany, German founder Tamaz Georgadze, Pavel Matveev, founder of Wirex, a three-continent blockchain-based payment platform, and Arunan Tharmarajah, Manager of TransferWise for Europe which is fintech startup founded in Great Britain by Estonians.

The event organisers invite all conference guests to listen not only to the top speakers, but also to attend B2B meetings which can be arranged on the special B2Match mobile app. The app will show all registered participants with whom you can chat via instant messaging and arrange B2B meetings.

Joined for the first time in history, the world’s leading blockchain centres – Blockchain Centre Vilnius, along with the Blockchain Centres in Melbourne, Shanghai, Sydney and Dubai – are organising a BCV Global Round Table before the conference which will be attended by the heads of all the beforementioned centres. The purpose of this first roundtable in Vilnius will be to take this debate forward and agree on priorities for 2020, present the tools and solutions that can unlock the long term social and economic value for the public. The focus will be specifically on distributed finance and alternative funding instruments for startups.

Just like last year, fintech companies and their associations will have the opportunity to introduce themselves to the event attendees and present their services, as well as unique products being developed. This year, the conference will focus on open banking, money laundering, cyber security, and the cutting-edge hardware and software solutions in fintech.

The Fintech Inn Conference is organised by the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania, the Ministry of Economy and Innovation of the Republic of Lithuania, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Bank of Lithuania, and the Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology (MITA). All these institutions have joined to make Lithuania the leader in fintech in Europe.

Flipful is selected for Startup Wise Guys B2B SaaS Batch 16

Startup Wise Guys accelerator is Europe’s most experienced B2B startup accelerator providing a no BS, hands-on 3 month intense mentoring program with focus on idea shaping and validation, business development, sales and fundraising, topped up with a Tech Week for CTOs and developers, as well as exposure to investors during regional Tech events and special match-making opportunities.

Flipful has been selected amoung 11 international teams from all over the world to receive investment and take part in a 3 month long acceleration program in Tallinn, Estonia.

For the SaaS Batch 16 startups the communication with customers, data oriented business development and operations management for business growth are at the center of attention, as well us employee and client satisfaction. Founders from Estonia, Latvia, Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, Switzerland and even Australia and Iran will be working closely together over these three months and pushing their startups forward for the next big milestones.

Batch 16 is managed by Managing Director Alexandra Balkova from Ukraine and Program Manager Darja Ogorodnik from Estonia, they both are deep diving into these roles for the third time since they joined Startup Wise Guys, and they will work closely with Startup Wise Guys Global CEO Cristobal Alonso as the strategic driver.

More information available: https://startupwiseguys.com/meet-the-next-12-startup-superstars-from-our-b2b-saas-batch-16/

Flipful is now a YCombinator Startup School Graduate 🎓

Y-Combinator is a Silicon Valley accelerator, having spawned highly successful companies including Airbnb, Dropbox and Stripe, located in Mountain View, California. Its Startup School is an online program teaching teams around the world the most important entrepreneurial cornerstones.

Y Combinator had accepted several startups into its Startup School 2019 batch program recently and Flipful was one in all them.

The course included three lessons each week, but also an “office hour” every Thursday, which gave us the chance to meet like-minded early-stage entrepreneurs and discuss each company’s latest developments. During these ten weeks, we had the great opportunity to participate and learn from the best of the best of California’s startup landscape.

The fascinating talks ranged from topics on product building, finding product market fit, managing user growth, measuring performance, design, sales, building an engineering team to fundraising.

For our team the created value has been immense. Not only did we strengthen our practical knowledge on top of our theoretical fundamentals, but we also grew our corporate network further beyond the Baltic borders.

Startup School was an invaluable edge for our team, and we thank YCombinator for creating this opportunity.

Graduation notice (available here)

Social Entrepreneurship Forum 2019 in Riga, Latvia

Social entrepreneurship is high in Flipful agenda, therefore we took part in this year’s Social Entrepreneurship Forum in Riga, Latvia.

On May 24th almost 200 participants gathered to the 10th Social Entrepreneurship Forum in Riga, Latvia. Can social entrepreneurship be a successful business? This was the main question of this year’s forum. The answers were sought during the lectures, workshops, and competitions throughout the day.

We had the following privilege to gain:

  • Inspiration and ideas for starting or improving your own social entrepreneurship
  • Knowledge and skills for creating a successful social entrepreneurship model
  • New contacts and partnerships between social and traditional entrepreneurs
  • Opportunity to discuss your own social entrepreneurship idea and hear expert opinions on that
  • New ideas for social responsibility projects of traditional businesses.

We were happy to see so many companies joining the forum and looking into the same direction, which means that the social responsibility is truly important for entrepreneurship.

Such forums really can make a difference as all of the speakers brought something new to the audience with their stories – participants had the chance to hear about different social businesses, their operational modules and discuss possible co-operations.

Social Entrepreneurship Association of Latvia website: https://sua.lv