Martin Granig: Monkee Combines Personal Finance and Loyalty With the Mission, To Help Millions of People To Achieve Their Goals Without Having to Build-up Debt

Monkee combines Personal Finance and Loyalty with the mission, to help millions of people to achieve their goals without having to build-up debt. With our “Save Now Buy Later” approach we aim to offer a sustainable alternative to “Buy Now Pay Later”.

Tell us about yourself?

I’m CoFounder and CEO of Monkee, and previously to Monkee I’ve been working in several different Senior Management positions in a big international company.

My last job in the corporate world involved being responsible for the global innovations department and there I had the chance to work with several ventures inside and outside the organization.

In 2018 I decided to get out of the corporate world to work together with a friend on working on our own project that has more purpose, contributing to solving a huge social issue – too many people going into debt due to unsustainable consumption.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

B2C really is a tough business with regards to user acquisition. Therefore it makes sense to start thinking as early as possible about potential B2B2C use cases to leverage other organizations as multipliers.

What problem does your business solve?

We help people to save-up for their goals and dreams and actively contribute money to their goals. At the same time we connect retailers with potential consumers in a relevant and rewarding way. This is a win-win-situation:

Our users can let their savings grow on average 10% pa by just doing parts of their purchases with our partners. At the same time our retail partners get new and loyal customers and are creating positive consumer touch-points.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

As mental, physical and financial wellbeing is highly connected and share many similarities (instant- vs delayed-gratification) we took a lot of inspiration in how other solutions in the mental and physical fitness area help people improve their habits.

What is your magic sauce?

Combining personal finance and loyalty gives us some unique advantages: we are able to reach a large, risk-averse part of the population.

With >84% female share we found a way to make finances also sexy for women, which is usually an under-represented target group in FinTech.

Compared to other Cashback apps we can leverage data from saving goals and open banking to create highly individualized recommendations, which leads to a 10x higher conversion rate.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

In a next step we aim to scale our FutureBoost (Cashback) feature from ecommerce into stationary retail and after that we are going to internationally expand Monkee first within and then outside the European Union.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

There have been different challenges at different times of our business. Covid was definitely an important event, which had positive and negative effects on our business.

On the positive side, we benefited from an increased relevance of our use case and from more and more companies also buying-in in our model.

At the same time we’ve just started fundraising with investors, when for a few months it wasn’t clear how the investment world is going to react to Covid. But after some time VCs started to get back into their investment mood.

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

We are always looking for investors (VC, Business Angels) how want to support our mission to help more people to save-up for their goals instead of going into debt.

And we are continuously expanding our retail partners network (currently 400 partners) in Germany and Austria.

Written by Mark Kendall

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