The advantages of moving a startup to Portugal, being a woman in a male dominant industry and much more with ...
Danielle Gonsalves, COO at Finvex.tech
[FH]: What is the problem you are addressing at Finvex.tech and how do you solve it?
[DG]: As markets became increasingly competitive, corporates started looking for robust solutions to increase their profitability and gain a competitive advantage. Corporates spotted a growth opportunity in offering credit directly to their suppliers and customers. The financing operations they setup allowed them to start acting like a bank. It drove sales and created new revenue streams but were expensive to run, needed a specialised team and had to adhere to strict regulatory compliance.This meant that the solution was limited to only the very largest corporates.
Now that has changed. Finvex leverages technology to allow companies of all sizes to create seamless digital financing operations within their businesses. Now smaller companies can start offering credit to their suppliers, customers and staff. Our technology and support services work together to remove complexity, so our clients can start building loyalty in their business ecosystem. Our clients increase sales and attract new, repeat customers who buy more, more often.
We cover compliance and bring access to fintech and other services to provide a turn-key solution. From the creation of the financing operation to fundraising and the day-to-day management, Finvex handles the heavy lifting.
[FH]: What differentiates Finvex.tech from other competitors?
[DG]: Finvex has five automated solutions that our clients can use to start offering credit to their customers, suppliers and staff - all delivered through a modern technology platform via ERP/Payroll integration.
But, we are more than just a technology platform. We are experts in establishing and running the investment vehicles we leverage to help our clients run their own financing operations. We are driven by data and transparency, and use the most advanced tools to support the reporting and reconciliation processes required. Not only do we provide access to fintech and compliance, but we also support our client´s fundraising needs in operating their own financing operation.
[FH]: Finvex.tech is originally from South Africa. Why did you decide to move to Portugal? What are the main advantages and which advice would you give to a startup thinking about moving to Portugal?
[DG]: Portugal has now seen 7 startups achieve unicorn status. This number is even more impressive if you compare it with unicorns coming out of neighbouring Spain (4), Italy (2), or Greece (1). It’s estimated that these 7 Portuguese unicorns combined valuation accounts for about 15% of the country’s GDP! Portugal must be doing something right. And we wanted in. While it is a rather small country with a limited market, it means we have had to think and act globally from the get-go, using Portugal as a launchpad to scale across the EU.
The advice I would give startups moving to Portugal is to take full advantage of the amazing startup ecosystem- from government programs like the D2 Immigrant Entrepreneur Visa, to the many different accelerator, incubator and networking opportunities. There is an active Angel investor and growing Venture Capital scene that is eager to help startups grow. Obviously, a big shout out to the Fintech House and the vibrant fitech community they have helped flourish.
[FH]: As a female founder in a male dominant industry, do you feel you need to act differently than your fellow male founders?
[DG]: Less than 2% of female founders hit $1 million in revenue. Less than 18% ever hit 6 figures. It shouldn't be this way. Women have disproportionately smaller networks, fewer mentors and role models. It's time to change that. It's time to close that gap. We need parity. I believe it's our obligation to show up and change these statistics.
Do I feel the need to act differently to my fellow male founders? No, I believe in being authentic to who I am. People may try to coach you to change behaviours, style, or your decision-making process, but I feel you have to be comfortable within yourself, and act in the way that feels most natural to you.
[FH]: What advice would you give for a female founder entering this industry?
[DG]: I believe that betting on yourself is the path to freedom and fulfilment in both business and life. You have to believe you can! Be intentional. Be authentic to yourself. Keep moving. Keep learning. And most importantly, remember that great leaders are made, not born with a Y chromosome (;