Juni CEO on Launching an E-Commerce Fintech Startup
Samir al-Sabini is the CEO and co-founder of June – a one-stop financial solutions platform for businesses. Recently launched from its beta phase, the fintech is cornering the e-commerce market with its innovative tools that help businesses track funds and expenses, as well as integrate with all major payment gateways.
As more unicorns emerge and competition for funding intensifies, the environment for fintech startups is not an easy place to succeed. New entrants must be disruptive, confident in their strategy, and nimble enough to scale quickly as the market evolves. Samir-el-Sabini tells us more.
Tell us about your startup and what sets it apart from other companies on the market?
Juni is an all-in-one financial management platform. What makes Juni different is that we were founded specifically for eCommerce entrepreneurs. We provide a dedicated space where they can track all their expenses and funds in one place. Specifically, this means Juni integrates with over 2,000 banks, payment gateways like Stripe and PayPal, online accounting software like Xero, and ad networks like Zeropark so businesses can get a view of comprehensive set in a single dashboard.
Juni solves challenges and offers insights, integrations and tools that more traditional banks wouldn’t be able to offer. I worked in the industry we serve now and co-founded Juni because I really want to provide entrepreneurs with the tools they need to successfully run their business and grow.
We’ve been focused on growing our team, creating a great product, and now we’re thrilled to announce that Juni is officially out of beta! We are really excited to take the next step and continue to grow with our customers.
What did Juni just throw?
Less than a year after launch, we’re officially out of beta with new product integrations and features, a new look, and a new creative campaign to bring it all to life. As part of this, we’re really excited to launch new USD accounts and cards, which has been our most requested feature, so it’s fantastic to offer this to our customers.
We’re also launching a new Google Ads integration that will save entrepreneurs time and hassle as it tracks Google Ads spend in real time and automates receipt generation for accounting. The launch is an exciting time as we also had a brand refresh, with a bold visual identity and a new website, logo and color scheme. To showcase the problems Juni solves, we’ve also launched a campaign that brings to life the daily frustrations of e-commerce entrepreneurs when dealing with traditional banks through a series of advertisements.
Is it difficult to create a fintech start-up in the current environment?
We are seeing the emergence of a wave of Fintech 2.0 companies, Juni being one of them. It’s in many ways a great time for fintech startups, and I expect to see more hyper-focused fintech startups launching in the coming years. At Juni, we double down on our verticality, e-commerce, in everything we do. Bundling services for this audience is very inspiring because we come from e-commerce ourselves. We’ve been through the pains, now we’re building the tools we wish we had ourselves.
What is the biggest mistake made by start-ups that prevents success?
A common mistake is often a lack of concentration, spreading yourself too thin. It is essential to do something big for a clearly defined audience.
What is the most imperative element for success in building a successful fintech?
Fully understand your client’s pain and issues, expand from that, and see it as a moving, ever-changing target. New problems and challenges arise all the time, so staying close to your market and your customers helps a lot.
Are collaborations/partnerships/MA becoming more important?
At Juni, we are always open to any good partnership if it means we can provide better services to our customers. Although a merger and acquisition is not something we actively pursue, if we find the right partner, it is a way to continue to grow our business. These days, if you want to be a global player, partnering and collaborating with the right companies can definitely help you succeed.
Funding is notoriously difficult right now. What is your story on this?
We have grown at lightning speed, we are really proud of the funding we have raised so far and that our current investors share our vision. Juni is made up of experts in e-commerce, performance marketing and media buying, paired with a team of fintech professionals. Having worked in the sector we serve and really understanding their needs has been essential for us.
So far we have raised $76 million and we continue to grow. Our lead investors are Felix Capital, EQT, Partners of DST Global and Cherry Ventures, as well as high profile angel investors and board members from highly successful fintech and e-commerce companies such as iZettle, Klarna and NA-KD.
What’s new on the horizon? What can we expect from Juni over the next 18 months?
During our beta, hundreds of customers from all over Europe joined Juni. We focus on quality over quantity, and have shown consistent growth since our launch, doubling the number of customers and spending per card every quarter.
We aim to increase card spend tenfold over the next 12 months and add more features and integrations to our platform. We will also bring our new credit card to more markets across Europe and add more currencies to our platform, such as SEK, DKK and NOK.
Our vision is to become the best and preferred financial companion of e-commerce entrepreneurs worldwide, giving them the tools they need to accelerate their growth. In the years to come, I want us to truly realize this vision and be the financial management platform of choice in e-commerce.
What inspires you in fintech today?
I’m really passionate about entrepreneurship and giving people the freedom to do the work they want to do. What I find exciting and inspiring about fintech is the ability to more easily build and create products that solve customer problems in ways that couldn’t be done before. This allows entrepreneurs to focus on what they love, running and growing their business, and they can, for example, leave the boring administrative tasks to us.