We've focused considerably on our Founder Institute Graduates in other countries, and now it's time to return to the U.S. Northwest for another success story. Let's head to Seattle where one of our top graduates just won a major grand prize at BBVA's 2017 Open Talent Identity competition. As part of the K(NO)W Identity Conference, this prize is not an easy win considering the prestigious startup talent awarded here annually.
Our star Graduate is the company SnapSwap, a fintech startup providing innovative customer onboarding tools for financial institutions and other businesses. While we've seen many startups successfully create innovative solutions for the financial sector, this company has some standout aspects.
Through founder Denis Kiselev, SnapSwap managed to coin a new "as a service" term. Let's look at what they do, and their prospective future.
What the BBVA Open Talent Win Means
Thanks to SnapSwap winning the €30,000 grand prize at BBVA, it gives them added fuel to progress to a new level. It's part of a notable month for the company, which also includes winning an "Immersion Week" at BBVA’s headquarters in Madrid. This places them in position to win the title of "fintech of the year" and perhaps take home an additional grand prize of €50,000.
On top of it, the company recently joined forces with the State of Luxembourg to fund Infrachain a.s.b.l., a blockchain technology.
It's in the use of blockchain and automation where SnapSwap innovates to provide major customer onboarding solutions. Thanks to founder Kiselev, they've managed to provide financial solutions for companies who want to participate in the global economy without extra costs.
Who is Denis Kiselev?
SnapSwap's founder already had an international education to round out his skills on global finances. After obtaining a BS in Computer Science through Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU), he moved to America and received a Masters of Arts in Economics at Ohio State University.
It wasn't until 2012 when Kiselev founded SnapSwap in Seattle, and it quickly took off with its ambitious goal. This was quickly followed by obtaining the first bitLicense in Europe as a regulated payment institution.
By employing the emerging Internet of Value for financial inclusion and efficiency, they've made the process of onboarding so much easier. Adding automation technology only increases their technological journey to stay one step ahead.
How SnapSwap Works
Their highlighted feature of remote digital onboarding has become the talk of the financial industry. Through their automated app, you can basically verify a customer's identity in less than a few minutes through a mobile device.
Available as a service 24/7, this is why the company managed to coin the term "onboarding as a service."
Using blockchain technology, they comply with all European regulations to make international transactions easy.
They don't just stop with their onboarding service. Along with their white label messenger, you can deal with payments, reach out to customers, and keep them loyal. Their Gloneta app is another strong service in allowing you to send currency to any country for free.
The Future of SnapSwap
As Marisol Menéndez, Head of Open Innovation and Open Talent for BBVA, noted after the above grand prize:
The judges all agreed that SnapSwap is one of the most promising fintech startups in the world of identity."
While blockchain technology continues to grow in many industries, seeing it employed at this level in a startup is still rare. As more businesses start to take on transactions in international markets, they're going to look for affordable options to avoid excessive transaction fees.
With this in mind, you can see SnapSwap continuing to become more relevant into the next decade. Recently hiring renowned financial expert George Schmit to their advisory board adds more consultative clout to the company as they continue to innovate.