Berlin-based pension startup raises €1.4M ($1.6M) seed funding
Berlin, February 12, 2019
Berlin-based startup, Vantik, today has launched the first entirely mobile and flexible pension plan in Europe. This marks the first time a retirement plan can be completed and managed entirely via one’s smartphone. The flexibility and ownership is clearly resonating with consumers, with a wait list of over 10,000 already signed up to access Vantik and has enabled the startup to close $1.6M in seed funding led by FinTech giants including the founders of Onvista and N26.
Co-founder and CEO, Til Klein, comments, “Today’s generation orchestrates their entire lives on their smartphone and is used to flexibility and visibility on their accounts and finances. Why shouldn’t they be able to take ownership of their pension plans on mobile too?” He adds: “Setting yourself up for retirement needn’t be complex, dry, or opaque”. With Vantik, it takes just 11 minutes to create an account you can then access and track from your smartphone.
As the future of work is changing to incorporate frequent job changes, switching between employment and self-employment, as well as parental leave and other sabbaticals, this also creates new demands of the traditional retirement provision. “Our generation needs a retirement plan that adapts to our lives, not the other way round,” says co-founder and Chief Product Officer (CPO) Lara Hämmerle, who is herself part of the target group at age 27. She further emphasises: “Our mission is to give young people back the confidence in their financial future.”
The account itself is flexible: clients can deposit or draw money at any time, and always have a full overview of their pension fund. But the founders wanted to take their idea one step further: Their "to go" pension plan has been used to develop a gift card, purchasable online or in-store. This makes it possible for the first time to give the gift of an old-age provision to friends, family, or employees. The next product Vantik announced today is the SmartPension. Customers make use of AI to help them save on a rule-based and automatic basis, which can result, for example, in them transferring the money left over at the end of the month in their checking account into their retirement savings.
Alongside their launch, Vantik has also announced the completion of a €1.4M ($1.6M) seed funding round. The first mobile pension scheme has piqued the interest of well-known investors including Onvista founder Stephan Schubert, one of the first successful German FinTech founders. Says Schubert: “In light of the current demographic evolution, mobile retirement plans are one of the most exciting FinTech markets. Vantik has been the first European company to find a truly innovative answer to this challenge”.
Previous investors Atlantic Labs, Seedcamp and the founder of the most successful German fintech N26, Maximilian Tayenthal, all followed-on in this round. Klein emphasises: “Not only is Vantik the sole InsurTech in Europe with its own pension plan product, but for the first time there is a real alternative to more traditional life insurance”. The Vantik fund is globally distributed and promises attractive returns despite current low interest rates. The fund is registered in Germany and is supervised by the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin). All customers jointly deposit into the completely new security buffer, which allows Vantik to combine an attractive return with a very high level of system security.
The timing for Vantik’s mobile pension market entry is no coincidence. In 2019, the German government will force millions of freelancer to either contribute to the state pension or, alternatively, to a private retirement provision as insurance becomes compulsory for them. This will open up a large additional market to Vantik. Moreover, Vantik has ambitious plans to roll-out across Europe. Today, the European private pension market is highly fragmented and it is very difficult to move a pension across borders. The EU commission plans to establish a Pan-European Personal Pension Product (PEPP). Vantik aims to become the first available Pan-European Pension Product under the new scheme.
Vantik is Europe’s first mobile pension plan. It is entirely flexible and can be completed and managed completely on a smartphone. The Berlin-based startup was founded in 2017 by the former BCG partner and UBS-banker Til Klein. The startup is financed by, amongst others, Atlantic Labs, StS Ventures and Seedcamp, as well as notable Angel investors such as the co-founder of N26 Maximilian Tayenthal.