Munich Startup: Who are you and what do you do? Please introduce yourselves!
Jennifer Dussileck: With our software solution, we help SME finance departments manage all types of expenses. This makes finance departments and their processes a valued element of a company and paves the way to success for the entire organization. Finway was founded in 2020 by Csaba (28), Philipp (29) and me, Jennifer (26). Csaba and I know each other through the entrepreneur community ‘Start Munich’ and are responsible for product design, finance, HR and operations in Munich. Philipp, who is originally from Passau but has been in the Bay Area for several years now, joined the team remotely and takes care of the entire field of development and software with his many years of tech experience. And since late 2020, the three of us have also had Christian on board for further support in management. Formerly the marketing VP at Personio, Christian now coordinates marketing and sales at Finway.
Finway delivers digital solutions for finance in companies
Munich Startup: What problem does your startup solve?
Jennifer Dussileck: Finance processes in SMEs are still often performed manually: Printed invoices, confusing Excel budget lists and annoying expense reports lead to a waste of effort, regular errors and little strategic work. This is exactly where Finway comes in. We digitize approval processes and payments with online banking or Finway cards and offer companies a real-time overview of their expenses and budgets.
Munich Startup: But that’s nothing out of the box!
Jennifer Dussileck: SMEs in particular, whose expenses no longer have to just be seen by management, don’t have a holistic software tool to fall back on. Existing solutions often only cover individual process steps, which in addition to requiring a company to process the information in an array of tools, leaves them having to consolidate it all in an Excel list. And that’s why lots of companies have continued using their manual processes. We’re changing that with Finway. We have created an all-in-one solution for both finance and specialist departments that simplifies the processing and management of all business expenses.
A new approach to sales and recruiting
Munich Startup: What have been your three biggest challenges so far?
Jennifer Dussileck: Starting a company poses many challenges. I think our challenges are quite similar to those faced by many other startups.
We want to hire the best talent, but at the same time, we aren’t very well known in the market yet. So that means we’re facing the challenge of how to get people to notice us without being able to invest a lot of money in employer branding.
It’s similar in sales – as a startup, you have to find new approaches to reach out to potential customers. Here too, the fact that you’re a startup means you’re considered a bit risky, and that’s something you have to counterbalance.
Despite having limited resources, we want to make constant progress with our product – to make existing features even better and regularly offer our customers innovations. This is where you always face the same question: What should we do first? We have lots of ideas and receive lots of feedback. You need to be able to properly categorize and prioritize it all.
Stimulus for ideas
Munich Startup: Where would you like to be in one year, and where in five years?
Jennifer Dussileck: We’ve been on the market since late last year and have received incredibly positive feedback from our customers. They really appreciate our software and how it simplifies things, but also give us stimulus for even more ideas.
By the end of the year, we want to have gained new customers and also to have implemented customer requests and product ideas. In five years, we’ll be the leading platform for planning, processing and managing all business expenses for SMEs in Europe.
Munich Startup: What do you think about Munich as a startup location?
Jennifer Dussileck: We love Munich! Just the fact that the ‘Start Munich’ community brought us together is something we’re very grateful for. And especially in B2B, there is an amazing amount of opportunities. Accelerators like Xpreneurs or LMU EC have helped us in so many stages. Especially the network we were able to create with other startups is something we still benefit from to this day.
At the same time, amazing universities give us opportunity to recruit ambitious and forward-looking talent. That being said, our remote setup means we aren’t limited in that respect.
Munich Startup: Get up early in the morning or pull all-nighters?
Jennifer Dussileck: Pull all-nighters!