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Name: Patrick Stäuble
Company: Teylor AG
What are you building, and who benefits most from it?
Teylor is powering the future of credit by digitizing lending processes. Currently, it takes too long for SMEs to get a loan from traditional banks, and it’s too expensive for these banks to lend to SMEs. We are changing this. Our digital platform makes financing faster, simpler, and more accessible for SMEs and lending more profitable and secure for financial institutions. Improving lending processes is paramount for the efficiency of our economy. Only if capital can travel fast and without roadblocks can projects receive funding and businesses operate smoothly.
What is one of your startup’s most impressive accomplishments?
Our biggest accomplishment is that we have financed thousands of German SMEs since our launch in 2018. This means we have created countless jobs and enabled companies to develop new products and technologies that move this country forward into the 21st century. We have also raised almost 300 million euros in funding so far, making us the best-funded and biggest credit platform in Central Europe.
What has been the biggest challenge so far, and how did you overcome it?
In 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic started, financing demand in Germany collapsed. We quickly realized that and put more effort into developing our software-as-a-service solutions, which enable financial institutions to digitize their credit processes. As the pandemic increased the need for banks to digitize and for borrowers to get access to financing digitally, our software became hugely successful and more than compensated for the temporary drop in demand for our financing products.
What tool or app could you not live without and why?
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Probably the app I use most is Kindle. I love being able to read anytime and anywhere.
What marketing strategies have worked for you?
We strongly believe that digitalization doesn’t work without human touchpoints. That’s even truer in financial services, where trust is everything. That’s why we market our products mainly through our call center, which enables us to provide human-to-human interactions and high-quality customer service while also giving our customers all the advantages of a digital platform.
Can you share any financial data about your startup?
We have processed credit applications worth more than 3 billion euros in the last three years, increased our revenues by more than 100% year-on-year since launch, and raised nearly 300 million euros in funding so far. (Reported on July 17, 2023.)
What has been your biggest business failure to date? What did you learn from it?
We underestimated the time it takes to close a larger fundraising, which slowed down our operations for several months. My recommendation is to always assume that it will likely take longer than you anticipate. That’s not necessarily because it takes long to find interested investors, but because fundraising requires a lot of documentation and due diligence, and all of it has to be done while running your daily business. It takes time and energy, so it’s best to start early.
What’s the best specific piece of advice you have for other entrepreneurs?
Your team is the most important factor on the road to success. Hire people who share your values and who you enjoy working with. Business skills are important, but most things can be learned—it’s not rocket science. However, work ethic or personal and professional integrity can’t be learned, so hire for values first and skills second.
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