Your primary focus should be on delivering the best possible version of whatever it is you do

Yobota cloud-based operating platform for financial institutions

Please introduce yourself and startup Yobota to our readers.
Ammar Akhtar: Yobota is a fast and lean cloud-based operating platform for financial institutions like banks, but also for anyone that offers financial products, like car manufacturers that offer finance packages.

We enable any organisation that offers a financial product (like loans or deposits) to design and build the financial products that they want to offer their customers.

We’ve just recently helped build and launch Livelend – a new loan provider that’s able to price unsecured loans very competitively.

Our platform is highly modular, which means our clients pay for what they use; rather than to strip out the things they don’t. Our consumption based fee model also means that they don’t get stuck with large fixed IT costs.

This might sound like complete common sense but it’s a totally different approach to the way banks and financial services have typically operated in the past.

How did you get the idea?
Ammar Akhtar: Me and our other founders have all worked in Tier 1 banks for ten years plus, either in house or as consultants. We’ve had experience of major tech projects and business migrations. We’ve all seen how difficult it can be to innovate in these organisations and how slow / expensive the change process can be. Don’t get me wrong it is this way for a reason – this is a complicated and highly regulated industry.

As technology has advanced, it didn’t need to be this way. You just don’t need large license fees, multi-year delivery plans or large data centre migrations any more. Yobota was founded to prove that.

How difficult was the start and what challenges you had to overcome?
Ammar Akhtar: Yobota is trying to change the way that the manufacture and operation of financial products work. The sector we are disrupting, is very well established, complex, profitable, (largely) trusted and well entrenched. These are big hurdles for anyone wanting to make an impact in FinTech.

Beyond that, we were fortunate that we were founded with one significant client project (Livelend) already on the books, but your first major project will always throw unexpected challenges at you, things you just can’t envisage before you get under the hood of any project.

Hiring good people is a challenge, we’re good at finding A players, but as demand rapidly increased we needed to hire well and quickly. Which we luckily were able to do, but it was tough.

Who is your target audience?
Any organisation that offers financial products, so that’s anyone from banks, both established and challenger, loan and mortgage providers – in fact any business that offers ‘finance’ – like Supermarkets and Car Manufacturers. It’s a big audience.

What is the USP of your startup?
The technology supply market is still dominated by giant firms that are as complex as the banks they’re trying to help. The established players are all competing for large scale core banking replacements in the UK today. There is also a demand in smaller business and niche finance players which is where we’re naturally focussed at the moment.

Our platform is quick to set up, and gives a lot of flexibility in terms of the products which can be operated on it – more so than most others we believe. That’s what really makes us different.

Can you describe a typical workday of you?
I start early – having a young child helps with that. Then at the moment as soon as I step through the door my core focus is delivering for our current client base, building and managing the delivery of some very complicated but impactful tech.

Where do you see yourself and Yobota in five years?
The last two years have been a great journey, and I don’t think I could have predicted where we’d be today if you asked me back then.

For me, it would be wonderful if in 5 years Yobota is strongly associated with positive changes that have happened in UK consumer finance through the very good work our team is doing with our clients.

What 3 tips would you give other Startup founders on the way?
Your primary focus should be on delivering the best possible version of whatever it is you do. Do that and marketing and sales gets so much easier. Surround yourself with the most talented people you can find, and make sure they are good at the things you are not. And make sure everyone (including you) enjoys what they do – we only get one career and everyone deserves the best from theirs.

More information you will find here

Thank you Ammar Akhtar for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

Sabine Elsässer

Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.

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