Fintech Startup Interviews: Vauban founder Remy Astie (22 minutes, 17 Nov 2020)


My favorite conference is Finovate, the best TV show is Shark Tank, and my go-to podcast is The Pitch. So, I can't believe I missed this competition 2 months ago that is mashup of all three.

It's called Million-Dollar Startup and was orchestrated by the Canada Fintech Forum. Twenty fintech companies Zoom-pitched to a group of investors, and it was all delivered in a 6-part podcast culminating Nov 20, 2020. The prize is a CDN$1M (about US$800k) “investment opportunity” presumably from sponsor Portag3 Ventures. Grand prize specifics are vague given that both sides would ultimately have to agree on terms (for what it's worth, the winner is not currently listed in the VC's portfolio).

As the season progressed, the initial field of 20 was winnowed to 10, then 6, then 3 before the final winner, Vauban, was revealed. See below for the companies represented. Although it was a heavily Canadian field with half the field headquartered there, 2 of the 3 finalists were from outside the country.

The field was globally diverse. In addition to the 10 Canadian companies, 6 were from the United States (including 2 of the final 6), but none were from Silicon Valley (4 NYC, 2 Austin). And there were only 2 European companies, including the eventual winner, Vauban which is headquartered in London, but has French founders and investors. The other 2 companies were from Singapore.


Vauban
Description: Platform for automating venture and hedge fund & SPV launches

HQ: London

Founded: Nov 2017

Traction:
– 100 investment vehicles created
– 3,000 investors onboarded
– $300M AUM (assets under management)

Founders:
Remy Astie
Ulric Musset

Raised: $3.4M (per Crunchbase; not including the potential investment from Portag3)

Employees: 14 (per Linkedin)


Million-Dollar Startup Full Results

Winner

Vauban
Platform automating venture and hedge fund launches
London

Runner-ups (2)

MyFo
Digitizing Family offices management for private banks
Vancouver, BC

RocketDollar
Investment accounts for alternate investments
Austin, TX

Other Finalists (3)

BossInsights
Business data as a service
Toronto

Fraction
Reverse mortgage lender
Canada

TelosTouch
Capturing data institutions don't have but need to better serve clients
Toronto

Other Semi-Finalists (4)

Balance
Digital asset custodian
Toronto

Hydrogen
Embedded Finance simplified
NYC

LendFlow
Embedded lending infrastructure for vertical SaaS companies
Austin, TX

Qohash
Automating and streamlining data security
Quebec

Other competitors (10)

Bambu
Digital wealth management solutions for financial institutions
Singapore

BlankitHealth
The fastest & simplest way to get employee benefits.
Canada

Cogni
Digital banking app
NYC

Crayon
Big data and AI startup with personalization engine maya.ai
Singapore

Emma
Life insurance simplified
Canada

Hexanika
Big data/AI solutions
NYC

Hubly
Workflow solution for Financial Advisors
NYC

Joe
Mobile wallet
Paris

Orchid-B
Small business back-office platform
Canada

Quad-FI
Consumer lender
Toronto