FinTech entrepreneur targets £1bn valuation within first year
Posted on July 14, 2020 by Jonathan Symcox
Update: In October, three months after this article was originally published, BusinessCloud was told Milaya Capital had pulled out of its planned investment in Lanistar and that the money will instead be raised by the founder’s family. It was requested that we remove all references to Milaya
The founder of banking technology start-up Lanistar wants it to become a £1bn business after its latest investment.
Milaya Capital has invested £15m in return for 10 per cent of the London company, which is aiming to revolutionise how customers streamline their money and tap into a millennial and Gen-Z market fed up with traditional banks.
The investment sees the VC value Lanistar at £150m ahead of its winter 2020 launch.
Gurhan Kiziloz founded the business last year after experiencing disappointment with the tools provided by the high-street banks to manage his money.
The entrepreneur, who previous professional background was in online gaming and sales, has travelled extensively and told BusinessCloud that the experience has affected how he has built his business to date – and plans to in the future.
“This is 100 per cent the case,” he said. “I feel that all of the experiences I’ve picked up while travelling, and seen on my travels, now allow me to better understand and lead my team here at Lanistar.”
The firm will use polymorphic technology to connect all of a customer’s bank cards into one, allowing them to use the card on their travels without phoning banks to switch cards on and off.
“For far too long, the customer has been an afterthought in the minds of the banks,” said Kiziloz.
“Rather than being seen as a valued client, whose views are treated with the utmost respect, the modern customer has been seen as nothing more than a statistic on a balance sheet.
“We’re here to change that, and this investment through Milaya Capital will help us to do that, and brings us closer to my ambition of building a £1bn FinTech company.”
He added to BusinessCloud: “I intend to grow Lanistar into a billion-pound business through aggressive user acquisition, great and scalable customer service, and by quickly becoming profitable.
“We intend to break the status quo and do things differently to the current offerings on the market, and we’ll reveal more about that nearer to our launch.
“At the end of our first year, I hope we can be at or exceeding the billion-pound mark.
“We want to be the largest banking provider in the world within 10 years. It’s a big ambition, but one I wholeheartedly believe in.”
The Hammersmith-based company employs 45 full-time staff and has plans to grow a 150-person support team in Greece.
The company also recently announced partnerships with organisations such as Mastercard and Jumio.
“COVID-19 has actually sped up our launch plans,” the CEO explained. “Remote working has been a huge blessing for us: we’ve been able to organise meetings quickly and more efficiently through Zoom, instead of waiting a few days or weeks to meet face to face, and our tech team has been super-productive when they aren’t having to commute into the office.”
The latest investment will help Lanistar grow its operational and customer support teams, and scale it towards its product launch.
Yasam Ayavefe, founder and CEO of Milaya Capital added: “I am always on the lookout for the next big thing in the world of technology, but more importantly, we also want to support and invest in ideas that will simplify and benefit people’s lives.
“This is exactly what Lanistar will provide. The technology underpinning Lanistar’s product is the future of personal finance, and I believe that it will go on to change our lives forever, by letting us streamline our finances.
“We’ll support every step along the way, with high-class mentors and a strong community of founders in the FinTech environment.”