Polish fintech startup Autenti secures $4.48 million investment from Alior Bank, BNP Paribas and PKO Bank Polski
Alior Bank, BNP Paribas and PKO Bank Polski, banks representing approx. 30 percent assets of the Polish banking sector, have together invested $4.48 million (PLN 17 million) in Autenti, a Polish fintech startup that provides a platform for electronic agreement signing and digital workflow of documents.
Autenti will use the funding proceeds to accelerate the digitization of banks through implementing an e-signature, which is intended for clients and contractors to whom these banks address their offer. New digital solutions will streamline banking-related processes and have a positive impact on the natural environment. They will also help in both simplifying and speeding up the internal documents workflow.
This is the very first joint transaction of such a type, carried out in the Central and Eastern Europe region on an equal basis. The just-closed round of financing amounted to PLN 17 million. The Autenti investors are eager to cooperate with the banking community, which could support the creation of a Polish standard for, both, remote signing and digital workflow of documents, and thus the development of environmentally friendly solutions in this area.
Founded in 2014, Autenti offers solutions enabling signing any documents online, via any device with Internet access. Quickly, conveniently, safely, and in accordance with the law. Since its debut on the market, the company has acquired over 250 business clients, as well as also sent documents to be e-signed to nearly 95,000 Poles.
“The collective investment (in Autenti fintech) of three competing banks is a perfect example of a partnership where technology meets finance, thanks to which we may look into the future. In a few years, this type of solution will have been the market standard. Thanks to the electronic signature and circulation of documents, Alior Bank’s clients will profit from more convenient and faster access to our products and services, from anyplace around the globe. This is another investment with the participation of our corporate venture capital RBL_VC fund; it enables us to meet the digital revolution and create a new generation of banking,” says Krzysztof Bachta, CEO of Alior Bank.
“Since 2016, we have been supporting the solutions proposed by Autenti. As a startup at the time – the company won the first Polish edition of the BNP Paribas International Hackathon; during this event, Autenti proposed the software which streamlined the process of entering into banking agreements thanks to the exploit of an electronic signature. The development of paperless e-transactions is not just about convenience and security for clients. Tangible positive impact on the environment is also of extreme importance to us. Along with our partners, we wish to set and promote new standards within the Polish banking sector,” says Przemek Gdański, CEO of BNP Paribas Bank.
“Clients using services offered on the Polish market expect that the remote conclusion of agreements will become even simpler and quicker, and – at the same time – safe. The cooperation of banks – which compete with one another on a daily basis – may help meeting these expectations, which is why we have decided to invest in Autenti by means of the PKO VC fund. PKO Bank Polski continues the digital transformation and, in line with its strategy, is transforming into a bank of the future. One of the activities incorporating within the strategy will also be the business use of the Autenti platform in the bank’s daily operations. In synergy with other tools at our disposal, it will allow us to improve the electronic workflow of documents further,” says Zbigniew Jagiełło, CEO of PKO Bank Polski
According to forecasts, the global market for electronic signatures will be worth 5.5 billion dollars in 2023. This means that within just 5 years, this value will have increased by 1/3 (36.7%) Conducted analyses of the electronic signature market show that the banking sector has a great potential to use solutions related to the digital workflow of documents. Polish banks are leaders in the field of digitization. Nevertheless, numerous banking-related processes still require signature on paper. The introduction of an electronic signature will accelerate the development of a fully digitalized clients’ service path and simplify internal processes in banks. This will save both time and money spent on printing and sending paper documents. Less paper consumption will also positively impact the environment, what all investors participating in the transaction care about.
“Thanks to the capabilities of the banks – the ones we have invited to the group of investors – and their willingness to cooperate across divisions, electronic signatures, available thanks to Autenti, will facilitate the work of both smaller-sized companies as well as large-sized enterprises from various sectors of the economy,” says Grzegorz Wójcik, founder and President of the Board of Autenti. “We will soon address our offer to clients and partners abroad.”
The next step in Autenti’s development is the just-closed round of investing. The financing obtained by the company will allow for further, dynamic product development, and foreign expansion. The transaction was carried out by three banks operating across Poland – Alior Bank, BNP Paribas, and PKO Bank Polski, as well as two VC funds – Innovation Nest and Black Pearls VC. This is the first such a collective investment of three competing one another banks in the Central and Eastern Europe region. Participation in the current round of financing for the aforesaid VC funds is a continuation of the investment carried out in 2017. Both the capital and non-financial support invested back then contributed to the dynamic development of Autenti in recent years.