In a unique round of funding not involving VC funds, three banks in Poland have invested together in Autenti – a Polish fintech whose offer includes a platform for electronic agreement signing and digital workflow of documents. 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.
About The Investors
Alior Bank, BNP Paribas and PKO Bank Polski –banks representing approx. 30 per cent assets of the Polish banking sector – have invested in Autenti.
“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
What does This Investment Mean?
The investment in Autenti will accelerate the digitalisation 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 transaction – due to the participation of investors representing a large part of the assets of the domestic banking sector – naturally supports the process of developing the Polish standard of an electronic signature used to sign banking agreements.
This represents another example – after having developed the Polish Payment Standard or the Polish API – which demonstrates that the cooperation of national banks in different areas and models helps to create solutions beneficial not only for a client but also the entire economy.
The Growing Market of Electronic Signatures
“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.
What Does Autenti Do?
Autenti is a Polish company founded in 2014. It 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.
Autenti’s Krakow Connection
Auntenti was incubated in Krakow Technology Park. Autenti began in a single small office in the Incubator in 2016, then increased its employment to over 20 people within six months, and obtained a round of financing worth PLN 6.3 million from two investors: Innovation Nest and Black Pearls VC.
Autenti became the first Polish startup in history to win the startup pitch competition at Wolves Summit in 2016, in which over 300 startups from around the world took part.
Autenti’s co-founder and CMO, Tomasz Plata, did his Masters degree in Krakow. He has operated on the media market for almost 20 years, working for RMF FM, Radio Eska and Grupa Onet. In 2008-2013, as Head of Online at TVN SA, Tomasz formed the corporate online strategy and was responsible for its implementation. He created the video platform Player.pl and a dozen of websites such as TVN, TVNMeteo, Kulinarni.pl and Plejada.pl.