Alior Bank, BNP Paribas, and PKO Bank Polski, whom together hold 30% of Polish banking assets have jointly invested in a Series A round of Autenti – Polish fintech offering a platform for electronic signature and digital document workflow. This is the very first transaction in the CEE region that was executed on equal terms both by banks and VC funds, which followed-on on their initial investment. The finalized Series A funding round equates to 4M EUR. Investors of Autenti are open for collaboration with the banking sector that could support Polish standards for remote signing and digital document workflow. At the same time initiative encourages pro-ecological solutions in this field.
Investment in Autenti will accelerate digitalization of banks by implementing e-signature for their customers and partners to whom the above-mentioned banks are addressing their offer. New digital solutions make bank procedures and digital workflow of documents faster at the same time having a positive impact on the natural environment.
“Joint investment for 3 competing banks in a fintech company, Autenti, is a great example of a partnership combining technology and finances with which we are reaching out to the future. In a few years, solutions like this one will be a common standard. With the help of e-signature and digital document workflow customers of Alior Bank will soon benefit from quicker and more convenient access to our products and services from anywhere in the world. This is yet another co-investment of our RBL Venture Capital, which allows us to stay ahead of the digital revolution and the creation of new generation banking.” says Krzysztof Bachta, CEO of Alior Bank.
This transaction, due to the engagement of investors representing significant part of the banking industry, naturally supports the creation process for the Polish e-signature standards that could be used for all banking procedures and contracts.
Next to Polish Payment Standard (PSP) or Polish API, this joint investment proves that the cooperation of Polish banks in various areas and models helps to create solutions beneficial for customers and whole of the economy.
“We are supporting Autenti’s solutions since 2016. Back then as a startup, this company has won 1st Polish edition of the BNB Paribas International Hackathon offering software, that made the process of banking contracts signing more convenient due to the use of e-signature. The development of paperless technologies is not only pure convenience, but also safety of our customers and positive ecological impact that are extremely important for us. Together with our partners we would like to set the new standards in the Polish banking industry. ” says Przemek Gdański, CEO of BNP Paribas.
Black Pearls VC continues its engagement by its follow-on investment as a part of the EUR 4M Series A round. In February 2017 Black Pearls VC has invested in Autenti from its LQT Fund II created together with The National Centre of Research and Development under the BRIdge Alfa Programme.
“Autenti is one of the gems of the Polish innovative ecosystem. The growth of the company shows that the BRIdge Alfa experiment was a success. It’s the early support of the project that has enabled its tech development that led to the success in business. Our participation this Series A round is a part of our strategy, which highlights the importance of follow-on investments in our most successful portfolio companies.” says Marcin P. Kowalik, Managing Partner of Black Pearls VC
According to forecasts, the global market of e-signatures will be worth $5.5bln in 2023. This means, that within next 3 years its value will increase by over one third. E-signature market analysis shows that the banking segment has the biggest potential in the use of solutions relating to the digital workflow of documents. Polish banks are leaders in digitalization. At the same time, many of the procedures still require a signature on paper. The introduction of the e-signature will accelerate the generation of a fully digital path for customer service and will simplify internal banking procedures. This is both the saving of time and resources currently used for printing and sending paper documents. Lower use of paper will also have a positive environmental impact, which is a key element for all investors involved in this transaction.
“With the capabilities of banks invited to the company as our new investors and their openness for cooperation beyond divisions, e-signatures delivered by Autenti will make the life easier both for smaller companies as well as corporates in various industries. Soon our offer will be also available to customers and partners outside of Poland,” says Grzegorz Wójcik, founder and CEO of Autenti.
“Customers using our services in the Polish market expect that remote contract signing will be easier, faster and more secure. The cooperation of banks that are competing with each other on a daily basis can meet these requirements and this is the reason why we have decided to invest as PKO VC in Autenti. PKO Bank Polski is continuing its digital transformation as per our strategy changing the company into the bank of future. One of the elements of this strategy is the business use of Autenti platform in our daily banking operations. With the synergy with other tools we are using, it will support our digital workflow of documents” says Zbigniew Jagiełło, CEO of PKO Bank Polski.
From its launch, the company has acquired over 250 business customers and has sent documents for signing to almost 95,000 of Poles.
The next step for Autenti is a just finalized Series A round. Funds acquired by the company will finance further dynamic product growth and its international expansion. The transaction was led by three banks operating in Poland – Alior Bank, BNP Paribas, PBO Bank Polski and two VC funds – Innovation Nest and Black Pearls VC. This is the first time in the CEE region, where three competing banks have jointly invested in a fintech company. For the mentioned VC funds, the participation of the current round is a continuation of the investment made in 2017. Funds invested then have supported the dynamic growth of Autenti in recent years.