Germany’s first fintech is now the largest credit portal

Smava founded the German fintech industry

10 years ago, Smava started with loans from person to person. “We dared to do something that many thoughts were crazy and some revolutionary,” said Alexander Artopé, co-founder and CEO of Smava. Smava was the first company in Germany called “FinTech”. Since 2007, hundreds of fintechs have emerged. This has now developed into an entire industry.

Scaling and profitable business model

The founding idea has become the largest credit portal in Germany. Since 2007, the portal has provided cheap loans to consumers- try this. In the current year alone, the lending volume will amount to more than € 1 billion and thus total € 3 billion. Smava is profitable and grows faster every year than the market average.

The business model of Smava pays off for everyone: For consumers, Smava makes loans transparent, fair and cheap. You will receive a comprehensive market overview based on digital processes. So customers can choose the cheapest installment loan, directly lock and save on an average loan of more than 10,000 euros up to 2,000 euros. For banks, Smava takes over customer acquisition at a lower cost.

Growth was driven by innovation: Since 2011, the loan portal launched with p2p loans has also been offering installment loans from banks. Consumers can now compare and close 70 installment loans from 25 banks. Since 2016, Smava has significantly speeded up the credit process: Germany’s first fully automated digital loan reduces the time from application to payout from 10 days to 10 minutes. In the near future, this will be the case with the majority of installment loans brokered by Smava.

The vision of the founders: transparent and fair markets

“We believe that the world and markets should be transparent and fair,” say founders Alexander Artopé and Eckart Vierkant. “We make it possible by providing consumers with a comprehensive market overview. So they can act as equal market participants. “In addition, Smava regularly informs consumers about the big price differences between online and branch loans with special products: from 2015 with the 0 percent interest and last in July 2017 with the first installment loan with negative interest, with the Smava nationwide attention learned.

Smava’s vision attracts experienced finance and technology managers


In the meantime, 300 employees from over 30 nations work every day in Berlin and Hamburg for transparent, fair and affordable loans. The management has also been strengthened by the founders Alexander Artopé (CEO) and Eckart Vierkant (CPO): Since 2015, Sebastian Bielski has been CFO of Smava. He comes from Delivery Hero, where he led the financing rounds, M & A transactions and international markets. Prior to that, he worked in investment banking for Goldman Sachs and others. Since 2016, David Vazquez Cortizo has been Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for Smava. Vazquez-Cortizo comes from Nokia and has led major developer teams at Motorola.