Business planning

The founder of a startup with $80 million at its disposal on what it takes to build a successful company

Dinushi Dias /

Constantly questioning your own ideas and those of your team is crucial to building a successful startup, the co-founder of one of the world’s fastest growing fintechs says.

Spotcap co-founder and CEO Toby Triebel says building the global online lending platform hasn’t come without mistakes but continually questioning everything can help to overcome these.

“Building a startup is a constant battle of improving – improving your process, your system, your operation,” Triebel tells StartupSmart.

“It’s a combination of really going for it while being cautious and careful enough.

“Challenge everything you do -challenge your ideas on a daily basis. Of course you’ll make mistakes along the way.”

With Spotcap now operating in three countries, Triebel says this focus on constantly iterating is especially important when navigating legislation and jumping regulatory hurdles.

“We need to comply with regulation, build a lot of trust and credibility, that coupled with the technology required makes it a very unique space to work in,” Triebel says.

Plans for global domination

Spotcap was launched in 2014 and opened an office in Australia in May last year. The startup closed a $50 million funding round earlier this month, bringing the total investment in Spotcap to more than $80 million.

With a huge amount of capital at its disposal, Triebel says the key focus for Spotcap is now consolidating its growth in Sydney, Amsterdam and Madrid, as well as expanding operations into new markets.

While not providing any specific details, he says the startup is looking at the Asia-Pacific region.

“We’re still at the very beginning of our path of growth,” Triebel says.

What makes a successful startup

At the core of a strong fintech startup is a team that is highly skilled and diverse, he says.

“You need to combine a variety of skill sets.”

Because fintech is a heavily regulated and complex sector, Triebel says it’s vital to have a team of people who together have an exceptional understanding of how to operate in this space.

“Hire the smartest people on the street from day one,” he says.

Building from this, he says startups should just go for it.

“There’s so much opportunity in lending and wealth management,” Triebel says.

One of his biggest takeaways has been the importance of constantly listening and challenging his team, because being open to adapt and think about things differently are fundamental to growth.

“Listen very carefully to people’s advice and perspectives,” Triebel says.

“If you don’t listen, you operate in an isolated way and there’s no way you can succeed.”

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Dinushi Dias

Dinushi Dias is a freelance journalist and a former StartupSmart reporter and multimedia content producer. She is the co-founder of Melbourne-based production house Dinushi & Power.

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