Rebank: Streamlining Company Finances

The Origin Story of Fintech Startup Rebank

Rebank co-founders Simon and Juan.

Managing finances is a necessary chore that can divert resources from a company’s primary mission: serving its customers. Rebank, founded by Juan Andrade, bills itself as a “chief financial operating system” — a web app that organizes financial applications, accounts, and payments all in one place to observe in real time with the need for bookkeeping. 

“We help companies control their spend,” Andrade told Startup Savants. “It's not about oversight. It's about giving a business, no matter what size, the full visibility of what's going on in its finances without all that accounting knowledge.”

This is Rebank’s origin story.

Going From Theory to Reality

Andrade says he always wanted to start a company, but he felt like he had more to learn before taking the plunge. So he decided to get an MBA to help build his finance skills. However, the MBA curriculum wasn’t what he expected. It included a lot of theory and not as much practical training as he had hoped.

“I basically hit a sort of fork in the road where the master's was asking a lot more of me,” he says. “My company was asking a lot more of me as well, and I just had to make a call” about whether to leave to start his own company. In the end, “The decision was sort of forced on me,” he says. “It was the easiest decision to make. I was like, let's go for it. If not now, when?”

Andrade finished his MBA but was less equipped to found a company than he thought he would be. “Those 18 months, you basically fall under the false illusion that you understand capitalism and that you understand businesses and how they work inside and out, but it's all theory,” he says. ”That confidence is great because it drives you forward, but you have to start from zero in your next thing. And I think that's a recipe for disaster sometimes where you have like a hundred percent confidence and actually zero ability.”

Defining and Meeting Customers’ Needs

Undeterred, Andrade decided to start a finance-related company. He and his team first set out to define their target market. “One thing I made sure that we did in early research was talk to people that we thought would not be customers to understand why,” he says. “It helped us sort of form borders around our target.”

Defining their market turned out to be a somewhat fraught process. Although Rebank initially reached out to just about any company it thought would sign on, eventually it decided to go “upmarket, where the complexity really is,” Andrade says. At the same time, “We want to keep it relevant to founders because that's where finances begin. But we're building features that bigger companies will pay more for and use more often.”

Rebank also has to make sure its solution fits into its customers’ existing corporate structures. This requires listening closely to what customers need and sometimes reading between the lines. “We have a view of how finance evolves from when it's one person to 30,” he says. “We use that knowledge to shape what we say on our website and what we build, but there's always a bit of translation required. Customers aren't very good at telling you what they really need, so we're always tweaking.”

Focusing on Video Marketing

One of Rebank’s goals is to take better marketing advantage of video-based social media like TikTok. That has proven to be easier said than done. “We're 150 videos in, and we've learned a ton, but I couldn't say that we're TikTok famous,” he says. “And that's slightly disappointing, but I guess TikTok doesn't really care about financial advice in the same way they care about memes.”

Still, he would like to establish more of a presence on the platform by learning which types of videos get the best traction. “It started off with, Hey, we give advice to founders every day. Let's see if we can give that advice to a broader audience. Let's see if they care. But now it's evolved into fitting [TikTok] into our broader content strategy.” Rebank also posts articles on its website in response to comments on the videos. 

When it comes to marketing in general, Andrade isn’t afraid to experiment and see what works – especially because his team doesn’t actually have anyone with a marketing background. No matter what outlet they use, creativity is critical to proving that financial information has to be boring. “Why can't we make it interesting? Why can't we put some of our own personality in it?” he says. “I think we're getting to a nice place now where we've got some really cool pieces of content coming out. It's something I'm really proud of.”

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