The nature of technology has made it easier than ever to launch into new markets.
Companies serious about expanding internationally may opt to put boots on the ground, but even that is not always necessary.
However they should certainly take steps to ensure they are catering to the specific needs of customers in that region when launching.
“Expanding between the US and UK requires more than a simple ‘rinse and repeat’ process,” Robert Israch, general manager for Europe for American FinTech Tipalti, tells TechBlast.
“Entering the UK to provide a FinTech solution requires understanding UK customers’ needs and tailoring the solution and your services appropriately – and visa-versa.”
Tipalti, which has 40 employees in the UK after launching its European HQ in London recently, plans to more than quadruple its headcount here to 200. It already has over 50 customers in the region including Hopin, Cazoo, SuperAwesome, Headspace and Time Out.
The firm helps high-velocity businesses eradicate manual payables processes – the most time-consuming function in the finance department.
“The UK requires a different and often more rigorous regulatory framework, with heightened compliance requirements to ensure customers are properly protected,” Israch says of the main differences between the UK and US FinTech landscapes. “It also generally requires a market-centric organisational structure.”
He says the firm’s biggest challenge in launching in the UK was securing its e-money license from the Financial Conduct Authority. “[We needed that] to help our UK customers execute their global and domestic payments, and manage their currency conversion needs.
“Without the FCA license, we could not deliver as strong a benefit for our clients. We have been working for well over a year with fully dedicated compliance staff, legal resources, and departments across our business to earn that license.
“Of course, this meant we had to integrate with local banking systems and localise our solution as well as hire and train our excellent cross-functional UK team from scratch too.”
Tipalti’s growth will be financed by a Series F round of funding which values the company at $8.3 billion. It is among the most valuable private FinTech companies in the world.
Israch served as the company’s CMO for several years before moving from San Francisco to head up its European expansion.
He says entering new markets is a huge driver for future growth. “Our high satisfaction rates lead to strong word-of-mouth and our increasing market awareness also drives demand into our business.
“One of the biggest drivers behind our growth to date was adding new capabilities, such as PO management and the ability to integrate with a broader set of ERP integrations, which helps us appeal to a broader set of customers – and larger companies too.”