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'Marketing and sales within fintech are like Siamese twins'


Agicap is the European SaaS market leader in cash flow management, and offers entrepreneurs a digital tool to manage their cash flows. The fintech company is growing enormously, and marketing at Agicap is now mainly about speed.

It is clear that the financial world takes Agicap seriously. It is originally a French company, founded in Lyon in 2016, and one that raised no less than 100 million dollars in a new investment round last year. A year earlier, Agicap had already received a capital injection, and the value of the company is now assessed to be over 500 million dollars (although that may already have risen after this is published).

Data is a key component of the SaaS solutions that Agicap offers. Among other things, open banking data is used to help management teams make strategic and financial decisions. By gaining more insight into cash flows, business leaders can make swifter and better decisions. Marketing manager Miriam El Ghalbzouri works from Amsterdam, where Agicap opened a branch last May. Previously there had already been openings in Germany, Spain and Italy. Jan Speelman is Country Manager, and the team includes account executives, sales development representatives, customer success managers, and marketing and content staff. "It's like riding on a supersonic bullet train," says El Ghalbzouri. "We started out with five people, and that's how we grew tremendously, also in terms of customers and marketing activities. The whole funnel of marketing at Agicap is important. My job is to get the Netherlands & Belgium excited about our solutions and to make Agicap top of mind."

Agicap is there for all entrepreneurs, says El Ghalbzouri. "It's a very intuitive tool, and any company can use us." For the marketing activities, she was able to look closely at how other countries have fared. "I look at which channels work best for Agicap Netherlands and Belgium, which media parties are really effective, and - based on my experience on the conversion rate - how much brand awareness we can create and what the suitable tone-of-voice is. You can never copy something one-on-one from another European country. It is always different, and the same applies to Belgium, where Agicap started recently. So I localize everything for both markets. In fact, we take something that already works, and try to ensure that it will also work in the Netherlands and Belgium."

Journey of discovery
"Aside from that, it mainly involves working closely with our HQ team, because there are standard marketing channels, and we look at social media, a lead generation campaign, branded content articles and radio. I already have previous experience for different brands using all these channels, but not every channel works best for every brand, and it's highly dependent on the stage a brand is in. That's my journey of discovery at Agicap."

According to El Ghalbzouri, the advantage of a scale-up like Agicap is that you don't necessarily work with a fixed marketing budget, but at Agicap, everything you try out is new to your market. "It starts with the fact that the distribution of the budget is different; something I also have to explain to media partners. It's not about the size of the budget, that's often what bigger brands do; it's about what's successful. If it works, we'll double our efforts. We run experiments, and if we see a positive ROI, we double it. And if not, we start looking elsewhere. For a scale-up, money isn't usually the bottleneck; the budget is often there, the bottleneck is mainly time. Planning ahead makes almost no sense, because the product is still in continuous development, with more and more elements being added all the time. Agicap now gets the most leads from paid channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and e-mail, but also from radio (the Dutch business radio station BNR) and content. In addition, our customers are of course our biggest ambassadors. They pass it on to other entrepreneurs via word of mouth, which of course also lends our organic growth a major boost."

"I've used radio more often in the past, but the difference now is that you can measure the effect immediately. You'll always pick up a peak in online traffic straight away, but the leads we receive are directly followed up by our sales department. Potential customers will request a demo. We are in the unique position of being able to ask directly how they came across us, such as the radio for example. So you immediately see the effect of what you're implementing. That has to do with the close cooperation we have with sales and that's vital. Marketing and sales within fintech are like Siamese twins."

In the Netherlands, just like in the other countries where Agicap is operational, there is a strong growth in customers, applications and digital traffic. There are now about 5,000 customers for Agicap Europe. "But we always say: we're not there yet by a long shot. We haven't scratched the surface yet. We do see that entrepreneurs are enthusiastic about it and already know that Agicap is popular from what our 'brothers and sisters' in other countries are saying. They are already growing much faster, and are already much larger than here in the Netherlands. But we are heading in the same direction. People talk about us."

The founders of Agicap are aiming for nothing less than world domination, says El Ghalbzouri. It is determined to become the platform for cash flow management worldwide. "The focus is now on Europe, but the rest will come in time. For now, speed is key. We're focusing on quality and time. You want marketing companies where you can obtain positive ROI, but it also has to be at a certain pace, because you are a scale-up. In addition, we are in a saturated fintech market. Even though we are unique, you sometimes bump into other parties. Wanting to work quickly, acting swiftly and being bold is what it takes here." 

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