Currently ranked: 28
Previously ranked: 25
Early investments by Life.SREDA, which Vladislav Solodkiy founded in Moscow in 2012 and moved to Singapore in 2015, included Fidor and Simple. The so-called challenger banks did well for Solodkiy — Simple was acquired by Spain’s Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria in 2014, and Fidor struck a deal with France’s Groupe BPCE in 2016 — but his more recent portfolio investments line up with his own grand ambition to put pieces of technology together in ways that could remake banking.
Life.SREDA is both a fintech investor (Solodkiy has raised a total of $140 million in two funds and has formed a partnership with the London-based Banking on Blockchain Fund) and an ecosystem through InspirAsia, an accelerator working with several portfolio companies. Solodkiy has devised a platform architecture called BAASIS (banking as a service) and written an e-book, The First Fintech Bank’s Arrival.
To Solodkiy each bank is a combination of product and service offerings, and in the age of application programming interfaces, those options can proliferate. Bank operators thereby get more ways to provide uniquely tailored service packages, and with properly designed APIs, they can comply with regulations that vary from country to country. Compliance is particularly critical for those trying to serve multiple Asian markets, where, Solodkiy says, the lack of a fintech infrastructure like his proposed BAASIS makes “the launch of each individual project disproportionately expensive compared to the U.S. and Europe.”