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What’s Cooking with Spiros Margaris? On Fintech, Corona, & the Future

The fintech industry is at once an increasingly prevalent and increasingly invisible force in many–if not most–of human society.

Indeed, the fintech industry seems to be growing horizontally: while there are some companies that aim to build ‘full-contact’ relationships with their clientele, a growing number of them are building infrastructure that takes an elegant backseat to the lives of their customers: technology that is as intuitive and easy-to-use as breathing air.

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However, in the current environment, the balance between being at once seen and invisible is quite a challenge, particularly for young companies; add coronavirus to the mix, and the path forward for fintech startups becomes even more complex.

Recently, Finance Magnates sat down with Spiros Margaris, venture capitalist and founder of Margaris Ventures, to talk about the relationship between building brand and user experience, as well as the effects that the coronavirus will have on the fintech industry.

This is an excerpt. To hear the full interview with Spiros Margaris, click the Soundcloud or Youtube links below.

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Who is Spiros Margaris?

After decades of working in the finance industry, Spiros has seen–and done–it all.

“My past was in asset management, in hedge funds,” he explained. “I lived for 20 years in the States, and I had two startups, which also crashed during the dot com era–so, I know how that is.”

“Many years ago I left my company where I was a partner in Switzerland, and looked for new opportunities to invest in startups–then, fintech slowly started to come to the seen,” he said, adding that “fintech” wasn’t even called “fintech” at the time, although “financial tech” companies did exist.

“Then, I guess I was in the right place at the right time,” he continued. “But, besides asset management–looking at companies as a portfolio manager and an investor…I’ve had my share of failures and successes, and I think that’s part of my success story now.”

But early-stage companies won’t be the only ones who are affected by the economic fallout from the coronavirus: “even banks will be shaken…even tech giants are shaken by corona.”

However, “if you’re a big player, you’re probably going to survive and get stronger–Amazon, Facebook, Google, big banks–and the smaller players, small fintechs, a lot of them will disappear regardless, besides the fact that a lot of them disappear anyway because that’s the nature of the startup business.”

The greater consequence of all of this, Spiros said, is that “innovation will go down because if there’s less competition out there, there isn’t a need to innovate as much.”

This is an excerpt. To hear Finance Magnates’ full interview with Spiros Margaris, visit us on Soundcloud or Youtube. Special thanks to Spiros Margaris.

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