Answers from Nicolas Kopp, U.S. CEO at N26 Inc.
Why did you decide to participate in the German Accelerator New York program?
I relocated to New York in September 2017 to oversee our U.S. launch. Back then, the team consisted of myself and two others, so it was (and still is!) very much like a startup within a startup. It was beneficial to work with German Accelerator and get connected to their local network. Making connections is vital to launching in a new market, so I enjoyed participating in various German Accelerator events throughout the last year.
The program also pairs participants with mentors who’ve already experienced a lot of the same challenges in launching a new product or business here. My mentor was a serial entrepreneur who always made himself available and had great insights to share. We still keep in touch today!
What did you achieve during the program?
Again, I think getting access to key stakeholders, whether it’s investors, journalists or other startups and entrepreneurs, is crucial in the early stages of launching a product. For me, the different pitch nights and industry networking events were a great way to get plugged into the New York tech scene. The program was a great resource for me in the early days as I could easily connect with others who had experience in recruiting and hiring, finding the right office location, navigating the U.S. banking terrain, and so on. These relationships helped me set up our local operations smoothly and efficiently.
Where does your company stand today?
N26 has grown tremendously since I first joined the firm in 2015, and this is particularly true of the last year or so that I’ve been in New York. We’ve gone from half a million customers in summer 2017 to now more than two million customers in 24 countries across Europe. We also recently launched in the UK, which is our first non-euro currency market, and we’re on track to launch in the U.S. in 2019.
We’ve also experienced rapid growth internally — we have more than 500 employees across four different offices, including a new tech hub in Barcelona. Here in the U.S., we’ve gone from an initial team of 3 people to now more than 20. And we’re constantly hiring!
N26 is a mobile bank with more than 3.5 million customers in 24 European markets who execute over €1.5 billion in monthly transaction volume. Our team of 500+ employees in three locations (Berlin, Barcelona, NYC) is committed to reinventing the banking experience for the digital generation. With a full European banking license, state-of-the-art technology, and no branch network, N26 is redesigning banking for the 21st century. N26 is launching its banking app in the U.S. in 2019.