Berlin-based financial technology company Topi (website) raises $45 million from investors. The fintech offers dealers a platform through which they can offer their products for rent. This way, medium-sized companies, for example, can equip themselves with new computers, smartphones, or printers – without high one-off costs.
The fintech advertises its solution as a means to mitigate the results of the ongoing crisis: “Especially in times of crisis like these, this is a relief for companies,” Topi co-founder Charlotte Pallua tells Handelsblatt.
The rental contracts run for between twelve and 36 months, after which customers can decide whether they want to buy the products, exchange them for new ones or return them. Topi also checks the creditworthiness of end customers for its customers. It’s a business model that works even in a crisis. “We are a young company and are still experiencing a lot of demand from investors at the moment,” says Topi co-founder Charlotte Pallua.
“We believe that some top companies will emerge from the current economic climate – just as they have in previous crises,” said Jan Hammer, who invested in Topi with Index Ventures. The best companies in their respective categories, which mastered this phase well, continued to attract and retain skilled workers and would continue to receive money.
Christian Meermann of Berlin-based early-stage investor Cherry Ventures makes a similar point: “The best companies are founded in times of downturn,” he says, referring to online retailer Zalando, cab service Uber and vacation rental portal Airbnb. These companies were founded during the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009.