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Highlights

 

Welcome to another episode of Category Visionaries, the show that explores the future of tech with innovative B2B founders. In today’s episode, we’re speaking with Ben Goldin, CEO and Founder of Plumery, a digital engagement platform for banks that has raised $4.5 million in funding.

  • Ben’s early passion for tech and experience opening a bank account as a teenager, which sparked his desire to change the way people interact with banking on a daily basis.
  • His 25-year career in building technology for banks, including his role as the first CTO of Mambu, a leading cloud-based core banking platform serving over 300 customers in more than 60 countries.
  • The problem Plumery aims to solve: helping banks build delightful customer experiences and stay innovative in the long term, particularly for mid-to-small size financial institutions and neo-banks looking to modernize their digital offerings or build new propositions from scratch.
  • The unique approach of combining a “buy plus build” model, allowing banks to achieve feature parity through out-of-the-box solutions while also enabling customization for competitive differentiation.
  • The application of headless architecture principles, well-established in e-commerce and content management, to the banking industry, where such an approach is still relatively rare.
  • The emergence of digital engagement as a recognized category in analyst reports, despite the complexity and domain expertise required to build a product-based solution.
  • The advantages of being a repeat founder with deep industry knowledge when it comes to fundraising, and the value of cultivating relationships with well-connected angel investors who can generate buzz and inbound interest.
  • The importance of maintaining a simple, relaxed approach and trusting one’s instincts as a founder, rather than taking things too seriously or second-guessing oneself.
  • The long-term vision of changing the way people experience banking on a global scale, with the goal of positively impacting anywhere from 10 million to 1 billion individuals, depending on the company’s success.

Actionable
Takeaways

Identify Pain Points Through Personal Experience:

Ben's motivation to transform the banking experience stemmed from his own frustrating interactions with traditional banks as a teenager. Founders should look for opportunities to solve problems they've encountered firsthand, as this personal connection can fuel their passion and provide valuable insights into user needs.

Combine Out-of-the-Box Solutions with Customization:

Plumery's "buy plus build" approach recognizes that banks need both standardized features for parity and the ability to differentiate through custom development. When designing products for complex industries, consider how to balance pre-built functionality with flexibility and extensibility.

Apply Proven Principles from Adjacent Industries:

By bringing headless architecture, a proven concept in e-commerce and content management, to the banking sector, Plumery is introducing a novel solution to a traditional industry. Founders should look for opportunities to adapt successful strategies and technologies from related fields to solve problems in their target market.

Leverage Founder Expertise and Networks for Fundraising:

As a repeat founder with extensive domain knowledge, Ben had an advantage in raising capital for Plumery. Entrepreneurs should highlight their relevant experience and cultivate relationships with well-connected investors who can help generate interest and momentum in their fundraising efforts.

Trust Your Instincts and Maintain Perspective:

Ben's advice to his younger self underscores the importance of staying grounded and confident as a founder. While the challenges of building a startup can feel overwhelming at times, it's crucial to trust your gut, maintain a healthy perspective, and not take things too seriously.

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