NAME: Chris Rentner
TITLE: Founder & CEO
WEB ADDRESS: www.AkoubaCredit.com
How did you personally become involved in fintech?
My family (along with the family of my co-founders) has always been involved in a family owned small business. After decades of seeing businesses go through changes due to market conditions, technology enhancements and personnel changes, I wondered why the process of working with a bank never changed. I wanted to solve that problem.
I was fortunate to team up with two really smart people that were excited about solving a really difficult problem. It took us almost 2 years to build the right solution for the market so that banks and their customers could interact in a way that met the needs of the modern borrower. Our goal is to continue to build product until the entire digital transformation at banks has been completed.
What does your firm do/offer within the fintech sector?
Today, Akouba provides a digital end-to-end commercial loan platform enabling regulated financial institutions to lend (using their credit policies, risk rating metrics and data) to small businesses simply, efficiently and profitably through an omni channel experience.
However, banks are in the early days of going through an entire digital transformation that will span the next 5-10+ years. All sectors of a bank are currently under attack by B2C companies trying to take away market share from them. Akouba believes that the community and regional banks are a vital piece of the U.S., and the way they will stay positioned as such is through a technology overhaul. Akouba is positioning itself to provide the best-in-class technology to digitally onboard customers in an efficient and cost-effective way.
What is your role within your firm and what do you do there on any given day?
I am the CEO and one of three Founders of Akouba. As the CEO,I have overall responsibility for the vision and strategic direction of the company, so my day-to-day activities can vary based on the needs of the company overall. However, I do have some more specific management roles which include the oversight of our sales and business development efforts— which includes managing the relationships with partners, customers and resellers and also investor relations, legal and governance issues fall under my responsibility as well.
(In my opinion), regulation is one of the most complicated issues for any fintech company today. Companies can prepare for funding rounds, downturns in the economy or not hitting certain milestones, among other issues. However, the regulatory environment can have drastic and lasting effects on a business in this industry – and at times, it can be very hard to predict what is going to happen. That said, Akouba uses a combination of consultants, advisors, customer/clients and additional resources to stay ahead of regulations to de-risk their impact to our business.