Our co-founder Yan Wu, was recently on the Wharton Fintech Podcast. He reunited with his alma mater to discuss everything from Bond's origin story to managing fundraising during the pandemic and a whole lot more.
Here are a few main points that stood out in addition to the fascinating threads the Wharton team already pulled in.
Feeling the Pain in Finance
Yan’s background in engineering pulled him into the gravity of financial services when the boom in quantitative finance merged data science with financial services. From BlackRock to Manifold Partners, he got to see the ins and outs of how technology can create transformative change and led him into fintech.
After Yan joined SoFi as Head of Data, he saw that fintechs are really good at building marketing and product tech stacks, but lacked an integrated back-end that resulted in stitching outdated banking technology together.
During his time at SoFi, the company launched seven products. Yan not only felt the pain of the build, but also saw the insanity of managing these products long-term as the company was moving at a break-neck pace. The scar tissue he developed from that experience made the journey at Bond a clear next step.
Building a Pain Killer, Not a Vitamin
It was easy for Yan to see the potential in the idea of Bond when he sat down with co-founder & CEO Roy thanks to his previous experiences.
As humans, we often want nothing more than to solve the pain we experienced for the next person traveling in your footsteps. In this case, not only did Yan see an opportunity to build infrastructure to improve the entire ecosystem, he saw a chance to solve problems he had been experiencing viscerally for years.
As Yan said, “If something like this (Bond) would’ve existed while I was at SoFi, it would’ve saved us a lot of time, a lot of money, and would’ve gotten us to market much, much faster.”
Advice to Students
As Steve Jobs said, “The dots only connect looking backwards.” Yan had no idea that his technical background at financial services would prepare his career in fintech.
Similarly, Yan advises that students take “what’s special about (their) background” and “what’s unique about (them)” and leverage that into what they can excel at in their future.
Personalization in Embedded Finance
Yan explains that, “any kind of financial product should be deeply integrated into the apps we love.”
Not only does “every brand becoming a fintech” make sense for the brand, but Yan explains that it also improves access to banking products. By reducing the barrier to entry for embedding financial products, it gives way to a whole world of fintechs to bring products to the underbanked and unbanked portions of the market that have been ignored for so long. “Innovation comes down to personalization,” Yan states.
Bond is an all-in-one platform for embedded finance for brands to incorporate financial services in their apps in minutes. Brands can save months of development time and the cost of dozens of engineers, allowing them to focus their resources on building beautiful and targeted customer experiences by embedding financial products into their apps.
These are just a few of the most notable moments that stood out to us and we would love to hear your takeaways, too. Do you agree, disagree, or have some feedback to share? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’d love to hear from you if it’s about the podcast, learning more about Bond, or just to say hey!