BANKEX may become a stampede of unicorns with founder and CEO Igor Khmel riding the one with wings at the front of the pack… We chat with NYC-Moscow-Hong Kong based Khmel on all things fintech and why true disruption of the banking sector is an insiders’ game.

By Joanne Leila Smith and Joseph Smith

BANKEX is a Bank-as-a-Service blockchain platform on Ethereum building Internet of Assets (IoA), powered by Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Although not yet a unicorn by the Silicon Valley definition when we unpack the BANKEX mission, team, products and future vision it does look like it could be one, so, it’s easy to see why they made the Who’s Who in the Fintech World Top Fifty List FINANCIAL IT Pathfinder Ranking in 2017.

For the uninitiated, a unicorn in the venture capital industry is any tech start-up company that reaches a USD1 billion market value as determined by private or public investment and has over large double or triple digit year-on-year growth. The term was originally coined by Venture Capitalist Aileen Lee, founder of US-based Cowboy Ventures.

The BANKEX mission is to deliver liquidity to assets around the world that are underrated due to the organisation of classic financial markets.

With a team that resembles the Fintech equivalent of the 1992 USA Olympic dream team headed by founder and CEO Igor Khmel, the BANKEX journey began when Khmel was an intrapreneur, at Moscow’s oldest banking giant Sberbank, over three years ago. Khmel was Head of Sberbank Labs – an internal digital business-incubator charged with developing complementary core-business non-bank products and services to add value to its 80 million customer-base and 20,000 branches worldwide.

“The BANKEX model is based on a model from Germany – there are several companies doing similar things to Sberbank Labs, like Finlay and Rocket, whereby start-ups are a repeated business model, they make products one-by-one and sell it back to the banks. My plan was to leverage it in the same way. My internal experience taught me that banks had plenty of trouble with grading new companies and going through a lot of bureaucracy to make it happen. Usually the sales cycle within a bank is 12 or more month

Igor Khmel, Joanne Leila Smith, Joseph Smith, INDVSTRVS, Fintech, BankEx, cryptocurrency, banking, finance, bank-as-a-service, blockchain

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