Samarth Shekhar is the Founder and Managing Director of TechFluence, Co-Founder of FinTech Forum, the first and largest hub for FinTech in Continental Europe, and author of the Study of FinTech / Unbundling European Finance report covering.
Samarth was named to the Wall Street Journal “40 Innovators Shaping the Future of Finance“ / Financial News FinTech 40: “40 leaders in fintech” in 2014. He was nominated a judge of the BBVA OpenTalent startup competition (2014), as well as SWIFT’s Innotribe Startup Challenge in 2014 and 2016, and drives FinTech Forum's mentoring program since 2014.
The 250+ startups that have presented at over 15 FinTech Forum / On Tour events so far have gone on to raise €250M+ in funding, and resulted in exits worth €225M+ so far.
Samarth is invited to speak at leading industry events, including:
- SIBOS / Innotribe (Sep. 2016, Geneva and Oct. 2014, Boston)
- Money20/20 Europe, (Apr. 2016 and Jun. 2017, Copenhagen)
- Innovate Finance Global Summit (Apr. 2016, London)
- Financial News / WSJ.D FinTech Events "Bank of the Future" (Nov. 2014) and "Asset Manager of the Future" (Apr. 2015, London)
- DVFA FinTech Events (Oct. 2016 and Mar. 2015, Frankfurt )
- FinTechStage (Apr. 2015, Milan)
- NextBank Europe (Sep. 2014, Barcelona)
Prior to founding TechFluence, Samarth worked in sales and business development - of which the last 12 years in Europe - at Capgemini Deutschland, HCL Tech / Deutsche Software (a Deutsche Bank JV), OrbiTech (Citigroup tech spin-off) and PwC India (E-Business and BI Consulting divisions).
Samarth has degrees in Computer Science (BIT Mesra) and MBA (Strategy & Marketing, IIM Calcutta) and is fluent in German and English.
Michael Mellinghoff is Managing Director at TechFluence and a Senior Advisor and Mentor at FinTech Forum. He is a seasoned investment professional with over 15 years of experience, spanning both the traditional banking and fintech world.
Michael’s career covers a 10+ years span in traditional banking, where he held a variety of managerial positions in asset management and investment banking in Germany and abroad, including management board and supervisory board appointments in Commerzbank Asset Management and DZ Bank Group.
Since 2010, Michael has been working in the Fintech area, including a 3+ years experience as Managing Director with German Fintech pioneer sharewise.com, a stock centric community for investors,
Michael’s experience gives him unique insights into the financial markets scene and ability to scout new trends in the financial sector.
At TechFluence Michael heads the firms activities in the UK as well as spearheading the initiatives in digital investment management globally. He acts as a mentor to several startups as well as FinTech accelerators (Startupbootcamp Fintech and Level39). He launched the FTF On Tour | InvestTech event (London, Sep. 2015) and the FTF On Tour | Robo Advice (Berlin, June 2016) as well as co-initiated the DVFA FinTech Forum series of the German Association of Investment Professionals. His focus areas are startups in InvestTech & digital assets.
Michael has a degree in business administration at University of Bayreuth.
@Mellinghoff is author of various articles on #Fintech related topics, speaker and contributes regularly to conferences, awards and publications.
Michael is an author of @TheFINTECHBook and member of the editorial board of The Journal of Digital Banking.
Pankhuri Srivastava heads Research & Business Support at TechFluence. She was among the first employees of TechFluence, setting up the research and market intelligence function focused on FinTech in Continental Europe.
Pankhuri helped launch the Study of FinTech, starting with the pioneering 1st Study of FinTech in D.A.CH covering 100 FinTech startups in Germany, Austria & Switzerland in Dec. 2013.
In 2014 she launched FinTech Forum’s weekly newsletter focused on the FinTech startup scene in Germany / Continental Europe, and continues to curate the newsletter as well as the European FinTech Deal Map and country-specific FinTech Scoreboards, tracking funding rounds, M&A and key partnerships in Europe.
She helped organise the inaugural FinTech Forum event (Nov. 2013) and continues to support our FinTech Forum | On Tour events.
Prior to TechFluence, she has worked in the learning and development department for various companies in India and Germany.
She has a degree in business administration from ICFAI University , India.
Sanjiv Purushotham is a payments industry business expert, and a Partner at BridgeDFS (Dubai / Singapore). He has worked in senior positions across Asia, Middle East and Africa with American Express and MasterCard. In highly successful roles in business management, product development, advisory as well business development roles. His core areas of strength are electronics and digital payments, lending, remittances and travel related financial services.
Some key accomplishments include
•Managing the American Express Bank Consumer Credit in Singapore.
•Launch, management of successful credit card portfolios in Singapore
•Launch of the mobile payments switch in Egypt in partnership with the Central Bank’s processor, Etisalat and the National Bank of Egypt
•Grew card customer acquisitions by 150% and optimized card portfolios for the largest Malaysia and Philippines based banks
•Launch of the first mobile money linked virtual card globally
•Successful partnerships with multiple telcos in Asia, Middle East and Africa – Etisalat, Ooredoo, Singtel, Airtel, MTN to name a few
•Building Digital Partnerships with Microsoft, Google and Sony.
Recognition includes 3 Global GSMA Awards for Mobile Money related initiatives, SPARKS program for high-achievers in American Express.
Varsenia Stoyanova is an Advisor at TechFluence, with a focus on business development, customer relationship management, PR, and sales. She worked within the Private Banking and Wealth Management industry where she was setting up sales processes, implementing new CRM systems, cor banking systems, and leading customer acquisition projects.
She has supported C-level executives with analysis, research and business development.
Varsenia has a keen interest in the startup and FinTech industry and is glad to support startups with business development and sales strategies combined with her experience in the financial sector.
She is a graduate of the Goethe University in Frankfurt, having a major in finance and statistics. In her thesis she did a research on startups and entrepreneurs in the Silicon Valley.
Dr. Joo Hee Lee is Senior Advisor at TechFluence. She is a seasoned asset manager in the field of global multi-asset investment solutions. Past 10 years have seen her building and heading Solutions Design Team at Fidelity International while managing ~$5bn of institutional clients assets. She is recognised for developing systematic asset allocation strategies for large institutions such as pension funds and sovereign wealth managements, and notably credited for creating robust, cost-efficient and client-specific solutions with a strong performance track record.
Joo Hee is highly regarded by clients as a knowledgeable and trusted advisor with her near two decade industry experience spanning equity, fixed income and currencies followed by the multi-asset investment solutions design. Coupled with her interdisciplinary science training with degrees in physics, chemistry and statistics, she is well-versed in academic literature and financial theory with published papers. Joo Hee holds a Ph.D. degree from University of Cambridge, and a MSc from University of London, in addition to CFA and CQF charters.
Bringing her global, quantitative and cross-asset management experiences to TechFluence, she is now focused on creating and managing bespoke portfolio solutions for the digital wealth management participants.
Axel Apfelbacher is Senior Advisor at TechFluence. He is a digital banking strategist with a keen interest in disruptive business models.
His specialty are FinTech models, evaluating new technologies and business models and their impact on existing market structures, with a specific focus on blockchain.
He can review any strategy and business model and provide feedback on optimisation potential.
Axel is also a seasoned M&A professional and due diligence / valuation expert and can help in all corporate finance related situations, incl. investment cases and M&A transactions.
He is one of the final authors of the first crowd-sourced FinTechBook and a panellist, moderator and workshop organiser for multiple conference formats in Germany.
Gopi Selveswaran is an Advisor at TechFluence. He has accumulated eight years experience in International Private Equity in both developed and emerging markets. He started his career with Abraaj capital, a leading emerging market fund that invests across Asia, Africa and Latin America where he was part of the CIO office. He also spent more than four years at Bridgepoint, a leading European mid-market buyout fund where he was a core member of the strategic Fundraising and Investor Relations team and helped successfully raise the EUR 4 billion Bridgepoint Europe V fund in 2015.
He is a seasoned valuations expert and has advised on valuations for emerging market SMEs covering a portfolio of over 100 investments spread across three continents.
Gopi has a keen interest in innovative and disruptive FinTech companies. He consults start-ups on fundraising and business development matters and also writes the briefing for the European FinTech Deal Map- a weekly round-up of FinTech investments and M&A in Europe.
He has a Master of Science degree in Finance from Lancaster University, UK and a B.Com degree from Loyola College (Madras University), India.