Nicole Anderson, Redsand’s Managing Partner, was a recent guest for EntrepreneurCountry TV, interviewed by Viva Capital’s Julie Meyer about her career and the work of Redsand as a leading fintech venture builder.
EntrepreneurCountry TV is part of the Viva Investment Partners platform and features a community of more than 300,000 members.
In the interview, Nicole discusses how she launched her career in green financial technology, Redsand’s approach to working with corporates and much, much more.
Read some of Nicole’s answers and watch the full interview with Julie Meyer below…
How did you start your career in financial technology?
It was very organic. I enjoyed 20 years in a corporate career, then around 2008 I found myself outside of corporate life during the financial crisis.
It was then that I first tasted the start-up revolution. Very quickly, I found there was an opportunity to re-engineer finance and I was fascinated by the ideas and innovation of these smaller companies and entrepreneurs. Finance is a complex beast and penetrating this world and making a difference is challenging. A decade later there has been innovation in finance but it’s come from a small pool of companies.
I began to figure out the innovation pitfalls thanks to my time in the corporate world. Young companies sometimes don’t understand some of the big issues in change in the world of finance.
I developed Redsand based on the philosophy that if I could produce ideas, then take them to market as fully formed ventures fast enough, I could earn enough gravitas and momentum to create change.
How has Redsand’s work helped make a difference?
We’ve built and exited successfully 10 or so ventures. They are doing well and have found their way into Singapore, China, ventures have benefitted the African continent.
A lot of our ventures take place at the interface between impact and finance all with the aim of preserving the our planet. It’s a deep passion of mine.
How have you approached helping big corporates innovate?
For some bigger companies, approaching innovation has proved to be a very expensive marketing exercise. But in many cases, the ability to build a business outside a corporate wall has been the only way we’ve been able to succeed and innovate within certain corporate mandates. We need to instil companies to think more about the future, about horizon two or three rather than just tomorrow. Otherwise, they risk being in the same place forever.
As an entrepreneur in the fintech space, what does success now look like?
The persona of successful entrepreneurs calls on a blend of skills as the relationship between finance and technology has shifted. Finance itself is not an industry, it’s an enabler. When I entered the world of financial services, it just seemed so foreign to me, this esteemed ownership of power. Technology has really challenged this by saying: “If you’re not going to work with us, then we’ll go and create our own financial model.” And this has really shaken the market up.
The best thing about the last decade is how the power structure has shifted. Just because the big corps have the capital, it doesn’t mean they own the future roadmap. Capital is a commodity. People who understand this are the ones who are willing to be agile, blend their own skills set and understand how technology underpins industry.
What are typical Redsand projects?
At Redsand, the problems we solve are the sticky, difficult and fun challenges of how finance can change to serve social and environmental impact. Our work runs across the entire finance value chain. At the institutional level, how can we unlock sources of capital right through to helping consumers be greener.
We are not an accelerator. Instead our model is to invest, always with our time, sometimes with money. We provide a shared services model for an idea or formative business, then take it to a point where we know it will be a success.