Meet Hansa — A Demo Day[s] 10 Presenting Startup

This year, FinTech Sandbox Demo Day[s] will take place across two days, April 9 and April 11. The presentations will be virtual and the event, as always, is free. Demo Days are exciting because we get to showcase startups that are on the very cutting edge of innovation and you get to see what they’re up to before they’re discovered.

This week and next we’ll continue highlighting this year’s presenting entrepreneurs. Today, we’re talking to Henry Magun, CEO of Hansa, which is based in New York. Hansa is helping small business owners ensure the data that financial service providers use to find, qualify, and underwrite their businesses is up-to-date, accurate, and consistent. Hansa is presenting on Tuesday, April 9.

Today, we’re talking to Henry Magun, CEO of Hansa, which is based in New York. Hansa is helping small business owners ensure the data that financial service providers use to find, qualify, and underwrite their businesses is up-to-date, accurate, and consistent.

Q. Henry, tell us a bit about Hansa. What problems are you solving?

A. Hansa facilitates efficient information exchange between SMBs and the financial service providers that want to serve them, before an SMB even submits an application for funding. Despite the fact that there are 30 million SMBs in the US and that the SMB financing market tops $1.4T, small business owners still struggle to get access to the financial products and services they need to thrive.

A leading cause of this is that financial institutions don’t have access to 1st-party, verified data about SMBs. Without it, they are forced to use out-of-date and frequently incorrect data to inefficiently market their products to wide bands of SMBs, and SMB owners are inundated with offers for products they don’t qualify for. Hansa is closing this data gap. We empower small business owners to participate in creating the data that is used to find them, helping them feel confident that they’ll be considered for services they qualify for, and won’t be bothered with those they aren’t.

Q. What is your company’s origin story?

A. My mother is a small business owner, and through her, I saw how much inefficiency exists in the way that financial products are marketed and sold to SMBs today. This hurts the SMBs the most, as the onus ultimately falls on them to do the work to determine what products they might qualify for. I saw how much time and effort it took for my mother to find the right products that fit her business, and knew that there could be a better way.

Q. Can you describe what it’s been like to be part of the Fintech Sandbox community?

A. The Fintech Sandbox community has been incredibly impactful for Hansa. We’ve had opportunities to meet other amazing startups in our space, as well as build deep relationships with the program’s partners. The members of the Fintech Sandbox management team have all been huge advocates for us, and have gone out of their way to give us as many opportunities as possible to spread the word about Hansa.

Q. Why is data access important to your startup?

A. Hansa’s mission is to empower SMBs to use their data to their advantage, by helping them leverage it to get access to the financial projects they need. A necessary component of this is helping them access the data that already exists about their businesses. That’s where Hansa’s partnerships with data providers come in. We work with companies like Equifax (a Fintech Sandbox partner), to enable small business owners to access, understand, and monitor the data that financial services providers are using to make decisions about them every day.

Q. What milestones has Hansa achieved so far?

A. We have signed up hundreds of SMBs that proactively share information about their businesses with Hansa and have direct access to dozens of loan products from our partner lenders. We’ve built early partnerships with other SMB data companies to help our members understand their existing data presence. We’ve developed a data furnishment product to help SMBs build business credit history by paying off their existing loans.

Q. What trends in fintech are you most excited about?

A. Rapid growth of embedded lending. Use of AI to custom-tailor financial product experiences and content to match the needs of individual customers. Digitization of SMB finance and data management.

Q. How does Hansa think about leveraging AI in a differentiated way?

A. The capital needs and financial profiles of small businesses vary immensely, and AI enables Hansa to offer customized and hyper-specific funding and credit building experiences for business owners.

Q. What’s next for Hansa?

A. Expanding our partnerships with lenders, SMB data companies, and financial services providers to help SMBs get the products they need, when they need them. Launching our full SMB-facing application covering access to capital, credit building, cost saving and more.

To hear more about Hansa and 11 other exciting fintech startups, be sure to register for FinTech Sandbox Demo Day[s] 10!