German Fintech Startup Raises $3 Million to Boost ETF Markets

Estimated read time 2 min read

Naro, a German fintech startup, has raised $3 million in pre-seed funding.

Cologne-based Naro, founded in 2022, wants to take advantage of the boom in exchange-traded funds — or ETF — products in Europe to offer white-label services to various banks, funds, and brokers.

ETFs have boomed in Europe in recent years, with EY research indicating that the market grew 28% to $1.8 trillion in 2023 from $1.3 trillion previously, and is expected to grow at around 15% year-on-year.

“The macroeconomic development currently is the rise of ETFs and private wealth, but fund management is harder for people because of the gap between brokers and users,” Naro CEO Chris Püllen told Business Insider.

“We started to talk to brokers about this because they need to get into monetization to build long-term relationships with their clients, so it has to be an option for all these players to build their own ETFs.”

In short, while the wider banking and brokerage space in Germany has been disrupted by tech upstarts like N26 and Trade Republic, asset management has been less disrupted, Püllen added.

Naro’s solution is to provide the sole point of technical contact between brokers and clients, to then offer bespoke options with lower fees than traditional mutual funds which might charge 1.5% as a fee. The startup can repackage products and services from existing, financially regulated brokers, and then sell them as white-label offerings, akin to supermarket own-brand cereal, to prospective clients.

Naro’s pre-seed funding round was led by Berlin’s La Famiglia alongside Discovery Ventures, plus investment from Robin Capital, Angel Invest, and various angels. The funding round closed in September last year. “The more VCs understood what we do, the higher the interest was,” Püllen said.

Funding will go towards expanding the startup’s current team of 10 staff as it looks to partner with potential customers looking to build out products within their existing infrastructure.

“Our inbound is getting stronger, so we’re talking to partners and customers, particularly about replacing legacy mutual funds and also to e-money institutions looking to reduce their counterparty risk in the wake of SVB and Credit Suisse,” Püllen added.

Naro’s business plan subsequently changed from its original slides, you can see a version of its pre-seed pitch deck below: