Stefan Moller, CEO of Klar, a Mexican fintech democratizing access to banking, wants to change the way Mexicans think about money.
Stefan grew up between Mexico and Germany and worked traditional jobs to finance his own ventures. His experience working traditional jobs and startup companies led him to start Klar to try to make Mexicans’ lives better.
According to Stefan, traditional banking in Mexico is monopolistic and most Latin Americans have a negative experience dealing with banks. Klar makes it easy for Mexicans to use their smartphones to access better loans, savings, and investment products.
In this episode, Stefan shares his entrepreneurial experience growing up in different cultures. We also talk about fintechs in Mexico and how Klar builds trust with its users.
Lessons from growing up in Mexico and Germany
Spending time between two different countries gave Stefan a unique perspective. He saw how experiences and motivations can be completely different in each culture, which helped him decide to build better financial solutions for Mexico.
In this episode, you’ll learn how Stefan built a team with top-tier talent.
Klar’s long-term strategy for success
Before Klar, Stefan created several successful ventures, including selling 2 million Chinese Hologram bracelets in Mexico. In Germany, he built a market intelligence company that packaged business research papers to sell to large companies.
The lessons learned while starting this company allowed Stefan to launch Klar. This also helped him to create a strategy to build the users’ trust in the product.
Check out this Crossing Borders episode to learn Klar’s thesis and why it is compelling for both users and investors.
Simplifying access to financial services for Mexicans
In Mexico, opening a bank account involved signing many papers and long waiting times for service. Stefan describes Mexicans’ relationship with banks as a “necessary evil.” Klar is developing better relations between banks and their users to change how people think about money. For example, Klar allows Mexicans to access payroll advances with the click of a button.
In this episode, learn how Klar provides effective, tailored, and secure financial services.
Outline of this episode:
- [01:35] – About Klar
- [02:01] – How Klar is an alternative to traditional financial services
- [03:55] – The problem with traditional banks
- [05:30] – Stefan’s background
- [07:35] – Growing up across different cultures
- [09:16] – Stories of Stefan’s past businesses
- [11:25] – Lessons learned through his path in entrepreneurship
- [13:00] – Why did Stefan fund Klar?
- [15:50] – Creating Klar from the start
- [18:38] – Stefan’s take on neobanks
- [20:58] – Discussing the exit of Citi’s retail banking from Mexico
- [22:58] – Fintech’s strategy of bundling services and products
- [25:05] – Raising funding rounds for Klar
- [27:15] – Advice for younger self
- [29:26] – Book recommendations
- [30:30] – The future of Klar
Resources & people mentioned:
- Stefan Moller
- Citi exiting retail banking from Mexico
- Book How Will You Measure Your Life? By Clayton Christensen.
- Nathan Lustig