Date: 8 June 2021
Author: FINTECH Circle
This week’s Startup Focus is shining a spotlight on Hristian Nedyalkov, co-founder and CEO of Novus!
How would you describe your business in one sentence?
The most impactful fintech company which generates positive impact for its members, the planet and society with every interaction made via the app.
Tell us why your company is a game-changer for our industry?
We are embarking on a journey to inspire positive change in both consumer behaviour and people’s perception of money. We want to demonstrate the power that an individual holds with every pound and support their journey to become more conscious in the way that they manage, invest and spend.
We are bringing a fundamental change to the traditional banking business model. So far, digital banks have only offered a digitised experience of existing services, however, at Novus we are using banking as a force for bringing positive change to the world around us and re-inventing the role that banking plays in an individual’s life.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
Surrounding myself with an amazing group of mission-driven, exceptional individuals and professionals. Without their support, we wouldn’t be where we are today and subsequently where we envision Novus to go next.
What has been the greatest challenge leading a startup so far?
Various challenges arise on almost a weekly basis, but frankly they are all exciting. It’s the lifetime lessons you learn that make starting and running a company such an amazing journey. Also, the benefit of having a great team around you that possesses complementary skills means that every challenge becomes manageable.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt from your fundraising journey?
Be prepared and persistent, yet patient. As a young first-time founder (despite different entrepreneurial endeavours in the past), the biggest lesson I’ve learnt is to be as prepared as possible using the resources at hand before approaching investors.
It’s great if you’re able to start building a relationship early on in your journey, however, when the time comes to focus on fundraising, you need to be more prepared than a second-time founder. Those who have proven themselves as a successful founder are your true competition, so you need to be able to show any potential investors that you and your team are more credible and qualified to execute the vision – and that requires a great level of preparation.
Your advice to anyone starting out as an entrepreneur?
Imagine yourself as a ‘warrior for good’ – bringing good into this world in one way or another – whether that be inventing something never seen before, challenging a whole industry, or reinventing something in a much better way. As an entrepreneur, mindset and purpose are key.
It’s also critical to remain open-minded, inventive and adaptive. Ensure you’re constantly thinking of creative ideas, speaking with others and listening to their opinions, as this will help you massively on your journey to creating the right product. Last (but definitely not least), don’t forget your biggest support network – your family and friends.
With a passion for all things maths, where he competed on national and international levels, and a skill for problem solving from an early age, it was inevitable that Hristian would go in to the world of business, and after a successful education in finance, including the most competitive UK MSc degree in Finance and Private Equity from the London School of Economics and Political Science, he started his career journey.
Joining the leading global PE fund Partners Group strengthened his understanding of private markets investing and gave him the chance to develop business acumen, strategic thinking, operational understanding and value creation skills through his involvement with both investment targets and portfolio companies, with a primary focus on tech and further specialisation in the Fintech and software fields.
With such an impressive bank of experience and skills behind him, Hristian is now looking to put his energy into creating tangible impact through a purposeful, scalable business that benefits both people and the planet through the lens of finance.
Hristian cherishes anything creative, different, atypical and ‘novus’ and this is certainly reflected in his fledgling business Novus, which will certainly push the boundaries of the current digital bank model for the good.