Patrick Stäuble: I See My Own Role More Like a Football Coach: I Get the Right People Onboard

Patrick Stäuble

Patrick Stäuble of Teylor AG.

Tell us about yourself?

My name is Patrick Stäuble, I was born in Switzerland but spent most of my childhood living in different countries around the world as my father works in the oil and gas industry.

I returned to Switzerland when I was 18 years old and served in the Swiss military where I also took part in a peacekeeping mission in Kosovo.

Afterward I studied Economics at the University of Zurich and launched and later sold my first startup StudentTranslate.

After finishing university and another stint in the military, I started working in Fintech.

I founded Teylor in 2018 to change the way banks provide credit to SMEs and we have had an incredible journey so far.

In my spare time I enjoy going to the gym, brush up on my Italian and live the wonderful life the city of Zurich has to offer.

What do you think is the single biggest misconception people have when it comes to startups?

Many people think building a successful startup is all about having a great idea. It’s not. I can give you ten fantastic business ideas right now, and I think most people could.

Building a successful company is first and foremost about execution. How do you make your idea work? How do you make customers buy your product, how do you make investors believe in your idea and how do you attract the right people to work for your company?

As you figure out how to execute, your initial idea will also evolve and change over time.

If I look back at our journey at Teylor, we started with the idea of making credit more accessible to SMEs and we built a digital lending platform to make it happen.

As we became successful, banks approached us and asked if we could build the same technologies we use for our processes and products for them as well.

That’s when our software business was born. Today we are the leading SME lending platform and the leading credit technology provider in Germany.

That wasn’t something I had foreseen when I first came up with the idea for Teylor.

If you could go back in time to any moment from your journey, and give yourself one tip, what would it be?

We Swiss have a tendency to plan every single thing in life and in principle, that’s a good thing.

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However, if I would meet my 20 year old self I would tell him not to worry too much about what’s too far ahead.

It’s wise to plan the next two or three milestones in life and also to have a long-term vision, but there really is no point spending a lot of time thinking about what’s going to happen in twenty years time.

The best course of action is to have goals and then focus on what we can control, and have faith that we will make the right decisions along the way to create a better future for ourselves and others.

What makes you stand out as an entrepreneur?

We all have our strengths and weaknesses and I believe one thing that has served me well over my career is the ability to bring the right people together and make them work as a team.

I see my own role more like a football coach: I get the right people onboard, give them what they need to get their work done, and then let them run by themselves without me or anyone else micromanaging them.

Teylor would be nowhere near where it is if it wouldn’t be for the team. Not only do we have really bright people, but they also work together well and support each other wherever they can.

What are some of the best working habits you’ve gained over the past couple of years?

Building a successful startup is an incredible amount of work. You simply can’t get through that without solid work ethics. I can say that not only for myself but also for the team.

We work hard but we also take the time to enjoy ourselves and blow off steam.

Being able to work focused, consistent and with persistence is the most valuable skill you can have in the workplace. Everything else you can learn relatively easily in today’s day and age.

Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?

Before launching Teylor I worked for a Zurich-based fintech that was mostly doing retail financial products.

During that time I noticed that a lot of progress has been made over the past decade in digitising retail finance, whereas B2B finance is significantly lagging behind.

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If you are a German SME in need of financing, you need to wait eight to twelve weeks to get a term sheet from a bank.

That’s way too long. The reason for that is that banks still rely on outdated manual processes.

And that’s what we’ve set out to change at Teylor. We have developed a software solution that automates the entire credit lifecycle from origination to scoring to contract management.

We use this technology inhouse to provide loans that we finance through our own debt fund and we licence it to banks as a Software-as-a-Service offering.

Where do you see your business in five years?

We are already probably the largest SME lender and the leading credit technology provider in the German market and we are now looking at expanding our business throughout Europe.

On the software side we already have customers in Switzerland, Austria and Scandinavia and we are talking to prospects all across Europe.

On the lending side we are focused on Germany but are going to internationalise starting next year.

We are planning to be the largest European fintech lender and credit technology provider by 2026. And we are well on the way to achieve that goal.

What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you in getting there?

We are in an excellent position.

Our business model is unique in that we do both, lending and software. Most fintechs do only software, and most lenders only lend. We do both which gives us unique insights and a massive competitive advantage.

We also have better technology than our competitors, an extremely talented team, supportive investors and a great partner network.

The challenge, as with every startup, is growing the team while still maintaining the same level of service and product quality that we provide today. I am confident that we will make it happen.

Talk to us about your biggest success story so far?

Without any doubt the thing I am most proud of is Teylor and the challenges that we have been able to overcome in the last years.

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We kept growing during the pandemic, while some of our competitors went out of business.

We even closed a fundraising round during that time, which shows you how much our investors and customers believe in us.

How do clients and customers find you? Are you much of a salesperson for yourself?

We have several channels through which our customers can find us.

First through our website www.teylor.com.

Second, we have a customer communications centre at which customers can call us and speak directly to our financing professionals.

Third, we have a large network of brokers and banks that recommend our products.

For the second question, I believe every entrepreneur has to be a salesperson one way or another. Especially in a mid-sized firm like Teylor, the owner can’t hide behind a desk.

I regularly talk with customers, banks and investors almost every day. That also gives me the insights into our customers’ problems that I need to drive our products and services forward.

What one tip would you give to fellow startup founders?

Listen to your customers. When we built Teylor, we started with a simple digital business loan. We soon realised that SMEs really need digital credit products far beyond loans.

We listened and today we provide comprehensive financing solutions from machine financing to real estate and factoring.

The same goes for our Software-as-a-Service offering: We saw that banks were asking for it, and then we built it.

I think that’s the best way for any startup to evolve: Start with a fundamental idea of how to solve a problem, and then listen to what the market needs and keep building your business based on that demand.

And finally, what do you hope the future brings both you personally, and your business?

Our next big goal is to become the leading credit technology provider and fintech lender in Europe by 2026.

That’s not just something I “hope” for, but that’s a concrete goal we work for everyday and we are well on track to achieve it.

As we grow, it will be important for us to keep our company culture that way it is today. To innovate, we need to stay fresh, agile and open-minded.

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