This article details how Céline Lazorthes developed Leetchi and MangoPay. It briefly covers biographical information and recent achievements, as well.
When you hear or read the word “FinTech”, your mind might automatically jump to Bitcoin. But BTC and Blockchain aren’t the only groundbreaking financial technologies.
The mind behind both MangoPay and Leetchi is Céline Lazorthes. Her ideas continue to help move billions of euros across Europe.
What do her companies do and how did Lazorthes rise to prominence?
— Celine Lazorthes (@CelineLz) October 15, 2017
10 Years of Third Sector Progress for Both Companies
Lazorthes hails from Toulouse, France, where she had big ideas even in high school.
After attending engineering school, Lazorthes went to HEC Paris (École des hautes études commerciales de Paris) business school. While working on a project, she discovered a gap in financial services that would eventually become the space for Leetchi and MangoPay. She formally founded Leetchi in 2009 then founded MangoPay in 2013.
Both of these companies are financial tools. MangoPay functions as a payment platform for crowdfunding marketplaces. Leetchi serves as a personal crowdfunding resource, or what’s called a “moneypot”.
Originally, MangoPay served only Luxembourg. It then expanded to the UK in 2015.
Coincidentally, Lazorthes sold 86% of the company to Crédit Mutuel Arkéa in 2015, as well. She retains 14% of the “end-to-end payment technology” company. Considering more than 2,500 platforms now use MangoPay, Lazorthes made a smart move.
The company also retains its commitment to open-source and developer-friendly initiatives.
Leetchi continues to grow, as well, with write-ups in major publications like The New York Times, TechCrunch, and WIRED.
As with MangoPay, Lazorthes sees this as a way to disrupt the third sector – the “third sector” is the space between public and private. This designation allows the company to operate independent of government, as well.
An Industry 4.0 Mentality for the Present
The services Leetchi Group offers do conflict with traditional concepts of banking. But, believe it or not, Lazorthes doesn’t have much banking knowledge or experience. Stranger still is that she doesn’t see that as a problem, but an edge over the competition moving forward.
Lazorthes commented in a 2016 interview about how banks could survive Industry 4.0. She admitted that there is already a problem with how banks operate even now.
“We [Leetchi Group] are born of the reason or the need of opening a platform to collect money online. It’s very simple…we shouldn’t exist if banks did their job.”
She goes onto say that the people who will survive are the ones who focus on their end users and the service. With the majority of the team having tech and engineering backgrounds, Leetchi Group’s focus coincides directly with Lazorthes’ assertions.
The company uses algorithms and other tech-focused solutions to solve problems and deliver better service to their users. But the company also employs those with high profile banking experience.
Combined with solid performances since 2013, this explains why Crédit Mutuel Arkéa invested $10-million into the venture after their deal with MangoPay in 2015.
How Mentality Informs Business and Customer Care
Lazorthes will likely continue to change Leetchi with intent focus on customer feedback. She extends this unique approach into how she runs her company, as well.
She built her team of now around 80 people with a key thing in mind: hire based on behavior and not on knowledge. She suggests that you can always teach someone how to do something, but you can seldom help someone to change their personality.