Minna Technologies helps you structure your subscriptions

by Megan Roelofs
Posted on June 14, 2019

A gym subscription, Netflix, a monthly donation to charity and perhaps a daily newspaper. People possess a wide array of subscriptions that can amount to a large share of your budget. Minna Technologies is the helping hand people need to gain control over their costly subscriptions. Business Developer at Minna Technologies Christopher Svensson shares how this young startup has gained traction, users, and partners throughout the years.

With an average of 20 subscriptions per family, automatically withdrawn subscription bills can take up much of your monthly budget without you even realizing it. Minna Technologies helps consumers get an overview of their subscriptions and helps them get a better deal. Svensson shares that: “We have created a platform that connects subscription suppliers with consumers and we have been integrating this into retail banks. You have a current account where, on a recurring basis, you pay for your subscriptions, such as your mobile phone or electricity bills. We provide you with an overview of those costs in an automatic way. We analyse your transactions and in addition, we provide you with actionable insights regarding these transactions.” These actionable insights consist of helping users to cancel an unwanted subscription or even help them to switch or negotiate a better deal for a current subscription.

Empty-pocketed at the grocery store
This innovative idea sparked after a frustrating, yet common experience. When co-founder Joakim Sjöblom wanted to pay for his groceries in a crowded supermarket, his card unexpectedly declined. He logged into his online bank account and saw that the day before, several different subscriptions had been withdrawn from his current account. That card refusal made him realize that there should be a way to make it easier to see what subscriptions you are enlisted to and how much you pay for them. Svensson explains that this experience led them to further investigate the implications of this issue: “People tend to pay for a lot of stuff they do not use. Or they have subscriptions that do not match their requirements.” Minna, therefore, does not only help you cancel your mobile phone subscription, but the app can also help you with renegotiating the deal: “When you want to improve your mobile phone subscription, we ask you questions, such as: how much data do you need? How important is price for you? There are a number of questions that you could answer. Then we match you with a category that gives you the best offer, based on your requirements.”

“The average family has more than 20 subscriptions. This is an example of a segment where we can make a big difference. Some people need help with starting to save some money, so we want to empower them and help them get control of their finances.”

PSD2 and APIs
Very soon after their kick-off as a standalone platform, new European regulations such as the PSD2 were introduced. The PSD2, also known as the open banking regulations, demands from financial institutions that they share data with third parties. It also stimulates the use of APIs, Application Programming Interfaces, which enables different types of software to communicate with each other. Minna Technologies is a textbook example of how these new regulations stimulate innovation and collaboration. Svensson shares that: “Swedbank contacted us and said: your technology sounds like something our users want inside the bank. We then built exactly the same thing, but we integrated it and sold it to banks instead of providing the solution directly to consumers. We made a shift to B2B2C.” For Minna Technologies, integrating their software into larger platforms is now much easier, which immediately makes it interesting for the scalability as well.

TFI Growth Track
Upscaling and finding new partners also played a big role in applying for the TFI Growth Track: “We looked at the structure of this programme, which contains both matchmaking sessions but also the workshops. I think it’s good that the programme contains both these parts, as it is really important for us to find customers to build your pilots with, or negotiate agreements with.” However, knowledge sharing and the corporate partners that carry the programme convinced Svensson to apply. “ING, Deloitte, Amazon, and Dell. These companies are big and have a lot of impact and networks. These are companies that we can learn a lot from. Also, we saw an opportunity for knowledge sharing and network opportunities. We are a quickly growing start-up, it has been really valuable to have these expert sessions during the workshops. The sessions are tailored to our needs. There are of course things that we are not experts in, that we don’t have time to research as much as we want to. Then it makes a big difference to get an hour with someone who works on this or has multiple years of experience and who will help us out. We realized that the TFI Growth Track is a good mixture of both matchmaking, networking, and also knowledge sharing.”

Bringing power to the modern consumer
Growth and scaling is definitely on Minna’s agenda these days: “We are present in four Nordic markets today. But our focus is to find customers in continental Europe. So, in a year, I hope we have integrated our product in multiple European banks. Hopefully, one of the banks that we have been introduced to through the TFI programme.” However, the true evidence of success for Svensson is focused on their purpose: “Our mission is to bring power to the modern consumer. There are modern consumers all over the world. So, we would like to empower as many of them as possible. That is when we would consider ourselves successful.”

Want to know more about Minna Technologies? Check our selected start-ups or their LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter!