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Check Point co-founder Nacht invests in Swiss fintech firm Numbrs

Billionaire entrepreneur says digital banking platforms, independent of banks, can reshape the global financial sector

Shoshanna Solomon is The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

Check Point Software Technologies co-founder Marius Nacht (Courtesy)
Check Point Software Technologies co-founder Marius Nacht (Courtesy)

Marius Nacht, the co-founder and chairman of Check Point Software Technologies, Israel’s cybersecurity giant, sees innovative financial technologies as an investment opportunity. The billionaire entrepreneur has invested in a Swiss data-driven asset management startup, Numbrs.

“I think that both the financial sector and the health care sector are about to witness a major technological change and Numbrs has the potential to benefit from this process,” said Nacht, who earlier this month announced that he raised $200 million for a healthcare fund that aims to invest in mid to late-stage life sciences companies in the field of digital health.

Numbrs, headquartered in Zurich, is a new breed of asset management firm, driven by data, machine learning and the shared economy principles that guide companies like Uber and Gett. The firm offers customers the possibility of aggregate — collecting information — their various bank accounts and savings on one platform in order to get a clearer picture of their financial status and then set out investment strategies. The firm already cooperates with “leading financial services institutions” including the Deutsche Bank Group to provide better investment options at better prices to its clients, the company said in a statement.

As of 2018, Numbrs had aggregated 7.2 billion euros ($8.7 billion) in assets on its platform, and some 1.5 million bank accounts are currently managed through the Numbrs app in Germany.

Martin Saidler, the owner of investment firm Saidler & Co and founder of fintech Swiss firm Numbrs (Courtesy)

The Swiss firm employs over 100 people, and is looking to set up an R&D center in Israel. It already employs a team of five Israelis with the aim of reaching 10 by the end of this year, a company spokesman said.

Numbrs raised some $27 million in its latest funding round, bringing the total amount of money raised to some $152 million.

Investors include the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Dubai (ICD), Sir Ronald Cohen, the co-founder of APAX Partners, and Pierre Mirabaud, from the founding family of Mirabaud Private Bank. Over the last three years, the firm has also established a strong Israeli shareholder base, including Leon Recanati, Shlomo Nehama, Israel Makov and Dr. Boaz Barack. Israeli investors represent some 25% of the funds raised by the firm, the spokesman said.

Saidler & Co., the investment firm owned by Martin Saidler, the founder of Numbrs, is the controlling shareholder of the company. Saidler and Nacht will join forces to “co-invest and facilitate each other’s business activities,” the statement said.

Saidler & Co., a Swiss investment firm, is extending its investments into financial services, media and AI industries.

Nacht and Saidler believe that digital banking platforms, like Numbrs, independent of banks, can reshape the global financial sector, and the two “would like to import this vision into the Israeli banking environment,” the statement said.

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