Homepeer to peer loanPodcast 420: Magnus Larsson of Majority

Podcast 420: Magnus Larsson of Majority

When an immigrant first arrives within the U.S. they face a myriad of challenges. A type of core challenges is getting a checking account and changing into a part of the monetary system. Conventional banks discover it very troublesome to cope with these populations so, not surprisingly, fintech has come to fill within the hole.

My subsequent visitor on the Fintech One-on-One podcast is Magnus Larsson, the CEO and co-founder of Majority. It’s a fintech firm based by immigrants for immigrants that gives an all-in-one cellular banking answer tailor-made for brand new arrivals on this nation. As you will see out they’re providing excess of only a checking account.

On this podcast you’ll be taught:

Magnus Larsson of Majority
Magnus Larsson of Majority
  • The founding story of Majority.
  • Why Magnus moved again to the US.
  • The error that massive manufacturers make when coping with immigrants.
  • Why conventional banks discover it so exhausting to serve immigrants.
  • Majority’s core product choices.
  • Why they work exhausting to construct a group in addition to a digital app.
  • How they customise their merchandise to serve every nation’s diaspora.
  • Why they’ve opened bodily areas in choose cities.
  • How they’ll open financial institution accounts and not using a social safety quantity.
  • Why they spent a lot time selecting their financial institution companions.
  • Particulars about their financial institution partnerships.
  • The important thing to success as a distinct segment digital financial institution.
  • What it was like elevating fairness capital in 2022.
  • The size that Majority is at at the moment.
  • The place they’re on the journey to profitability.
  • Their completely different sources of income.
  • Magnus’s imaginative and prescient for Majority.

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Obtain a PDF transcript of Magnus Larsson HERE, or Learn the Full Textual content Model under.


Welcome to the Fintech One-on-One Podcast. That is Peter Renton, Chairman & Co-Founding father of Fintech Nexus.  

I’ve been doing these exhibits since 2013 which makes this the longest-running one-on-one interview present in all of fintech, thanks for becoming a member of me on this journey. When you like this podcast, you must take a look at our sister exhibits, PitchIt, the Fintech Startups Podcast with Todd Anderson and Fintech Espresso Break with Isabelle Castro or you may take heed to every little thing we produce by subscribing to the Fintech Nexus podcast channel.      


Earlier than we get began, I need to discuss our flagship occasion, Fintech Nexus USA, occurring in New York Metropolis on Could tenth and eleventh. The world of finance continues to vary at a fast tempo, however we can be separating the wheat from the chaff masking solely crucial subjects for you over two action-packed days. Greater than 10,000 one-on-one conferences will happen and the largest names in fintech can be on our keynote stage. You already know, you must be there so go forward and register at fintechnexus.com and use the low cost code “podcast” for 15% off. 

Peter Renton: At the moment on the present, I’m delighted to welcome Magnus Larsson, he’s the CEO & Co-Founding father of Majority. Now, Majority is a distinct segment digital financial institution centered on migrants and as an immigrant myself I used to be very eager to speak to Magnus. They’ve actually taken the ache factors that immigrants have after they arrive on this nation and offered a monetary platform to cope with these ache factors. 

We discuss what their product providing is, clearly, we discuss the kind of market and the attention-grabbing factor they’ve carried out which is the place they’ve created these bodily areas, they’re a digital app however they’ve now bodily areas in Florida and in Texas and we discuss in regards to the considering behind that. We discuss their financial institution partnerships, what it was like elevating cash in 2022, a troublesome fundraising atmosphere, we discuss in regards to the scale they’re at and way more. It was an interesting dialogue; hope you benefit from the present. 

Welcome to the podcast, Magnus.

Magnus Larsson: Thanks, Peter,

Peter: So, let’s get began by giving the listeners some background. I’d like to sort of get among the profession highlights and in addition the way you ended up on this nation.

Magnus: My background is from…initially you would say within the massive corp world, I’m initially from Sweden, I’m an immigrant right here within the US from Sweden. I began inside an funding group known as Sanovnik, they’ve a whole lot of completely different media, telecoms, and so on. and I spent my profession, the primary 9 years of my profession within the telecoms house. I began operators, I rebuilt operators, so to say, and the very last thing I did within the group was heading up one of many largest telecoms in Sweden known as Comviq. After that, me and two others, my co-founders, that additionally got here the group had been interested by what to do and we had this concept initially round Majority, however we ended up constructing one other enterprise known as Rebtel which was a global calling platform that we become a cross border platform that did pretty profitable, after which after that, three years in the past, we began Majority.

Peter: So, did you progress again to the US to start out this or do you come right here for one more motive?

Magnus: So, I lived right here twice earlier than within the US, I studied right here partially and I labored right here as a Swedish trainer an extended time in the past once I was a bit of bit youthful, I moved right here a yr in the past to construct Majority. When you find yourself based as a Swedish firm out of Sweden, we concluded that to construct this efficiently considered one of us needs to be right here within the US, so I additionally determined to maneuver right here with my household.

Peter: Proper. Is that this an American operation or are you world?

Magnus: So, we began out of Sweden so we’ve our tech finish product group in Stockholm, however we’ve all our industrial operations right here within the US in order that’s the place I’m sitting right here in Miami and we even have some again workplace and danger operations in Houston after which we’re working with native gross sales groups primarily out of Texas and Florida as of at the moment.

Peter: Proper. So then, you touched on it, however I need to dig into the founding story as a result of I believe it’s actually necessary, I’m an immigrant as nicely. What was the concept that form of launched Majority?

Magnus: I spent 10/15 years working with completely different migrant communities world wide mainly already from the telco days, so to say, but in addition after that constructing Rebtel, a tech firm. The unique thought was really when 9 years again in the past it was two issues. Anybody that strikes to a different nation goes via the same expertise, you must purchase these scratch playing cards to name again dwelling proper? (Peter laughs) Again within the days after which you must make associates, you must undergo the visa course of, you must get a job, you want to have the ability to ship cash and you must do all of that. So, from an issue perspective it was fairly clear for us that there was a whole lot of issues to do if you end up an immigrant that you must clear up. 

Secondly was additionally one other perception that we had that once you transfer to a different nation, and also you undergo that journey and also you’re on the lookout for …. take into consideration an organization or a model that’s for you, it doesn’t exist at the moment. I believe possibly some folks after they consider Western Union or Moneygram, however many of the corporations that exist for once you’re an immigrant and fixing some sort of drawback, normally fixing one drawback, however they’re price-focused, that’s simply so pure and a whole lot of instances I believe these manufacturers have carried out a mistake, they’re interested by customers. As immigrants, you may have much less cash and need to be an affordable model, however the very last thing you need to really feel once you’re an immigrant is much less, so we needed to construct a model round Majority, that’s why we name it Majority as a result of the minorities of the world is almost all, that we felt was robust for you, that additionally catered for these sort of issues. 

However to roll ahead a bit of bit as a result of that’s possibly the larger a part of it was that one of many key issues that we found over all of those years is that the start line once you’re beginning a life in a brand new nation is monetary inclusion in a approach. You want to get a checking account, you must have that checking account as a result of you must transfer cash, you must receives a commission, and I believe at the moment even how do you order an Uber for those who don’t have a Visa card, ? It’s like all of these sort of belongings you want when you may have an account. So, our product at the moment is mainly a checking account with a Visa card related, however we additionally took care, as a result of we needed to construct a broader factor the place we’ve all of the cross border merchandise that you simply want, sending cash, calling again and ensuring that the cash arrived. 

Possibly you must pay your cellphone invoice at dwelling once you’re in a foreign country for some time since you need to preserve that quantity that you simply had again within the days, proper, some folks preserve them for all times. So, there’s like all of these completely different sort of cross border merchandise so you may say that’s the second house. The third house I believe that we’re once we develop larger, that we are going to look into can also be these typical belongings you’re going to wish once you arrive right here that isn’t actually suited to you, , it could possibly be insurance coverage, it could possibly be related issues like that.

Peter: Proper, proper. So then, why is it nonetheless at the moment so exhausting for conventional banks to serve immigrants, to supply that checking account?

Magnus: The start line is they aren’t constructed to serve immigrants as a result of for those who suppose, I imply, the world is constructed of borders, proper, and inside borders you may have legal guidelines and laws and you’ve got the group of people who have lived there they usually constructed their enterprise round that. When you’re interested by, , me as being a Swedish immigrant that got here right here with a set of data, that got here right here with some set of concepts on the way it ought to work, and I believe everybody which have moved to a different nation they usually walked right into a financial institution at all times feels a bit of bit intimidated and I believe the start line is already there. After which many instances, they haven’t thought of the way you devour or what your possibly identified information base and in addition, after all, even possibly even the obvious factor, is like possibly generally language and tradition is such a giant distinction.

Peter: Proper.

Magnus: When you’re taking a look at banking house, I believe the banking merchandise that we devour as an immigrant as nicely, we’ve all of these mom-and-pop shops, the kiosks, all of these test cashing , there’s an entire myriad of bodily areas. I believe the Kiwis and why you go there’s since you come additionally to the place the place you acknowledge the particular person on the opposite, you don’t know there’s somebody that speaks your language, that appears and feels and may clarify, and that you could belief so I believe there’s a whole lot of belief there as nicely.

Peter: Proper, proper. Let’s transfer to form of the providing that you’ve at the moment, are you able to possibly simply run us via what’s the core product suite that you simply’re providing?

Magnus: It’s a digital product, it’s an app that we ship which features a checking account, a Visa card. With that you simply additionally get worldwide remittances so you may ship a refund, you may also pay on your cellular high up and on high of that, let’s say you additionally get entry to an advisor help so you may take into consideration…that’s mainly out of your nation. So, for those who’re Swedish, you’ll communicate to a Swedish (inaudible) it’s a smaller group up right here within the US, however for those who’re Cuban, for instance, you’re going to get a Cuban advisor that helps you and explains the way it works. However the core thought across the product, you may give it some thought in a technique there, it’s like an Amazon Prime sort of providing in that side, nevertheless it’s additionally that we’re taking away the charges. 

So, you pay a month-to-month price like a subscription, like a Netflix however as an alternative of them paying charges, as a result of if you consider all of the merchandise that we’ve included in our providing, it’s a historically fee-based state of affairs, take into consideration Western, , you need to ship cash, obtained to Western Union, pay $10. However as an alternative of paying the price on a regular basis, you may have zero price, and also you pay one month-to-month price however you get entry to the suite of merchandise.

Peter:  Proper, proper, okay. So then, as folks have been utilizing the app, what’s the hottest use case, is it the debit card, is it the remittances, what are folks utilizing essentially the most?

Magnus: The inspiration of what we’re, proper, is a banking product, is a banking providing, in order that, however then it varies, it’s variated relying on which diaspora. For some nations, there’s the remittance companies, possibly one thing that’s sophisticated or costly the place our product may be very, very nicely carried out. For some nations, it’s tremendous costly to name again dwelling generally so the calling product could be attention-grabbing or it could possibly be to pay for the cellphone payments, for instance, which is one thing. So, it’s a bit of little bit of a spread, however we’ve a reasonably broad mixture of all of the companies between, nevertheless it’s, you would say group by group there’s slight variations.

Peter: Proper, proper. And so, are you centered on any specific group? You talked about Cubans, I imply, clearly Swedish, not an enormous variety of Swedes right here, clearly there are lots of people from Mexico and Spanish talking Latin America.

Magnus: In no way, like I’m from Sweden, proper, and I can solely be represented if we’re a Swedish immigrant, the one member core if you consider what we’re constructing is, we’re constructing a platform due to expertise issues that you simply’re having are the identical, however in terms of all of the excessive contact expertise, we’re constructing a group, migrant group, and we began the Cuban group, as I discussed. We even have Colombia, we moved on to Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico is reside, we’re additionally doing Central American nations and in addition nations from the center of Africa like Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya.

Peter: Okay. So, what do they get, like what’s the distinction between somebody coming from Mexico than somebody coming from Colombia?

Magnus: Yeah. The cross border merchandise are completely different and mainly how we work is that we’re figuring out….if you consider all of the completely different communities right here within the US and also you look right here, virtually each group have a focal metropolis, virtually like a capital inside the US. To take the identical instance once more, like there’s roughly 1.5-2 million Cubans within the US, however there’s round 750,000 residing down right here in Calle Ocho and Hialeah in Miami the place I reside. So, what we do is that we’re partnering with the native retailer homeowners, and we’re hiring folks inside the group to promote and market our product and that gives a really shut relationship. 

And we additionally opened up a bodily location in Hialeah right here which is likely one of the central factors the place….you consider it as a…we name them meet-ups the place you may come and meet us. We practice the people who we rent, we additionally developed a coaching program round the place they’ll be taught English, the place folks may also turn out to be actually good salespeople. So, the Cuban group right here, they devour the merchandise that are the identical for all diasporas, however they get entry to native reductions within the native shops which can be right here, typical for the Cubans, there are grocery shops right here, in Miami for instance, yeah, and also you get entry to those advisor networks for help.

Peter: So, you’re opening bodily areas in, you stated you may have one in Miami for Cuba, is the objective there simply to be nearer to the group as a result of most digital banks aren’t doing that, so I’m simply interested by what you’re getting out of the bodily location and do you may have others exterior of Miami?

Magnus: Right here in Florida, we’ve Miami, we’ve Tampa, Orlando. In Texas, we’ve in Houston and we’re opening up, as we communicate, a number of extra….the thought is to not have a number of, it’s not like a brick and mortar sort of play as the normal banks, however what we see and I believe what we be taught with working with all of the completely different communities is that you must construct belief, you must be current and we’re working with bodily folks which can be promoting to different folks. So, we do the coaching facility, however we additionally needed to point out the communities that we’re right here to remain. There’s even a phrase…with a whole lot of migrant teams within the US they name tech corporations “flash within the pan” as a result of they arrive they usually put up a stand, they usually go away.

Peter: Proper.

Magnus: Once more, comes again I believe to that, , myself, I’m a Swedish immigrant, I can go and consultant and that’s why we’re constructing “by Cubans for Cubans,” “by Colombians for Colombians,” and we’re offering, so to say, the expertise platform at scale, however the industrial operations, it’s community-based.

Peter: Proper. Sounds such as you’re specializing in the non-English talking immigrants. I’m an immigrant from Australia, and clearly you’ve obtained Canada, you’ve obtained the UK as nicely, are these form of English talking areas not a spotlight?

Magnus: Effectively, we’re taking one group at a head, I believe we’ll come, sooner or later, I believe even in all probability each you and me have gone via our migrant journey, however we come from nations the place we communicate pretty good English, transferring to an English talking nation, proper? And we come from, so to say, nations the place you normally have some assets once you transfer. And for those who simply take into consideration the size, so to say, of challenges you may have…. and we’ve been beginning with a whole lot of the Hispanic talking and among the African communities and we did that additionally for among the varied causes. 

Some we began, for instance, with a few of them for compliance causes as a result of we needed to be…… for instance, Cubans that arrive within the US get a social safety quantity, so we needed to…since we’re not a financial institution ourselves, , we needed to be a really, very sturdy compliance program. So, it comes from among the tactical, strategical, but in addition from the communities that we determined to proof and we needed to start out not with a, as you’re saying, Mexicans are the biggest diaspora within the US, we didn’t need to begin with the largest first.

Peter: Proper, understood, understood. So, once I arrived on this nation, the difficult factor was, , opening up a checking account. You wanted a social safety quantity and I believe I learn someplace that once you’re opening an account at Majority you don’t want that, how are you doing that and the way are you form of complying with clearly with the AML/KYC parts?

Magnus: The regulation within the US requires two primary issues of us as a monetary establishment and that’s that we all know that you’re you, and we all know that you’ve a residence right here, which means you may have an tackle right here within the US, that you simply’re completely residing right here and that’s the primary regulation. So, once you’re opening a checking account with us we’ve been spending a whole lot of time on that particular as a result of it is a true ache level for nearly any immigrant that comes right here, generally it’s about timing, when do you get your social or not, so we’re adapting. 

So, you may have any government-issued ID from anyplace on this planet, and we’re doing recognition of all of these, we’re matching all of these and we’re doing a whole lot of information checks, so to say, within the background, how we’re verifying that you’re you as a result of that’s the core. And the second factor is that we’re then verifying your tackle which is typically the classical components of, , a technique could possibly be a utility invoice or related. However right here’s one of many key issues, like whereas we’re additionally working diaspora per diaspora as a result of virtually every diaspora have a set of documentations or paperwork that’s particular or distinctive to that side.

Peter: Proper.

Magnus: Mexicans, as you talked about, , we get from the Consulate within the US you get one thing known as “matricula” so that you need to guarantee that is one thing that you simply really feel assured about and that we will confirm.

Peter: Okay. So, inform us about your accomplice financial institution relationships. I think about they’re actually necessary for the success of your online business since you are offering monetary companies so inform us, who do you may have relationships with?

Magnus: Many, really, we’ve fairly a number of banking relationships right here and I can let you know once we began, we had been the primary in our house attempting to construct this once we set off in 2019. Me and my co-founder, we got here right here and we had been knocking on each financial institution right here within the US looking for a accomplice and we stated hey, we’re two Swedish guys right here, we need to do that they usually had been like oh, you’re within the US now, you’re not American? That was the primary problem and we stated we needed to work with Visa card and that’s additionally thought of barely excessive danger after which we stated oh, we additionally need to do remittance (Peter laughs) after which we need to work with immigrants, Nigerians after which Cubans, , wish to be sincere we run into fairly a number of closed doorways, so to say.

Peter: I can think about.

Magnus: One of many first issues that they realized then is that we can not solely be good in terms of this house, we must be extraordinarily good, we must be higher, primarily than our companions. So, we spent a whole lot of time and I believe we ended up, on the finish of the day, we had 5/six financial institution companions from the start as a result of we additionally realized we needed to do that very, very secure. The 2 core underlying banks that we’ve for issuing is Sutton and Axiom Financial institution after which we’re working with different multiples. We’re licensed in lots of states ourselves for them, it’s severe…yeah, it’s elementary, proper, to have nice partnerships within the house.

Peter: Proper. There’s a whole lot of digital banks on the market, a whole lot of area of interest digital banks, we’ve obtained one for pets, what do say to individuals who say to you, that we’ve sufficient area of interest digital banks?

Magnus: I believe it’s partially true, I believe we’d have seen, I imply, the final two or three years, I believe once we began in our house you may take into consideration our area of interest. We had been the primary after which 

Aspo? got here round which introduced just some days that they’re closing their digital financial institution in our house, however the core I believe round any enterprise on this planet is that do you may have a related drawback, do you may have an actual drawback? And I believe for those who can’t reply the issue you’re fixing, you may not have a distinct segment. In terms of what we’re doing is that we’re residing in an period of immigration world wide, there are 300 million migrants on this planet, it’s rising and anticipated to be half a billion. 

There’s 500 million people who need to transfer to a different nation and I believe that is one thing that won’t cease, it is not going to, in different phrases change and what we’re attempting to construct with Majority is that we’re attempting to breakdown borders for folks to thrive and succeed as quick as doable after they transfer to a different nation. The issues, I believe you’ve skilled them, for positive I’ve skilled them, and our prospects are experiencing them as nicely, that may be a actual drawback. And I believe, proper now, since final yr with the large change out there you’re going to see a big quantity and I believe we’re already seeing it occurring proper now, proper? Is that not all of them are fixing actual issues, they’re not getting prospects, they aren’t getting funding, and so on.

Peter: Proper, proper, okay, honest sufficient. So, nicely talking of funding, you’ve really raised cash in Q3 of final yr, that’s when it was introduced anyway, , troublesome fundraising atmosphere in 2022, what was it like elevating for a distinct segment digital financial institution throughout that point?

Magnus: Effectively, I believe final yr has been very completely different for lots of, I imply the atmosphere fully modified. We had been fortunate in a roundabout way, I don’t imagine in luck really, however I believe we’ve been performing as an organization nice and this was really an inside spherical. With the luck, I stated that investor group that we introduced in even from the seed spherical has led the seed spherical, the A spherical and the B spherical, and I believe that simply is a testomony to the exhausting work that we’ve been doing and the progress that we’ve been making as a result of companies I believe will at all times exist and I believe you’ll at all times discover buyers for these sort of corporations, it’s barely completely different however .

Peter: We should always simply make clear too, that is Valar Ventures you’re speaking about, Peter Thiel’s, I do know it’s not simply Peter Thiel however his enterprise capital fund, proper?

Magnus: Sure, however on high of that we’ve some nice angel buyers from the Nordics and a few enterprise capital additionally from the Nordics however Valar has led the final three rounds.

Peter: So then, are you able to give us a way of the size you guys are at and I don’t know what you may share so far as variety of accounts, or variety of workers, the place are you at?

Magnus: So, we’re round and that is at all times tough,….we haven’t disclosed any like, numbers, however we’ve reached an excellent milestone internally. As my Co-Founder & CFO has nicely stated, now we’re an actual firm (Peter laughs) possibly you may guess that one, however by way of scale we’re round 80 folks within the firm, round 80 to 90 folks after which we’ve round 300 of the gross sales advisors employed right here within the US. We’re continually rising, we’re fairly blissful despite the fact that throughout final yr and since final yr we’ve been very…we’ve been that because the begin. I imply, we’re possibly extra seasoned, fairly operative group since we began so we’ve at all times been cautious about cash, spend them and attempting to be as environment friendly as doable, however with excessive ambition so, yeah, we’re doing nicely, I believe we’re conserving the lead.

Peter: So, you haven’t laid off anyone, and are you continue to hiring?

Magnus: Sure. We’re in a technique we’re at all times….I believe everybody ought to at all times be hiring since you at all times need to discover the very best folks, proper? Corporations are constructed by folks not by anything and the higher folks you may have, the higher firm you may construct. I believe we’ve been following our plan, our plan has at all times been to comply with our plan and we’ve been doing that, I believe we’re one of many few that mainly has been hitting our plans because the begin. We hope to do this and so long as we do this I believe we’re additionally hiring in that tempo.

Peter: I think about you’re not worthwhile but, what’s the plan for profitability?

Magnus: So, I imply, we’re nonetheless on the B stage, proper, so we don’t have far, we have to cross via a number of hurdles extra and one and a half funding extra I believe we’re at that stage, nevertheless it’s fairly environment friendly and at scale we can be a improbable firm.

Peter: So, the income sources, you’ve obtained your subscription piece, I think about you’re sharing an interchange, what are the sources of income for you guys?

Magnus: Effectively, if you consider our pricing mannequin, it reminds extra possibly of a Costco pricing, proper. I imply, for those who go to Costco, you pay your month-to-month price, however then they’ve sufficient few share factors additionally to cowl mainly for different issues round their companies and our mannequin is pretty much like that one. And when you may have……if you consider our product, it’s really the core of the product, nevertheless it’s additionally a number of cross border merchandise. 

They add up collectively so it seems to be pretty good and in addition, I imply our prospects…I like our mannequin as a result of over time we’ve carried out a whole lot of enterprise instances and a whole lot of completely different fashions that say our…The great thing about ours can also be it’s on the identical facet, so to say, of the client, proper, as a result of at scale we’re going to have even higher potential to cost among the companies at even decrease value, so our prospects on common save someplace between $10 and $30 as much as $40 a month by utilizing our merchandise and such.

Peter: Okay, go it. So then, final query, I imply, what’s your imaginative and prescient right here, such as you discuss in regards to the pathway you’re on, what’s the tip sport?

Magnus: Effectively, there’s quickly to be half a billion folks on this planet proper, which can be immigrants and if we will proceed to cater for them and reducing the boundaries and creating sooner alternatives for folks to thrive and succeed, I believe we’ve carried out an awesome job. We began right here within the US as a result of by definition, it’s each in numbers and in addition nation constructed on immigration, proper. There are 50 million migrants right here sure, alone within the US so first step is to guarantee that we’re the chief right here within the US, and after that there’s a number of nations that even have their portion of immigration. And I believe it can turn out to be the family title that anybody which have moved to a different nation, the very first thing they consider. I believe we’re in a great place.

Peter: Okay. Effectively, Magnus, we’ll have to depart it there, good luck to you. I want you had been current once I first arrived on this nation. It’s painful to get into the monetary system once you’re a brand new immigrant, however, , I believe you’re offering a worthwhile service right here so better of luck to you.

Magnus: Thanks, Peter.

Peter: When you just like the present, please go forward and provides it a assessment on the podcast platform of your alternative and be sure you inform your folks and colleagues about it.

Anyway, on that notice, I’ll log off. I very a lot respect you listening and I’ll catch you subsequent time. Bye.




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