Money Stories

Money Stories: Matej Ftacnik

Matej co-founded a fintech/challenger banking- focused engineering firm, which grew to 250 employees in under 5 years. His firm helped expand challenger banks in Europe (Twisto), Asia (Standard Chartered Virtual Bank in Hong Kong) and the US (Sablecard). 

He’s a Forbes 30-Under-30 and EY’s Tech Entrepreneur of the Year for 2019.

What steps led you to Daylight?

I’ve been around fintech products and challenger banks within the last business I helped to build, Vacuumlabs. During that time I realized that new technologies enable for the creation of cheaper and more efficient banking solutions that can serve a very specific purpose. This insight combined with my long term passion for supporting the LGBT+ community made me realize that there is a pretty unique opportunity to build a new service that can serve the specific needs of the LGBT+ community.

When was the first time you thought about money?

Growing up in the States as the son of Central European immigrants, I’ve naturally thought of money and its huge impact on the way people live. Being able to compare the lifestyles of people in different parts of the world gave me an appreciation for access to work and the right financial tools. 

What was your “aha” moment with money?

Since we’re not taught properly how to behave around money in school, there have been several aha moments with money during my life.

Starting with just basic saving habits, to understanding where and how to invest money smartly, to appreciating the ability to access financial tools like loans and mortgages all the way to seeing the importance of a financial cushion when times get tough. It’s been an evolution, rather than a revolution and I know that I’m far from over in my learning process.  

What do you do outside of work?

I like to go for runs, do a little bit of hiking and when possible relax with some yoga in the park. I also love cooking at home with my partner.

Favorite LGBT+ business?

The Los Angeles LGBT Center does amazing work for our community!

Billie Simmons

By Billie Simmons

Co-Founder, Chief of Staff at Daylight

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