08 Dec Member Spotlight: 24sessions
24sessions is a SAAS (software as a service) solution enabling banks, insurance companies, and other enterprises to provide professional advice to customers completely online. This young Amsterdam-based company has developed a solution that makes booking an appointment, getting advice via video-chat, and reviewing the session a seamless experience for both advisors and clients. Now more than ever, financial institutions must be able to adapt to technological developments and continually evolving consumer behaviours and demands. When it comes to providing personal advice, banks and insurers that still rely on the traditional tools are falling behind. That is where 24sessions comes in.
CEO and co-founder Rutger Teunissen first began toying with the idea just three years ago during a transitional moment in his own life. After selling his first company and then purchasing his first home within a short span of time, he realised that the ways that companies offer personal advice were out-dated and sluggish. Immediately he began to develop the 24sessions concept – speaking to potential co-founders, forming a team, and experimenting with potential business models, and by October 2015, the company was officially incorporated.
Today, the 24sessions team has grown from just one member to seven, including two additional co-founders: CCO Alex Bisschop and CTO Konstantin Goncharuk. An eighth member will join soon, and the company expects to add at least four, but hopefully six new team members next year. Although 24sessions is currently only operating within the Netherlands, it already serves some of the country’s most important banks and insurance companies, including Rabobank, Achmea, and Aegon. Plans for international expansion in 2017 are already in the works, with promising leads in the UK, Germany, and Norway.
Within the market, the service 24sessions offers is unique, but that certainly does not exclude the fledgling start-up from competition. Companies like WebEx and software such as Microsoft’s Lync app are seen as the chief competitors to 24sessions’ service. Although these types of software are actually intended for internal use, many enterprises employ them for communication with clients. This gives 24sessions a unique advantage, because the software provided by companies like WebEx is only optimised for internal, and not external use. So far, the start-up has certainly managed to hold its own against the competition. Recently, the company was named one of the top ten B2B start-ups in the European Digital Top 50 Awards, organised by Google, McKinsey, and Rocket Internet.
CEO Rutger Teunissen: “We currently have a lot of traction in this segment because the big financial institutions are all facing a common challenge: they need to digitise, while maintaining their reason for existence, which is helping consumers make complex decisions. The banks realise their competitive advantage still lies in the human relationship shared with their clients, but they also understand that their service needs to become smarter, more efficient, and digital. We do exactly that – We bridge that gap to bring human advice to the digital world.”
24sessions joined the Holland FinTech network about a year ago while working in the Startupbootcamp offices in Amsterdam. CEO Rutger Teunissen expressed a sense of positivity and optimism about Holland FinTech and the Dutch fintech landscape in general: “It is extremely valuable for start-ups because it helps them to connect with the right enterprises in a more positive way. Likewise, it is a great opportunity for enterprises to become more familiar with the start-up ecosystem and the new players within it. This allows innovation to happen more rapidly than in other countries that are lacking that fintech ecosystem.”
Although this startup is barely a year old, it seems safe to say that 24sessions is looking forward to a promising future. Aside from plans to expand the team and enter new markets, the company also intends to start serving a wider range of clients. Considering the unique advantages 24sessions is already bringing to its current clients, it should be well suited to do so. CEO Rutger Teunissen emphasises the complete customer journey and personal connection that set 24sessions apart: “We provide a fully whitelabel solution for online advice that consists of three key components: (1) an online booking system that allows clients to directly make an appointment with an advisor; (2) seamless video-chat, screen sharing, and file sharing; and, (3) a review and analytics system that provides feedback at the end of every video call.”