Matthieu M. Job, Co-Founder and CEO, Circeo
A Strong Intuition Leads to New Paradigm
KS: Nice to meet you Matthieu, thank you for making time to speak with me. First, could you tell me how Circeo got started?
MJ: Absolutely. Circeo was founded by ex-bankers and specialists in retail and consumer finance. We had a strong intuition about the cloud's future and how software services within the cloud would be used. We also anticipated that regulations would become increasingly heavier, particularly in terms of data protection, security, sustainability, and resilience. As a result, we decided to move into the new paradigm of the software industry, software as a service (SaaS), in 2014.
KS: And then what is your professional background, Matthieu?
MJ: I had an international career as a retail banker for Société Générale (SG) in Western and Eastern Europe, as well as in North Africa. I left the corporate world 20 years ago to join an entrepreneur in Hungary and contributed to the development of a software house for banks specialized in retail credit risk management, in Central and Eastern Europe. Almost 10 years ago we started with other founders the Circeo venture.
Technology that Empowers
KS: What is Circeo’s value proposition? How do you position yourselves in the market?
MJ: Our distinctive selling point lies in our enterprise End-to-End (E2E) lending and leasing SaaS platform, covering the entire lifecycle, from origination, underwriting, account management and collections. We are unwavering in our commitment to prioritize technology that empowers rather than hinders, and we maintain an unwavering dedication to non-negotiable elements such as security, data protection, and compliance.
KS: What are your target customer segments?
MJ: While we have a diverse range of clients including both financial service companies and big banks, Circeo's target market is big Tier 1 banks that are looking for the flexibility and innovation of a SaaS solution.
The Magnificent Adventure-FS Cloud Validation
KS: That's great! Now, how has becoming IBM FS Cloud Validated benefited you as a fintech with regulatory compliance?
MJ: FS Validation reduces third-party risk. Going through the ‘magnificent adventure’ of the validation process gave us the opportunity to reflect. It confirmed our choices on what we got right and adjust what we got wrong. It is another step toward guaranteeing our customers we are ready. In other words, it takes us from “we can do this” to “we have done it”.
I also think it is important to say this: we believe we found the right partner at the right time in IBM. You know, we started a dialogue with IBM back in 2014. Then, over the next few years as IBM went “on the offensive” with IBM Cloud, they stayed in communication with us and continued to express interest in having us as a partner.
KS: How has becoming IBM FS Cloud Validated helped your customers?
MJ: It is music to our clients' ears! Since compliance is a top priority for them, anything we can do to help them satisfy a regulator is welcome. One example of this would be data encryption at the database level.
KS: If an ISV asked you for advice on becoming IBM FS Validated, what would you tell them?
MJ: Ensure you understand what IBM wants, and ensure IBM understands what you want. Find common ground, be prepared to defend your choices, and be open to change.
KS: Finally, how can a financial institution contact Circeo to learn more?
MJ: To learn more about Circeo, please visit our website and fill out our contact form.
If you have any questions about Circeo or the IBM FS Validated ISV program, please share in the comments below.