Today is a big day.
This was the first line of N26’s blog post on 19th March, when they announced the closing of a $160 million Series C funding round. That day, the company revealed its exceptional growth to 850,000 users, which was a remarkable feat of tripling customers within two years. Yet, I knew this was the end. Not for the company but for my journey with N26.
So, you may be wondering, why did I leave the company at such a peak time?
It’s important to first understand a little more about me. I grew up in Lyon and studied executive engineering at the nearby École Centrale de Lyon. Since childhood, I have always been curious about technology and had the desire to work in startups. When I graduated, my decision tree was either to stay in France and work in the growing French ecosystem, or look for something more international. My ambition has always been more global, so I took a risk and moved to Berlin.
I joined N26 for two main reasons: (i) I needed to get some quality startup experience and (ii) I was an early adopter of what is an excellent product. N26 helped me learn what it takes to build a disruptive FinTech product for a newer generation and I was fortunate enough to have made a number of really close friends there. I take pride from having helped adding products such as Insurance, yet one thing still bothered me. The product direction never felt like mine. I craved my own freedom to explore and wanted to have ownership of my destiny. I knew I had to go it alone, so I made the big call and left.