Matthias Knecht


Founder and CEO

Dr. Matthias Knecht is a Berlin-based serial entrepreneur and has founded his second Fintech venture, Billie, in 2016. From 2008 to 2014, Matthias was a consultant with McKinsey & Company focusing on clients from the banking, insurance, and private equity sector. Together with his fellow McKinsey colleague, Dr. Christian Grobe, he founded his first venture, Zencap, in 2014: Europe's fastest growing online lending marketplace for SME loans. In October 2015, Matthias successfully sold Zencap to the global market leader Funding Circle. After this exit, Matthias and Christian teamed up again. Leveraging their Funding Circle experience, they founded their second Fintech venture, Billie. Billie tackles one of the most frequent reasons for bankruptcies of SMEs - liquidity shortages. Billie's fully automated invoice financing platform provides working capital financing for small businesses within minutes. The core of the platform, its fully automated scoring engines and KYC/AML modules, allow customer onboarding and risk assessment within minutes. The platform makes use of a wide number of public and proprietary data sources that are combined in different scoring modules to assess credit and fraud risk of customers and financed invoices. Matthias graduated with highest distinction from University Karlsruhe. He holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration from the University of Nuremberg and was research scholar at Columbia Business School.

Event Sessions Featuring Matthias Knecht

Roundtable (Breakout)

Alternative Credit ‐ Round Table Discussion

London Summit 2018 - Monday 26 March 2018

  • The 22-strong roundtable discussed various aspects of opportunities in the non-bank lending space including the opportunities in SME lending, the maturity of the market and the sustainability of some platforms' business models and the need for greater transparency.
  • Christian Gut, manager of the P2P lending Fund, said investors need to fully understand track records of managers/funds and of how loans are performing. He said it is “really hard to understand” like-for-like comparisons when platform are changing underwriting models.  “Every country and platform is doing things in different ways. The industry should decide a certain level of credit and risk that should exist across the aboard,” he said.
  • Maseco’s Matthews added that niches are well suited to alternative credit but  “you can’t throw a lot of money” at them as this would harm yields.
  • RM’s Nicholl’s said that trust in the sector could be improved by third party audits leading to more capital into the sector.
  • AltFi Data’s Fekete added that lenders are showing more and more interest in having their data assessed and compared on a like-for-like basis. That is a vital part of the maturation of the sector, he said.

Lightning Talk

Full automation is the key to improving the health of small businesses

London Summit 2018 - Monday 26 March 2018

  • Knecht said Billie has managed to dramatically cut down on-boarding time and costs with its own fully automated technology.
  • He added that if you want to build an automated end to end digital platform you also have to take particular care over securities measures to avoid fraud attacks.
  • Every week, Knecht added, Billie is attacked by fraudulent behaviour. 


Powering point–of–sale: Why fintech firms will come to dominate retail channels

AltFi Global Summit 2017 - Tuesday 7 November 2017

Articles Featuring Matthias Knecht