An Interview With Macgregor Duncan of Constantinople.
By Dexter Cousins
In episode 145 of Fintech Chatter, I had the pleasure of speaking with Macgregor Duncan, co-founder of Constantinople. Constantinople is an all-in-one software and operational platform for banks, providing a fully managed service that covers customer experience, product infrastructure, operations, servicing, and compliance.
McGregor and his co-founder, Diane Challoner, founded Constantinople in 2022 and recently announced their launch, along with a record-breaking $32 million seed raise with Square Peg, AirTree, and Great Southern Bank.
In our conversation, McGregor shared insights into the massive problem Constantinople is solving, the challenges they faced in raising capital, and his personal journey from a global banking executive to a fintech founder.
Let's dive into the key themes discussed and explore the implications and potential impact of Constantinople's innovative approach to banking.
Solving the Complex Problem of Banking Infrastructure and Operations
Constantinople aims to revolutionize the banking industry by providing a complete software and operational platform for banks. McGregor emphasized that their platform is the first of its kind, offering both infrastructure and operational services.
While other fintech companies focus on specific aspects of banking, Constantinople takes a holistic approach, addressing the entire range of infrastructure and operational needs.
"We saw an opportunity to package up all of the infrastructure and the operational services, do it using software for a fraction of the cost, improve compliance outcomes, and allow our client banks to focus on the things that really matter to their customers and the business of being a bank," McGregor explained.
By automating operational processes and embedding compliance obligations into the product itself, Constantinople enables banks to focus on customer relationships, brand development, and risk management. This approach not only reduces costs but also improves compliance outcomes and minimizes human error.
Overcoming Challenges in Raising Capital
Raising capital in the fintech industry can be challenging, especially during tough times. However, Constantinople managed to secure a record-breaking $32 million seed round with Square Peg, AirTree, and Great Southern Bank. McGregor attributed their success to the unique value proposition they offer and their deep understanding of the banking industry.
"We were really deliberate in how we described the business and the problem we were solving. We wanted to convince investors that we had the expertise to tackle this complex problem," McGregor shared.
Constantinople's ability to gain customer trust was also crucial in their journey. McGregor highlighted their partnership with Great Southern Bank, which allowed them to pilot their platform and launch the bank's business banking services. This partnership serves as a testament to the value and potential impact of Constantinople's solution.
The Journey from Global Banking Executive to Fintech Founder
McGregor's personal journey from a global banking executive to a fintech founder was an important topic of discussion. He emphasized the advantages of having experience within the banking industry, as it provided valuable insights into the challenges faced by banks and the regulatory environment.
"Most banks around the world are under a lot of regulatory scrutiny, and the expectations have risen. But the tools at their disposal are somewhat old school. We saw an opportunity to bring all of this together into one native package, one native platform," McGregor explained.
However, McGregor also acknowledged the need for a different mindset when transitioning from a corporate environment to a startup. He highlighted the importance of being decisive, fixing problems quickly, and maintaining high standards within the company.
McGregor also emphasized the value of fresh perspectives and the ability to approach problems from first principles, which their young engineering team brings to the table.
Implications and Future Outlook
Constantinople's innovative approach to banking infrastructure and operations has the potential to transform the industry. By automating processes, embedding compliance obligations, and providing real-time visibility into a bank's operations, Constantinople enables bank executives to focus on strategic initiatives and customer relationships.
The success of Constantinople's seed round and their partnership with Great Southern Bank demonstrate the market's recognition of the value they offer. As they continue to execute their vision, Constantinople aims to expand globally and onboard more banks onto their platform.
With their unique combination of banking expertise and engineering talent, Constantinople is well-positioned to disrupt the banking industry and create a new standard for operational efficiency and compliance.
In conclusion, Constantinople's all-in-one software and operational platform for banks has the potential to revolutionize the industry. By addressing the complex challenges of banking infrastructure and operations, Constantinople enables banks to focus on what truly matters – their customers and strategic initiatives.
With their recent funding success and strategic partnerships, Constantinople is poised for significant growth and impact in the fintech landscape.
Note: This thought leadership article is based on a transcript from the Fintech Chatter podcast episode featuring McGregor Duncan, co-founder of Constantinople. All quotes used in this article are verbatim and directly from the transcript.
Founder of Tier One People and host of the Fintech Chatter Podcast.
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