The Art of Company Building: Solarisbank
Ushering in a New Age of Digital Banking
Solarisbank is Europe’s leading Banking-as-a-Service platform and has raised a total of €350 million to date. After establishing a foothold in the German market, the company is now expanding into UK, France, Italy and Spain. Solarisbank CEO Roland Folz discusses how board member Young Sohn is helping the company drive further growth and reimagine the future of digital banking.
Why did you decide to work with Young?
When I first met Young in early 2020, I was focused on getting new financial investors because they were extremely important for the next phase in our growth journey. Young was one of the few strategic investors we partnered with at that time. That fact alone speaks volumes about how highly I regard him and his track record.
How did Young help you on the strategic side of the business?
Solaris is on an extremely exciting journey. While we have grown very quickly over the past five years in Germany, we still need to make sure we continue our fast growth across Europe. Young is someone I do not hesitate to turn to for guidance when we encounter new challenges. In nearly every situation, he is able to offer valuable guidance and recommendations. I’m excited about our journey at Solarisbank, but it makes me a lot more comfortable knowing I have someone like Young on the sidelines for support.
What makes Young unique?
Young is like his name suggests. He is young at heart. At the same time, he is extremely experienced. I don’t think there is anything that makes him nervous or throws him off his game. He always comes up with the right answers.
What value did Young add to your company?
Young is always there opening the right doors for us. The type of collaboration and access that Young provides at the senior management level is very rare and not something I ever take for granted. When I’m looking for support on the partner side, all it takes is a single note to Young to get us the attention and resources we needed.
Can you describe Young in three words?
Experienced, energetic, and calm.
What are your thoughts on Walden Catalyst Ventures?
Launching a new fund is a great adventure, but there is lots of competition for the very best startups. Experience and track record are the most important success criteria. And that’s exactly what Walden Catalyst has.