Article first published in Forbes Monaco September/October 2020 issue.
Innovative startup brings RegTech to Monaco.
MonacoTech, the government’s incubator program partnered in 2017 with Xavier Niel, founder of Free mobile and No. 253 on Forbes Billionaires list with a net worth of $8.8 billion, added five startups this summer.
This is the first selection process under the new director Lionel Galfré, who on January 13 took over from Fabrice Marquet (Monaco Foundry). “The startups selected clearly stood out from other applicants, not only for the innovative dimension of their projects, but for the high caliber of the founders and teams who already have expertise and authority in their fields,” says Galfré, the former director of IMSEE, Monaco’s national statistics office.
In addition to three international companies—Swiss- based Air-Ion which has designed an autonomous 100% electric air taxi, the Italian-based Mea Plant and the interactive, 3D content collaborative platform Vizua with offices in North America— two Monaco-based startups were also chosen.
Carlo, launched by Antoine Bahri last year, is Monaco's first app that gives consumers cash back for buying goods and services at local businesses.
Also setting up shop at Zone F, MonacoTech’s - Fontvieille Equilateral. io has developed a software suite that handles compliance with regulatory obligations. “Our ambition is to bring added-value to the market place by combining our regulatory and technological expertise and MonacoTech is the ideal location to start a RegTech,” says Sebastien Prat, cofounder along with Pierre- Alexandre Rousselot, CEO of KeeSystem, started 10 years ago as the first FinTech in Monaco, and Raphaël Dana, a Paris-based attorney specializing in IP/IT issues, data protection and regulatory matters.
The company, whose project name was PKS, is scheduled to launch September 2020, with three modules on Year 1 and an additional three modules on Year 2, with an intent to develop 15 modules in the long term. “Our three-year vision is to become the benchmark for reporting solutions in Monaco and internationally,” Prat states.
“We are clearly in line with the modernization of the financial center by digital transition and to ensure that taxable persons in Monaco comply as much as possible with the requirements of local and international bodies,” explains Prat, a Monegasque.
Having created their first software around a specific client, Equilateral.io realized that currently available IT regulatory solutions are oversized, overpriced, and inadequate. “So we developed solutions to meet various regulatory obligations adapted to the specific needs of actors in the Principality, and budgets precisely adapted to the actual needs of our customers.”
Prat, 38, is well known in the Principality. He was head of Deloitte Monaco for four years after spending a decade at Deloitte Luxembourg in international consulting and taxation in Banking and Asset Management. In 2018, he founded Phoenix Consulting Monaco, a strategy and management firm that offers bespoke-services to deal with strategic, technological and operational transformations.