David Agmon is the Co-CEO and Founder at Monific Startups, companies and investors from over…
Interview with Eduardo Rivara, CEO at Facenote
Eduardo Rivara is the CEO at Facenote, a face recognition platform that enables customers and employees to access, pay, and get rewards in a highly private and contactless way.
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Finnovating (F): Please tell us a little about Facenote and how the FinTech started to be.
Eduardo Rivara (ER): We started Facenote in 2017, with the dream of building a face recognition technology that was both private by design and available for everyone, enabling companies to provide contactless and device-less journeys like facial payments and secure authentication in a simple way, while guaranteeing customer privacy and superb customer experiences. Our aim was to be able to enter your favorite coffee store, grab your coffee, pay with just your face, and go. With initial help from Startup Chile program, we incorporated the company in USA in 2018 receiving an initial investment from XRCLabs New York, some private angels and NXTP Labs, and started our journey. Four years later and with full support from Techstars & ABNAmro Future of Finance program in Amsterdam , we launched our Facenote Face NFT technology. We are finally providing the amazing customer journey we dreamt of.
(F): How did the idea come about?
(ER): We (the founders) spent part of our careers scaling e-commerce companies (we were part of the initial team of OLX.com) and learned the importance of recognizing returning customers every time. Of course, in the online world is easy, you have plenty of technologies to solve that (like cookies), but in the physical world (like when you enter a store), nobody remembers who you are. It is extremely complicated to know who your customer is before she or he completes a purchase. We saw in facial recognition the perfect technology to solve this, provided the privacy issue was solved. That is the key. With the addition of our latest piece of technology, Facenote Face NFT, we are now able to solve that problem by providing complete decentralized and private facial recognition solution to both end users and businesses.
(F): You are the current CEO of How does the company fit in the Global FinTech ecosystem?
(ER): Since the beginning the FinTech industry gave us a lot of support regarding the next generation of payment innovation, that is facial payments. Starting with the more traditional industry (VISA award in 2018 – VISA EVERYWHERE INITIATIVE) and some pilot ideas with Bradesco and Santander banks, in 2021 we were accepted at Techstars Future of Finance Amsterdam program in 2021, launching us fully into the FinTech arena. Our technology is currently covering innovative areas like facial 2FA and facial OTP that FinTech can benefit from greatly. Since the end of Techstars program, we started focusing in the EU FinTech ecosystem as well as our existing US retail market. Joining Finnovating was part of this plan of networking within all the players in the market.
(F): What is Facenote’s value proposition?
(ER): We provide decentralized private and device-less face recognition technology for companies willing to offer superb and enhanced customer facial recognition experiences in a simple way, while we solve for tech, compliance and privacy.
(F): How do you think the implementation of digital functionalities will impact the traditional business model?
(ER): This is already happening since many years, but the pace is accelerating to extreme levels. As usual, some companies will evolve and be able to morph into this new way of doing business while other won’t be able to stay lean and adapt.
(F): Is Facenote interested in partnering with large companies in the sector? How do you think Finnovating can help you with this goal?
(ER): Definitely. Large companies in the sector are in a great position to provide deep customer knowledge while at the same time having the budget and urgent need to innovate towards new waters. On the other hand smaller companies are faster, leaner and willing to try new things, so we try to find the right balance co-creating solutions with both sectors.
(F): What do you think can be the impact of digital platforms in the FinTech industry?
(ER): Not only digital, but decentralized platforms are taking the industry by storm.
The long term impact is hard to predict, but in the short / medium we are seeing a great deal of improvement and innovation offerings from FinTech companies that are already shaking the traditional players, thus triggering faster adoption of new technologies and way of doing things.
Can you imagine connecting with Facenote? It’s possible! Enter the global startup platform.
(F): What do you think are the secret ingredients of Finnovating that make it a unique platform?
(ER): I’m pleasantly surprised by the great support from all the Finnovating team, since we joined. That, coupled with the tech challenge platform and (extremely important) deep networking, makes for the right mix and is what decided me to join.
(F): Why is Facenote’s interested in being part of Finnovating? What are you looking for in the first global FinTech platform?
(ER): At this moment our dual approach is looking both for networking with the FinTech players in the area (for fast solution prototyping), as well as exploring commercial collaborations with the bigger companies with bigger pilots.
(F): Final question: We would like to continue meeting and supporting other startups in the FinTech sector. What startup would you recommend us and why?
(ER): Of course, glad to learn more about the needs of the startups in the Finnovating ecosystem and humbly collaborate in any way we can. The #1 thing we learned at Techstars is #givefirst.
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