Swan

Swan

Past and future

Their story

Their story

Since 2019, Swan has operated with an ambitious, kind-hearted culture, and a strong product vision. We move fast, like every startup, but our ultimate priority is to make sure our platform is secure and robust. This is necessary since we work in a highly regulated industry: banking.

We were founded in 2019 with startup studio eFounders, surrounded by the buzzy energy of other budding seed projects. Our founders are all fintech veterans, and our CEO Nicolas Benady is a serial entrepreneur, having already co-founded two successful payment startups - Limonetik and Antelop.

By 2020, Swan raised a 5M€ seed round with Creandum and Bpifrance, and we got our e-money license! This was a huge feat, allowing us to build up our product. Our seed was quickly followed by a 16M€ series A raised with Accel in 2021. Since then, we moved into our new 496 m2 office and have been hiring tons of wonderful new colleagues. We are starting to have a real “corporate startup” feel. Our CEO even brought his hammock in for a short visit, but the poor thing was neglected and it’s since been nowhere to be seen.

Swan is now embarking on Europe. We’re working on localizing our product and internationalizing our team and our partner portfolio. We already have partners in 7 EU countries, but with product coverage across 30, we are on track to take Swan much, much further!

2019

Swan takes flight

2020

5 million euros raised with Creandum and BPI France

2021

16 million euros raised with Accel

2022

Becoming a European company 🇪🇺

2022

We started out the year with 70 employees and plan to reach 100 by summer

Their vision

Our team must grow to reflect the diverse pool of EU tech companies we serve. We’ve decided 40% of our new hires will be international folks! We started out the year with 70 employees and plan to reach 100 this fall, with office openings in Berlin 🇩🇪 and Barcelona 🇪🇸!

A growing team obliges a more sophisticated structure and a People department that’s truly caring. By now, Swan’s culture is well engrained and we’ve got our rituals down! We all come together for our Monday kick-off and Friday all-hands (whether remote or in person). Some online games have achieved cult status at Swan 👾; we play them during coffee breaks. There are running buddies, yoga buddies, and enough musicians to create a band (most of the time we keep our headphones on and share favourites on Slack, but we do have some original singles). Twice a year we go somewhere gorgeous (a chateau, a mountain) where we reconnect, deep-dive into big topics, and relax. We’re fast learning, internationalizing, and excited to see what’s next! 🙌

Their vision

Company values

  • Be human: We spontaneously go the extra mile to help people — whether they're a colleague, a partner, an investor, or a client. Be straightforward, transparent, and sincerely care. It's all about integrity and doing the right thing.
  • Ambition: Our dream is to become Europe’s biggest and favorite payment infrastructure. We’re in this for the long game — Swan has no interest in being acquired. We want to transform the entire payments market, and be the engine for Europe’s next tech champions! On an individual level, it’s in our DNA to constantly seek to do better, to do more.
  • Collaboration: We believe in the power of collective intelligence. So we cultivate reflective listening and make sure everyone is empowered to speak up. We love to challenge others' ideas and be challenged in return. May the best ideas win.
  • "Move fast, don't break things.": Swan must be secure, robust, and built to last. If we must choose between security and going fast, we choose security. We are in banking, after all.
  • Make everything simple: If something's convoluted or confusing, we work extra hard to break it down. Making complex things simple is what we do.

Swan doesn’t want to be the company that pro-claims values but then doesn’t live up to them. We asked the Swan team a range of magazine interview questions as a pulse check at our last offsite. Here's the gist of what they said. 

Describe Swan in 5 words:

Ambition, Collaboration, Kind, Joie de vivre, Product culture

What global issues does Swan care about?

Like everyone, Swan cares about a bunch of issues. But we’re especially sensitive to the environment and the planet. 🌍 We signed the Climate Act in 2021, with 100+ fast-growing companies, to make concrete commitments to climate action. We encourage each other to recycle, always. We avoid airplanes. Love trains. And we especially love cycling.

What’s the atmosphere like?

Serious and studious, but not too much. We love bad jokes at our weekly kick-off meeting and creating emoticons of each other on Slack. At offsites: a good party, a bad karaoke 🎤, and a bottle of bubbly. 🍾

Ideal teammate? Sociable. Skilled. Empathetic. Frank. We love to challenge each other, and we leave our egos at the door.

Brightest memory?

There was a range of answers for this one including “champagne night at the castle,” 🏰 and “hike in the mountains.” 

How does Swan stand out as a workplace?

Every single answer mentioned the kindness of our team. Other popular answers: transparency, autonomy (we’re trusted to do our jobs well), down-to-earth.

How does Swan dance?

Not so well, by jumping around! (but always to Nicolas Saison’s amazing embedded finance music) 🎧🎶

What languages does Swan speak?

Our main working language is English, but our team also speaks:

Albanian, Arabic, TypeScript, French, German, Go, GraphQL, Kotlin, Japanese, Portuguese, Python, Russian, Scala, Spanish, Thai, TypeScript, Vietnamese...

What are your rituals?

Monday kick-off, Friday all-hands. We have a bunch of beloved online games 👾 we play during impromptu breaks. Twice a year we go somewhere gorgeous (a chateau, a mountain 🏔) to re-connect, deep-dive into big topics, and relax.

Commitments and CSR

On diversity

On diversity

Swan is committed to providing a caring work environment for all employees, regardless of age, sex, disability, sexual orientation, race, religion, or belief. When it comes to recruitment, we're interested in your work experience, skills, and overall personality. Because diversity makes the workplace stronger and is necessary for Swan's success, we are intensifying efforts to incorporate concrete actions to help us improve in this area. We are actively seeking partners who can help us to always strive to be a more supportive and welcoming company for all. Swan is proud to have launched a partnership with 50intech to boost our diversity and inclusion efforts.

Actions

  • We are currently building our career development framework with a special focus on the acquisition of skills to support a fair career path.
  • To ensure equal pay we are implementing a salary grid, and we use tools allowing us to have a consistency of salaries according to the level of responsibility and skills developed.
Swan
Swan

Diversity matters to us - and it’s well documented that diverse teams perform better! That’s why, as we triple our team size, we’re determined to put more women into leadership positions. We've got our eyes open for talent across all departments. So if you’re a rockstar professional interested in helping a startup scale, get in touch! We think you’ll love the Swan atmosphere: the challenge of a fast-growing EU Fintech, within a caring, open, workplace.

Amélie Berille, Talent Acquisition Manager at Swan