Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now



Fintech Friends: Mike from Strise!

Mike Connors is Head of Sales at Strise. Originally from London, he has made the move to Oslo and is now building Strise’s commercial team across the Nordics and beyond.

Pitch Strise in one sentence

Strise represents a fundamental shift in customer management, using AI to organize large amounts of public, external data into customer-centric workflows to support AML, KYC, and Sales processes.

What is unique about Strise?

Customer management tools usually build from the empty software shell upwards - integrating and adding data sources with a rising bill for consulting hours along the way. Just think about the never-ending CRM project that many companies own. Strise starts with all the available data and wraps it in smart, connected workflows (with a great-looking UX) making customer insight immediately available. So no more long implementation/integration projects, end users can just get started from day 1.

What has been your biggest challenge so far?

Strise could have gone in many directions - the graph data model at our core is flexible yet powerful and could provide answers to a lot of different questions and industries. Staying laser-focused on KYC, AML and Sales was a strategic decision...but you have to prioritize brutally to not veer off course.

We’ve also navigated the pandemic pretty well which has had its own challenges and grown circa 8X in revenue and doubled the team during this period.

AML and Sales...why focus on this first? And why together?

Traditionally these are some of the most manual, data-intensive yet disconnected workflows in companies. Collecting and organizing ownership information, or customer advisors building prospecting lists are both very labor-intensive and prone to the challenges outdated information gives.

But when you look away from the person's role and actually at the data that's needed, the two have very similar characteristics - people, roles, connections to companies, etc. So solving the two together makes a lot of sense and is then automatically connected along the customer journey.

Any secret weapons for being a customer-centric startup?

Being fast and agile in development can be a superpower that bigger players can’t match. We have a weekly sit down called ‘The Loop’ between Product, Tech, Sales, and Customer Success to make sure we move quickly on good customer feedback. And remember to keep this mindset ingrained as you grow!

What is the best part of being an entrepreneur in Norway?

Companies old and new are very open to testing and bringing in new technology. There's a lower reliance on hierarchy for decisions compared to other countries, which means early-stage companies with great ideas can land those all-important early adopter customers in a shorter space of time.

What is your best investor pick-up line?

More a tip than a pick-up line, but always chat to people in the lunch queue at events. Our CEO, Marit Rødevand, first met our investor Maki.VC while holding a plate of dumplings and pitching Strise at Slush's cafeteria.

What startups do you look up to/are you inspired by?

Personally, I love the Hopin story. They've built a 7 Billion dollar + company, totally remotely in a very short time frame. In the spirit of ski star Johannes Thingnes Bø, we like to think of things that are 'Fordel Strise'. In other words; to make unexpected things your advantage, which Hopin has done by capitalizing on a newly available remote talent pool to grow the company without location restraints.

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Slow and overly complicated decision-making in companies.

Share your favorite meme with us

Sceptical Leonardo Dicaprio

One thing your LinkedIn profile doesn’t tell us

Whilst you’ll see some big companies I’ve worked at, nothing beats the satisfaction of moving the needle a little bit every day in a startup.

How would your colleagues describe you?

Celebrates the process, not just the obvious results. Most likely in a pretend British accent.

What is your most played song on Spotify?

After a summer roadtrip with an 18 month old daughter I can sing Captain Sabeltann end to end.