01 ∣ The Founding Phase


We radicants are building a bank from scratch. Learn more about the development of our strategy and the founding of our company.

How do you actually build a bank?

Ok, it is definitely not an everyday task. But we radicants are tackling it and building a bank from scratch. When we developed our strategy, we asked ourselves many important questions, such as:

  • What are the most interesting customer segments among Swiss bank customers?

  • What needs do these customers have on the long run?

  • How will a bank interact with its customers in the future?

  • Which technologies and structures does a bank of tomorrow need, in order to better serve customer needs and at the same time remain competitive?

  • What can you learn from technologically leading banks and financial service providers or even other industries?

  • What should the company be called?

These and many other exciting questions, combined with a lot of information processing, shaped our first months until we were able to finalize the business plan.

Sustainability as a model of the future

For us, sustainability is not an additional offering - it is an imperative. We want to make an active contribution to the sustainable development and preservation of our planet. This is also the reason why we have decided to focus on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the UN (SDGs) and to promote them along the way and wherever we can. We want to live these goals as a team. We know this is indeed a demanding approach, because the SDGs are defined by a very broad system of values.

Even if not perfectly, we aim to support these goals internally to the best of our knowledge and belief. Very soon we will be reporting more about how we want to promote the UN sustainability goals through transparency and special offers and how we want to develop radicant as a collaborative tech company - including everything from culture, organization and community to services.

Origin of the name “radicant”

With a finalized strategy and business plan, we were ready to found the company. And then the big question arose: What name should the company have? Which name will bring our target customers – affluent customers, i.e. people with liquid savings of over CHF 100,000 – to identify themselves with it? You`d think now that shouldn`t be such a difficult task. However, there are a number of hurdles that digital startups encounter today.

First of all, it has to be a name that can quickly be found anywhere on the web and on social media. Ideally, this is a name with the “.com” domain - and what is almost more important: a name that is also available in any of the most important social networks. And then there is also a rule that a memorable company name should consist of a maximum of eight letters.

Unfortunately, nowadays the trading with Internet domains has become a large and lucrative business: Potentially popular names are identified and by algorithms and auto-purchased, with the aim of reselling them later. For many startups this is a major obstacle, because ultimately only a few can afford their dream name and the reason why so many companies don’t have a .com extension. Trademark problems arise when there are similar companies which names have  the same first or last three letters than your own company name. Same thing goes for social media.

Since we are a Swiss company, we also wanted to find a name that is easy to pronounce in all four national languages of Switzerland and in English. And, as if all of this wasn't enough, the name also had to be linked to a strong message, so that we were able to build an even stronger brand with it. All in all it was almost a «mission impossible».

Two agencies were assigned to find a name, both of which worked in parallel. We analyzed over 900 suggested names, but almost none of those were usable, because either no .com was available or the name was too long or was already used on social media. Only about 20 names were shortlisted in the end.

Grow roots in new places

When “radicant” came up, Anders, our CEO and co-founder, was immediately enthusiastic. This name seemed to perfectly combine all of our values ​​and goals and on top of it had its origins in nature as well. Initially the term “radicant” originates in biology. A radicant plant is characterized by its impressive adaptability to new environments and conditions. As they grow, they always put down new roots further along the way. And, opposed to that, get rid of roots that are no longer needed. This high level of adaptability and agility is symbolic for us of being more radical in our approach and our personalized financial services. At the same time, the naming increased the immense importance that sustainability and its promotion had for us.

And there we went. It was immediately clear to us that we had found the perfect name. Radicant was born. We founded the company on April 22nd, which is also "Earth Day". The response in the press and in the community was huge - and definitely the reason why we have received over 2,000 applications so far.

In the following two very intensive months, we mainly dealt with the selection of a core banking system and started the necessary and quite intensive negotiations as well as the application for a FINMA license. This process included several hundred pages of paper, in which we described how we were imagining radicant as a bank.

Another one of our most important tasks is the focus on the recruiting of the most excellent employees who are not just looking for a job, but a career with a higher purpose. And contribute with their work to a much more sustainable world.

If you are interested or know someone who would like to help us build a fintech company with a focus on sustainability, we would be delighted if you visit our new career page and share our positions on your favorite social media channels.

Do you have any questions or comments? Get in touch! We look forward to hearing from you!

Your radicant team

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