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Axel Johnson launches fintech startup Humla using SEB’s Banking-as-a-Service platform

Emil Berg Eckerrot, CEO of Humla, and Christoffer Malmer, head of SEBx
Emil Berg Eckerrot, CEO of Humla, and Christoffer Malmer, head of SEBx

SEB is entering into a strategic partnership with Humla, a fintech startup within Axel Johnson set out to drive innovation in the retail industry. Humla will develop its products and offerings on the banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platform developed by SEBx, thereby becoming its first BaaS customer.

The partnership follows a period of joint exploration and collaboration between Humla and SEB’s innovation studio SEBx. Humla is on a mission to strengthen the business for the retail of tomorrow by building a new generation of financial services and loyalty products. Using SEBx’s banking-as-a-service platform, Humla will be able to embed financial services in their customer offerings.

“With our cloud-based banking-as-a-service platform, we can help partners to build new products or embed financial services in their customer journeys without becoming banks themselves. SEBx is built on top of SEB’s banking license, which allows us to be a complete provider of financial services,” says Christoffer Malmer, Head of SEBx. “We want to collaborate and co-create together with innovative partners and look forward to continuing working with the team at Humla – our first banking-as-a-service customer.”  

The embedded-finance market is growing fast and has great potential. With a heritage of supporting entrepreneurship, SEB is looking to establish itself as a leading banking-as-a-service provider to support innovation and serve customers in new ways. Embedding financial services under non-bank brands provides ample opportunity for new product development and commercialisation, both for customers and providers. 

As a startup within the Axel Johnson group, Humla will build products and services in collaboration with some of the most established retail brands in Sweden. With 1.5 million customer interactions every day across the group, Humla is looking to bring its new financial services platform to retail companies that want to build stronger relationships with customers. 

“The retail companies within Axel Johnson have a deep understanding about their customers, which combined with modern technology will be used to build innovative financial services enabling more personalized experiences and data driven offerings,” says Emil Berg Eckerrot, CEO of Humla. “SEBx provides us with a complete banking platform built on modern technology, which allows us to focus on the customer experience instead of banking regulations. We’re optimistic about the change that we can bring to the industry and are looking forward to bringing Humla to more partners and customers.” 

The plan is to bring the first product to market during the year and to continue the exploration of opportunities across the Axel Johnson group. Axel Johnson has a long history and experience within the retail industry, something that Humla will be able to leverage when building new products and services. 

“At Axel Johnson, we believe retail will change more in the coming decade than it has done over the past century. The opportunity to include financial services in a thoughtful way into the customer experience will play an important part in the future of retail, and we are excited about the things we can achieve with this partnership,” says Sara Öhrvall, Board Chair of Humla and Chief Operating Officer of Axel Johnson.

To learn more about SEBx and banking-as-a-service, visit sebx.io/baas.

For further information, contact:
Frank Hojem, Head of Corporate Communication
+46 70 763 9947

Niklas Magnusson, Group Press Officer
+46 70 763 8243

SEB is a leading northern European financial services group with a strong belief that entrepreneurial minds and innovative companies are key in creating a better world. We take a long-term perspective and support our customers in good times and bad. In Sweden and the Baltic countries, SEB offers financial advice and a wide range of financial services. In Denmark, Finland, Norway, Germany and the United Kingdom, the bank's operations have a strong focus on corporate and investment banking based on a full-service offering to corporate and institutional clients. The international nature of SEB's business is reflected in our presence in more than 20 countries worldwide, with around 15,500 employees. At 31 December 2021, the Group's total assets amounted to SEK 3,304bn while its assets under management totalled SEK 2,682bn. Read more about SEB at https://www.sebgroup.com