He jumped off an international Google career. Then he became the founder of Epicenter, Oslo’s new digital innovation house – and the Chairman of the Board of the technology company Optin Bank ASA.
Meet Peter Jetzel, Chairman of The Board of Optin Bank ASA:
Now he wants to challenge Klarna and build a completely new e-commerce culture from Norway. In addition, he believes that rapid technology development requires brand new forms of collaboration and new ways of developing more innovative organizations.
After nine years with international management positions in one of the world’s largest and most innovative companies, Peter Jetzel wanted to use his expertise on completely new challenges. He has held both the positions as Nordic and Northern European marketing director in Google. And during the past year, he was responsible for establishing Google’s strategic digitization programs – in collaboration with both private and public partners in Northern Europe.
Jetzel received many requests to take Board positions and participate in other companies. But it was only when two completely different startups knocked on the door that he was tempted to leave the acknowledged Google culture.
“I love startups! The whole Google culture was characterized by that kind of thinking. Creating an innovation culture that challenges inefficient and established products or services. Building better, faster and more efficient solutions – it’s both important and motivating. This was what I fell for at both Epicenter and Optin Bank,” says Peter Jetzel.
Challenges the Swedish success Klarna
It is not a small thing he has given himself to. As the Chairman of the startup Optin Bank, it quickly became clear that they would really challenge the established eCommerce Financing.
“We will challenge Klarna and become the best friend of our eCommerce partners,” smiles Jetzel.
The Swede speaks “Scandinavian” after an entire professional life in Norway. He believes that Norwegian innovators can enjoy being inspired by several of the large and rapidly growing Swedish technology companies, such as Skype, Spotify, Mojang (Minecraft) and King (Candy Crush). These companies have never been happy to only be big in Sweden – but have always had the goal of becoming a major global player.
“Klarna is another good example, but in my opinion, Optin Bank has the potential to become a much better partner for those who deliver goods and services over the net,” he says.
Our partners best friend
In Google, Peter learned everything about understanding the customer perspective. This is where the big battle is, he says:
“Now that we are going to roll out a whole new model – an eCommerce finance platform for our partners. Then we really must be humble and do what is best for our customers. Optin provides financing for eCommerce partners and their customers, allowing immediate payment to partners whilst offering flexible payment options to the partners’ customers. This enables our partners to increase their sales.”
“All too many customers decides to leave the transaction before completed – and just before payment, due to complicated and slow checkout processes. Optin Bank will solve this – so that this can be perceived as something positive for both our partners and the end customer.”
Make Costs of Revenue
One of Optin Bank’s visions is to remove payment solutions that both drive up costs and results in far too low sales. Instead, the company offers a financing and payment platform that allows online stores to reduce costs, increase sales – and not least increase revenue from implementing the Optin model:
“We who are challengers must think differently, disruptively and do what changes the rules of the game”, says Jetzel. He has spent a lot of time with Harald Dahl-Pedersen, who is the Optin Bank CEO and has the daily responsibility for the bank.”
Dahl-Pedersen commented that:
“We are incredibly fortunate to have a Chairman with Peter’s eyes and visions; we need a challenger and technology-oriented leader to lift our heads and look outside our own pond. Peter Jetzel has operated at a level that few are able to gain an insight into, which is invaluable for a company in our phase of development. He has helped us set an ambitious course. And not having national or technological barriers gives Optin Bank a strategic advantage,” says Dahl-Pedersen.
Epicenter: Digital innovation house at Holbergs Plass in Oslo
Peter Jetzel’s daily workplace is on the newly opened digital innovation house “Epicenter” – located in the old Shell building in Edvard Storms gate 2, across the street to Oslo Met at Holbergs Plass in Oslo.
“At Epicenter, we are building a digital innovation house where young technology companies that have passed the establishment phase, so-called “Scale ups, cooperate closely with large established companies. This is to grow faster and drive more efficient and profitable innovation,” he says.
Epicenter opened cautiously on October 19, 2018, with 6,000 sqm – but has already expanded twice – and now holds 9,000 sqm and 50 companies. These are offered several flexible workplaces, common areas, meeting rooms, educational programs, exciting events & conference rooms, innovation arenas, fitness centers, restaurants, cafés and much more that are necessary for businesses that are engaged in growth and innovation.
“Getting the opportunity to work at Epicenter is a great pleasure and a privilege. Every day I get inspiration and professional refills from some of the country’s most enthusiastic and talented entrepreneurs,” says Jetzel.
“The environment is dynamic with a wonderful mix of ambitious entrepreneurs, of all ages. The culture is co-operative, and one generously shares knowledge – so that we all learn a lot about new technology and new business models. It is particularly gratifying that we have women and men from over 15 different nationalities represented here. It helps to increase our understanding of the important global market our members will succeed in competing in,” he smiles.
Epicenter’s members include for example, Rema 1000, Bertel O. Steen, Google, Danske Bank, Webstep, Spacemaker, Fjong – and several more are about to move in. Here is also created an arena where the larger companies can cooperate, both with each other – and with the smaller, but rapidly growing technology companies.
Optin and Payr
When Peter Jetzel entered the board of Optin Bank, CEO Harald Dahl-Pedersen became very curious about the Epicenter concept. Therefore, he decided to have at least one office day a week at the new coworking arena:
“You must live as you learn, and we have benefited from that,” says Dahl-Pedersen.
And cooperation with forward-looking startups is for true an important part of the Optin strategy. A good example is a new cooperation agreement with the Norwegian fintech company Payr. In an international fintech magazine, Payr was recently voted one of the Nordic’s 10 hottest fintech companies.
“The collaboration has already produced very interesting discussions about business development only after a few weeks from the time we notified the market about the agreement,” says Harald Dahl-Pedersen.
“This is how we like to work”, concludes chairman Jetzel, “If we want to be the best, we must also associate ourselves with the most innovative and forward-looking partners,” he says.
More about Optin Bank ASA:
Optin Bank in cooperation on e-commerce: https://aptic.no/optin-bank-2/
Optin Bank has signed eCommerce agreements: https://optinbank.no/globalassets/public-site/investor-relations/pressemelding-optin-bank-asa—markedsinformasjon.pdf
Optin Bank partnered with Payr: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6532188800330846208