Meet the founders of the startup that turned their competitors into clients

The story of how the founders of Devengo, an API startup pivoted and transformed their competitors into their customers.

Who is Devengo?

You may know Devengo as the salary advance app, or as the instant payment API that’s been blazing through Europe with the highest instant pay-out deliverability rate on the market. Regardless of which, one thing is true: Devengo has been committed to being a leading light in the fintech world since 2019. What many people don’t know is the story behind how Devengo began, and the hard decisions that had to be made in order to be successful today. This story begins with the founders of Devengo, Alberto and Fernando.

The Founders 

In December 2012, Fernando Cabello-Astolfi (CEO) and Alberto Molpeceres (COO) met for the first time, “a common friend, David Bonilla, introduced us. Fernando came to my office with an idea about improving e-commerce with data, but he had no idea of how to obtain the data.” Alberto, being an expert in his field, was happy to offer feedback, and in turn, Fernando offered the same. Unfortunately, at this time Alberto wasn’t able to give much more, as he was enrolled in working in the first payment institution in Spain, but Fernando expressed his interest in working together.

They went back and forth like this over the years, always missing each other while they were managing different projects, or launching new businesses. Until one year, while Alberto was founding Besepa, they ended up sharing an office together– and this is where the bond began. 

The relationship strengthened and soon this is where the idea for Devengo began. Originally it was a salary advance application, providing companies with B2C assistance to employees in need of financial support before payday. This quickly evolved into the Devengo we know today: an API for instant payments that allows companies to automate and streamline their transactions. 

Opposites attract, and though they share a passion for fintech, the similarities stopped there. “I’m serious, focused, with all the technicalities in mind, while Fernando is an imaginative lateral thinker, systematically framing reality in a practical way.” These differences strengthen their work together, combining their traits to be successful in managing the operations of a payment institution while building relationships with customers, investors and developing a great product. 

Developing an Instant Payment API isn’t so Instant

Regardless of whether it was a perfect match for the duo, it didn’t come without its difficulties. “We released our product in February 2020, just a couple of weeks before everything went nuts. Those were hard times for us since our natural contact in the companies was in the HHRR department.” But it doesn’t stop there, in 2022 they realized that salary advance wasn’t the right path in order for them to achieve their goals, “we were growing, but not in the direction and in the way we wanted to grow, with a high cost to the team.” 

Big decisions, Big rewards

The decision to pivot the entirety of Devengo was a hard one to make, but with a strong team, and stronger strategy, success is possible. “We’re proud of the way we managed the transition so that all of our (salary advance) customers had alternatives. The companies and most importantly, their employees, weren’t affected.” The care and consideration that was put into ensuring Devengo’s previous clients were provided for was a powerful moment for the company, and highlighted its values. “We did it so well that the companies that used to be our competitors in turn became our new clients.”

What to Expect in the Future

Though Devengo is young, the impact that has already been made is sending ripples throughout the industry. “Devengo has incredible potential, because the space it plays in account-to-account payments is huge and offers a complete transformation for B2B and B2B2B interactions.”

As the payment industry evolves, Devengo is committed to lead the way. “It will take time to execute and develop many of the ideas we are currently working on and exploring, and because of this, I envision a relationship that keeps growing for many years to come.” 

Suscribe to our newsletter

Receive periodic updates on new posts and features and monthly release notes.