Interview of the technology journalist Heinz-Joachim Imlau with Spiros Margaris*, one of the world's leading Fintech influencers, about his new role as senior consultant of the patent factor start-up IPR Strategies:
Imlau: Mr. Margaris, you are well known and again, the No. 1 Fintech Global Influencer ranked by Onalytica. Can you tell us a little more about your current activities?
Magaris: My work at Margaris Ventures is consumed by advising startups. As a venture capitalist, I am always looking for new, promising startups, giving keynote speeches, reading lots of research papers and great articles, and sharing them with my community. As a top global influencer in the fintech, insurtech, and AI spaces, I am approached by many companies to coach their management boards and to support them to grow their brands globally. My position as a coach includes many aspects from being a sounding board to the management when it comes to strategic decisions to helping them stay focused on critical current and potential business drivers.
Imlau: How did you get together with IPR-Strategies?
Magaris: I was introduced to the IPR management through a shared close friend of ours who said it might be a good idea for me to listen to what the boys at IPR had to say. From the moment we met, I had the feeling that the guys were very solid—and fun to be around—and that their approach to combining their patent knowhow to portfolio management was a compelling story.
Imlau: What attracted you to the new job?
Magaris: So, I was attracted to join IPR as a senior advisor because, firstly, they are a first-class team of patent evaluators, who are among the world's best in their field combined with top quant expertise.
Secondly, I am impressed with their unique patent-factor valuation approach to portfolio management. IPR develops quantitative factors and investment strategies based on the monetary value of the patent portfolio of a company. They support investors in enhancing their existing strategy with an additional fundamental factor: measuring the hidden assets of a company.
And last but not least, the fact that their clients use IPR’s patent valuation approach to portfolio management with over EUR 34 billion in client assets.
Imlau: This patent valuation topic seems for me to be a little far from your normal activities. Why did you join them?
Magaris: I spend the majority of my career time in asset management, primarily in the hedge fund world. Within the fintech world, we have a growing and important segment called wealthtech, and here I see where IPR’s patent-factor solution to portfolio management is very fitting. I am a firm believer in technology helping to enhance our everyday lives, and I think patents also play a very critical role for—not all but many—companies to succeed. So, for me, it is not far-fetched at all. Actually, it’s quite the opposite — I want to be part of this story.
If we look, for instance, at the very hot and important sector of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) investments, we believe that our patent-factor approach will enhance the performance of the asset managers’ portfolios from their competitors.
Of course, the strong investment trend in artificial intelligence companies will require asset managers and venture capitalists to consider a patent-factor—as IPR provides—to better evaluate their investments in the space. If competition continues increasing for those patent-holding companies, their competitive edge might diminish with time. This fact should be considered by investors, and that our patent-factor offering helps to show such trends early, so appropriate action can be taken.
Again, the patent-factor approach in asset management has been a very compelling strategy for me from the very beginning, especially in a world where technology, innovations, and patents help to distinguish winners from losers.
Imlau: Is it scientifically and tested on the market that the technology delivers alpha?
Magaris: As mentioned before, our approach has been back-tested by our top quant asset manager clients with over EUR 34 billion AuM, so we can say it is significantly tested. Furthermore, our corporation partner Quandl.com wrote a research paper on the benefits of our IPR patent-factor solution to portfolio management.
Apart from that, the team itself does a lot of research and publishing. And, of course, our German partner InTraCoM carries out patent valuations in various valuation projects every day - this enables us to constantly learn and improve and sharpen our own model
Imlau: Mr Margaris, thank you for the interview!
* Spiros Margaris is a venture capitalist, futurist, keynote speaker and senior consultant for the wefox group, SparkLabs Global, Mediastalker, Yield Growth and F10 Accelerator. He is the first international influencer to achieve "The Triple Crown" ranking and was ranked No. 1 international influencer for FinTech, Blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) by Onalytica in May 2018. In February 2020, Onalytica again voted him the best global FinTech influencer.
Margaris regularly appears in the top three positions in established rankings for global industry influencers. He is a keynote speaker at international FinTech and InsurTech conferences and also held a TEDxAcademy Talk. He published an AI white paper entitled "Machine Learning in Financial Services": Changing the rules of the game" for the enterprise software provider SAP and was the first non-IBM keynote speaker at the largest IBM event in Europe "2019 IBM Systems Technical University".
For more information about Spiros and his latest projects, please visit