Back when Windows XP was still a thing, fintech meant the technology applied to the back-end of established consumer and trade financial institutions. Not anymore. Now it covers any technological innovation in financial sector, including financial education, retail banking, investment and cryptocurrencies.
Among top 10 disclosed investment deals in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, fintech plays a prominent role in Estonia, where TransferWise and Monese account for €110 million or 44% of all funds raised by Top 10 deals and Latvia, where BitFury, CreamFinance and Mintos totally dominate the Top 10, claiming €140.5 million or 87% of funds raised. Top 10 stats look more balanced in Lithuania where TransferGo only claims €6 million or 4% of Top10 disclosed deals.
It is important to note that disclosed euro amounts in Estonia and Latvia are close. The percentages vary because of uneven disclosure level that skews the balance in painting the whole picture. What is undeniable, though, is that each country has notable innovative financial services players worth meeting.
This is why Latvia hosts Rietumu Fintech Challenge each year. Its capital Riga has a unique position as a regional financial centre with 22.5 bank branches per capita (compared to 4 in Estonia and 6 in Lithuania). This is impressive for a country of just below 2 million.
April 7 is the deadline for promising startups to apply for Rietumu Fintech challenge. But is it worth it? We know that in fintech it is crucial to network and meet the right people. So, here’s a list of Baltic fintech companies and founders that you may want to reach out to during your trip.
BitFury is world’s largest and leading producer of semiconductors (ASICs), servers and datacenter solutions for the bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry. It is also one of the largest miners of bitcoin with computing centers across Iceland and Georgia. It is also the most funded disclosed Latvian startup, having raised €111,3 million to date. Co-founded by Valery Vavilov with background in technology business management and Valery Nebesny with 20 years of IT and computer science experience in 2011.
CreamFinance is a recent successful player in non-bank lending, differentiating by the data-driven lending decisions that power their business. Founded in 2012 in Latvia by Matiss Ansviesulis, the company has raised €27,2 million in funding and achieved consistent growth, launching brands in five markets across Europe. In Latvia, the company is operating under the brands CreditOn and Ladyloan. Last year alone the company’s revenue in Latvia reached €2,8M.
Mintos was started in April 2014 by Martins Sulte with background in investment banking and consulting. After championing peer-to-peer lending legislation in Latvia, the company began operations in January 2015, when experienced financial auditor and consultant Martins Valters joined the team. The company has raised €1 million from Skillion Ventures and has reached over €100 million lending turnover this year.
Viventor started operations at the same time as Mintos. It offers investments in a wide range of peer-to-peer loans across Europe, differentiated by type, country and originator. Founded by Andris Rozenbahs with background in real estate and management.
eComCharge is a developer, supplier and a system integrator helping merchants receive payments in e-commerce. Founded in 2013 by Peteris Pildegovics with over 15 years of experience in finance and client relationship management.
Monea is a micropayment app letting users send and receive small sums of money to their phonebook contacts within minutes. Founded in 2013, by Chairman of supervisory board at Lattelecom Gatis Kokins, Martins Berzins with background in technology business management, Girts Kalnins and Martins Kalnins. Monea has signed contracts with biggest retail banks in Latvia and has raised €1,05 million to expand into neighbouring countries.
Swipe is an invoicing solution and payment gateway built around instant payments. It claims that 70% of their clients’ invoices are paid on time. Founded in 2015 by a serial entrepreneur Jevgenijs Novickis Dmitrijs Angelovskis with background in mobile development and Kirils Ivenkovs with programming background, Swipe now works with 13 currencies in 40+ countries.
Factury is a trading and settlement network with applications for the secondary loan market, connecting fintech lenders with institutional investors. The company uses advances in distributed ledger technology and data cryptography to modernize the costly, complicated, and obsolete processes in loan securitization. Founded in 2015 by Arturs Ivanovs with background in management and public relations.
Notakey is a next generation authentication startup that gives a money-back guarantee that its strong and smooth multi-factor authentication and authorisation will improve your employee productivity and increase customer engagement. Founded in 2015 by Janis Graubins, Gints Kirsteins and Jānis Kiršteins.
Nordigen is an API for transaction categorization for improved credit scoring, aiming to help automate credit assessment process for bank and non-bank lenders. Co-founded by Roberts Bernans with background in finance and Rolands Mesters with background in business management in 2015.
inBudget is a tool for private and public budgeting that aims to add a social element to something as boring as budgeting and encourages users to use budgets to inspire each other. Founded in 2016 by Alexander Bickov with background in product design and Aleksej Churko with background in web development.
Payment Ninja aims to simplify mobile card processing. They describe themselves as “Stripe, but without transaction fees”. Founded in 2015 by Andrew Morozov with background in finance and business management.
Weststein is a pre-paid private MasterCard payment card letting users separate their online transactions from their main account and avoid fraud. Founded in 2015, Fedor Levikov, co-founder of WestStein as well as Board member.
TransferWise is an online currency exchange and payments service that allows people to exchange currency using mid-market rates for a flat fee. Holding accounts in all countries, TransferWise can offer competitive rates because money never crosses borders: they simply transfer an equivalent in your destination currency from their local account. Founded by Kristo Käärmann with background in finance and system architecture and Taavet Hinrikus, ex-Skype Director of Strategy. TransferWise is Estonia’s most-funded disclosed startup. They have raised €95,6 million from several well-known investors, including Sir Richard Branson.
Monese is an online banking service that aims to provide better banking for individuals and businesses, focusing on instant mobile payments. Founded in 2013 by Norris Koppel with background in finance and business management. With €14.65 million raised, is the second biggest publicly disclosed investment in Estonian startups.
Fortumo offers direct carrier billing in 96 countries for apps, games, digital media companies, app stores and device manufacturers. Founded in 2007 by Martin Koppel with background in sales and marketing and Rain Rannu with background in business management.
Fitek provides invoice and financing flow solutions to companies and public sector institutions in the Baltic states and beyond. The company handles more than 75 million invoices and other documents annually and serves more than 1,000 customers, striving to build a world with fully automated digital financial processes. Founded in 1995, currently led by Mait Sooaru.
TransferFast moves money between different banks instantly. It has 200,000 payment points worldwide, with agents representing the company around the globe. Co-founded by Jaak Sarv with background in software architecture, Sergo Ulpus with background in business management and Erki Hendrikson with background in finance and investment.
Finora Capital was founded in 2012. It is led by Andrus Alber, former Deputy Chairman of Estonian Fiscal Council and Chairman of the Management Board at NASDAQ OMX Tallinn AS. Finora Capital is the first Estonian non-bank credit provider with a licence from the Financial Supervision Agency. The company provides provides mortgage loan services, small loans and hire purchase services for private persons and companies.
EstateGuru is an online peer-to-peer lending platform established by property professionals facilitating short- and mid-term property loans. Founded by Marek Pärtel in 2013, the company has since then developed to be the only P2P platform in the World to facilitate property-backed business loans in 3 markets. Marek and his team members have experience in real estate development and investment management fields, adding to over 50 years.
Fundwise is the first equity crowdfunding platform in the Baltics, positioned as a tool to raise money from your customers and turn them into shareholders. Co-founded in 2014 by Henri Laupmaa who has experience in crowdfunding platform design and Gleb Maltsev, founder of creative agency Stoneful and mentor at Estonia’s hardware accelerator BuildIT, along with René Lasseron and Anne Veerpalu.
Investly was founded in 2013 by an analyst particularly fond of econometrics Siim Maivel. The company provides invoice financing to businesses with strong client base but lengthy payment terms, letting them survive cash flow difficulties.
EveryPay is a payment gateway solution targeting a wide range of clients. Founded in 2012 by co-founder of Cash On Go (peachy.co.uk) Kristjan Novitski and Joel Mitt. Currently led by Lauri Teder, former Project manager at Cash On Go and COO at EveryPay.
Inwise is a factoring platform, where suppliers to large companies can sell their receivable invoices at the auction to investors with the highest bid. Founded in 2015 by Indrek Vilms with background in banking and business management.
Inspool is a peer-to-peer insurance platform that claims to save drivers up to 75% of their premiums. Inspool defines itself as a car insurance that unites and rewards polite drivers. Inspool lets you pick the people you want in your insurance pool, thereby notably reducing your premiums. Founded in 2015 by Ando Kivilaid and Risto Rossar with background in business management, investment and insurance.
Insly is a spin-off from IIZI Group, started in 2013 by co-founder of Inspool Risto Rossar. It is a cloud-based insurance software for agents and brokers enabling them to manage sales from start to finish and administer all insurance policies.
HashFlare is a cryptocurrency mining company, focusing on users that are interested to mine cryptocurrencies but have little experience in the field.
BudgetMatador helps manage project budgets, reports and cash flows of grant-funded organisations. Founded in 2014 by a Stanford graduate Uve Poom with background in business management and public relations.
PayTailor is a system that enables customers to collect payments using an app that turns any smartphone into a mobile payment terminal. Founded in 2015 by Rode Luhaäär with background in finance and business management and Kaiko Kaur with background in software development and management.
TransferGo is a digital remittance solution for migrant workers with a guaranteed next-workday delivery. It started as a tool to help Lithuanian migrant workers in the UK send money back to their families. Now it has grown to include 33 European countries. Launched in 2012 by Justinas Lasevičius with background in finance, Daumantas Dvilinskas with background in business management, Arnas Lukoševičius experienced in software architecture and Edvinas Šeršniovas with background in IT and marketing. TransferGo is Lithuania’s most funded disclosed fintech startup with over €6 million capital raised to date.
Etronika is an payments solutions developer for financial institutions (Banktron), e-commerce (Etronika Retail Solution) and fraud prevention. Founded in 2000 by Kestutis Gardziulis with background in IT and management and Jonas Šulcas with experience in banking technology.
PaySera is a global electronic money institution offering to perform money transfers cheaper and faster than banks. Founded in 2004, led by Kostas Noreika. Powering several innovations, including Savy peer-to-peer lending platform.
Welltrado specializes in setting up relations with most successful alternative investment management firms that achieve consistent returns on their capital. Founded in 2015 by Tomas Medeckis and Povilas Urbonas with background in financial business management.
ArcaPay (formerly MB Transfers) is a foreign exchange and international payment services provider for private individuals and small businesses, specialising in money transfers from the UK to other European countries. It was founded in 2011 by Marius Bausys, with background in finance at Lloyds Bank and business management experience.
WoraPay is a solution aiming to eliminate queues at payment terminals. It enables customers to purchase and pay in advance online, then only turn up at a store to collect the product. Founded in 2013 by Vaidas Adomauskas, Aurimas Bakas, Rando Pärna and Richard Jackson.
InvoiceBerry is a platform that aims to simplify invoicing and expense tracking for small businesses. Co-founded in 2010 by Uwe Dreissigacker with background in software development and Evelina (Šaulytė) Dreissigacker with background in business management.
Debifo was founded in 2015 by Justas Šaltinis with background in finance. It is the first company in Lithuania that started offering invoice financing, both disclosed and confidential. It has currently partnered with Latvian peer-to-peer lender Mintos to offer crowdfunded invoice financing.
Spectro Finance is the company behind SpectroCoin, which provides an exchange, an e-wallet and merchant solutions for a range of cryptocurrencies across Europe, as well as SpectroCard, which is a virtual MasterCard, linking cash and online payments. Founded in 2013 by Vytautas Karalevičius with background in finance and Mantas Mockevičius.
Know someone who should be on the list but isn’t? Let us know in comments: