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2020 02 05

Why Vilnius Is So Attractive To Fintech Startups?

It is no secret that Lithuania is seen as one of the best hubs in Europe for fintechs, becoming more and more competitive in the global market. Lithuania’s strength is in possessing a shared strategic outlook found at every level of the ecosystem. The Bank of Lithuania is creating great conditions for startups to test their solutions in fintech and blockchain sandboxes. Various innovation hubs, centres, accelerators, VCs offer comprehensive support and services, helping startups to discover what Lithuania has to offer. Startup Division has also implemented various projects helping startups to grow and scale: Startup Lighthouse and Soft-Landing projects were the ones sending startups to scaling missions abroad. One of these missions were held in Lithuania – Vilnius FinTech Week. Startup Division brought together fintech innovation leaders from all around Europe. With Vilnius being one of the best places to meet various stakeholders, the event was a great success – every startup that participated in the event gave positive feedback and told us that they would definitely recommend the programme.

We are happy to present three startups who participated in Vilnius FinTech Week and got the taste of Lithuanian startup ecosystem benefits.

PAYSTRA opens office in Lithuania

PAYSTRA is a startup originally from Iceland. It is a payment institution, providing payment acquiring and related payment services. After FinTech Week, seeing all the benefits that Lithuania has to offer for fintech startups, they have decided to relocate and opened their office in Vilnius, Lithuania. Johannes I. Kolbeinsson, one of the founders of PAYSTRA said that Vilnius Fintech Week exceeded their expectations: “The networking with officials, institutions, investors, local businesses and other participants was priceless.”

Deriveum: from fintech sandbox to competition for €50 000

Deriveum is a project from Bulgaria, offering first crypto-commodity and achieving to restore trust in loan repayment through Credit Default Swaps (CDS) backed by self-executing smart-contract. Vilnius FinTech Week helped them to explore other projects that Lithuania has to offer.  Dimitar Kyosev, the founder of Deriveum was very positive about the event: “It was an awesome experience that allowed startups (and ours in particular) to network, connect and experience the Lithuanian eco-system in full: from meetings with top regulators to feedback from investors and accelerators.” This is how Deriveum team connected with the representatives of the Bank of Lithuania and got an opportunity to participate in their FinTech Sandbox. The initiative enables companies to test financial products in a limited setting and under the guidance of regulators. Deriveum team has also discovered Block.IS project, implemented by Startup Division, and got an opportunity to apply for €50 000 financial business support.

NearBanking gets a promotion at major tech events

NearBanking is a startup from Portugal. It is a digital solution, that offers visually impaired people security and autonomy to perform banking operations. When participating in Vilnius Fintech Week, they were offered to pitch their idea at Startup Fair: Change 2019 for the prize pool of €26 000 and later at LOGIN conference, the largest two-day innovation festival in the Baltics, in Growth Track as a startup that is raising late seed/Series A investment. “Lithuania is a modern, globally-oriented country and a great place to start a fintech / payments business. I was very impressed with a high level of education, modern facilities, ease of business and local talent,” said Pedro Camacho, co-founder of NearBanking.

Vilnius FinTech Week was a joint initiative of two European Commission Horizon 2020 funded projects Soft-Landing and Startup Lighthouse, which aimed to connect startup ecosystems in order to help startups scale internationally and were implemented by Startup Division.

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