By Ellie Sellswood
One of the places we’re looking to for inspiration for our FinForward conference are the Baltic States. That’s because they really seem to be the place to be for fintech right now. Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia are surging ahead in the global fintech race and fintech leaders are basing themselves and their service centres, here, in the Baltic region.
They may be some of the European bloc’s smallest and least populated nations, but when it comes to technological development, including fintech, these countries are world leaders. Riga, Vilnius and Tallinn are all now thriving fintech hubs, which are beginning to rival London and Berlin as silicon cities in Central and Eastern Europe.
According to the World Economic Forum report Europe’s Hidden Entrepreneurs, Estonia is Europe’s number one hotspot for technology entrepreneurs, with Latvia third and Lithuania seventh.
Estonia first rose to fame with the launch of Skype and now hosts hundreds of – at least in Germany – less well-known fintech start-ups such as Funderbeam, Fortumo, Veriff or Investly. There were 408 of them by last count – which is pretty significant given there are merely 1.3 million residents in the whole country. The country’s technological development has been driven by its attractive e-residency programme, which has brought in entrepreneurs from many other countries.
Lithuania, on the other hand, has made efforts to bring in global entrepreneurs from Europe, Israel and Singapore, and in 2017, 35 fintech companies were set up in the country, tripling the size of the sector. Latvia is up there too thanks to its impressive base of financial experts. This skills advantage is leading to strong business, especially in the fintech sector.
One thing’s for sure, the Baltics are a must topic for us at FinForward, check out our latest speakers and get your ticket today at finforward.eu. Want to stay informed without having to come to the website all the time? Get the FinForward newsletter that brings all the news around the FinForward conference and more directly into your inbox. Subscribe now!