FinTech has been a hot topic for several years now. At the moment it seems like the times of early-stage startups, disruptive but barely significant in comparison with the huge banking sector, holding just a tiny share of the market are slowly coming to an end, as we are entering the era of mature FinTech startups.
These companies, growing at a robust pace, delivering more and more secure, reliable and innovative solutions, nowadays are able to compete with international banking giants and win the hearts of customers all over the world. And it’s worth noting that many of them come not from Silicon Valley, like most of the well-known tech startups, but from Europe. Does it mean that Europe is becoming a mecca for FinTech startups? What exactly lies behind the success of European FinTech startups? And, last but not least, what are the hottest European FinTech startups in 2019? Read our article to find out!
The rise of FinTech startups
Before we go deep into the topic, let’s clarify what exactly FinTech means. Obviously, it’s an abbreviation of the term financial technology that appeared around the ‘70s, but gained in popularity over the last decade, and in 2018, it was finally added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. According to this definition, the meaning of the term FinTech is the following:
products and companies that employ newly developed digital and online technologies in the banking and financial services industries.
Quite simple and clear. To put it even more simple, FinTech startups use disruptive technologies and solutions (mobile apps, blockchain, modern authentication methods, etc.) to provide customers with improved versions of banking and financial services. FinTech basically makes our lives easier: allows us to better manage our personal finances, save and invest money in a smarter and more accessible way, gives us the opportunity to choose financial products that better fit our needs, etc. No wonder that FinTech is rapidly conquering the world of finance.
FinTech startups’ ways of success
How have these startups achieved this rapid growth? At Codete, we had the chance to collaborate with numerous leading European startups, such as Raisin or Spotcap. Although there is no universal recipe for success, based on our experience we can say that there are some strategies that can be a pretty good start for any FinTech startup:
This is essential. FinTech startups wouldn’t be so disruptive if they wouldn’t offer extraordinary solutions, surpassing the limits of conventional banking products. Moreover, they aim to solve problems that the traditional banks and financial institutions weren’t able, or didn’t want to face. Example? For millions of their users, neobanks such as Revolut or N26 solved the problem of being charged extra fees when paying with the card abroad in the local currency, and this is what led those FinTech companies to rapid growth and undeniable success.
The advantage most of FinTech startups have over traditional banking services is that they offer powerful, life-changing solutions, yet simple at the core. And we mean not only the UX and apps design. There is more than that: no complicated rules, no hard-to-grasp and confusing terms of service, no fine print, no extra charges that appear all of the sudden, no stress that if you miss something important, you may end losing your money. FinTech startups keep things simple and the users love it.
Cutting edge, pioneer technology.
This may seem obvious because there is no ‘FinTech’ without ‘tech’, but this cannot be stressed enough. Financial startups need to leverage the most innovative technology to successfully compete on the market. They need the most skilled specialists. How can an early-stage startup with almost no funding afford to hire a team of world-class IT specialists? The answer in most cases is they don’t need to. They opt for a team augmentation or the outsourcing of the software development process (or part of it) to experienced companies that provide dedicated teams of specialists or deliver the finished product. This way, the startup can benefit from the external provider’s experience and doesn’t have to invest time nor money in building a large in-house team. As a result, the time to market decreases, and there are funds left that can be used for marketing purposes to launch the product with a blast.
List of Top 10 FinTech startups in Europe
Now let’s take a look at the stars and emerging leaders of European FinTech sector. There are more than 3,500 FinTech startups in the region, and we have selected ten of them that are the most interesting, promising and disruptive:
This Swedish startup is turning the table for shoppers, as it allows them to pay for their online purchases after receiving the order. Sounds like a nightmare for e-shop owners? Not in this case, because Klarna takes all the risk. This is a win-win for both customers and the sellers, who can increase their conversion rates.
Sending money abroad was always a weak point of conventional banking services. Transferwise has changed the situation: now international transfers can be done in a much faster, cheaper and easier way, with no hidden fees – you always know how much money will the recipient receive.
Transparent and fair mobile banking with no hidden fees, account opened in a few minutes via mobile app – it’s as simple as it sounds, and the numbers prove that this business model works: 3,5 billion dollars valuation, 3,5 million users in 24 European countries, 400 transactions per minute.
This German startup, valued for over 550 million dollars, has gained their place in the FinTech 50 list for three years in a row. And it’s absolutely well-deserved: with Raisin, you are not limited to financial opportunities in your country! In their app you can browse for the best interest rates in banks across whole Europe, and manage several accounts without any problem, thanks to their great UX.
5. B2B Pay
The incarnation of the ‘payments without borders’ trend, but for B2B transactions. This Finnish startup offers multi-currency bank accounts that allow companies to cut costs of banking fees and currency conversion charges and make international business with no worries.
Their branding slogan is “Insurance made simple”, and this says it all. Wefox is one of the leaders of the InsurTech sector, offering all-in-one insurance solution supercharged with AI to better analyze the needs of every customer and advise the most suitable product at the fairest rate.
A true feast for SME looking for flexible financing options. Fast business loans from leading reliable institutions, available within a few minutes? Creditworthiness rated by an unbiased algorithm? That’s Spotcap!
Great option both for personal use and for businesses: in the first case, you can manage your Bitcoin cryptocurrency with their wallet and even use it for everyday payments with a prepaid card. On the other hand, businesses can implement BitPay on their websites to accept Bitcoin as a payment.
Not only a digital banking app (but of course, with Monese you get a bank account and a card), it’s also a great personal finances management and budgeting solution. Have better control over your finances, monitor your spending, and track your money spending goals.
It’s a neobank targeted for SME, startups, and freelancers. Numerous integrations with accounting and invoicing tools make the work smoother, bookkeeping feature gives you control over your company’s finances, and custom access for team members with various permission levels makes it easier to delegate payments-related tasks.
Helping FinTech startups grow
As we have mentioned before, we have a quite deep knowledge of the FinTech and InsurTech sector in Europe and experience gained during the collaboration with some of the leading companies of the sector. How exactly we help FinTech startups?
- Dedicated development teams. We offer a dedicated team of savvy FinTech experts that have already participated in several financial software development projects, and that will work hand in hand with you to create an outstanding product. What are the benefits of this solution? Dedicated team can fill the skill gaps of your in-house team, or if you don’t have one, it can act as the entire development team. You fully benefit from its expertise and subject-matter knowledge, and it’s visible in the final result: the outstanding FinTech product.
- Secure and compliant code. For EU-based FinTech companies, compliance with strict data protection regulations is a prime concern. We are an European company with offices in Poland and Germany, and have a long history of helping the tech leaders in Europe grow. This includes creating solutions that are 100% compliant with EU laws, such as GDPR.
- State-of-the-art technology. In our FinTech projects we use the most innovative, battle-proven and reliable technology. We offer a full-stack development: back-end in Java, front-end and mobile apps in Java, React.js and React Native, as well as advanced data science solutions in Jupyter, a technology even more advanced than Python or R.
That’s enough theory, let’s get on with some real-life case studies of FinTech projects carried out by Codete:
1. Application for Bitcoin ATM network
SatoshiPoint is the largest network of BTMs (Bitcoin Teller Machines, or ATM for crypto) in the United Kingdom. Codete’s dedicated team of specialist participated in the project as a standalone technology partner, providing development, project management and consulting services. As one of the crucial challenges was to ensure the highest level of security and anonymity for the users, Codete also handled the creation of server endpoint, security advisory and reviews to make sure the system won’t allow for any fingerprinting.
2. Pan-European personal finance app with a special focus on data security
For Raisin, data security is a crucial priority, and with this requirement in mind, they entrusted us with the creation of their core product – the deposit-location system, based on Abacus, the primary technology in digital banking. Codete’s dedicated team with FinTech background build the main feature of Raisin app: the management of deposit accounts in diverse European banks, an innovative solution that seems to be the perfect example of the disruptive power of FinTech, as it allows to go beyond borders in browsing for the most suitable banking service.
3. The core backend for SME financing platform
Spotcap is the rapidly-growing, scaling-up Berlin-based lending platform for SME looking for financing opportunities, with a strong focus on usability. Top-notch UX needs a reliable, lag-free and high-performance back-end, and this is what we took care of. A team of out IT senior developers with an extensive FinTech background was immersed in the Client’s department, which allowed for close cooperation and the creation of the solution that was excellent in terms of UX, performance and data security – all of this are the priorities for Spotcap.
Want to know more about our competences in the FinTech sector? Do you need a helping hand to build your own FinTech startup? Do you feel like benefiting from our experience and expertise will allow you to make a big step towards rapid growth? Reach out to us and see how we can help you become the next hottest FinTech startup!