Lithuania clocks 35 new fintech companies in 2017

Lithuania clocks 35 new fintech companies in 2017

Based on the recently released Lithuania Fintech Report 2017, a total of 117 fintech companies were operating in the country in 2017, with 35 of them being registered last year. The overall number of startups grew by nearly 43% year-over-year.

According to Invest Lithuania, a co-author of the Report, the reasons behind choosing Lithuania were multifold: a growing talent pool, hassle-free regulation, flexible banking infrastructure, and the ability to access half a billion customers in Europe.

Fintech-friendly regulator opens gateway to Europe

One of the main advantages Lithuania can offer foreign companies are the keys to the entire EU market. Coincidentally, according to the Lithuania Fintech Report 2017, 96% of all fintechs in the country see Europe as their target market. What sets Lithuania apart from other potential investment destinations inside the EU is a significantly narrower timeframe required to get licensed.

Setting up shop in Lithuania provides InstaReM and other companies from non-EU countries access to a 512-million-strong market and more than 23 million small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Registering a company takes merely three days, while getting a Payment Institution or Electronic Money Institution license takes only three months, 2-3 times faster than in other EU jurisdictions. Other perks include remote Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures, low profit tax, startup visa options and sandbox regime for fintech startups in their first year.

Nearly 2000 people employed by the sector already

According to the Lithuania Fintech Report 2017, Lithuania-based fintechs vary in size, with a third already having teams larger than 10 people. With nearly 2000 people employed by the sector, the country can accommodate more due to its flexible talent pool, replenished by fresh graduates, repatriating Lithuanian specialists and a constant stream of skilled workers coming from outside of the EU. The country’s authorities try to make relocation from outside of the EU as simple as possible. The government has recently approved of a Startup Visa for entrepreneurs. Established companies can benefit from the EU Blue Card program for highly-skilled non-EU citizens.