Romanian fintech scene: a relatively young but already notably dynamic market with tremendous growth pace

Sorin Melenciuc 03/05/2019 | 11:44

The Romanian fintech market is relatively young but already notably dynamic as it associates the development of local startups and the entry of foreign fintechs, according to “CEE Fintech Atlas 2018” released by Raiffeisen Bank International.

“There are two particularly interesting aspects to the Romanian fintech scene: the development of local startups and the entry of foreign fintechs. The local market is relatively young but already notably dynamic,” the report says.

Some of the most notable early-stage fintechs in Romania are Argentum, Confidas, Fintech OS, Instant Factoring, Minutizer, SymphoPay, ThinkOut, Smart Bill. Of the foreign fintechs that have entered Romania, the most active one is Revolut, according to the report.

Orange launched its own service, Orange Money, in 2018, but Romanians also use services provided by other fintechs, which have yet to technically establish local subsidiaries: Monese, TransferWise, N26, Monzo and PayPal.

“There are many actors in the Romanian startup scene. Universities provide talent for the startup ecosystem and the state has developed Start-Up Nation. The state program finances yearly around 10,000 SMEs, fintechs are fully eligible to apply,” CEE Fintech Atlas 2018 points out.

In terms of investments & development, the Romanian startup ecosystem also includes a number of VC’s (Gapminder, Early Game Ventures, Gecad Ventures, etc.), accelerators (Techcelerator, Spherik Accelerator, Innovation Labs, Risky Business, etc.) and business angels (techangels.ro).

According to Tech.eu, the appetite for developing tech companies is rather strong considering that the investments on the Romanian tech market have grown starting with 2016 on a tremendous pace from EUR 3.6 million to EUR 48.4 million in 2017 and EUR 114.1 million in 2018.

Raiffeisen Bank aims at growing the local fintech market and in 2019 the bank is developing an educational program for early-stage companies or single founders who plan to establish a tech startup, Elevator Lab Bootcamp.

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