BR’s 19 People to watch in 2019 | Alexandru Lapusan (CEO, Zitec): Eyes wide open to future business opportunities

Newsroom 14/03/2019 | 08:12

Alexandru Lapusan is the CEO and co-founding partner of Zitec, whose mission is to help companies around the world innovate through digital transformation and automation, making use of emerging technology-based solutions and digital marketing services. Lapusan was also the winner of the Best Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year title in the Business Review Awards 2019.

By Anda Sebesi

Founded 15 years ago, the company now counts over 160 team members, specialists in software development and digital marketing, working in two offices in Romania: Bucharest and Brasov.

Zitec is also one of the main investors in the first Romanian fintech platform – Instant Factoring – and in Zipongo, a Silicon Valley-based company in the health and nutrition industry, evaluated at over USD 100 million.

Instant Factoring, the first Romanian online fintech platform for factoring, launched in April 2018, is a start-up co-founded by Zitec, functioning as an NBFI – non-banking financial institution. It offers a fintech solution that converts into cash any incoming invoice with a pre-established value in less than 24 hours. It opens the door for small entrepreneurs to have quick access to cash and differentiates itself through a very flexible and fast process made possible through the innovative technologies used.

Instant Factoring closed the year with a volume of over 1,500 fundings, totaling EUR 2.7 million. The average amount of funding for an invoice was approximately EUR 2,100 and the rate of underperformance in relation to the current exposure was less than 1.5 percent at the end of 2018.

In November 2018, Instant Factoring received EUR 1.5 million from a US investment fund. The attracted funds, together with the company’s own capital, will support the expansion of its activity on the Romanian market, the diversification of financial products offered, as well as entry into new markets in Central and Eastern Europe. This will be done by developing microfinance operations for a volume of invoices with a total value of up to EUR 20 million in 2019.

2018 was a challenging year both for Lapusan and Zitec, given the tax changes impacting the IT sector in Romania. However, Zitec’s revenue went up 25 percent last year, to EUR 6 million, as the result of the launch of Innovation Grants & Tenders, a new business line dedicated to helping its partners finance innovative projects and digital businesses. Throughout this business line projects with a total value of EUR 500,000 have been financed. Over the year, the Innovation Grants & Tenders team managed to attract funds to finance six partnerships, including one with the European Space Agency and one with the National Health Service in the UK, but also for its own products soon to be launched on the market.

Moreover, in 2018, Zitec became a Google National Partner, both in cloud and digital marketing services, and sole partner in the Atelierul Digital project, dedicated to small and medium companies all over the country in need of digital consultancy. Zitec Digital Consultants are present in six hubs across Romania – Iasi, Constanta, Brasov, Bucharest, Timisoara and Cluj – and met over 7,000 business owners in 2018. More than 50 percent of them reported business growth after implementing digital strategies based on the consultancy services offered by Zitec Digital.

To Lapusan, freedom is the most important personal value, followed closely by family, while integrity, critical thinking, courage, authenticity and performance have the greatest impact on his business thinking and the way he leads his organization.

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