House of FinTech - a newly established FinTtech club organized its first event in the modern space of Venture Faculty this week. Organizers declared their plans to make this kind of discussion session periodical on a bimonthly basis. House of FinTech’s main target is to unite like-minded professionals, top managers and key decision-makers from the FinTech industry located in the Baltic region for the purpose to discuss actual topics, share the ideas, to understand better the possibility of the FinTech industry development in Latvia and Baltics in general. Co-organizers of House of FinTech (Aleksandrs Novozenovs (Crassula), Renats Lokomets (Venture Faculty), Artur Geisari (Monify) have long experience in international banking and financial industry and think that it’s crucial for the healthy condition of the sector to discuss common problems and possibilities from different angles. According to the opinion of Aleksandrs Novozonovs: “We would like to give a common platform for discussion of the status of the FinTech sector in the region. As says variety of opinions might bring to best solutions”.
The first discussion session was dedicated to a current atmosphere in FinTech sector of P2P lending, P2P Platform and Crowdfunding platforms. 50 professionals (as Matiss Ansviesulis (Creamfinance), Kristaps Mors (MaxTraffic), Daria Dubinina (Crassula), Girts Slavins (Mobilly), Henrik Karmo (Indexo), Vladimirs Fogels (Flexidea) and many others) representing the majority of FinTech companies in Latvia and some companies from the region had a very warm discussion about many aspects of p2p lending platforms including transparency issues and perspective of their development. As Artur Geisari (Monify) said: “FinTech has always been in the shadow of regulatory and banking mindsets. Recent events of “scam” crowdfunding platforms have shaken the industry.”
In the panel discussion leading representatives of market players including Janis Timma (Crowdestor), Atis Mertens (Crowdestate), Juris Grisins (Capitalia), Viktors Bolbats (Baltics International Bank), shared their opinions about current problems of the sector and even made the suggestions of must-do steps and agreed that Latvian P2P and Crowdfunding platforms need to rush for regulation of FKTK so that reputation of the industry (and Latvia) does not suffer from various scams that have appeared and blown-up in the region. Juris Grisins (Capitalia) also suggested that “all platforms start reporting PAR30, PAR60 and PAR90 figures of their portfolio, while XIRR return is to be replaced or at least complemented with a return indicator that also takes into account portfolio defaults.”. Audience agreed that solution might be found as P2P market continues to grow year-by-year because of technological development, the existence of underserved customers (private and business) and low-interest rates environment in the horizon of next 3-5 years. Janis Timma (Crowdestor) emphasized that P2P players from Latvia and Baltics already had leading positions in Europe and their business activity might significantly speed-up growth during the next couple years.
During the event Venture Faculty with support from Crassula presented the first version of Latvian FinTech landscape. Detailed information about Latvian companies was collected in order to present the correct situation and size of the industry. According to this research around 80 companies are active in Latvia or making international financial business activities from Riga. The final version of Latvian FinTech Landscape is planned to be released in the nearest month.
Article by Renat Lokomet
Take a look at pictures from the event here.