Is Lithuania the most fintech-friendly destination in Europe?

Is Lithuania the most fintech-friendly destination in Europe?

Lithuania's ambition to become a fintech-friendly destination for startups across Europe is bearing fruit, with the country welcoming 35 new firms 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. All told, Lithuania now claims to have 2000 people working full-time in fintech-related roles.

The country has been actively promoting itself as gateway destination to the European marketplace for non-EU firms and British startups fleeing Brexit. Registering a company takes merely three days, while getting a Payment Institution or Electronic Money Institution license takes only three months, two-to-three times faster than in other EU jurisdictions. Other perks include remote Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures, low profit tax, startup visa options and a sandbox regime for fintech startups in their first year.

The country also boasts a growing talent pool of up to 31,000 trained IT professionals with a further 8000 in the pipeline.

Prominent fintech startupes to take the plunge include Singapore's InstaRem, Revolut and TransferGo among others.

“We were looking for a perfect HQ location in the EU,” says Prajit Nanu, co-founder and CEO at InstaReM. “In Lithuania we found a fintech-friendly and fast regulator, as well as excellent international-grade talent. With all this, Lithuania is hands-down the best European base for cutting-edge fintechs.”

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