The climate for the development of the fintech industry in Poland is very favourable. Domestic fintech companies can count on relatively easy recruitment of highly qualified employees, as well as good access to financing for development, e.g. from private equity or venture capital funds and EU funds.
These advantages are combined with a large internal market that is willing to accept technological innovations and where you can test the operation and potential of new solutions before embarking on the path of international expansion. This means that we can already boast examples of companies that started out in Poland and are now successfully developing their business abroad. Dynamic development of domestic fintechs has resulted in broad cooperation between big banks, with many startups operating in payments, cybersecurity, blockchain, factoring or lending.
In 2020, most Polish fintechs operated in payments (23.4% according to Cashless, a portal describing the use of latest technologies in finance). These companies together with those taking care of companies’ and personal finance management and internet exchange offices cover 50% of the Polish fintech market. According to Cashless and Impact, a conference organizer, the following companies are the ones that any investor should be interested in:
Autenti is a company that offers tools for fast, secure and legally binding electronic signatures for companies. In recent months, Autenti has gained large investors, including leading banks in Poland: Alior, BNP Paribas and PKO BP. At banks where document signatures are a daily reality, such a solution means a process revolution that additionally fits into the current trend of limiting personal contact. Autenti took fifth place in the group of the most promising fintechs in Central and Eastern Europe in 2021 in a vote organised by Impact Finance 2020 conference organisers and the economic portal 300Gospodarka.pl.
Symmetrical.ai is a company founded by Daniel Wartołowski, Maciej Noga (one of the founders of Pracuj.pl, currently running the Pracuj Ventures fund) and Piotr Smoleń (former VC investor) that offers a “pay on request” service, i.e. the possibility of prepaying part of the salary due to the employee at a later date. The solutions proposed by Symmetrical are an opportunity for employers to offer new benefits and an additional incentive for potential candidates for work. The company has recently collected over EUR 7.3 million from prestigious investors such as Finch Capital and Market One Capital.
Banqware, which offers its services under the banqUP trademark, is a company that wants to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by Open Banking. It received approval from the Polish Financial Supervision Authority for the provision of services based on PSD II and acquired its first clients from Great Britain. Banqware is among eight Polish fintechs that have received such permission. The technology platform allows you to easily integrate with the systems of other banks and thus obtain data from bank accounts. This, in turn, enables the company and its partners to provide new services, such as bank account integration, creditworthiness assessment, identity confirmation, and SME liquidity management support. While customers previously had to integrate with each of the banks separately, they can now use the APIs provided by the banks, supported by Banqware. The fintech already operates in six European countries and is connected to more than 40 banks.
Uncapped is a startup that offers fast and flexible working capital financing for fast-growing companies, is in line with the broader trend of alternative financing and to some extent replaces venture capital financing. Due to the pandemic, the demand for modern financing provided by startups has increased significantly and this trend should continue in the coming years. The company has so far obtained EUR 34 million in investor financing. One of its investors is Taavet Hinrikus, the founder of Wise.