The accelerated digitization of financial services in the wake of the pandemic has opened up a scenario of great opportunities for fintech companies, which are revolutionizing the world of finance thanks to technology. Their disruptive projects have been boosted by the growing adoption of technology by many users, who are increasingly inclined to use solutions such as financial applications and digital payments, among others.
As a portrait of this ecosystem, Foro Ecofin has once again named the ten best fintech companies of the moment. In the sixth edition of its TopTen FinTech 2021, the selection that recognizes the most outstanding financial startups of the year for their contribution to boosting the sector, the following companies have been chosen: Aplazame, BilliB, Bnext, Finizens, Imagin, October, Pleo, Qonto, SeniorsLeading, and Woonivers.
The composition of this shortlist was announced a few weeks ago at an event in Madrid attended by Carlos San Basilio, Secretary-General of the Treasury and International Finance. Subsequently, some of the founders and managers of these emerging companies met at an observatory organized by Expansion and Foro Ecofin.
Read more about the fintech sector in Spain and find the latest finance news with the Born2Invest mobile app.
Fintech companies rely on innovation to reinvent the sector
“The TopTen FinTech 2021 brings together a select group of entities that represent the hybridization and collaboration of the fintech ecosystem: there are entities originating in the start-up entrepreneurial world alongside others born in banks or multinational technology companies, as well as niche solutions and others that are universal marketplaces,” explained Salvador Molina, president of Foro Ecofin. He also highlighted the international vocation of all the projects: most of them are pan-European and some have a presence in America.
These businesses share their digital stamp and rely on innovation to reinvent the sector. Benjami Puigdevall, CEO of Imagin, commented that “finance does not have to be at the heart of people’s lives: we prefer to focus on activities where there is enjoyment and not a need.” The fintech company, which emerged as a mobile banking app within CaixaBank, decided to turn its model around in mid-2020 by attracting 400,000 new users. Now, “it is a lifestyle platform and the banking proposal has shifted to respond to services such as gaming, music and other hobbies of young people,” said Puigdevall.
Woonivers, founded in Madrid in 2018, is a platform focused on streamlining the VAT refund process for non-EU tourists. Affected by the restrictions on mobility in the last year, “it is a business that has to do with the fiscal areas and the taxes that correspond to each one,” commented Antonio Cantalapiedra, co-CEO and co-founder of the startup. The head of Woonivers pointed out that it has become SaaS and has reached an agreement with Visa to launch the first digital card that allows tax free management in full.
Qonto is a neobank aimed at SMEs, entrepreneurs and the self-employed. Of French origin, it landed in Spain in 2019 – last year it managed to multiply by six its turnover in the national territory – and is a European leader in the corporate segment. “We distinguish ourselves by offering a friendlier and simpler user experience for the entrepreneur, a 100% online customer service and a very transparent price with a monthly subscription model,” said Carles Marcos, director of Qonto in Spain.
Investment is not left out of the fintech universe, as demonstrated by the case of Finizens, a company born with the intention of democratizing private banking. “We offer a unique experience in savings, investment and pensions based on low commissions, profitability and minimum volatility. By indexing certain economies and assets, we manage to beat 95% of active managers in Europe,” said Felipe Moreno, business director of Finizens, which uses funds from managers such as Vanguard, Amundi and BlackRock. Moreno stressed that “it is not a margin business, but a volume and permanence business.”
The main challenges faced by the Spanish fintech sector
Among the main challenges pending in Spain, the leaders agreed on the need to develop a solid ecosystem supported by legislation and capable of attracting investment. “We need to eliminate bureaucratic obstacles to create companies in Spain, and it is essential to streamline mechanisms such as stock options, which would allow us to attract more talent from abroad,” said Carles Marcos.
The launch of the sandbox in 2020, which has finally seen the light of day after years of waiting, is one of the main advances to boost innovation. The first call for projects and applications to be part of this testing ground ended in March. “Spain needs a cultural sandbox and a plan as a country: a climate of transformation must be fostered from the educational sphere,” considered Antonio Cantalapiedra.
In parallel, Benjami Puigdevall asserted that “we are facing a new paradigm where monetization formulas and the relationship with the client are changing. In this scenario, alliances and collaboration between the fintech world and the banking sector will play a key role”.
As highlighted during the meeting, another project that aims to attract technology companies in the financial sector is Madrid Capital Fintech (MAD FinTech), the largest fintech cluster in Spain, which is already more than a year old and aims to turn the capital into a pole of attraction for these companies.
DISCLAIMER: This article was written by a third party contributor and does not reflect the opinion of Born2Invest, its management, staff or its associates. Please review our disclaimer for more information.
This article may include forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements generally are identified by the words “believe,” “project,” “estimate,” “become,” “plan,” “will,” and similar expressions. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks as well as uncertainties, including those discussed in the following cautionary statements and elsewhere in this article and on this site. Although the Company may believe that its expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, the actual results that the Company may achieve may differ materially from any forward-looking statements, which reflect the opinions of the management of the Company only as of the date hereof. Additionally, please make sure to read these important disclosures.
First published in Expansion, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
Although we made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translations, some parts may be incorrect. Born2Invest assumes no responsibility for errors, omissions or ambiguities in the translations provided on this website. Any person or entity relying on translated content does so at their own risk. Born2Invest is not responsible for losses caused by such reliance on the accuracy or reliability of translated information. If you wish to report an error or inaccuracy in the translation, we encourage you to contact us.
REE Reflects on ESG Recovery at its 2021 Sustainability Workshops
The Red Electrica Group is initiating a new line of action in four major critical areas. The first is the...
Nigeria Launches eNaira After One-Month Delay
CBDCs work just like the money people see in their bank accounts. The central bank will have complete control over...
DIAFASUD: An Initiative of the Burkinabe Diaspora in the US to Contribute to Africa’s Development
The Diaspora for the Sustainable Development of Africa (DIAFASUD) is the new NGO that was officially presented to the Burkinabe...
How Speculative Profit-Taking is Affecting the Prices of Vegetable Oils Futures
World vegetable oils prices were higher last week, but the markets came off the highs late in the week on...
Extremadura Subsidizes R&D&I Projects for Covid-19 Containment with €3 million
As a whole, with the resolution of the two calls that have been approved for the sanitary containment of the...
Cannabis2 weeks ago
ArgenCann Will Be Part of Expo Cannabis 2021
Crypto2 weeks ago
Filecoin Price Forecast: FIL Could Soon Increase by 18%
Featured2 weeks ago
Rice Demand Was Improved Last Week Over the Previous Week
Business2 weeks ago
Augmented Reality Investment Is Heating Up: Magic Leap, XRApplied