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Published: 3 july 2020 09:53

Celebrating its birthday, Rockit highlights three main fintech sector trends

Rockit birthday (1)
Rockit birthday (1)

Continued double-digit growth in the fintech sector, a new stage of start-up and bank partnership and Lithuania products receiving recognition outside the country’s borders: these are the main market trends the financial technology and sustainable innovation centre Rockit observes as it enters its second year of operation.

“We are glad that over the past year, 47 companies made use of the opportunities Rockit offers and our members attracted financing for more than 510 million euros. We assisted a sizeable number of the community’s members in entering deeper waters in terms of both obtaining knowledge and experience as well as in terms of finance. Through programmes launched in the centre, events and other initiatives, we have been active in strengthening the local start-up community and over the past year, we have borne witness to the rapid growth of the Lithuanian fintech sector,” Rockit head Šarūnė Smalakytė says.

The Mayor of Vilnius R. Šimašius at the Rockit birthday
The Mayor of Vilnius R. Šimašius at the Rockit birthday

According to Smalakytė, as Rockit begins its second year in operation, there are plans for wider and more intensive activities which would stimulate the development of the country’s fintech ecosystem and would match trends in the sector. Rockit currently highlights three main trends.

Rockit birthday
Rockit birthday

Double-digit growth in the Lithuanian fintech sector, with Vilnius leading the charge

Today, around 2.4 thousand specialists work in the fintech sector in Vilnius. This year, it should be one of the fastest-growing sectors, which, despite economic difficulties, expects double-digit growth in jobs.

Rockit birthday
Rockit birthday

According to a Financial Times prospective fintech location rating, Vilnius holds second place based on cost-effectiveness. The country’s capital is also fourth in the Global Fintech Index 2020. A favourable regulatory environment, expanding ecosystem and active community are the main factors which should ensure the success of the Lithuanian fintech sector in the future.

“Lithuania is a fintech country and Vilnius is a fintech capital. We lead in the European Union based on the number of licensed fintech companies and this is a massive achievement made over a brief period of time. In 2015 we started talking more actively in Vilnius regarding the fintech sector and took action to bring in as many such companies as possible, and we did not expect in five years that we would become fintech leaders and hold even more ambitious goals. I am very glad to see Rockit at the forefront of all these positive changes,” Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius says.

Rockit birthday
Rockit birthday

Rockit has established a database of fintech companies operating in Lithuania. This database contains 210 companies, with most of them settling in Vilnius. It is predicted that over the coming year, at least thirty more newcomers to the fintech sphere are to appear on this map.

  1. New stage of start-up and bank cooperation

Up to now, fintech start-ups were often viewed as competitors to banks, but this perception is changing. According to Dovilė Grigienė, CEO at Swedbank Lithuania, over the coming years, the cooperation between start-ups and banks in seeking to offer customers innovative products should yield more tangible results because they are all united in the pursuit of better matching the expectations of clients.

Rockit birthday
Rockit birthday

“Digital technologies lead to a vast pace of change and rapidly changing consumer expectations. It is excellent that the fintech sphere in Lithuania and the Rockit community are rapidly growing and this growth is generating new and relevant ideas. We hope that thanks to such cooperation between banks and start-ups, in the near future, we will be able to talk about even more convenient financial services,” D. Grigienė says.

Swedbank currently offers the possibility to make use of open banking connections and together with Rockit members and other fintech ecosystem participants are testing ideas and developing joint solutions.

  1. Innovative Lithuanian fintech company solutions at the world level

According to Š. Smalakytė, currently, Lithuanian fintech companies are developing solutions that compete at the global level, spanning the big data, artificial intelligence and biometrics spheres. Several ideas developed by Rockit members, which have vast potential, are:

  • In the big data sphere, Peekdata.io is developing an information exchange between financial market participants and oversight institutions solution. It has won the Bank of Lithuania GovTech Lab challenge.
  • The start-up NEO Finance, which has earned the award of Company of the Year in Loans, Investment and P2P, is the first in Lithuania to employ artificial intelligence for credit rating calculation.
  • Recognised as Lithuanian Fintech Innovator of the Year, MANU Analytics analyses customer behaviour by making use of special artificial intelligence algorithms. Customer behaviour is studied by analysing screen touches, writing speed in filling in fields in online application forms and other related aspects. Analysis performed this way allows companies to form potential customer profiles in real-time.
  • The start-up Ondato, which recently attracted a 0.5 million-euro investment, is developing a know your customer solution for the B2B domain, which is based on biometric data and artificial intelligence.

Over the coming year, Rockit plans to organise around 150 events and invite over 10 thousand people to visit them. The centre’s new spaces, which were recently expanded to 800 square metres, will allow organising even more community events, projects and hackathons, present new sustainable innovation promotion initiatives.

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