Welcome back to the exclusive interview series from the Fintech Landscape in Lithuania 2022-2023 Report. In our second installment, Johannes Ingi Kolbeinsson, CEO of PAYSTRAX, covers company’s recent expansion to Lithuania’s third-largest city, Klaipėda – home to a variety of top-class educational institutions, and a soon-to-blossom environment for Fintech growth.
You’ve recently announced your expansion to Klaipėda, Lithuania’s 3rd largest city. It’s not a location most think about for hiring Fintech talent. What were the main reasons behind this decision?
In 2021, it was clear that PAYSTRAX would be growing fast in the coming years. When planning our expansion and at the same time seeing the expansion of other Fintech companies in Vilnius, we realised that there would be an increased demand for qualified employees in Vilnius. We decided to set up a back office in another location to hire young and bright educated people that we could train with long-term employment in mind.
Klaipėda caught our attention because of its favourable location with a variety of educational institutions, which are a source of qualified job candidates. The Fintech environment in Klaipėda is quickly developing, and more companies are looking to set up here.
During this year, PAYSTRAX nearly doubled its headcount in Lithuania and opened two more offices in addition to its offices in Vilnius and Reykjavík, one in Brighton in the UK and another one in Klaipėda.
How has the journey been so far? Have you collaborated with anyone in Klaipėda?
Currently, we are pleased with the decision to open our second office in Lithuania which helped us in expanding our activities here. At first, we started working in a co-working space at Lighthouse, which has really nice facilities. But as we are growing, we are moving to larger premises in the same location. Since the beginning of 2023, we have relocated to our new office, which has 30 workspaces.
During our journey, Klaipėda ID has been helpful with the whole settlement process and potential market opportunities. Looking ahead to the upcoming year, we are planning to focus more on educational institutions in Klaipėda and collaborate with them on educating students.
What would you recommend to companies looking to explore other locations outside of Vilnius?
The Fintech sector in Lithuania is rapidly growing, and it is good to realise that there is qualified talent located outside of the capital. Vilnius’ exponential growth only proves to us that with the right plan for innovation, other cities in Lithuania could reach the same potential.
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