Welcome back to the exclusive interview series from the Fintech Landscape in Lithuania 2021-2022 Report. In our second installment, Daumantas Dvilinskas, the Founder and CEO of TransferGo, covers the prospects of Lithuanian fintech startups, as well as the success story of the rapidly growing TransferGo and its future goals.
This year broke all fundraising records for Lithuanian startups, and TransferGo was no exception. In your opinion, what’s behind this rapid growth?
It is a product of Lithuania’s significant appeal to the investment community. The country’s economy has been resilient to the pandemic, owing to a well-balanced fiscal support package for businesses and individuals, while an accommodating regulatory environment has allowed digital startups to flourish. Low startup costs, government support, and a significant entrepreneurial community mean that it’s easy to turn a problem-solving idea into a legitimate business venture. That’s why manufacturing, IT and financial services are thriving here.
TransferGo is but one example of Lithuania’s many success stories. We’ve scaled fast and courted foreign investment, demonstrating the power of digital remittances in keeping migrants connected with their loved ones, especially over the last two years. Income inequality is one of the most pressing issues of our time, and platforms like ours are helping to rebalance the scale and provide financial inclusion and opportunity around the world.
While we’ve seen many success stories in Lithuania, we’ve yet to see a Fintech unicorn. When will the time come for a Lithuanian Fintech to reach this status?
It’s only a matter of time before Lithuania unveils its first Fintech unicorn. The technology scene is scaling fast, particularly in Vilnius; in addition to Fintech, investment is pouring in for startups in cyber-security, energy, sustainability, and healthtech. Importantly, the online marketplace Vinted — Lithuania’s first tech unicorn — has already broken ground and provided a blueprint for businesses on a similar trajectory to follow. Like falling dominoes, once one Fintech reaches unicorn status, others are bound to follow.
During the pandemic, Fintechs have demonstrated their value to the global economy, delivering continuity and accessibility of financial services when we needed it most. In the post-pandemic world, Fintechs will be the primary and trusted choice for business partnerships and consumer use, and will no doubt enjoy significant investment, both local and foreign. It’s an exciting time to be involved in the ecosystem.
What’s next for TransferGo? What are your most significant plans for the future?
In September, we raised $50 million in our largest ever funding round, and this will be put to good use as we work towards our mission — building a platform that is the best way to pay and to be paid. As we look towards 2022 and beyond, we are committed to expanding our core payments platform. Using the funding to unlock new sender and receiver markets, we’re developing our product offering with new pay-out options. This means a greater focus on local transactions and cross-network payments, as well as on making it easier for our customers to hold and withdraw funds from their digital wallets.
We also plan to double-down on our presence and investment in Lithuania. As we look to scale our business and broaden our reach, we want to triple the number of full-time employees to 600-700 FTEs in the next couple of years, with a focus on expanding our offices in Vilnius. We recognise that by generating highly remunerative opportunities in the local knowledge economy, we can grow our tax contribution to Lithuania’s thriving Fintech ecosystem and help cement its place as one of Europe’s leading startup hubs.
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