Outside of the UK, Lithuania has the second largest fintech hub in Europe. The local regulator plays a positive role in the fintech ecosystem, allowing Yapily to become a part of it.
Yapily, a London-based fintech startup, has announced plans to set up in Vilnius, the company’s third European office. Yapily joins a growing number of UK fintechs including Revolut, Curve that chose Lithuania as the location for its European hub.
Yapily was established in 2017, shortly after the EU’s second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) granted third-party access to customer data of financial institutions. The legislation, which aims to stimulate competition in the financial services market, compelled providers of such services to innovate their API and open banking practices. Stefano Vaccino, Founder and CEO of Yapily, used his extensive experience in fintech and commercial banking to create Yapily, a platform that enables companies to take advantage of open banking.
Yapily connects businesses to banks and financial institutions using a single open API. Using the platform, companies can access their customers’ account information and gain a holistic financial view without having to build and maintain hundreds of APIs of their own. Powered by a secure and regulated service, Yapily manages and facilitates the connection to fetch information and initiate payments while ensuring PSD2 compliance.
“Yapily makes connecting to banks easy through sharing financial data and payments infrastructure,” explains Stefano Vaccino. “We connect you to thousands of banks using an open banking API, taking care of the complexity behind the scenes”.
Yapily’s vision of open banking has attracted significant investment. Since its inception, the company has raised $18.4 million in VC funding. Yapily’s investors include Holtzbrinck Ventures, LocalGlobe and Lakestar, an early investor in Skype, Spotify, Airbnb and Facebook as well as some of Europe’s biggest fintechs – Klarna and Revolut.
Yapily now allows companies to connect to more than 600 banks, providing 80% account coverage across 15 European countries. The company boasts customers ranging from innovative fintechs to Fortune 500 companies including American Express, IBM, Intuit Quickbooks, GoCardless and BUX. In the last 12 months, Yapily has tripled its headcount and currently employs 72 people in offices in the UK and Germany.
According to Stefano Vaccino, Yapily’s current focus is to penetrate the European market. “This involves building a scalable platform while accelerating testing capabilities for our European users”,” he says.
Looking for a new European hub following the Brexit decision, Yapily considered several European locations, including Portugal and Germany. For the company, it was important to find a supportive regulator and fintech ecosystem. The expertise of Lithuanian developers; reputation of the country’s regulator; and a flourishing fintech scene all contributed to Yapily’s decision on Vilnius. It’s Lithuanian entity received regulatory license in December 2020, prior to the UK leaving the EU, and is now focused on its exciting expansion plans.
“Outside of the UK, Lithuania has the second largest fintech hub in Europe,” says Stefano Vaccino. “The local regulator plays a positive role in the fintech ecosystem, allowing Yapily to become a part of it.”
The company will hire up to 30 people in Vilnius in the coming months. Yapily is currently recruiting for compliance, engineering, product and operations roles.
“Open Banking will create a more competitive landscape of tailored financial services,” Mantas Katinas, Managing Director of Invest Lithuania, believes. “As more and more banks comply with the PSD2, Lithuania’s fintech community could be at the forefront of developing financial products leveraging this new access to data. Yapily’s choice to set up an office in Vilnius shows that Lithuania is an excellent base for cutting-edge fintechs.”
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