The TAP1 event venue in Copenhagen was bursting at the seams today as attendees from all over the world poured into Nordic Fintech Week 2022 to strike up deals, spur innovation, and raise funding in an industry poised on the verge of unprecedented growth.
Perhaps Ken Villum Klausen, CEO of Lunar Bank, encapsulated the worldwide fintech sentiment best in his opening keynote at Nordic Fintech Week 2022: It has been an “interesting market” in the last nine months.
Whereas investment banks were still positive about the market in March 2022, he said, by the end of the summer they had their hands firmly in their pockets. Despite this, Lunar held its ninth funding round in September 2022, raising over DKK212 million ($27.3 million) — but it was the company’s toughest.
Still, Lunar continues to thrive. To survive, Klausen said that fintechs must raise funds. In this respect, NFW22 was the right place to be, at the right time.
No bear market in sight at NFW22
There were no signs at all of a bear market during Day #1 of Nordic Fintech Week 2022 today. By 13:00, more than 1,040 industry professionals had checked in — VCs, founders, CEOs, and even hackathon coders streamed in to participate in the event’s jam-packed schedule.
Co-hosted by Nordic Fintech Magazine (NFM) and Copenhagen Fintech Lab, the event is part of the greater vision of Chris Crespo, co-founder of NFM, and Thomas Krogh Jensen, CEO of Copenhagen Fintech Lab. That vision is to bring the international fintech community together in Copenhagen once a year to drive growth in this exciting industry.
And the industry is growing: In Denmark alone, the fintech industry has created nearly 4,300 jobs as of 2021, with a forecast of 5,000 for 2022, reports Denmark’s largest business newspaper Børsen.
A search for “blockchain jobs” on LinkedIn returns a jaw-dropping 50,000+ job listings, said Sandra Ro, CEO of Global Blockchain Business Council during her presentation at NFW22 titled “Have crypto and blockchain failed? Is democratisation of finance a pipe dream?” (The answers, by the way, are No and No — blockchain innovation is unprecedented, regardless of the price of bitcoin or any other token. The greater ecosystem is unstoppable.)
Bringing the Nordics together
“This has been a great opportunity to meet other fintech companies,” said Tinna Björk Bryde, Head of Business Development at Aurbjörg, a B2C company from Iceland aimed at simplifying personal finances. “And it has also been a lot of fun.”
She and Aurbjörg product manager Thomas Boitard wore eye-catching lab coats and stethoscopes around their necks. The message on the back of Bryde’s lab coat was: “How is your financial health?”
“It’s great to bring the Nordic companies together,” Boitard said. “There is already a lot of synergy in the Nordics, and it’s wonderful to now also be able to share knowledge and ideas in this space.”
Food, fun, and networking
Inside the TAP1 venue, three-wheel “tuk-tuks” with a coffee cup logo on the door and the slogan “The mean green bean machine” on the windshield, sponsored by Zimpler and FIS, served arguably the best cappuccinos in all of Copenhagen today.
During lunch break, guests were treated to delicious thin-sliced pizzas — spicy salami and margarita — from food trucks outside. Pastries, fresh fruit, and chilled water (both sparkling and still) were available throughout the day.
Contractbook, a Copenhagen-based software company that automates contract management for SMBs, served Prolog coffee and Juno buns to anyone who scanned a QR code.
Zimpler served colourful macarons with the Zimpler logo on them.
Lucinity, an AML software company from Iceland, served branded chocolate slabs with the slogan “Supercharge your Financial Crime Teams” on the wrapping, and a QR code on the back.
Over sixty NFM volunteers and staff kept the show on the road.
But food was far from the only thing on the menu. New partnerships, VC funding, and opportunities were the true name of the game.
By 15:30, there were 2,000 meetings officially booked through the event app, but the actual number is impossible to calculate. Everywhere one turned, conversations were happening, hands were being shaken, and LinkedIn connections being made.
“The event has been great to reaffirm existing partnerships and client relationships,” said Mark Björg, Director of Business Development for Januar, a Copenhagen-based Fintech that provides a crypto payment gateway for EU companies. “At the same time, we’ve also managed to connect with a handful of new potential partners and clients.”
Emil Sunesen, CEO and cofounder of Advisoa, a Copenhagen-based fintech providing transparency within the payments sector said, “We received great feedback from VCs to our seed round where we plan to scale into the Nordics.”
Tonight, attendees will relax over drinks and an on-the-house BBQ, sponsored by NFM and Copenhagen Fintech Lab, where no-doubt further networking will continue, driving this wonderfully exciting industry to create more jobs, break more barriers, and continue to empower both businesses and consumers with disruptive and groundbreaking financial technology.
NFM is privileged to be part of such an exciting event for the fintech space in the Nordics.
See you all tomorrow!