Wednesday, June 7, 2023
HomeFeaturedDespite, or maybe because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Nordic fintech community...

Despite, or maybe because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Nordic fintech community is growing, innovating and making headlines.

The Nordics have a history of digitally-savvy citizens and companies who are willing and able to pick up new technology.

The pandemic forced the entire world to do more online and move parts of life into the digital realm that was once done mostly offline; for example shopping, banking and working. Suddenly, the demand for digital solutions to traditional financial problems was more pressing.

Nordic fintech took advantage of the challenges and turned the pandemic into an opportunity for change and to make things better faster.

With the Nordic history of trusting in the governments and institutions and trusting each other, the Nordic fintech space has blossomed into a global success story. Of course, there are challenges but in general, this small region of the world lives up to its reputation for innovating for a better world focusing on its citizens and the environment.

Recommended for you: Join the greatest gatering of Nordic Fintechs at Nordic Fintech Week 2022.

In this piece we have chosen to highlight ten remarkable fintechs from the five Nordic countries who have not only survived the pandemic but have shown that it is possible to thrive even through hard times as long as we help each other and support a bigger common goal: a better future for all.


Lucinity – Solving FinCrime with Human AI.

Compliance professionals are facing ever more complexity and ever more criminal creativity. Despite regulations, only around one per cent of all money laundering cases are detected or recovered. That is where Lucinity comes in. The Icelandic SaaS and AML compliance platform is on a mission to make money good by combining the best of human and artificial intelligence. They call it human AI.

Lucinity was founded in 2018 in Reykjavik. The team has experience in banking, compliance, regulation and data science which they use to tackle money laundering with simple-to-use systems. They believe technology should complement human skills to achieve a great goal: stop the funding of serious crime around the world.

With the Lucinity platform, compliance teams can observe and understand customer activity reducing caseloads by up to 50 per cent and increasing capture rates through behavioural detection. The technology supports and empowers AML analysts to identify risk exposures and suspicious behaviour faster with data-driven decision making. Instead of relying on static rules and self-reported KYC, the continuous behaviour analysis gives a holistic view of the customer’s risk score which is automatically and continuously updated based on the customer’s actual behaviour.

Lucinity operates globally with offices in Reykjavik, London and New York.

Autenteq – Omnichannel ID verification

The demand for online ID verification and KYC services has surged in the past few years. As we moved our lives even more into the digital space the need for knowing who you are interacting with and securing your data and crypto has increased. The Icelandic company Autenteq is the world’s leading fully automated eKYC Identity Verification platform.

Autenteq was founded in 2015 and has offices in Berlin and Reykjavik. The company set out to create a way to guarantee identities online. In 2019, they raised five million dollars from Draper Associated and capital300 and today they successfully enable businesses to trust their customers and allow the customers to keep control of their identity.

Authenteq developed a simple 3-step process for KYC Identity Verification. In 35 seconds, the AI-powered, fully automated eKYC and identity verification platform can determine if the user is who they say they are. First, the user scans their government-issued ID. Then they take a selfie where the so-called Liveness Check determines if a genuine person is taking the photo in real-time.

Lastly, a government-grade facial recognition is used to match the selfie photo and the ID. The fast and seamless onboarding has reduced dropout rates and increased conversion rates making it easier to get access to online services with an extra layer of safety like as example telehealth, medical records, crypto, investment and payments.


Firi – A Nordic crypto exchange

Firi was started in 2017 when the founders Thuc Tuan Hoang and Øyvind Kvanes saw a need for a local crypto exchange to make cryptocurrencies available to anyone. Today, Firi is the largest service for trading cryptocurrencies in the Nordic region making it possible to buy and sell for example Bitcoin, Ethereum and Cardano.

Starting Norway’s first crypto exchange was not easy. The volatile digital currencies were the talk of the town and had the potential to make people very rich but with the downturn in 2018, many people lost money. Couple that with GDPR and the New Money Laundering Act. But the team working day and night pushed through and Firi got a Norwegian bank account, access to BankID services and KYC/AML tools which are integrated into the platform.

To Firi, working closely with public organisations and financial institutions is an important part of making cryptocurrency safe, trustworthy and easy to use. Therefore, Firi stores and secures customer funds in both hot and cold storage. The majority is in cold storage at all times in a multi-signature wallet. Funds invested are insured by Ledger Enterprise Solutions and all accounts registered on Firi must have two-factor authentication.

In 2019, Firi registered with the Norwegian Supervisory Authority as a cryptocurrency exchange and custodial solution – the first in Norway. Now, more than 140.000 Norwegians are investing in cryptocurrencies via Firi’s platform.

Recommended for you: Join the greatest gatering of Nordic Fintechs at Nordic Fintech Week 2022.

Neonomics – One API to connect them all

Neonomics means “new economy” and that is exactly what this Norwegian fintech aims to achieve. Neonomics connects the movement of transactions and data from more than 2500 banks and 150 million bank customers through one API.

In 2017, the company was founded as a direct response to the radical transition from traditional banking into the era of PSD2 and open banking. Neonomics wanted to unify access by creating the most secure and cost-efficient pure PSD2 API platform in the market.

Neonomics has been authorized by the Norwegian FSA as a licensed payment institution and delivers payment initiation and account information services to a wide range of customers. To them, open banking is all about giving the power of financial services back to the people. Their products and approach reflect their vision of powering the next generation of financial services.

By integrating with Neonomics, Fintechs, payment service providers, banks and more can save money with every transaction with all payment features wrapped in the same API. Account ownership can be instantly verified. Bank data can be accessed and integrated in real-time into any product and credit decisioning is streamlined with categorized transaction data.

In April 2022, Banqsoft, a leading provider of digital banking solutions in the Nordics, partnered with Neonomics to expand its payments and data enhancement offerings through open banking. The growing company is headquartered in Oslo and employs more than 100 people with more than 25 nationalities based across Europe.


Invesdor – Europe’s crowd investment platform

In 2020, Invesdor reported 25.9 million euros in funding from 6200 individual transactions. The securities crowdfunding platform is a pioneer in the growing space of crowd investment. Invesdor was founded to make it easier to invest in companies they believe in and feel empowered to take their future and assets into their own hands. Invesdor was first launched as a Nordic platform but quickly expanded to large parts of Europe since its founding in 2012.

In mid-2019 Invesdor completed a merger with the Austrian online debt platform Finnest. In 2021 they announced a consolidation with Kapilendo, formerly an Austrian fintech offering digital investment banking to SMEs, under the Invesdor brand. This move made the Invesdor Group one of the largest investment and financing platforms in Europe with offices in Finland, Austria and Germany.

Invesdor’s experts seek to carefully choose their investments and only offer rounds they themselves believe in. Through the platform, SMEs and growth companies have direct access to the European investment market. The platform also helps anyone become an investor in these growth companies that come from more than 70 countries. As investments can be diversified across Europe, investing in growth companies is becoming more attractive.

To date, more than 124000 users have collectively invested over 320 million euros in European companies in more than 515 financing rounds.

Recommended for you: Join the greatest gatering of Nordic Fintechs at Nordic Fintech Week 2022.

Enfuce – Issue cards in no time

Enfuce is challenging the stereotypical picture of banking. Lead by two female co-CEOs, Enfuce is a cloud-based financial service provider that specializes in next-level card issuing and payment processing services.

Monika Liikamaa and Denise Johansson founded Enfuce in 2016 together with three other co-founders. They set out to rebuild payments from the ground up. One of the pivotal decisions that came from their brainstorming was to build their business on public cloud. They wanted to be as they say “better, faster, scalable,” but had no money to reach their goals.

Another pivotal moment was packaging the product CaaS, Card as a Service. With Card as a Service, FinTechs can start issuing scalable payment cards in weeks and get access to the widest payment portfolio on the market. This enabled them to go big and global. In 2021, Enfuce raised 45 million euros in a Series C investment round led by the international investment company Vitruvian.

Enfuce has over 13 million active card users on its platform and processes close to one billion euros transactions annually. Recently, Enfuce expanded in Germany and France and is one of the fastest-growing fintech companies in Europe.

Enfuce other key applications include expense management, neobanks, fuel cards, loyalty programmes and corporate and consumer lending. Among Enfuce’s customers are Pleo, St1, Gee Financen, Qred and Rabobank.


Ark Kapital – Empowering future successes

A Nordic early-stage startup has positioned itself as a strong competitor in an emerging field, the field of precision financing. Precision finance, like precision medicine, seeks to customize financial interventions based on the individual company’s or investor’s situation and context. At end of March 2022, Stockholm-based Ark Kapital raised 165 million euros in Seed Founding. It is quite the round given the fact that Ark Kapital was only just launched in November 2021.  

Ark Kapital is a precision financing company that wants to empower early-stage technology businesses to grow smarter and faster.  

Instead of basing their lending on the past, like banks, or basing their lending on the present like the fintech challenges of today, Ark Kapital bases its solutions on what will happen.  

Ark targets companies that are predicted to grow but who are not yet profitable. They use their ArK Intelligence Machine, an AI-powered platform, to analyse the company and offer a tailored selection of financial and intelligence products. The company gets access to AI insights daily. The aim is to give more power to the people building the companies so they can retain ownership and use data to find the best financing option for their unique situation.  

ArK Kapital is founded by Spotify’s es-VP of Anlytics Henrik Landgren, six-time founder Oliver Hildebrandt, and veteran banker Axel Bruzelius.  

Recommended for you: Join the greatest gatering of Nordic Fintechs at Nordic Fintech Week 2022.

Dreams – Emotion powered neobanking

Emotions are a powerful driver of human behaviour. But often fintech and emotions are not two words closely associated. But the Swedish Neobank Dreams taps directly into our human emotions to motivate positive action and behaviour change.

Dreams was founded in 2013 and developed a consumer-based app that nudges users to live more sustainably through smart investments, income tracking, debt payment, improved savings and financial coaching. Dreams is co-created with leading scientists in psychology, neuroscience, and behavioural economics to boost customer engagement and financial wellbeing.

In 2019, Dreams launched as a cloud-native B2B platform. To survive in the digital and global competitive attention economy, banks must prioritise financial wellbeing for their customers.

Dreams functions as an embedded, personalized CX layer that frames and enhances the existing digital financial products. The platform delivers a 360-degree view of customers’ dreams, actions and behaviours. It combines rich data with transactional and open banking data which provides personalised experienced and cross-sell recommendations. Customers can set and achieve financial goals within debt management, saving and investment.

Dreams call it effective engagement banking. Two out of three users report feeling less stressed after two months with Dreams and have in general 2000 euros extra in saving per year.


Risika – Predict paying customers

Risika is a Danish risk management startup that set out to change the way we think about credit rating agencies. They combine real human relationship building and machine learning to create trust and understanding.

Risika was founded in 2017 by a team with experience in banking, accounting and statistics who were passionate about changing the status quo of financial risk management. The team quickly grew to also encompass specialists in auditing, sales, data and computer science. The human expertise is supported by the Risika platform that leverages machine learning to help companies predict paying and non-paying customers. 80 per cent of debtor-loss comes from existing customers.

Risika provides live company data and real-time market overviews to make informed decisions and identify profitable customers. This helps B2B companies save money by avoiding losses and automating manual processes. With the help of the machine learning platform, it gets easier to focus on healthy customers and profitable relationships and avoid wasting time on unprofitable leads.

Risika not only sells a SaaS product. The company also developed an API integration. The REST API provides accurate and understandable business insights to help companies make profitable decisions based on data they can trust and thereby minimizing financial risk.
In December 2021, the company announced a 35 million Danish kroner investment led by Seed Capital.

Subaio – Subscription management

It all began at a hackathon in 2016. One of the founders of Subaio found an odd payment on his family’s monthly bank statement. It was a forgotten subscription to an online newspaper he had used only once. Subscriptions can easily hide in everyday stress and long financial statements, so Subaio was born to help customers save money with subscription management.

Subaio is based in Aalborg and Copenhagen in Denmark. Subaio is built by bank engineers for bank engineers to help the end-users through partnerships with banks. Subaio wants to simplify the complex and in line with that vision they offer three main services: Overview, cancel a subscription and get notified. All three can be integrated into the bank’s interface in a seamless white label setup.

The API-based setup lets you view all your subscriptions and recurring payments in one overview that can even predict upcoming payments based on your payment history. If you want to cancel a subscription you don’t even have to worry about which email you signed up with. You mark it, sign a power of attorney and the system does the rest. If a subscription changes, Subaio notifies you. It also notifies you unknowingly signed up for a subscription trap and will monitor cancelled subscriptions to make sure there are no surprise payments.

Every day, Subaio’s AI monitors more than one billion payments to spot subscriptions. In 2021, Subaio raised 30 million Danish kroner from Global Paycheck Ventures.

Ditte Dyhr
Ditte Dyhr
Ditte is the Co-founder of Nordic Fintech Magazine and head of Product.