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fintech scaleups from CEE
24 August 2020·6 min read

Tomas Vysny

Investment Advisor, 365.fintech

Fast Growing Fintech Scaleups From CEE That Should Be On Your Radar

Similarly to the European ecosystem, there is plethora of startups which can be loosely defined as 'fintech' popping up in the region of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Especially the bigger markets such as Poland, Czech Republic, Romania or Bulgaria (in case of the fintech vertical at least) have the capacity to generate extensive volume of startups in the early-stage idea via various acceleration programmes, corporate initiatives and governmental support schemes. 

However, the funnel significantly decreases when one moves to a later stage of the startup lifecycle. Admittedly, there are many ways to define what a 'later stage' means. Companies that are just about ready for a Seed to Series A investment, generate a significant amount of recurring monthly or annual revenues, have moved beyond their home market and have simply proven their ability to scale on (at least) European level.

In this article we want to highlight 5 later stage companies hailing from the broader CEE which have broken through that pre-seed stage. This means they are on that growth trajectory to achieve more significant scale and bear the potential to become a relevant player in the European marketplace.


Origin: Czechia

This Prague-based startup is all about banking transaction data and enabling innovative loyalty use-cases for banking consumers. Their platform connects big merchants with customers from more than 12 banks in CEE from Czechia to Romania. Their 'card-linked offers' concept lets banking clients see personalised offers directly through their banking applications and redeem them with a swipe of their card at various merchants.

Dateio has recently announced a large scale partnership with Erste Group, one of the largest banking group in CEE, which will enable them to reach a customer base of 1.5 million in Czechia and 5 million in total.

The combination of technology and platform ecosystem of significant banking and merchant players could be the unfair advantage which will enable Dateio to own this space in wider Europe.


Origin: Bulgaria

Payhawk is a Sofia-based startup which has recently (March 2020) raised €3M - in one of the largest seed rounds in Eastern Europe. On top of that, it was led by a Tier 1 European VC Earlybird. What is the secret sauce behind this success?

Besides a solid team, this company is betting big on the SME segment which is notoriously underserved - from financial services to back-office automation. Payhawk zeroes in on the back office processes piece. Specifically, it is looking to disrupt and improve management of spending and payables for mid-sized companies all over Europe. This is achieved not only by creating a corporate 'spending' card but also by a highly customisable product which maps on to the pre-existing processes of its customers.

As the company describes their technology, “[Payhawk] issues next generation company cards with automated expense management and discovery of subscription overspend on auto-renewals. We collect and analyze receipts, invoices and card transactions to help you stay in control of your budget with no paperwork for your employees."

Origin: Poland operates in the salary financing space which is currently seeing a spur of activity all over Europe. Simply described, the company partners with your employers to provide real-time access to employee salaries with a push of a button.

As the Warsaw-based startup describes its services "Get paid what you already earned, whenever you want. You don't have to wait until the end of the month". This simple-sounding innovation has massive implications on employee financial welfare and lending industry as such. For more details on this area you should deep-dive into the European salary finance space.

Symmetrical has so far raised €7.3 million from high-profile investors such as Finch Capital, Market One Capital and Partech and is definitely one of the fintech startups hailing from Poland to keep an eye on right now. You can find out more about their fundraising success here.


Origin: Lithuania

Regulatory compliance is a massive industry and a big pain-point for financial institutions worldwide.

Ondato, a Baltics-based startup, provides complete compliance management suite in regards to KYC procedure. It’s functionality lies in enabling both photo and live video identity verification, data monitoring, screening, due-diligence, risk scoring and case management, in one place.

Founded in 2016, the company has participated in Startup Wise Guys accelerator programme and as a result, it has just recently (June 2020) closed a pre-seed round and attracted €450K from the Startup Wise Guys accelerator fund. You can find out more about their fundraising success here.

There is a lot of potential for Ondato to horizontally build out their KYC solution into a robust compliance management platform on a European scale.


Origin: Czechia

Another emerging challenger hailing from Czechia - Trisbee is taking on the challenge of disrupting the traditional merchant payment rails.

Trisbee is laying the groundwork by focusing on the micro and small merchants by offering a truly attractive proposition - 0% transaction fees for their QR-code-based payments and simple payment acceptance method where a mobile phone is the only device necessary to transact.

Outside of the payments realm, Trisbee offers virtual point-of-sale systems and payment links for its merchants and even experiments with "interest-free deferred payments" and wallet-like propositions for the retail side of their business. The company is also one of a very few CEE-based startups which has successfully managed to fundraise via Seedrs, a leading UK crowdfunding platform.



365.fintech is a CEE-based corporate venture investor. We focus primarily on investing in European (CEE, Baltics and EU at large) fintech disrupting legacy banking infrastructure and creating value for end consumers and SMEs. We are generally geared towards b2b and b2bc and invest around Seed stage to ideally post-revenue startups with initial traction.

*Disclaimer: 365.fintech is an investor and minority shareholder in Dateio.


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