Portugal FinTech Report 2022

Portugal FinTech Report 2022

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Portugal FinTech Report 2022

Welcome

Our team is motivated by all the great work that is
done in the fintech ecosystem and for that reason
the Portugal Fintech Report is always a celebration
moment.
At Portugal Fintech we have been playing the role
of connectors of the ecosystem, creating the platform for all stakeholders to accelerate their growth.
Beyond that, we have become proactive partners
of the ecosystem, supporting the co creation of
the future of financial services.
As from 2016, our vision is to create a world class
ecosystem, combining the direct support to each
individual startup to the promotion of transversal
change across the financial sector.
The year of 2022 represents a new stage in the fintech ecosystem, a more mature cycle in all fronts,
marked by:
– Portugal as a world class hub for fintechs, a
trend that started in 2016 but gains additional
strength with several unicorns opening operations and teams in Portugal;
– Startups seek peers and specialized communities – after two years of operations the Fintech
House launched this year its new building, growing three times in size and moving its community
of 80 fintechs to a new location. The capacity to

concentrate all players from the fintech ecosystem is the key to make it the choice of startups;
– Collaboration becomes mainstream – after
years of internal transformation, mature players
are now showing capacity to co create with the
ecosystem, choosing to work with startups to
go faster to the market and to focus on core
operations. Banks and insurance players have
moved beyond pitching competitions and work
to truly collaborate and test with fintechs.
– Regulatory evolution on several fronts – the
world is passing through deep changes and 2022
showed great progress in presenting regulation
in different areas. ESG and taxonomy will force
banks to acquire new skills and to better manage
data, a blue ocean for fintech startups to present
solutions. On the crypto side, MiCA and the evolution of CBDC will mark how the crypto world
evolves after turbulent moves in the market;
As for the future, we hope this report inspires you
to connect with the Portuguese Fintech community.
At Portugal Fintech we put efforts into leveraging
the Fintech ecosystem’s potential, generating value
through a strong market cooperation and development of our community into a world class Fintech hub.
Innovation never stops. Neither do we.

A vibrant ecosystem
with no signs of
slowing down

SEPTEMBER
Fintech House moves
to new building in
Lisbon housing 4
times more startups
JUNE
CMVM publishes a
reflection and consultation document on AI

MAY
The year of 2022 was a year of great change, combining the phase out of a world pandemic, the beginning of a large-scale international conflict in Europe,
the crash of large crypto projects and the VC engine
slowing down. However, the Portuguese Fintech
Ecosystem has shown resilience and investment, talent, business and innovation continue to speed up
in Portugal. Portugal Fintech Association is here to
celebrate that.

2021

2022
MARCH
Utrust becomes the
fourth entity authorized by the central
bank to provide the
full range of services
with crypto activities

APRIL
European Commission
submits a proposal
for a Regulation of the
European Parliament
and of the Council
Laying Down Harmonised Rules On ArtificialIntelligence
First meeting of
the Bank of Portugal’s
Contact Group for
the Digital Euro
DECEMBER
Anchorage achieves
unicorn status creating
Portugal’s 7th unicorn

Bank of Portugal grants
a license to Bison Bank
to act as the first crypto bank in the country.

The Portuguese
financial regulators,
ASF, CMVM and
Bank of Portugal
launch the 4th edition
of Portugal FinLab
The European Commission launches a public
consultation on open
finance framework –
enabling data sharing
and third-party access
in the financial sector
The European Commission launches a
public consultation on
the review of PSD2
Luxembourg’s Finance
Minister, Yuriko Backes,
signs an agreement
between the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology (Loft)
and Portugal Fintech
Fintech Solutions
launches Insurtech
Solutions and Trends
Report, a study with
more than 70 startups
with B2B use cases
of collaboration
with incumbents

European Parliament
and the Council public
regulation 2022/858
on a pilot regime for
market infrastructures
based on distributed
ledger technology
BPI and The Fintech
House join forces
to accelerate
technological and
financial innovation

JULY
Binance, the biggest
crypto platform,
enters Portugal
KPMG and The
Fintech House sign
partnership to support
the fintech startup
ecosystem in Portugal
Swedish digital
payment fintech
Klarna announces a
product development
center in Lisbon

CHAPTER

1
2

CHAPTER

10
12
14

CHAPTER

18
25
36
44
56
64

3
4

CHAPTER

84
91
134

144
146
148
150
152
154

6

Portugal Fintech
Association
About us
The Fintech House
Fintech Solutions

Industry Overview
Ecosystem Snapshot
Capital & Investment
Talent / What fintechs are made of
Where regulation meets innovation
Innovation through collaboration
Trends of 2022 and 2023

Fintech Ecosystem
Emerging Fintechs
Fintech Ecosystem
International Operating in Portugal

Decentralized Finance
Portuguese Crypto Ecosystem Map
Financial Literacy in the crypto world
MiCA is coming. Crypto for the win?
Blockchain and Crypto are a different world
Why a crypto lab in PT
How can financial institutions take advantage of the crypto scene?

CHAPTER

1

Portugal Fintech
Association

10 About us
12 The Fintech House
14 Fintech Solutions

8

9

About us
portugalfintech.org

Portugal Fintech is a startup-centric network which brings together the key stakeholders of the industry – from founders, investors, regulators, and academia, to
incumbents in banking, insurance consultancy and law firms – to create the best
conditions for the development of the Fintech ecosystem.
Since 2016, we drive our mission by closely engaging with and connecting the ecosystem – promoting a common ground for dialogue and supporting the growth of
Fintech in a sustainable way.
Our activity is, thus, sustained by four pillars of action: connection to partners and
clients, privileged contact with capital and investors, communication channel with
regulators, and proximity to top talent.

10

Mature players

Bringing together Fintechs and Incumbents to foster
collaborative win-win partnerships. Promoting co-creation of the future of financial services and creating
fast tracks for testing between the two universes.

Regulation

Aiding startups in developing solutions that are compliant by collaborating with regulatory agencies and
legislators to promote a quicker and clearer environment for innovation.

Talent

Understanding the startups’ needs in terms of talent and connecting them with Universities and HR
partners, while raising awareness about opportunities of working in the fintech ecosystem.

Investors

Connecting startups with national and worldwide investors, through networking events and 1-on-1 meetings. From Business Angels to Corporate Investors
and Venture Capital Funds, we help startups gather
smart money to speed up business growth.

Portugal Fintech fosters the
ecosystem through
The Research

Portugal Fintech Report as an annual portrait of the
Portuguese ecosystem, since 2017

The Hub

Fintech House as the physical incubator for fintech
in Lisbon, since 2020

The Advisory

Fintech Solutions as the advisory arm that closes the
gap between startups and incumbents, since 2020

About us

11

How we support the ecosystem
1. CONNECTION WITH MATURE PLAYERS
Direct connections with mature players and opportunity to be featured in relevant events to
the industry along with potential clients

thefintechhouse.com

One of the largest
The must go place for
fintech hubs in Europe fintech
Two years after the launch of the first fintech-dedicated co-working space in Portugal, the Fintech
House opens a new technology hub and triples its
capacity to support startups.
Fintech House was born from the collaboration between the non-profit association Portugal Fintech
and the largest network of coworking spaces in
Portugal, Sítio. More than just an office space, the
incubator seeks to support startups from access
to capital, connection to talent, proximity to banks,
insurers and other mature players and regulators.
The hub, which integrates the national network of
incubators, has 6 official partners that continually
invest in innovation and technology, working closely to support these startups, with monthly mentoring meetings, conferences and workshops that
promote an open dialogue and knowledge sharing.
They are Banco BPI, Fidelidade, INCM, KPMG, Morais Leitão and VISA.

2. RECRUITMENT SUPPORT
Office hours with experts on talent acquisition
and HR consultants; promotion of open vacancies through the Fintech House’s network of
newsletter subscribers, LinkedIn followers and a
talent-dedicated page on the website

FINTECH HOUSE MAIN PARTNERS

The Fintech House is not only a place for startups,
but a place for everyone in the community to be involved. Now more than ever, we are aware of the
need to connect key players and promote open
communication. As such, we host the community-exclusive Fintech House Talks, which consist of discussions where founders are invited to share past experiences, lessons and challenges about different areas
of the industry. Additionally, The Fintastic Fridays are
monthly gatherings open to investors, mature players, startups and partners that wish to get to know
the faces and the work of our community members.
And other open events, such as legal breakfast to
talk about central bank digital currencies, conferences about open banking, data, ESG, and creative
mornings with inspiring founders.

3. ACCESS TO CAPITAL
Office hours with experts on investment plans
and strategy, pitch deck and how much to raise,
such as startup founders and VCs. Direct connection with investors based on investment needs
and value proposition
4. LEGAL & REGULATION SUPPORT
Office hours with our main partner, Morais Leitão,
for legal advice on fundraising, growth, scaling,
exits, compliance and regulatory issues

BPI and KPMG join
the main partners
This year, the Fintech House established two new key
partnerships with Banco BPI and KPMG Portugal. This
partnership aims to contribute to the ecosystem, support startups in the connection with banks and in their
growth and development, through internationalization.

+80 STARTUPS
On the network from all the corners of the world

+2400 M2
+400 SEATS
At the Fintech House in the
business district of Lisbon

“The partnership with Fintech House, although
recent, has been very advantageous for BPI.
The knowledge of companies with innovative
solutions, as well as the conferences and debates promoted, reinforce the Bank’s culture
of innovation and help us to look at part of the
challenges we face in a transformative and
collaborative way.” explains Afonso Fuzeta
Eça, executive director of BPI’s Center of Excellence for Innovation and New Businesses.
“Continuing its commitment to innovation and
technology, KPMG Portugal reinforces, with
this partnership, its commitment to this community, in order to contribute to its growth
and development, enhancing the use of these
resources for its clients but also for the market.” states Nasser Sattar, Head of Advisory at
KPMG Portugal.

+100 EVENTS
Organized until the moment for the community
12

The Fintech House

13

What we have
achieved

1. Launched the first fintech focused innovation program and preparing the second edition;
2. Managed an internal innovation program reaching over 1000 thousand employees, delivering 3 pilots;
3. Delivered over 10 design thinking sessions and designed CX journeys in credit, insurance, onboarding, loyalty, etc;

thefintechsolutions.com

Researched over 1000 startups to run more than 15 proofs of con4. cept or MVPs;

CX RESEARCH AND FINTECH JOURNEYS
Understand how your journeys are experienced by
users
SCOUTING AND MATCHMAKING
Get to know top technologies that answer you needs
PILOT EXECUTION SUPPORT (PMO)
Conduct relevant experiments that will lead to durable relations with business drive
INTERNAL INNOVATION AND HACKATHONS
Strengthen internal capacity to innovate and to create accountable innovation processes

At the launch of Fintech Solutions our vision was
grounded on two beliefs that still guide our work.
– Open innovation must be balanced with internal
entrepreneurs, if not there will no handover for
implementation once a pilot is completed,
– Innovation cannot be entirely embedded intoeveryone’s responsibility – you must give space
for internal labs and innovation managers to empower innovation.
Based on these premises we have been growing
as a fintech innovation lab, advisory firm, product
designers and program managers. A new way of
conducting innovation, focused on internal engagement, business drive and accountability.

Corporate Innovator

The advisory arm of Portugal Fintech,
closing the gap between startups
and mature players.

You run an open innovation
program. Great engagement
with the ecosystem, several
PoCs executed, but struggle
to handover to business.
Open innovation programs
often face the challenge of
getting the projects to be
adopted by internal areas.

You are starting to review
an existent or new journey.
You want to get some
early feedback and present
a potential vision. You want
to go beyond on existent
assumptions. Lateral
thinking is needed and also
a in depth comprehension
of existent journeys from
other sectors.

You had an internal initiative
that gathered potential ideas.
The idea started small, then
went big,now is a drawer to be
tested. The typical constraint
is that your idea does not win
against other business cases
in the internal roadmap.

Fintech Solutions

The traditional narratives

Rethink open innovation
and work upstream with
internal teams on the use
cases that will generate
engagement.

Test new journeys.
Research current or
potential customers, get
mockups to test CX,
develop a business plan
and find the best startups.

Test your idea, get results,
gain credibibilty, replicate.
Fintech Solution supports the
PMO to run “build, measure,
learn” cycles.

The PoC Guide for successful
proofs of concept
The recent study “Streamlining Innovation with Fintechs” crosses the opinion of more than 70 mature
players and startups to present actionable strategies to work with the ecosystem.

Download at thefintechsolutions.com

14

Fintech Solutions

15

CHAPTER

2
18
25
36
44
56
64

16

Industry Overview
Ecosystem Snapshot
Capital & Investment
Talent / What fintechs are made of
Where regulation meets innovation
Innovation through collaboration
Trends of 2022 and 2023

17

Ecosystem
Snapshot

Total Funding to Date
from the Fintech Ecosystem

€ 1,079,745,694

The top Fintechs have raised on
aggregate over € 1 billion euros

Every year Portugal Fintech conducts an open survey to the truest source of
information, our Fintechs, and develops a deep analysis on the sector. Numbers
speak for itself, grounding the great development that the ecosystem had in the
most recent years.

More Insights On Funding…

For the purpose of this sub-chapter, the data displayed refers to the ecosystem
members except international fintechs operating in Portugal.

The top three verticals with regards to funding,
in percentage of amount raised:

On average

48%

76%

Fintechs
Per Vertical

of companies have funding from
international investors, considering 21% of those have no Portuguese investors

Most Popular Year Of
Foundation

In terms of distribution per vertical, Portuguese Fintechs are biasing towards Payments & Money transfers, Insurtech and Blockchain and Crypto Verticals.
17%

2020

11% of companies
were founded

14% of companies
were founded

2021

2019

14% of companies
were founded

13% of companies
were founded in 2019

12%

Blockchain &
Crypto

6%

Lending &
Credit

Regtech &
Cybersecurity

Geographic Distribution

17%

5%

%
22

2022

9% BRAGA
16% PORTO

Source: 2022 Portugal Fintech Survey

11 %

5%
US

11 %

16 %

Real Estate
Regtech & Cybersecurity
Blockchain & Crypto
Lending & Credit
Wealth Management & ESG
Insurtech
Payments & Money Transfers
18

*Excludes International Fintechs
Operating in Portugal

Industry Overview

87%
87%
EUR
EUR

11% AVEIRO
87%
PT
55% LISBOA

9%
OTHERS

Lisbon and Porto are the main Fintech hubs for the Portuguese-based companies.
Outside of Portugal, other common countries of headquarters of Top Portuguese
Fintech are France, Germany, the US, the UK and the Netherlands.
Ecosystem Snapshot

19

Size

Business Model

On average, teams are composed of

Approximately 75% are

45 EMPLOYEES

B2B

with more than 12% being larger.

companies.

Portuguese
Startup Ecosystem

Greatest Hardship
The greatest hardship for the Top Portuguese Fintech is the sales cycle, which for
an ecosystem of predominantly B2B companies is particularly large. The second
hardship mostly felt is the search for talent – although Portugal is a highly skilled
country in terms of tech, both remote work and the establishment of hubs from
larger players have increased competition for qualified workforce.

40%

Search for talent

24%

Access to market

19%

Player cooperation

17%

Insights brought by Gabriel Coimbra, Group
Vice President and Country Manager at IDC

Source: 2022 Portugal Fintech Survey

Sales cycle

Gabriel Coimbra,
Group Vice President and
Country Manager, IDC

20

Industry Overview

The Portuguese startup ecosystem is evolving positively and bearing fruit, the evidence is in the emergence of Portuguese unicorns. The country attracts
the gaze of foreigners, is recognized as a European
country with better quality of life, safety, climate,
and favourable geographical location. Portugal has
gone from a country of tourism to a country with
huge potential for innovative businesses, especially
after hosting the Web Summit, an event that put
Portugal on the investors’ map.

In terms of technology, the country has made many
advances and investments for the digital transition,
has created support instruments to facilitate the
advance of companies in this transition, as well as
introducing legislation that allows more talent capture and creation of startups such as: startup visa,
tech visa and visa for digital nomads. The technology industry is preferred by investors in the startup
ecosystem, becoming the majority of the investments made in the last year.

In the last 5 years there have been many significant
changes, one can notice this evolution when we analyse the mindset of entrepreneurs which is much
more disruptive than in the past. This change is
due to preparation through entrepreneurship programmes both at university level and at the level
of accelerators and incubators, which together add
up to a very important role in this transformation of
talent. Portugal has skilled talent, although there is
a need for investment and measures to keep them
here and boost the Portuguese economy.

A major differential of Portuguese startups is that
they are born thinking about the international market. Being a small country also has its advantages,
as it forces companies to be more strategic and
creative, and it is also much easier to make connections both within the Portuguese ecosystem and
with European countries and countries in the Portuguese Language Community (CPLP), as Portugal
is a gateway to growing markets.

Ecosystem Snapshot

21

KEY KPI OF THE PORTUGUESE STARTUP ECOSYSTEM
Exclusive draft preview from the second edition of the “Startup & Entrepreneurial
Ecosystem Report, Portugal”, a report from IDC in partnership with Startup Portugal.

EMEA Fintech
Snapshot

João Patrone,
Director at KPMG

Vasco Mendes,
Director at KPMG

Insights brought by João Patrone and
Vasco Mendes, Directors at KPMG
The optimism that permeated the fintech market at
the end of 2021 quickly transformed into concerns
about a potential recession in H1’22 as uncertainties related to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, ongoing
supply chain challenges, and rising inflation and
interest rates took their toll on public and private
companies alike.

Preliminary version. Final version will be published on the Startup & Entrepreneurial
Ecosystem Report, Portugal 2022 by IDC
22

Industry Overview

Looking back, H1’22 can be defined by one word:
unexpected. Consider some of the key trends
we’ve seen across the fintech sector over the past
6 months: (i) declining investment across most jurisdictions, particularly between Q1’22 and Q2’22;
(ii) shuttering of IPO window in wake of turmoil in
public markets and rapid decline in valuations; (iii)
ongoing strength of payments sector across numerous jurisdictions; (iv) increasing focus on automation and extreme automation in cybersecurity
given the ever-increasing number of issues in need

of investigation; (iv) growing diversity of jurisdictions attracting fintech investments, particularly
$100 million+ VC rounds.
Heading into the second half of 2022, market challenges are expected to continue, with investors
increasingly focusing on top-line revenue growth,
profitability, and cash flow. M&A activity is well-positioned to grow as mature sectors see consolidation and investors look for attractive deals amidst
the downward pressure on valuations and as some
startups contemplate alternatives to down rounds.
Whether you’re the CEO of a large financial institution or the founder of an emerging fintech, understanding how market dynamics have shifted could
be critical to your competitiveness and sustainability
— while finding ways to become more efficient could
help minimize cash burn. These are the key highlights
from the fintech ecosystem in the EMEA region:
Ecosystem Snapshot

23

Banks transforming into tech companies
In the EMEA region, some banks that have developed AML and AI-focused solutions and tools inhouse are now looking at how they can commercialize these to other financial institutions. During
H1’22, Belgian bank KBC launched a new subsidiary
focused on bringing its AI applications and tools to
other banks, with the first product targeted at combating financial crime.

Markets in Crypto Assets Framework (MiCA), and
the growing interest in central bank digital currencies, with the digital euro potentially to come as
soon as 2026.
Trends to watch for in H2’22
– Investors spending more time with their current
investment portfolio companies to help them
through the uncertainty that exists rather than
focusing on diversification and new investments.

Investors focusing on business fundamentals
Faced with numerous uncertainties, including the
Russia-Ukraine conflict, rising inflation, and rising
interest rates, investors in the EMEA region have
shifted their primary focus from growth to value.
Valuation multiples have decreased significantly for
some players (e.g., buy-now-pay-later giant Klarna
which heavily focused on growth, saw its valuation
drop 85 percent compared to last year2). There is
now a lot more emphasis on business fundamentals when making investment decisions, evaluating
the sustainability of business models, how profits
are generated, and whether cash is being generated or consumed for growth.
Embedding finance and banking as a service high
on the agenda
Profitable players such as Starling Bank3 and
ClearBank4 that facilitate non-financial companies
to move into financial services have been able to
raise extra funding to grow their expansion further.

– Rising interest rates giving banks more cash to
spend and more ammunition to invest in strategic players.
– Increasing consolidation across the fintech space
as investors become more discerning, weaker
fintechs struggle to survive, and well-capitalized
companies look to take out some of their competition.
– Fintechs focused on broader ESG and sustainable finance starting to secure more funding than
has been seen to-date as regulators have made
clear their expectations on firms monitoring and
managing their financial risks.7 The investment
of capital markets actor Euroclear in Greenomy
is a case-in-point.8

Capital & Investment
18 Ecosystem Snapshot
25 Capital & Investment
26
27
28
30
34

36
44
56
64

Insights
Fintech deals in 2022
Interview / Investing in portuguese fintechs
M&A inFintech — A Growing trend?
Interview / Raising funds in 2022 for crypto technology, Zharta

Talent / What fintechs are made of
Where regulation meets innovation
Innovation through collaboration
Trends of 2022 and 2023

– The fallout of the collapse of the crypto space
and any side effects it has on the traditional investment world and on future regulatory action.

Regtech automation gaining attention
Juggling the ongoing avalanche of regulation in the
EMEA region and the constant need for more resources to manage compliance has been a major
struggle for businesses. With inflation driving operating costs up, there is further increasing interest in
affordable compliance solutions and regtech automation that can help make compliance affordable,
efficient, and manageable.
Regulatory environment for blockchain continuing to evolve
During H1’22, the blockchain space reached a significant milestone in Europe with the publication of
the Regulation on the EU pilot regime for market
infrastructures that use distributed ledger technologies5. The regime is effectively a regulatory
sandbox. This new program aims to breathe extra
institutional interest into blockchain technology in
financial services along with the much-anticipated
24

Industry Overview

For the purpose of this sub-chapter, we reflect only on data collected from all
respondents to the open survey, as well as other public sources of information
duly identified.

25

Capital capacitates fintechs to bring innovation to the sector. In Portugal, raising
capital is a process that takes 6 months or more, but accessibility to investors
has improved. Investment demand in early-stages is fulfilled by national investors,
whereas in later stages international investors are the ones to respond to demand.

Source: 2022 Portugal Fintech Survey

Insights

Fintech deals
in 2022
Despite falling tech stocks and concerns about an economic downturn, global
fintech venture capital (VC) dealmaking remained strong in 2022. Below is a list of
relevant fintech deals from fintechs based in Portugal or with Portuguese founders
taken place during 2022:

DO YOU THINK THERE HAS BEEN AN IMPROVEMENT IN ACCESSIBILITY TO INVESTORS?

36%
No

64%
Yes

CAPITAL
RAISED

INVESTORS

PURPOSE

€ 30.6 MILLION

Hard Yaka

International Expansion,
Access to Licensing,
Increase team, Marketing

€ 6.2 MILLION

AV8, Elevator Ventures
and existing investors

Sales and Marketing

€ 5.2 MILLION

SixThirty, OneTier,
Bright Pixel, Iberis

Marketing

€ 4 MILLION

GreenField One, Shilling
VC, Possible Ventures,
SpaceShipDAO,
UniwhalesDAO, Olisipo
Way, CleverWeb3,
Founders Head,
Several Industry BAs

Increase team

€ 4 MILLION

Portuguese Entrepreneurs

International Expansion

€ 4.3 MILLION

Shilling, Portugal Ventures, Onetier/BiG, BYND
and Saltpay Europe

International Expansion

€ 3 MILLION

Davoa Capital, Celo
co-founders, Allegory

International Expansion

€ 2 MILLION

Mustard Seed Maze,
Schneider Electric’s
Energy Access impact
fund, Crowdfunding

International Expansion

By Portuguese startups in a total of 52 rounds, according to a monthly activity report.

Industry Overview

Capital & Investment

>6 MONTHS

NAME OF THE
STARTUP

According to 48% of those surveyed, it takes longer
than 6 months to raise capital

WHAT ARE THE GREATEST OBSTACLES WHEN
APPROACHING INVESTORS?

Scale internationally

HOW LONG DOES IT TYPICALLY TAKE TO FUNDRAISE?

22%

WHICH CHARACTERISITCS DO YOU SEE INVESTORS POINTING OUT AS POSITIVE FROM PORTUGUESE FINTECHS?

Ability to Execute

40%

Country of Headquarters 13%

Talent

28%

Other investors onboard 12%

Idea/Problem being solved 18%

Cap table

9%

Market

10%

Talent

3%

Other investors

4%

TOTAL AMOUNT RAISED UNTIL JUNE YTD

€ 627 MILLION
Source: Portugal Startup Scene by Pedro Almeida

26

27

Interview
/
Investing
in portuguese
fintechs
Which advice would you share to portuguese startups raising funds internationally
The first advice is you should not put the horse before the carriage to raise funds internationally. If you
want to raise funds internationally, you have first to
put people on the ground in these areas. But first
and foremost, you need to win clients. So if you want
to raise funds internationally the first thing is to win
some clients locally. Then put employees first, employees nurture these clients and upsell them. From
this stage you can draw the interest of International
VCs or Growth Equity Funds to invest and to accelerate what you’ve already started. The second piece of
advice is to clearly define why you want raise funds
internationally. Usually, the answer is because the
startup believes there is a profitable market in that
geography. Thus, it is important to execute an analysis of market and hire local employees.
Jscrambler is the most recent portuguese fintech
in which Ace Capital has invested on. Can you mention some of Jscrambler’s traces that made you interested in them?

er geographies. Jcrambler was able to win clients
from Portugal and clients internationally. The second element is the ability of the management team
to drive the company and make sure that it can
deliver value to their clients.
Lastly, the promise of the product is simple. It protects the website. Usually you protect server, you
protect the computer, you protect infrastructure,
but you don’t really protect the website. Jscrambler has a clear value proposition, and we believe
that there is a tremendous potential for their offering that is clearly underestimated today in terms of
risk from malicious activities. The way the product
was delivered in a very simple, explainable, and almost obvious manner was very well executed.
VC ecosystem was shaken recently. Do you think
physical location will more or less relevant in the
following months?

One of Jscrambler’s key features we were drawn
to was their ability to generate revenue from oth-

In the postcovid world, physical location clearly
matters less than before. The gap of the arbitrage
between France and Portugal for instance, is not
relevant that an investor would favor. European
markets are clearly more open. You can unlock the
German market by hiring German guys, but not be-

28

Industry Overview

ing a German company is possible. What’s going to
be critical in the coming months to raise money is
to be able to deliver growth and the highest growth
possible while being cost conscious.
VCs are focused on companies that can generate
sustainable growth, meaning that they are not expecting companies to turn profitable overnight, but
the businesses that are able to raise money will be
the ones who require the less money. If you are a
startup now and you want to raise in the next six
months, demonstrate clearly to your prospective
investors a path to profitability, the ability to be cost
conscious and to make savings on your business.
In your opinion what is an important decision early-stage startups will face and what would you
recommend?

Augustin Blanchard,
Ace Capital Executive Director

Early-stage startups founders are faced with two
choices. Either to grow big and fast or start small
and see what happens. My advice is to recruit highly experienced profiles. If you’re serious about creating a startup and you believe that there is much
potential, don’t hesitate to hire experienced people very early on. Not only because of the value
they will create, but it’s also a positive signal from
the CEO and the founders realizing their own limitations and ambitions. Even though the startup has
limited resources it is eager to invest in its growth
and is able to conduct everyone like an orchestra
conductor. This is what investors are looking when
they invest. They are not looking for someone
that knows everything and how to do everything,
but rather a conductor who is able to manage a
high-value team.
How do you see Ace Capital’s connection with the
Portuguese fintech ecosystem in the future?
Ace Capital is not a fintech investor per se. It invests in cybersecurity. However, beyond hospitals,
who are the first target of cyber-attacks? Banks or
ground infrastructure. So, as a cyber security investor, we tend to develop close relationship with the
fintech ecosystem and overall, the financial sector,
especially in countries where we have invested already, like with Jscrambler in Portugal. We would
like to be more involved with Portugal to identify interesting startups to invest in, and to be able to support the startups we invest in to grow in Portugal.

Capital & Investment

29

M&A in Fintech
— A growing trend?
Global M&A fintech activity

How to retain synergies of an acquired product by
the acquirer?

Lovys — Acquirers
How to run the preparation and the process.
I would say there are three golden rules: know what
the red lines are for both parties; know why you are
going for a merge and what you want to achieve
with it; define a management plan that is clear and
not disruptive to the companies’ objectives.
How to keep a business running through a merger?

The end of 2021 for the fintech market was unprecedented, as we saw high numbers for M&A deals
and funding alike. With the beginning of 2022, there
was a rise in geopolitical and economic issues that
deeply affected the capital markets, such as the
Russia-Ukraine conflict, the ongoing supply chain,
challenges, and rising inflation and interest rates.
However, global fintech M&A activity, related to private fintech being acquired, did not decline when
compared to the previous semester but rather increased, as valuations remained steady, and the
number of deals went up to a record high of 591
deals, representing a 16% increase from H2’2021 and
46% increase when compared to H1’2021. In addition,
from a survey conducted by KPMG, 80% of executives signaled their appetite for deals is stronger
than in 2021 and 61% indicated that they expect M&A
activity in their sector to increase over the next year.

Lessons learnt from M&A – from both sides
The key involved parties in an M&A transaction
have several key risks involved during the deal period that could be detrimental to the post-merger
success of both firms. Below, we we provide three
examples of fintech startups involved in M&A process – Lovys, Saltpay and Drivit.

We need to be both very transparent and very
clear to the teams. Sometimes companies fall into
the error of hiding what is happening from their
teams, with the aim of protecting them and protecting the company’s core objectives. I believe that
this is counter-productive and may generate some
insecurity. I believe it is important to give teams full
visibility, while being clear about what is to be done
and when. Thereafter, to break the merge into several parts and execute each one in a way that does
not deviate the company from our initial strategy
and objectives.
How to retain talent after and during the M&A
process?
Knowing what you want with the acquisition helps
quite a lot. If the acquiring company has a well-defined plan for the teams’ uptake, clear objectives
and is able to explain the reason for the acquisition
clearly, talent retention ends up being natural. The
best talent likes ambitious projects and likes to be
shown the vision in a well-articulated way. What
can go wrong with this process is trying to take
structural decisions in the middle or after the acquisition process. The vagueness and leaving important matters hanging.

When it comes to market multiples, we see an increase of 9% in EBITDA multiples at 14,2x when
compared to 13,0x from H1’2021, but no change
from H2’2021. In addition, revenue multiples have
maintained relatively constant as we see barely
any change when compared to the previous year
at around 3,1x.

How to deal with management change after the
process?

Given a potential economic recession, the current
M&A activity levels are not expected, however, it is
worth noting that deployable private capital from
investment funds have reached an all-time value of
$3,6 trillion. In addition, public companies with lots of
capital are actively looking to maintain their technological competitive advantage through acquisitions
of fintech firms, meaning that the M&A activity in
this sector is not showing any signs of slowing down.
30

This is perhaps the most important question. Synergies should be the main purpose of an acquisition, where 1+1=3. This happens when the second order impact is as or more important than
the first one. Putting this into an example of an
insurtech, the first order impact can be the acquisition of the portfolio at an interesting cost. But
the second order impact can be the acquisition of
skills that improve our capacity to source clients for
certain products. The third order impact could be
that those same skills could be applied to a bigger
market segment. That’s when the magic happens! I
would say the only justification for a startup or scaleup to go through the effort of an acquisition is to
achieve these synergies.

Management change is inevitable, and it never
pleases 100% of people involved. This is absolutely human and normal, if you think that the merge
process was not democratically decided by a huge
group of people on both sides. In this sense, the
most productive and also the most correct thing to
do is to be honest and transparent about what the
new way of running things is.
Industry Overview

Capital & Investment

31

How to retain talent after and during the M&A
process?

SaltPay — Acquirers
How to run the preparation and the process?
Every transaction is different. The preparation and
process for acquiring a small founder-led business
is inevitably different from that of a larger company with institutional shareholders. However, there
have been some learnings from our 20+ transactions in the last two years:

During the acquisition and integration process, we
aim to provide as much detail as possible about our
journey so far and plans together. We over-communicate our mission and values, respecting the fact
that this wasn’t necessarily what the new employees
signed up for. We don’t think there’s a way to accelerate this decision individually, so we don’t push for it.
Being a fast-growing company with lots of new
opportunities and a vision which is, in most cases,
aligned with that of the acquired companies is key
to talent retention. Broad-based stock option compensation to all acquired company employees also
helps align with the new vision.

a meaningful purpose. Obviously, we do lose some
freedom and autonomy, but having more resources and being able to create more impact for our
customers has made the process easier.
How to retain synergies of an acquired product by
the acquirer?
Drivit — Acquired by Zego
How to run the preparation and the process?
They were our clients and at the time, we were not
in an urgent need of capital, and as such, the acquisition proposal came as a surprise so there was
no previous preparation. My recommendation for
prepping would be to have good metrics in place,
good understanding of your business, meaning
knowing your strengths and limitations, try to keep
your financial and legal processes as simple and
transparent as possible to simplify due diligence
processes.

1. Focus on the people; understand their aspirations, concerns and build a relationship with the
main stakeholders.
2. Understand what is key to executing the transaction and simplify the rest; we have internalized most of our M&A and Legal processes and
built execution and integration playbooks that
allow us to focus on each deal’s specifics while
not reinventing the wheel.
3. Be upfront about how we see a successful integration process; ideally, the post-acquisition expectations of the direction of the business, how
it will contribute to our vision, and the new role
of senior leadership should be aligned before
the deal is closed.

Change is uncomfortable, and each person has
their reaction and pace of adaptation to it. To make
this smoother, can aim to prepare and support individuals, teams and the organisation with their
journey. We are honest and upfront about the upcoming changes, sharing what we know and what
we don’t yet. We also have a fully dedicated M&A
Integration and People teams available to listen to
them and communicate what’s happening in each
stage of the process.

We usually start our preparation by running an assessment of the acquired company’s products and
operations. We try to be open-minded, listening
and evaluating carefully if and how to evolve them.
We also make it clear from the beginning what our
firm stances are during the process.

As suggested earlier, achieving things together as
soon as possible helps by making people bring their
attention back to work and creating a good sense of
belonging and teamwork. It is also a great way for
both sides to assess culture and ways of working,
which ultimately defines much of a deal’s success.

It is a demanding process, so you need to be able
to prioritize certain aspects throughout many tasks
that you will have to do. I would say to try to be
even leaner, more focused on key parties that you
cannot lose support on, ensuring that the key processes and deals are prioritized.

How to keep a business running through a merger?

How to retain synergies of an acquired product by
the acquirer?

How to retain talent after and during the M&A
process?

There are two types of synergies during a merger; quick wins and the wins that allow us to scale
together as one company. What’s key is to avoid
unnecessary disruption in what the company has
as its foundation that makes it successful. It can
be its people, tech stack, regulatory licenses, sales
processes, or customer support processes.

This was actually our case as the deal terms were
to acquire our technology but also our talent. The
most important thing is providing incremental benefits, while maintaining people’s current position
and benefits. The hard part for us was not to retain
talent but to convince them to move to Zego. In the
end, the biggest criteria were financial conditions
and future prospects.

Being transparent and upfront about how we see
our combined business, and moving fast in the
execution of the deal, are the best ways we believe we can minimize disruption in the execution of
our post-acquisition plan. We are careful with the
things we do during the merger, so we don’t kill
people’s motivations, creativity and all the things
that make the company successful.
This means accelerating with the hygiene elements
of integration, such as HR, Reporting, Security and
IT processes and systems, while working together
to define what the future looks like when integrating Products, Sales and Operations. We also find
quick wins during the first months of the merge and
execute them as a team, as achieving results together really helps with the integration.
32

How to deal with management change after the
process?

For quick wins to happen, it usually takes little effort and no disruption. For the latter, being able to
integrate products, processes and teams, it takes
more time and lots of care. After a good assessment, a plan needs to be designed with all relevant
stakeholders and a project tracker to ensure we
evolve and achieve our joint ambitions.
Industry Overview

In our case it was a bit swiffer, since we were selling
to a company that was already integrated with us.
It was essentially a technology that was plugged in
but now was managed by them. The biggest thing
you can do is to preserve the value that you provide to the end customer, since you better than
anyone know the product, you can support the
acquirer in understanding your product’s full value
and synergies.

When you actually know that the acquisition is happening, you should start by getting all investors on
board, then you need to have people with experience in this type of deal, as well as having a good
legal team. The biggest thing you should not do is
treat the deal like it is done, always keep all parties
engaged and have an alternative plan.
How to keep a business running through a merger?

How to deal with management change after the
process?
It is a big change because you change the company’s direction, vision, and mission and the biggest
issue is to align this as to keep people working for
Capital & Investment

33

Interview
/
Raising funds in
2022 for crypto
technology
Zharta is a DeFi Web3 startup that provides instant
loans using NFTs as collateral, enabling NFT holders to get liquidity without having to sell their NFTs.

First of all congratulations on your seed round!
How would you describe the process you went
through to close this round?
This round came at a very stressful time, during a
market downturn. Fortunately, we had a solid plan,
which gave investors confidence and allowed us to
secure the funding we believed necessary to face
market cycles.
Closing the round despite the circumstances only
intensified our sense of accomplishment – we’re
thrilled. It gave us the resources to execute our vision.
It will ensure we have the necessary runway to attract talent and grow sustainably while keeping some
elbow room to experiment.
Would you say there are differences in the fundraising approach between crypto/blockchain startups and fintechs? What are they?

involved in structuring investment rounds – a herculean task when you consider it comes in addition
to the already challenging job of managing your
startup. Having said that, there’s an established
and well-documented format that they can follow.
That is not at all the case for web3 companies.
There are several financing routes – via IDOs, IFOs,
Governance Tokens, and selling financial NFTs,
among other options. Furthermore, there are new
ways to structure your business, namely as a DAO
(decentralized autonomous organization).
As a result, web3 founders have the added work
of identifying the financing method that best suits
their company’s needs and objectives. All options
have their pros and cons. So, while there is more
choice, that also translates into more responsibility.
Ultimately, you tend to end up with a rather eclectic mix of players in your seeding round, from the
more traditional investors to those coming from
the web3 space themselves.

“the right time to raise capital is whenever you can
find it at the right price”. Getting funding is a complex and time-consuming process. At least one
founder will have to dedicate their full attention to it
– and that’s time they cannot spend on their startup.
Raising capital gives you more resources and some
peace of mind during the runway period, but it’s a
tricky juggling of factors in which a misstep can
have dire consequences. It’s not something you
can afford to neglect.
How would you describe the process of finding
the right investors to match your needs and preferences?
It’s crucial to have investors that understand your
market. It makes for a completely different relationship. They’ll be able to understand issues or
competitive advantages you might have, and can
often open doors for you by expanding your network with valuable contacts.
Another essential factor is an alignment of values and
goals, as it helps in fostering a relationship of mutual
respect and assistance. Finally, and more generically,
it helps if your investors are founder-friendly.
I would say that identifying the right investors depends on doing your homework regarding the key
players in the space. You have to learn to be flexible
to adapt depending on the feedback you get and
to take your failures in stride no matter how bad the
many “noes” can feel. It also requires a lot of networking. Finally, you need to learn to take advantage
of any lucky breaks you may get since opportunities
are always a mix of actions you can take and circumstances that are never 100% under your control.

Nuno Cortesão,
CEO and co-founder of Zharta

Was there something you wish someone would
have told you before beginning the raising process? Any piece of advice?
I do have one piece of advice: if you find good investors interested in joining the round, with good
fundamentals, and who align with your values, close
the deal. Don’t hold out for pie in the sky. You’ll save
time, effort, and focus as well as win peace of mind.
What are the 5 most important best practices a founder should keep in mind when raising investment?
– Pitch a lot and gather good feedback that you
can use;

– Build good products and be ready to showcase
your capacity for execution;

When would you say is the right time to raise capital? How did you know this was the right time to
do so?

– Getting to know others, and letting others get to
know you, is the best way to network;

– An attitude of transparency, humility and a genuine drive to create will bring you the right investors.

An investor at a web summit once told me – as a
joke, but one not without its grain of truth – that

– Keeping track of contacts and engagement levels is essential for 360o vision;

Definitely. Startups and normal fintechs have fairly
standardized investment procedures that typically
feature VCs, traditional institutions, and Business
Angels. New founders still have a steep learning
curve ahead of them, from learning how to do a
fair evaluation of their company to reading up on,
and understanding, the numerous legal documents
34

Industry Overview

Capital & Investment

35

18 Ecosystem Snapshot
25 Capital & Investment
36 Talent / What fintechs are made of
37
38
40
42

Insights
To grow and scale, talent is crucial for fintechs. The most difficult position to hire
in the job market is Engineers, and in terms of seniority it is more difficult to find
people with ~5 years of experience. Most founders believe there are not enough
developers in Portugal to fulfil the demand, and the cost of talent is expected to
increase 1.5x in 2022.

Source: 2022 Portugal Fintech Survey

Talent / What fintechs are made of

Insights
Portugal as the Tech Hub for European Startups / The case of Pleo
First Impressions Last. The Importance of Onboarding & Retention, Frederico Câmara
Startups and new leaderships styles / The case of Lovys and rotating CEOs

44 Where regulation meets innovation
56 Innovation through collaboration
64 Trends of 2022 and 2023

For the purpose of this sub-chapter, we reflect only on data collected from all
respondents to the open survey, as well as other public sources of information
36
duly identified.

WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT TO FIND OR HIRE IN THE JOB MARKET?

Engineers

74%

Junior positions

4%

Business Development

8%

~5 years of experience

58%

Marketing and Sales

8%

Senior positions

38%

Product

5%

Other

4%

IS THE SUPPLY OF DEVELOPERS IN PORTUGAL
ENOUGH?

HOW MUCH DO YOU ESTIMATE THE INCREASE
IN THE COST OF TALENT TO BE?

Disagree

1x

4%

Nor agree nor disagree 28%

1,5x

45%

Agree

1,2x

32%

above 2x

18%

59%

12%

What fintechs are made of

37

Portugal as the
Tech Hub for
European Startups /
About Pleo

Pleo raised $200 million in December to expand
into new markets. Why Portugal?
Over the past few years Portugal has emerged as a
key fintech hub in Europe, full of innovative and forward-thinking businesses and so it has always been
a key step in our expansion strategy. We see a huge
potential for growth as expense management is currently one of the most time and resource consuming tasks for businesses today. Over half of SMB’s
across Portugal use spreadsheets to manually enter
spending data, leading to human error and creating
a real drain on time when they should be focused on
their growth and success. This example really shows
the need for digitalization in the market.
And why is now the time?
The last few years have hit small and medium sized
businesses hard. Already having contended with
the impact of the pandemic, inflation is now at an
all time high and the cost of living is creating a strain
to both consumers and businesses alike, with raw
materials, goods, services, and fuel all becoming
more expensive. As we edge closer to a recession,
businesses need to invest in tools like Pleo to drive
productivity levels, reduce costs and eliminate unnecessary inefficiencies, whilst keeping a firm eye
on both business spend and financial forecasting.

/ The case of Pleo

Pleo is the business spending solution for forward-thinking teams everywhere. Our smart company cards and automated expense reports are
helping thousands of businesses across Europe
leave behind the pains of old-fashioned financial
processes, while helping everyone feel valued and
trusted at work.

This year alone we have moved into 6 new markets and so our expansion has been ambitious but
measured; we’re very proud of our growth.
When we prepare to move into any new market,
we strive to achieve a strong product fit and to do
so with due care and consideration. We always
pre-launch within a country to ensure the product
is right for the market and of course fully localized.
But we need to stay agile within the market and
make quick decisions as and when we learn from
customers that they have a specific product need.
Although a relatively small country, Portugal has
a progressive business ecosystem and is at the
forefront of fintech innovation. Despite this we’ve
found companies tend to like to stick to what they
know. The challenge is to show them that although
their current process is working, there’s a better,
more efficient way to do it. Once they’re shown
this, prospects are very keen to jump on a call,
demo and start the process of moving to Pleo.
How would you describe Portugal’s typical company spending culture and how can Pleo answer
the current needs?

What were the biggest obstacles to overcome in
the expansion process? (Regulatory, market behavior, existent competitors, etc…)

Pleo was created to address the pressing needs of
small to medium sized businesses to have a simple
expense management solution.
Finance teams across Portugal spend hours every
month-end chasing and reconciling expense claims
from employees, using valuable time that should be
focused on building strategy and being engaged in
business development. As well as the 55% of Por-

38

Industry Overview

Vera Dias,
Commercial Market Launcher, Pleo

tuguese SMB’s still using outdated software with
spreadsheets for manual entry of expenses, a further 38% of SMBs we spoke to in the country indicated that the time taken to manage bookkeeping, keeping on top of a large volume of expense
reports and chasing employees for expense info
were core pain points.
Staff often pay out of their own pockets, waiting
weeks to be reimbursed – potentially incurring interest charges – only to have submissions queried.
The potential for fraud is always there, but scrutinizing employees creates resentment. No one likes
to feel untrusted, meaning some staff might actively avoid filing minor claims.
This all amounts to a regular but unnecessary source
of friction. With Pleo, these issues are avoided as employees can pay for meals, conferences, subscriptions, advertising expenses, office supplies and transport fees with their debit Pleo card, meaning they are
not left out of pocket whilst the finance teams have
full real-time visibility over all company spending and
receipts are automatically uploaded and reconciled.

Regarding hiring perspectives, are you seeking
only local talent? What are the main advantages
you see on Portuguese talent?
We currently plan to hire 70 employees as a result
of our Portuguese opening, across departments
that impact all markets. We’re keen to create local
jobs as well as to open the opportunity to talent
all around the world to get to know Lisbon and its
quality of life, contributing to the city’s international
and multicultural environment.
What does Pleo’s future in Portugal hold?
Our goal is to accelerate our growth by providing
Pleo to even more forward-thinking companies
across Portugal. We know that currently many Portuguese businesses are using old systems for managing expenses, leading to a slow and inefficient
process plagued with human error. We want to
show those businesses there is a better way, freeing up both employees and finance teams.

Pleo is not the first big fintech expanding to Portugal. Why do you think Portugal is becoming a new
European Hub for Tech Companies?
Portugal, and in particular Lisbon is increasingly becoming known as a hub of fintech innovation. I’d put
this down to a few key things; a welcoming and lively creative environment, a high quality of life paired
with a safe environment, and crucially a prolonged
effort by the country to create high quality talent.
What fintechs are made of

39

First
Impressions Last
—— The Importance
of Onboarding
& Retention

Frederico Câmara,
Coverflex’s country manager for Portugal

What do people want?
It is often said that our lives and the relationships
we build can be forever marked by first impressions.
The first day of school. The first solo trip. The first
job interview. The first salary. The first child. In my
case, a second and a third, all unique and unrepeatable, each experienced for the first time.
Every new professional challenge is a fresh start,
with many first impressions to be created. With
co-workers, but also with customers and partners.
I recently arrived at Coverflex, and I remember my
first day at work very well. I left Porto very early,
took a flight, landed in Switzerland, but before the
process of getting in the plane my onboarding had
already started. The team that boarded with me in
Porto made a point of introducing itself, and immediately showed a particular – and, I confess, unexpected – complicity, considering that Coverflex is a
100% remote company.
Being 100% remote means that each of the 71 people who make up the team can choose, every day,
where they want to work. Sometimes this reality
leads people to meet face to face, whenever they
find it beneficial and necessary. Alternatively, people meet virtually, when it’s either impossible or unnecessary for them to do so in a face-to-face logic.
This onboarding – on the plane and in the company
– coincided with my debut: I was lucky that my entry
into Coverflex, to lead a new team dedicated to the
Portuguese market, occurred at the same time as
the company retreat in Italy.
Let me explain: Coverflex and the pandemic are
practically contemporary. This means that, when
the initial idea of Coverflex began to take shape a
new work logic was also being born, in line with the
times we were living in.
“Remote team” means a global talent market, asynchronous communication – as much as possible -,
process transparency, a lot of planning and a lot of
documentation.
“Remote team” means a specific budget that allows
us to work where it is most beneficial – 1,000 euros
per year per Coverflexer, which can be spent on expenses related to work away from home, be they
travel, accommodation or coworking, among others.

environment in which these are the pillars is, perhaps, the best answer to this challenge.
Much is said about how much the world has
changed in the last two years. But the world
wouldn’t change if there wasn’t a profound transformation in the way people want to live.
Attracting and retaining talent in a scenario of
enormous market competitiveness is, for people
and company managers, perhaps the biggest
business challenge they have ever faced in their
careers. Every day at Coverflex, in conversations
with clients, partners and colleagues, I realise that
the happiness and well-being of each person, within organisations, varies in proportion to individual freedom. And this implies that each person is
looked at in a unique way, with all their individual
characteristics, aspirations for personal and professional development, and with attention to their
particular life context.
It was thinking about this impact on people’s lives,
ours and those of our customers and partners, that
Coverflex was created. And it’s with that in mind
that we make it grow.
Through the possibility of implementing a benefits
policy suited to each employee, with our all-in-one
solution, we help managers and companies to create
the best first impression on each of their employees,
making them feel welcome. and understood, as well
as helping to make the organisation-wide compensation offering process more efficient.
Our starting point is our obsession with people. Our
arrival point too.

“Remote team” means having a budget to “build”
my home office, to my liking and that meets my
needs, whether because I like to be among many
plants, work at a table that allows me to stand up, or
get together with colleagues on top of a pilates ball.
Creating an environment in which freedom and
flexibility are key foundations is a challenging task,
even more so in scenarios of “great resignation”
and “quiet quitting”. Or rather, thinking about an
40

Industry Overview

What fintechs are made of

41

Startups and new
leaderships styles
/ The case of Lovys
and rotating CEOs

In recent years, things have changed drastically in
almost all business sectors. And something that is
common to all of them is the evolution of the role
of the CEO and how organically the management
model has abandoned vertical structures to introduce horizontal models. The Co – CEO position at
Lovys has a mix of all of this. It was something that
started happening informally because of our environment (internal as external) and suddenly we
understood it was the right path to follow. It was
inevitable!
My previous experience in Brazil when I created
TaCerto taught me the importance of building a
team made of people bringing in totally different
perspectives to the table. I was very careful and
rigorous when recruiting Lovys’ founding team. I
knew since day 1 that they would be taking lots
of responsibilities and that we needed to create a
very horizontal type of culture. I had to make sure
that decisions were not being taken individually by
me, in a biased and shortsighted way. From then on,
it became natural that according to the challenges
we were facing as a team I had a go-to person to
help me in different ways. This is how the Co- CEO
position came about. I was looking for another perspective on the same matter based on expertise.
The Co-CEO position is decided during the monthly
strategic meetings with the board members. What
I do is to propose some names and then we all
discuss the final decision. The board meetings are
quarterly and every month a formal report on the
state of the company is sent out. They take place
in our offices.

tenure as co-CEO, they each create and manage a
project related to one of the four main areas of the
company: people, strategy, execution, or finance.
This position is an opportunity for the more senior
members of our teams to step up and have more
power and autonomy. I see it as a very positive
stimulus for the more senior team, and it pushes
us to solve only those problems that either require
a very long-term view, have a high impact on the
organization, or that are very complex.
I also see it as a challenge in terms of legitimacy.
Our culture is based much more on merit than it is
on titles. It is not because someone is Co-CEO that
she/he will be more heard. A Co-CEO must enter a
field that is not entirely their comfort zone, which
requires the ability to solve problems or add value
in a different way. Listening, connecting the dots,
understanding the context, and asking the right
questions are skills far more important than making
a snap judgment or feeding the team technical with
technical expertise.
If any company is now confronting the dilemma
whether to start applying this position or not, my
recommendation would be to do so. They will see
the results: they will notice things that you had not
noticed so far due to lack of time, they will make
the most of their team’s capabilities and they will
realize that this position can be a great improvement at many levels within their company.

I am suggesting someone for the position based on
a few points that I consider important:
1. the timing of the company (it is normal for certain areas to have a little more relevance at specific times).
2. the profile of the person and how they fit with
the challenges we have in mind for the position
at that time
3. the most recent performance of the person I am
suggesting.

João Cardoso, CEO (author)
and João Janes, CMO, respectively

Our strategic committee is consulted based on this
logic and at the end the choice is put to a vote. The
final say is with the entire committee, but since this
selection is very thorough and we have agreed on
the criteria from day one, it has always been a very
consensual and natural decision. At Lovys, rotating
co-CEOs are in place for six months and always
maintain their regular responsibilities. During their

42

Industry Overview

What fintechs are made of

43

Insights

Where regulation meets innovation
18
25
36
44
45
46
48
54

Ecosystem Snapshot
Capital & Investment
Talent / What fintechs are made of
Where regulation meets innovation

HOW DOES CURRENT
REGULATION RESTRICT YOUR
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT?

Insights
Ecosystem Regulatory Overview, Portugal Finlab
Fintech Licensing Overview, Morais Leitão
How Portugal is creating fast tracks to attract new Fintechs to Portugal, Startup Portugal and IAPMEI

56 Innovation through collaboration
64 Trends of 2022 and 2023

36%

42%

DO YOU BELIEVE THERE IS AN
IMPROVEMENT IN ACCESSIBILITY TO REGULATORS?

WHAT DO YOU THINK THE
AGENDA FOR 2022 REGULATORY YEAR SHOULD BE?

45%

38%

22%

Does not
impact

Policymakers and regulators have the power to
unlock the potential of innovation in a country. In
Portugal, regulators have put effort into increasing
accessibility but there is still a pain with regulation
fragmentation.

Payments
Cybersecurity
Credit & Real Estate
Licensing
Security
Investment
Insurance
Identity
Currencies
Profit & Taxes
Governance

18%

Is enabling
use-cases

Very
Much

WHAT IMPACT HAS REGULATION IN EUROPE HAD ON
YOUR FINTECH IN THE PAST
12 MONTHS?

Agree

Disagree

Nor agree
nor disagree

WILL THE MICA REGULATION
IMPACT YOUR BUSINESS

57%
32%

39%

38%
23%

11%

For the purpose of this sub-chapter, we reflect only on data collected from all
respondents to the open survey, as well as other public sources of information
44
duly identified.

Source: 2022 Portugal Fintech Survey

Negative

Neutral

Positive

I don´t know

No

Yes

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST ENABLER?

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST HARDSHIP IN REGULATION?

Investors

47%

Timeliness of producers

Associations

39%

Regulatory Fragmentation 26%

Accelerators

9%

Access to partners

Support from
the Government

6%

Availability of Information 13%
Transparency

37%

14%

9%

Access to case-studies 1%
Where regulation meets innovation

45

Ecosystem
Regulatory
Overview
Combined article from Banco de Portugal (BdP),
Autoridade de Supervisão de Seguros e Fundos
de Pensões (ASF), and Comissão de Mercado dos
Valores Mobiliários (CMVM)

The purpose of the Portugal FinLab is to support
the sound development of innovative solutions in
the financial sector by ensuring the clarification of
regulatory uncertainties and the compliance with
the applicable regulatory framework through cooperation and mutual understanding.
To the innovators, Portugal FinLab is a unique opportunity to meet simultaneously with the three
regulatory authorities in the financial sector and to
obtain regulatory clarifications to understand their
boundaries and possibilities within the Portuguese
regulatory framework. On the other hand, the initiative allows the Authorities to closely interact
with the fintech sector and be aware of new market trends and emerging needs as well as the risks
driven by financial innovation.

46

This report provides a comprehensive and detailed
assessment, addressing possible regulatory obstacles and critical issues identified, which may, in
whole or in part, affect or hinder the implementation or execution of the innovative project.
To the remaining projects, even though they were
not selected for the report, the Authorities provide
additional clarifications to the regulatory doubts.
During the four editions of Portugal FinLab, close
to one hundred and twenty applications were received. The majority of the applications were Portuguese, accounting for almost 80% of the total,
and were still on a pre-seed or seed stage of development.

The perspective of Portugal Finlab
Portugal FinLab is a privileged communication channel established in 2018 between innovators in the
financial sector – start-ups and incumbents – and
the three regulatory authorities in Portugal, namely, Autoridade de Supervisão de Seguros e Fundos
de Pensões, Banco de Portugal and Comissão do
Mercado de Valores Mobiliários (hereinafter, the
“Authorities”).

questions to the Authorities. After each pitch day,
and after evaluation of the received applications,
the Authorities select five projects for a detailed
analysis in the form of a report.

The value, success and usefulness of Portugal FinLab are demonstrated by the continuous interest
of innovators and by the testimonies of the several
participants in the first three editions. Nevertheless,
the Authorities consider that there is always room
for improvement. After all, the development of initiatives targeting innovators should itself be subject
to periodical innovation to keep up to date with
how the fintech market trends are changing.
With this in mind, the Authorities have conducted
a thorough analysis and reflection on Portugal FinLab. The experience gathered so far signalled a
concentration of projects in the first batch – usually
the second batch received roughly only half of the
number of applications received on the first batch
– and the advantages of selecting for pitch day all
the projects that fall within the competences of any
of the Authorities.

APPLICATIONS CLOSING
17th June 2022
NOTIFICATION FOR PITCH DAY
4th July 2022
PITCH DAY PRESENTATIONS
14th July 2022
PARTICIPANTS ANNOUNCEMENT
5th August 2022
REPORTS
21th October 2022

In terms of activity sector, over the four editions
of Portugal FinLab, the most representative categories were RegTech, Payments, Capital Markets
& Wealth Management, Blockchain & Crypto and
Lending & Credit. Furthermore, a trend which has
been more evident in the last editions of Portugal
FinLab was the increase in cross-sectorial projects,
i.e. projects that combine various financial activities,
which can be perceived as an indicator of the increasing complexity of the new business models
presented to the innovation hub.
The 4th edition of Portugal FinLab was launched on
the 17th of May and it is expected to be concluded
by the end of October.
In this 4th edition, the Authorities have received
16 applications, from which the majority were
Portuguese (also accounting for more than 80%).
Cross-sectorial projects were dominant, representing 44% of the applications, followed by Lending
& Credit and Blockchain & Crypto, both categories
with 13%. Payments and RegTech accounted both
for 12% of the applications. In terms of stage of development, the projects were predominantly preseed (44%) and seed (25%). Projects in early-stage
and growth stage represented 19% and 12% of the
total, respectively.

Based on this reflection, the Authorities have decided to launch the 4th edition of the Portugal FinLab, with only one batch of applications and with
all projects falling within the competences of any of
the Authorities’ being selected for pitch day.

The selected participants for analysis by the Authorities were: ALGAE, Art2Trading, Lombongo,
Rauva and Something Legendary.

The pitch day is an opportunity for the innovators
to present the projects and explain their regulatory

For more information about Portugal FinLab 4th
edition, please visit our website.

Industry Overview

APPLICATIONS OPENING
17th May 2022

Where regulation meets innovation

47

Fintech Licensing
Overview

Mariana Albuquerque, Senior Associate
Margarida Torres Gama, Partner
Luís Roquette Geraldes, Corporate Partner
At Morais Leitão

ACTIVITY (SUMMARIZED)

TYPE OF INSTITUTION

LEGAL BASIS

Credit institution
Financial institution

CRD IV (1)

– Placing cash on a payment account and operaing
a payment account
– Cash withdrawals from a payment account and
operating a payment account
– Execution of payment transactions, including execution of direct debits, execution of payment
transactions through a payment card or a similar device and execution of credit transfers
– Execution of payment transactions where the
funds are covered by a credit line for a payment
service user
– Issuing of payment instruments and/or acquiring
of payment transactions
– Money remittance.

Payment institution

PSD2 (2)

– Payment initiation services.

Payment initiation
service provider

– Account information services.

Account information service
provider

– Issuing electronic money

Electronic money institution
(+ the payment services listed
above)

Activities generally regarded as banking services







Introduction
Fintech is often used as a catch-all buzz word. It literally means financial technology which is enough
to say that it is not, in itself, a separate sector of
financial services, but depicts a model where some
sort of technology is employed in a new or disruptive way to either a traditional or mature financial
activity or segments of it. This also means that there
is not, at least not at the European Union level and

in Portugal, specific licenses applicable to fintechs.
Therefore, if you are playing with the idea of starting
a fintech you must understand exactly what your
enterprise will offer and where does it stand within
the financial regulated space. The legal framework
applicable to your business model and services will
result from finding those coordinates.

Financial regulation in the EU
At the same time, it is worth having a high-level notion of the EU financial regulation, its main players,
the interplay between EU laws and national laws of
member states and what does it mean for financial
regulated activities.
The main idea to keep in mind is that, contrary to
other commercial activities, financial regulated activities cannot be freely pursued. They require entry-level authorisation and continuing monitoring,
as they are regarded as being of public interest to
the stability of the economy and financial markets
and to the protection of investors/ consumers. In
short, this is the rationale underpinning most of the
financial regulation rules and principles.
In the EU, there are three European supervisory
authorities (ESAs) which represent the three axes
48

of the financial services industry: the European
Banking Authority (EBA), the European Securities
and Markets Authority (ESMA) and the European
Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA). These entities work to create a levelling playing field and to ensure financial stability in the EU.
In Portugal, the financial supervision system is also
divided in three areas with the following supervisory authorities: Banco de Portugal (BdP), Comissão
do Mercado de Valores Mobiliário (CMVM) and Autoridade de Supervisão de Seguros e Fundos de
Pensões (ASF).
There are several EU legal sources which extensively regulate the conditions to access certain
activities. The list below includes examples without
being exhaustive:

Industry Overview






Taking deposits and other repayable funds.
Any form of lending
Financial leasing
Payment services
Issuing and administering other means of payment
not covered by payment services
Issuing guarantees and commitments
Trading for own account or for account of customers
in: money market instruments, foreign exchange,
financial futures and options, exchange and interest-rate instruments, transferable securities.
Participation in securities issues and the provision
of services relating to such issues
Advice to undertakings on capital structure, industrial strategy and related questions and advice
as well as services relating to mergers and the
purchase of undertakings
Money broking
Portfolio management and advice.
Safekeeping and administration of securities
Credit reference services
Safe custody service
Issuing electronic money
Activities generally regarded as payment services

Where regulation meets innovation

EMD (3)

49

ACTIVITY (SUMMARIZED)

TYPE OF INSTITUTION

LEGAL BASIS

Investment firm

CRD IV
MiFID II (4)

Activities generally regarded as investment services
– Reception and transmission of orders in relation to
one or more financial instruments
– Execution of orders on behalf of clients
– Dealing on own account
– Portfolio management
– Investment advice
– Underwriting of financial instruments and/or placing of
financial instruments on a firm commitment basis
– Placing of financial instruments without a firm commitment basis
– Operation of a multilateral trading facility
– Operation of an organized trading facility
– Ancillary services
– Safekeeping and administration of financial instruments for the account of clients
– Granting credits or loans to an investor to allow
him to carry out a transaction in one or more financial instruments, where the firm granting the
credit or loan is involved in the transaction
– Advice to undertakings on capital structure, industrial strategy and related matters and advice
and services relating to mergers and the purchase of undertakings
– Foreign exchange services connected to the provision of investment services
– Investment research and financial analysis or other forms of general recommendation relating to
transactions in financial instruments
– Services related to underwriting.
– Investment services, activities and ancillary services related to the underlying of derivatives

The services mentioned above are extensively regulated in the EU sources indicated in the table, as
well as other related EU legal acts (some apply directly in each member state, and some must be
transposed into national legislation).
These EU legal sources mentioned in the table
above establish a harmonized legal framework
throughout the EU, applicable in each member
state in accordance with the relevant national
transposition legal act, and benefit from a mutual
recognition principle. This is what enables firms authorised to perform one or more of the activities
indicated in one EU member state to passport their
services to other EU countries or to set up a branch
in other EU countries, pursuant to, respectively, the
EU principle of freedom to provide services and
freedom of establishment which are cornerstones
of the EU’s single market. This passport is an extremely powerful tool enabling regulated entities
(notably high growth companies) to scale within
the EU with less much lessened regulatory burden
and a much faster pace.

BUSINESS:
What is the value proposal of your company?
Any authorisation procedure entails the preparation of a thorough business plan and activities program that must evidence the viability of the company, its strategic and commercial positioning and
detail its products and/or services.
Other documentation concerned with operations
will have to be provided to show that the company
will be able to operate the business continuously,
without undue interruptions, considering the importance that regulated services have to the market and its users.
FINANCIALS:
What are the provisional accounts of the company?
How much regulatory capital do you need? Who/
where will you get it from?

Licensing procedures
There is not a “one size fits all” licensing procedure
for all of the abovementioned sectors of activities.
Each legal source establishes a specific framework
applicable to the authorisation procedure for the relevant type of institution (e.g. credit institution, investment firm, payment institution, insurance company).
At the same time, a specific type of institution will
not automatically be authorised to perform all the
activities which that type of company can pursue.
The actual scope of activities that the company will
be able to develop is defined by the authorisation
procedure. This means that, for example, a payment institution may not be allowed to grant credit
ancillary to payment if this is not comprised in the
authorisation granted.
All EU regulators include a public database where
you can check the companies which are allowed
to provide regulated activities, and in some cases,
they also include the detail of the activities which
are comprised in the authorisation. This is very
helpful to understand what a company is or is not
allowed to do within its license.

50

Even though there is not one single authorisation procedure for all financial services regulated
activities, it is possible to narrow down the main
categories which are the focus of an authorisation
procedure. Taking the example of an authorisation
procedure to set up a credit institution, these categories can somewhat be arranged as follows:

Industry Overview

One of the main issues relating to supervised entities is compliance with minimum regulatory capital
requirements.
Capital requirements are set taking into consideration the type of company, as well as the specific
business and operational context of the company,
as laid out in its business plan. This means that your
business plan needs to fully detail all the business
assumptions and projections, including, for example, number of operations, type of operations, clients, geographies, size of the organization, human
resources, risk, etc to adequately forecast the financial statements and make prudential calculations of own funds, on a provisional basis. Financial
forecasts should include its assumptions and simulate different best, worse case scenarios, including
stress scenarios.
Additionally, regulators will be concerned with confirming the sources and availability of the funds that
will capitalize the company, which means that you
should thoroughly explain the financing plan and
obtain assurances that the company will have immediate access to the capital it legally requires to
operate.
QUALIFYING HOLDINGS:
Who owns the company? Is their profile aligned
with the long-term interests of stakeholders of and
the public interest in the regulated company?
Where regulation meets innovation

51

Overall, you will need to show that the shareholding structure ensures the stability of the institution.
This requires the complete identification of direct
and indirect shareholders that hold qualifying holdings, of the beneficial owners, as well as of their
respective holdings.
The standard threshold for qualifying holdings is
10% direct or indirect shares and voting rights in
the company. There are other rules that establish
a qualifying holding, such as shareholders agreements or other arrangements giving control or the
power to exercise significant influence over the regulated entity. Ultimate beneficial owners (“UBOs”)
are the ultimate natural persons who sit at the top
of the chain and meet the legal criteria to be considered beneficial owners, e.g. control or direct or
indirect shareholdings above a certain threshold.
In the case of group companies, in principle it will
be necessary to include corporate information for
the companies in the participation chain, including
their corporate documentation, list of members of
the management body, financial statements, list of
shareholders, group chart, and explanatory note on
the structure of the group.
Additionally, UBOs and shareholders will need to
provide information to assess their suitability, professional experience, and qualifications, which includes sharing their criminal record certificates,
curriculum vitae, information about any refusal,
cancellation or termination of a registration or authorisation to act in the capacity of board member,
by a supervisory authority, or its prohibition by a
judicial or supervisory authority. Information about
investigations, judicial processes, judgments, fines
for administrative offences of relevance (e.g. financial crimes, fraud, insolvency), information regarding conflicts of interest, and financial information
required to show their availability and capacity to
provide funds to the regulated company, if needed.
Ultimately, regulators want to be sure of the adequacy of the shareholding structure to ensure the
stability of the institution.
ORGANIZATION AND GOVERNANCE:
How will decisions be made? Will the internal organization of the company be adequate to mitigate risks?

to be designated must go through an individual and
collective fit and proper assessment to determine
their suitability for the performance of functions as
members of those statutory bodies, including the
board, to ensure the sound and prudent management of the regulated entity. The collective assessment is made to ensure that the relevant individual
qualifications and experience are balanced.
The assessment of suitability, professional experience and qualifications of members of the statutory bodies covers the curriculum vitae, which
must show evidence of the relevant qualifications
and experience in the sector/position (i.e. experience must be adequate for the role, function and
responsibilities to be assumed), information on any
refusal, cancellation or termination of a registration
or authorisation to act in the capacity of member
of a statutory body, by a supervisory authority, or
its prohibition by a judicial or supervisory authority, information in respect of investigations, judicial processes, judgments, fines for administrative
offences of relevance (e.g. financial crimes, fraud,
insolvency), information in respect of any conflicts
of interest and criminal record certificates. The assessment also includes an evaluation of the availability and independence of the proposed member,
and it is expected that board executives dedicate
a minimum reasonable amount of time to the company.
POLICIES:
The number of policies that must be developed
for a regulated entity vary greatly depending on
the type of company and its size and complexity.
This is one of the most burdensome requirements
in terms of paperwork. Policies should document
and translate the processes, flows and principles
existing in the company and they should be revised
periodically to ensure an organic development and
adaptation to the specificities of each company
and the risks they face. When starting an authorisation procedure from scratch, policies will be developed in a more sterile environment and will work
to conform the future operation of the company.

control functions, among other requirements. In
addition, regulated entities should identify its outsourced services or function and third-party service
providers/suppliers (additional requirements apply
to outsourcing by regulated companies). The identification of the distribution and commercialization
channels are also relevant to design the company’s
organization, since regulated entities must control
all endpoints.
The architecture of information systems, technical and material resources allocated to the activity
must be detailed, as well as the relevant procurement (e.g. payment systems, core banking system,
reporting, accountancy, AML/CTF/KYC onboarding
and support) to ensure the sufficiency, robustness
and security of the system.

It is important to note that, in addition to any information and guidelines provided at a national level,
the ESAs have developed extensive guidelines that
cover the requirements to set up different financial services regulated entities. These guidelines
are followed by most national competent authorities, and therefore are instrumental for applicants
seeking to understand the burden and granularity
of information and documentation to be provided
for an authorisation procedure.
However, the level of application of these requirements should be set in accordance with a proportionality principle to the size and complexity of the
institution. This is probably one of the most challenging principles to apply and one where some
arbitrage may occur within the EU considering that
the proportionality criteria applicable by each national competent authority may differ.

Timings
The timing of the procedure is usually one of the
main concerns for companies, considering that
they will be pressured to yield results and accelerate time to market.
Licensing procedures are lengthy considering that
there is substantial amount of work that goes into
the preparation of the submission which can take
months.
Ultimately, the applicant controls the timing of the
procedure depending on the type of regulated
company, the clarity of its business plan and organization, and its specific complexity, by ensuring de
facto fulfilment of the legal requirements required
to set the regulated entity, and the availability of internal resources that can pull the weight of the organization, including an internal or external project
manager that ensures that the procedure is kept
on track, and by engaging competent advisors to
help prepare the submission and its documents. At
the end of the day, no one will know the business,
its needs, and complexities better than the people
within the organization and they should be as involved as possible to ensure its success.
Setting a good professional relationship with the
relevant regulator is also crucial from the start as
they will be working to ensure that you have the
business and financial conditions, competence,
reputability, resources and means required to tackle all the challenges and demands of managing a
regulated entity and ensuring compliance with the
relevant legal framework.
After the initial submission is made, there will be follow up and clarification requests from the regulator,
and after the authorisation is granted there will still
be a period until the final registration of the entity
for it to be able to put its systems into operation
and tackle any other requirements or conditions
set by the regulator to enable it to start its activity.
Only after registration, is the company authorised
to conduct a regulated business.

RESOURCES AND TECHNOLOGY:
How many people does your organization need?
What is the technological infrastructure that it will
have?

The governance of the company sets its management profile. Applicants must detail the company’s
governance models and related documents, including, for example, regulations of the administration
board, supervisory board and internal commissions
or committees, governance manual and organic
structure. In addition, it is important to identify executive management and functions, delegation of
competences, and the organization structure chart.
Furthermore, all members of the statutory bodies

This is one of the most challenging requirements
of an authorisation procedure since it entails working backgrounds from your end goal to design the
internal organizational structure (including description of functions by area of business), detail the
growth in human resources and relevant training
programs, identify key personnel who will take up

52

Industry Overview

Where regulation meets innovation

53

How Portugal is
creating fast tracks
to attract new
Fintechs to Portugal
Combined article from Startup Portugal and IAPMEI

What is the Startup VISA and to whom was it designed for?
The Startup Visa exists due to the Portuguese
government’s strategic priority of promoting employment and economic growth, based on a specialized profile and internationalization potential, to
attract and retain highly qualified professionals and
foreign investment. Therefore, this program was
designed for entrepreneurs living in countries outside of the Schengen area, to whom Portugal has
relevant qualities to implement their projects and/
or companies that must be innovative, viable, and
relevant to a Portuguese economy differentiation.
This program has no financial incentives but allows
entrepreneurs to have a residency visa and, if so,
access to the Portuguese entrepreneurship ecosystem, which is prepared to support them in their
project development. To make that possible, the
candidates should apply accordingly to the program spirit embodied in the selection criteria, as
predicted by reglementary standards.
How do you describe the role of the incubators
that welcome the new startups?

54

The StartUp Visa is a program for startups and
companies in a more mature stage, but also for
projects that are just in a phase of a structured idea
at the application date. The incubators certified by
IAPMEI guarantee that foreign entrepreneurs have
the necessary conditions to develop their project
in a foreign country, supporting and guiding them.
The incubators have significant knowledge of the
ecosystem and about cultural, legal, and socioeconomic issues that can strategically contribute to
the project development.
Based on the experience until now, what are the
key reasons for entrepreneurs to choose Portugal
and apply to the program?
Our StartUp Visa has gained progressive notoriety that largely contributes to stimulate the entrepreneur’s interest, but the positive consolidation of
national socioeconomic status and Portugal being
globally known as an attractive destiny to investors and entrepreneurs, sunny, secure (6th in the
Global Peace Index), with welcoming people and
good quality of live are, undoubtedly, determinants
to the program impact. It is also important to refer
that other major competitive factors are our geographical position, which is an international market

Industry Overview

advantage, and our talented human resources in
the STEM and business areas and their proficiency
in English.
Finally, there are interrelated internal and external
factors that influence attractiveness of the program, as the establishment of the Web Summit in
Lisbon, since 2016.

scope and meet the appropriate conditions. The
talent that we produce in Portugal, as well as the
lifestyle all over the country, are factors that have
been decisive in attracting highly qualified people
from abroad. In a short period of time, seven unicorns emerged in Portugal, attracting the attention
of international funds and investors.

What are the main sectors of interest for the applicants and how does the fintech ecosystem positions in this context?
The majority of applications submitted to the program are in the areas of industry, agriculture, environment and commerce and services sectors. Fintech is an area in great expansion in Portugal, in line
with the current national and European governmental policies and economic development predictions.
The VISA is a critical step, but how do you think
Portugal can go beyond attracting founders to our
geography?
After obtaining a VISA, developing their project and
integrating it in the business ecosystem, the entrepreneurs can have access to any available funding
programs, as long as their projects fall within their

Where regulation meets innovation

55

Insights

Innovation through collaboration

2

WHICH ARE THE GREATEST HARDSHIPS WHEN
WORKING WITH INCUMBENTS?

Insights
Innovation Partnerships
Case Study, Black Ink Tech & Yoonik
Case Study, novobanco’s
Case Study, Cofidis & Tink

21
%

5%

Cybersecurity & data issues
Defining use-cases
IT system’s compatibility and integration
Regulatory uncertainty
Differences in business model & investment
Insufficient resources from the corporate side
Culture gap

11 %

18 %

57
58
60
61
62

Ecosystem Snapshot
Capital & Investment
Talent / What fintechs are made of
Where regulation meets innovation
Innovation through collaboration
1%

18
25
36
44
56

64 Trends of 2022 and 2023
12 %

12 %

WHAT DO YOU THINK WAS THE MAIN CHANNEL
TO ENGAGE WITH INCUMBENTS IN 2022?

C-level direct contact

40%

Ecosystem partners (eg. Portugal Fintech)

21%

Referral

19%

Open innovation initiatives

10%

Cold reachout (eg. Linkedin)

10%

For the purpose of this sub-chapter, we reflect only on data collected from all
respondents to the open survey, as well as other public sources of information
56
duly identified.

Source: 2022 Portugal Fintech Survey

ON AVERAGE

30%
Of startup founders think that a faster decision-making process should be the development area for incumbents to work with Fintech innovation

Innovation trough collaboration

57

Innovation
Partnerships
CORPORATE

58

FINTECH

CORPORATE

PROJECT

TARGET

METHOD

Innovation program to scout startups who
want to partner with ABANCA to develop
a product and validate value proposition.

Businesses

PoC

BiG’s partnership with Finlayer has the
goal of solving the main pain points in the
wealth management sector, that results
in the lack of efficiency for financial advisors. As one integrated platform, it enhances the advisory experience through
main features such as bank account aggregation from different institutions, digital signature, automated proposal and
report generation for clients and regulators and automated execution of orders.
Thus, Finlayer provides access to disruptive value-added features.

Businesses

End to End Digital Onboarding Process
In this project we are developing an E2E
digital onboarding solution based in different features provided by 3 Fintechs:
LOQR – Digital KYC and Signature features
hAPI – Connection with Tax Authority
and Social Security gateways to export
customer data (relevant for KYC).
Kontomatik – Open Banking solution.

Individuals

New Digital Onboarding Process
LOQR is helping BPG to set up a 100% digital onboarding process for its individual
clients, as well a unique and authentic digital signature solution for communications
(transactions, instructions, orders, mail).

Individuals

No testing
involved

New digital Onboarding Process
Process that allows to simplify and automate the customer journey in the omboarding process, increase data reliability and response time.

Businesses
Internal
Operations

Pilot

Industry Overview

PoC

PoC

FINTECH

PROJECT

TARGET

METHOD

Visor.ai developed a chatbot for Fidelidade’s Facebook Messenger that knew
how to answer the most frequent interactions.

Individuals

PoC

Tech Safe Go
Development of a solution that allows
the status of a used mobile phone to be
evaluated so that insurance can be made.

Individuals,
Businesses

Pilot

MDS Distribution Platform
Development of end to end insurance
distribution platform to allow our clients
to connect with insurance companies
and final clients.

Individuals

No testing
involved

Employee benefits
Commercial partnership.

Businesses

No testing
involved

Automation Development of robots to
automate processes.

Businesses

No testing
involved

User profiling through Edge-AI
The PoC in place aims to update and
correct customer data asking the APP
users to do so in the best moment to
engage with them. The solution has the
potential to generate revenue through
personalized marketing campaigns, reduce underwriting expenses while enhancing the relationship with customers.

Individuals

PoC

Visionaries777, ltd. has developed an
SDK with an immersive experience, fully
customizable and the first in the insurance world that combines, augmented
reality, video and outsystems. The partnership provided a:
– Fully controlled process, with step-by
-step interactive follow-up and constant feedback;
– Efficiency gains with mitigation of
fraud, digital self-service and immediate result by integrating the video
with computer vision algorithms to
detect damages for an immediate
response of process result.

Individuals,
Businesses

PoC

Innovation trough collaboration

59

COLLABORATION CASE STUDY

COLLABORATION CASE STUDY

Black Ink
Tech & Yoonik

Novobanco

Linking the online and in-person worlds
while prioritizing truth and transparency
in every transaction
About Yoonik
YooniK provides decentralized face authentication
that doesn’t require the verifier or any company to
have access or control any biometric information of
the user. This enables private hands-free authentication, unlocking a vision where users can authenticate with any kind of credential to any device with
a simple look and in full privacy.
Our solutions enable businesses to verify any customer credentials — identity documents, loyalty numbers, payment methods — in a frictionless handsfree
experience, with personal identifiable information
protection that goes well-beyond GDPR, and an extra security layer using four-factor authentication.
Transparency in all business transaction
Founded in 2019, Black Ink Tech produces end-toend immutability which reduces or eliminates friction
to increase efficiency and allows for full transparency. Initially starting in construction, the company has
expanded its product offering of digital asset creation vastly, to reach to every industry and market.

team, and players associated with the memorabilia, creating a transparent, autonomous, recurring
residual income stream.

Implement a fast track for internal
innovation, focuced on product testing
1. Board Vision
& Commitment

2. Organization
Engagement

Hackathon
Bringing all stakeholders together

Convenience and security in the NFT marketplace
Black Ink Tech was already using Auth0 for login and
authentication but needed an effective two-factor authentication system that met the company’s philosophy of giving users transparency and accountability
for daily operations. Furthermore, since the Black Ink
Tech platform users share credentials across all the
company’s products, proof of identity is crucial for
making the experience seamless and highly secure.
Black Ink Tech uses YooniK’s solution for Sportafi to
bring an extra layer of security and convenience to
the NFT marketplace — for both creators and buyers. With YooniK’s solution deployed on their technology, Sportafi users’ identity is verified, keeping
the experience seamless and highly secure.

The Innovation lab collected more than 50 applications of potential ideas and selected 10 for the
hackathon. The objective of executing an hackathon for internal teams is to bring different teams
together and concentrate specialists and decision
makers that can validate the idea.
During the 12 hour workshop, teams worked across
areas, with clients, partners and startups to propose a final proof of concept to be approved.
The process resulted in three ready to test ideas
and other that were channeled to other roadmaps.

– Plug and play
Simple and scalable solution that integrates in
minutes on any platform or device.
– Private
Decentralized zero-knowledge privacy that provides companies with the peace of mind of full
privacy compliance.
– Secure
Top-tier accuracy certified by NIST with robust
anti-spoofing technology that decrease security
risks and fraud.

60

Industry Overview

4. PMO to
Implementation

RESULTS
Pilot for non financial offering
Novobanco is going to test a new non financial offering, answering new consumer behavior trends.
The project is ready to be tested and counts with
external partners and the engagement of distinct
internal areas.
Data driven interaction with clients
Study a new way of interacting with clients, focusing on establishing a positive relationship and empathy along the process. The project raised awareness to a dimension of interaction and prepared a
test to sustain the impact.
Going full digital on traditional processes
The team challenged traditional processes, studying how new technologies can replace traditional
processes, especially how this change will impact
consumer trust and confidence.

Three distinguishing factors in YooniK solution that
enable Black Ink Tech’s vision:

Operating on the Black Ink Tech platform, Sportafi
is able to create NFTs of physical sports memorabilia items through metadata. Enthusiasts can pair
physical memorabilia items such as cards, balls,
jerseys, and more with an NFT that is held in their
digital wallets. The NFTs data contains ownership
and asset location history along with the associated transactions and event data, and over time
the value will change while continuing to confirm
its authenticity. The Sportafi platform also uses
smart contracts which can automatically compensate identified stakeholders including the league,

3. Application
& Hackathon

Bruno Jivan, Head of Digital Planning & Innovation

João Dias, Chief Digital Officer

Partnering-up with Fintech Solutions for the first
edition of our Innovation and Talent Lab was a
highlight of the program for all stakeholders: not
only through the benefits brought by the in-depth
access to the fintech ecosystem, but also due to
the team drive and the creative energy infused
along all the innovation process.

novobanco’s first Innovation and Talent Lab was
such a positive and surprising experience – not
only it generated an impressive amount of energy
amongst our best talent, it also generated concrete
innovation opportunities with credible potential impact. Fintech Solutions were, no doubt, the right
partner in this success. Its methodologies, people
and ecosystem added tremendous value to our internal innovation practice.
Innovation trough collaboration

61

COLLABORATION CASE STUDY

Our roadmap related with Open Banking is:

Cofidis
& Tink

NEXT
– Deploy the automated KYC journey with Open
Banking for other digital products;
– Help improve our customers’ financial wellness
by automatically grouping and categorising their
expenses via Automated Financial Check Ups.

Automated KYC and Risk
management with Open Banking

2022 was the year that Cofidis Portugal started to
roll out pilots with Open Banking to discover if we
could solve user and business problems, prioritizing
the following outcomes:
– Instant credit decision for the user applying for
a credit loan via the website;
– Replace the mandatory payslip with Open Banking for small credit amounts (below 7.050€);
– Collect anonymous data points to create better
risk algorithms.
Cofidis Website.

62

The process that we applied is based in our Product
Innovation Framework and followed the steps:
– Started with a Discovery phase, where a Cofidis Product Trio (Product Manager, Product Designer and a Tech Lead) did User Research;
– The trio ran a Design Sprint for the use case selected, involving all the relevant stakeholders Legal, Risk, Risk Management, DPO, and the IT
with the goal of ideating a couple of solutions;
– With the results a prototyped was built to perform user tests and learn what could be improved or if we discovered any blocks to the
solution adoption;
– A Proof of Concept was built in partnership with
our open banking provider Tink;
– A live PoC was tested with internal users to
gather feedback and start to collect anonymous
data points;
– The PoC evolved to a MVP that is being deployed in a automated KYC journey, combining
Chave Móvel Digital and Open Banking, in the
Cofidis Website.

Industry Overview

NOW
– Automated KYC journey with Open Banking for
instant credit decision when a user applies for
a credit loan via the website;
– Collect and analyze anonymous data points to
create better risk algorithms and help Cofidis to
build better products to our customers;
– Continue to improve Cofidis analytics engine
with Tink’s Risk Decisioning solutions in Portugal.

João de Freitas,
Digital Products and Value Creation,
Executive Board Member at Cofidis Group
“Open Banking is a driving force in transforming
financial services as we know it. It will help companies transform both their processes and user
experience, design value-adding services for customers and catalyze data standardization for the
Open Economy. Our partnership with Tink is highly
strategic for the future of Cofidis”.

Bimal Melwani,
Senior Account Manager at Tink.
“Our successful partnership with Cofidis is a testament to their commitment to digitally transform and
innovate the lending sector in Portugal. Tink’s risk
products enable Cofidis to obtain a deeper understanding of their customers’ financial needs, and
deliver an instant credit decision. I look forward to
continuing to grow our partnership even further in
the future”.

About Cofidis Portugal
Cofidis Portugal was founded in Portugal in 1996, .
Since then, it has been a leader in financial solutions
for consumers. Today, it counts with more than
500.000 customers in a sustainable and personalized relationship. Cofidis’ mission is to improved the
quality of life for our customers, contributing to improving the quality of life of our customers, through
the development and management of credit products portfolio. We seek to offer the best and most
appropriate solution to satisfy the needs and fulfill
the aspirations of each our customers.

About Tink
Tink is Europe’s leading open banking platform that
enables banks, fintechs and startups to develop data-driven financial services. Through one API, Tink
allows customers to access aggregated financial
data, initiate payments, enrich transactions, verify
account ownership and build personal finance management tools. Tink connects to more than 3,400
banks that reach over 250 million bank customers
across Europe. Founded in 2012 in Stockholm, Tink
became a wholly owned subsidiary of Visa in 2022.
Tink’s 500 employees serve more than 300 banks
and fintechs in 18 European markets, out of offices
in 13 countries. For more information, visit tink.com.
Innovation trough collaboration

63

Trends of 2022 & 2023
18
25
36
44
56
64

Ecosystem Snapshot
Capital & Investment
Talent / What fintechs are made of
Where regulation meets innovation
Innovation through collaboration
Trends of 2022 & 2023

Open Banking
/
Where we are and
what’s on the
road ahead
Eva Ruiz,
Head Of Fintech At Visa In Southern Europe

As the ecosystems grows in volume and diversity, selecting 6 trends for the fintech ecosystem be-comes
a challenge. This year’s selection focus on elements
that are shaping the fintech ecosystem from the
outside and bringing new opportunities to startups.
Since PSD2 went ‘live’ Open Banking ePayments
(OBeP) are now one of the fastest-growing payment
methods in EMEA. From a regulatory perspective,
ESG agenda is becoming grounded in taxonomy and

CBDC regulation start-ed presenting initial results
and POCs. From a market perspective, the pressure
to offer the 10-star UX pressures players to create
innovative journeys that are still safe and hence cybersecurity and em-bedded finance are opportunities to explore. Lastly, after a year of uncertainty
on the VC side, the eco-system is now more mature
and robust, opening new alleys for investment.

The trends of 2022 & 2023 are:
1.Open Banking
2.Startup Fundraising
3.Embedded Finance
4.Cybersecurity
5.ESG
6.CBDC
64

What are the main benefits that Open Banking
can bring to the whole ecosystem?
At Visa, we believe Open Banking has the power to
extend financial products to consumers and small
businesses around the world. It can provide access
to those who have previously been excluded from
the financial ecosystem, and present new options
and open new doors for those who haven’t found
all they need from traditional banking services.
A foundational element of open banking is that it
empowers consumers and helps them take ownership of their financial data. They can choose whether to share their data and, perhaps for the first time,
gather the data they have in different accounts
and platforms in one place. This gives them more
control over their financial lives – enabling them to
make decisions about how they want to pay, save,
borrow and plan for their financial futures.

nesses are able to upload banking transactional
data to accounting software – reconciling their invoices and bills and better assess their cash flows
and profits. It removes some of the complexity of
the finance of running a business – allowing a business-owner to focus on what they love.
Meanwhile, as consumers move to a more “digital”
world – Open Banking helps to remove friction. By
removing the need to type in short codes and IBANs and send micro-deposits to prove who you are
it removes some of the barriers to banking – creating more movement in an increasingly mobile world.
How can organizations improve to accelerate
adoption of Open Banking?

For small business-owners, open banking allows
them to provide a view of their bank account to a
lender – helping them to prove that they are trustworthy and secure funding for their business.

Our wider experience shows us that, when consumers know they are participating in a clear value
exchange, consumers and small businesses alike
will routinely provide access to their data. To register for airport Wi-Fi, for example, or get the results
from a price comparison site, or download a whitepaper from LinkedIn, we know that people, in their
droves, will make the trade.

Much as Open Banking helps consumers to aggregate and organise their financial data, small busi-

Experience with open banking has also demonstrated that, when the value is compelling and the
Trends of 2022 & 2023

65

trade is clear, the impact can be transformative,
fostering competition and innovation. For a small
business, when using a cloud-based accounting
platform, hours of tedium can be avoided by channeling data directly from your bank account to your
books. Similarly, with some new buy now pay later
solutions, credit decisioning can be simple, immediate, and non-intrusive. And, with the new generation of financial management services, adopting
better financial habits can suddenly become simple,
desirable, and even fun.
Consumers and small businesses alike can benefit
from the value these services bring, combined with
the pain-free delivery of that value and the backing
of a trusted brand. If these three components are
present – the clear value, plus the pain-free delivery, plus the trusted brand – success is more likely
to follow.
By delivering the type of value that can be unlocked
with open banking (and, in truth, we are only just
scratching at the surface), we also set the example,
lay the groundwork, and establish the appetite to
go progressively further – into open finance and,
ultimately, into open data economies.
How will Open Finance impact the fintech ecosystem?
For us, collaboration is part of our DNA. We believe
that this is the only way to develop and implement
the most innovative technology in the payments
sector and to respond to the new demands (especially digital) of consumers, merchants, and governments.
From our point of view, it is fundamental to ensure
competition between small startups / fintechs and
large incumbents / banks to develop the continuous innovation that Open Banking and Open Finance requires. We believe that Open Banking has
highlighted the need for each other. That is, incumbents need the agility of Fintechs and to be able to
give agile answers to new challenges. And Fintechs
need the customer base, brand, and reputation of
traditional banks.
Visa, being in a privileged position as the center of
the payments system, acts as an enabler of this
collaboration between the two worlds. We will
therefore continue to work to make personalized
products and services available to consumers from
both Fintechs and banks, based on Visa’s innovation and the analytical capabilities of our network.

– A recent example is our partnership with US
neobank First Boulevard. This is a pilot project
whereby First Boulevard will be the first to test
Visa’s new set of crypto APIs, which will enable
its customers to buy, hold and exchange digital
assets held by Anchorage, a digital asset bank.
– WhatsApp Pay in Brazil. In partnership with Visa,
Facebook has launched a new payment feature on WhatsApp in Brazil. WhatsApp users in
the country can now send and receive money
quickly and securely to family, friends, and small
businesses.
VISA has acquired Tink, a clear bet in open banking. What is the vision of VISA on the most interesting use cases to explore in 2022 and beyond?
Financial services in Europe are rapidly evolving,
giving consumers more choice in how and where
they share their financial data. In Tink, we have
found a strong partner with whom we can help accelerate innovation in open banking for the benefit
of our collective clients and the citizens of the U.K.
and the E.U.
By bringing together Visa’s network of networks
and Tink’s open banking capabilities we plan to enable our clients to deliver increased value to European consumers and businesses with tools to make
their financial lives more simple, reliable, and secure.
Another priority for us, and in line with the above,
is to respond to the growing popularity of digital
currencies and the crypto world. At Visa we are in
a unique position, thanks to our global presence,
partnerships and the value and trust of our brand,
to promote digital currencies as secure and applicable to different payment use cases.
Use cases are proliferating and the best examples
we are seeing from leading providers is incremental use cases.
– Get on board – removing manual and clunky
processes – better for consumer, better for you.
– Providing consumer with more information – aggregated account experiences in the past often
have been difficult to use and didn’t add value
– today you can put all that together and put a
carbon score against it. Set rules against how
you want to spend it. That’s important in a world
where payments become more invisible.
– Use this to improve costs and operational efficiency as well as delight customers.

Proofpoint:

There’s been too much focus on what open banking is – it’s the engine of the car. If you bring expe-

66

Industry Overview

riences people love and give them control and empower them to make decisions. Most major banks
across Europe are actively experimenting with
open banking use cases.
What are still the main challenges for Open Banking adoption by mature players?
Despite its promise, some believe that Open Banking has yet to shake up the European banking industry as much as it could. But great changes take
time. Banks and financial service providers are little
by little embracing open banking to add value for
their customers – to smooth and improve the user
journey and make their bank account work for them:
– Onboard customers and aggregate accounts
– Understand spending habits and priorities to
tailor financial products and services Offer fair
access to credit at micro and macro levels
– Enable simple onboarding to other services
through their bank accounts
However, we are aware that there are still some
barriers to Open Banking acceleration:
– Resilience: In this always-on digital world, our
expectation is that services always work. This
means that Open Banking products – and specifically the APIs that enable them – must be resilient and continuously available. If they aren’t,
consumers and SMBs may abandon these services – viewing them as unreliable.
– Customer experience: And in this digital world,
where consumers have multiple devices and
platforms at their fingertips, it is not enough for
open products and services to “work” – they
must be instinctive to use, engaging and quick.
– Trust: Finally, when consumers engage with
products and services that leverage open banking they must make a choice to share their financial data with a (perhaps unknown) third-party.
They will only do so if they trust that their data
is safe and that their data is being used responsibly. Certainly, open banking could present an
increased risk of fraud if consumer data is held
by firms with poor system security.

While open banking has been lauded as a success
there is still tremendous potential to be unlocked.
Open Finance builds upon the foundations of Open
Banking with the potential to address the challenges and shortcoming of the existing framework, allowing for the full use of the benefits of enhanced
data sharing in the financial services as long as they
are safe and don’t expose customers to any data
privacy, financial, or cyber risk.
Open Finance will unleash the development of numerous new businesses and services increasing
the complexity of the current Open Banking ecosystem, making it increasingly necessary to address the challenges to ensure data security and
data privacy while managing new permissions and
levels of access. Data controls are one way to address that complexity. The development of APIs
and premium APIs can play a crucial rule to help
people connect their accounts across thousands of
financial services providers and to have full control
over the financial data and the ability to choose to
share it with their personal digital finance tools.
Financial firms must be given not only the legal
clarity necessary to develop new businesses and
services but also both clear strategic and commercial benefit and have confidence of a stable and secure legal and regulatory environment around data
sharing, to invest and develop new products.

What is your vision on the PSD3 and what impact
we should expect?
As Visa, we believe that the future of payments
and retail financial services at large is open. There
is a clear, global shift towards open banking, open
finance and open data. However, it is still early days
for open banking in Europe with limited uptake of
open banking account information services.

Trends of 2022 & 2023

67

Investment
/
A new chapter in
VC Funding

It is undeniable that the economic uncertainty on
the market downturn is already having effects
on VC fundraising. From a VC perspective what
changes do you foresee in the funding market?
In a nutshell there are two things that I see changing, (1) lower valuations and (2) founders
being asked to raise money for an at least 18-24
months runway.
Macro economic concerns and the reset of Venture
Capitalist’s expectation has a downstream effect
on founders who are now asked to be much more
focused on keeping burn rate low and work on sustainable growth in opposition to what we had seen
in the last few years where the motto was growth
at any cost.
For VCs with funds available to deploy, I think this
time presents a great opportunity as we will see
deals closing at a discount which means greater returns in the long run.

nomic downturn where capital is more expensive
and scarcer. These are times where war time CEOs
tend to do better than peacetime CEOs.
Do you identify any verticals like blockchain, crypto and cybersecurity that continue to see interest
from investors? Why is That?
The fundamentals of the technology and its potential for disruption is unchanged. I think we will see
an increase in the quality of companies and founders in these verticals as a consequence of the crypto winter market washout and more regulation clarity – I think that is good news for everyone investing
in the space.
What advice would you give to a startup struggling to get investment during this period?

Focus on your users and customers, solve important/urgent problems for them and everything
else will follow. I would also stress that execution
excellence is paramount, more so during an eco-

Again, focus on your users, your customers and the
rest will follow. Founders with ambitious vision and
great execution track record will always be able to
raise money despite the economic cycle.
I would also encourage founders struggling to keep
the company afloat to explore alternative forms
of financing, there are plenty of great businesses
that were built from the ground up without any VC
money, success comes in a pallet of colours, you

68

Industry Overview

What would you recommend to founders trying
to grow during a down economy?

João Menano,
Product leader at Google &
Venture Partner at Startup Ventures

need to find the one that works best for your company and stakeholders – VC money might not be
the best option for all tech founders.
I would also encourage founders to think about exit
options. Are there any potential acquirers which
might be a good fit in terms of culture, complementary skills and capabilities that are needed to
scale faster? What would an early exit mean to users/customers, employees and investors? Founders that are truly motivated to drive impact and to
solve big problems will more easily find allies that
can help them achieve their vision.
Are there different ways to raise capital founders
should be looking at?
There are many ways to fund growth and Venture
Capital is not always the right answer. For some
businesses private equity is the right answer, for
some others borrowing money from banks. It is all
about what the founders need to grow the business and usually capital is just a small part of the
story. Venture Capital money is best for companies
that enjoy massive economies of scale (e.g. software), but remember, tech valuations come with
expectations of constant high growth. Is that a
good fit for you and your company?

If yes, founders should look for VCs that ultimately
have expertise, know-how or access that is critical
to the success of the business. If not, then founders
should ask themselves: what do we need to accelerate growth besides money (e.g. expertise, knowhow, distribution, etc)? Which partners are better
equipped to help us in those areas? Button-line
is, founders should look for partners that fit their
needs and ambition.
From your experience as founder, did you experience market recessions while raising capital? How
did you manage it and what do you wish someone
would have told you at that time?
I’ve never raised money during a downturn, but
I can say raising money wasn’t always easy. In
CrowdProcess/James.Finance’s particular case
that was mainly because of the two pivots we did
before finding product market fit. We were fortunate enough to have BA and VCs that believed in
us (the founders) and backed us through thick and
thin. My advice to founders starting a business for
the first time is to find people that deeply believe
and trust them. In a way it’s like marriage, you want
someone to be there in sickness and in health, so
be wise, choose carefully.

Trends of 2022 & 2023

69

Embedded Finance
/
Customer’s appetite
for integrated
experiences
Congratulations on your launch in PT! How open
do you think the Portuguese companies are to integrate experiences on their current infrastructure?
At Weavr’s launch event in Portugal, we asked: “How
likely are you to embed finance into your product
over the next 12-months?” Over 60% answered
with at least “likely” and 35% “very likely”. The data
speaks volumes – there’s a clear appetite in Portugal
for embedded finance.
Portugal is seen as a startup hub for companies and
investors alike. News articles have put the country
at the epicentre of innovation and investment, with
Lisbon being voted the 4th most popular destination to start a business.
Embedding financial products into user experiences
adds value to end users who consume them and provides a straight-forward way for businesses to multiply revenue from the financial features. It’s a win-win.
We believe the Portuguese market is ripe to adopt
new embedded-finance technologies and will continue to help businesses thrive across the country.
What are the main issues of businesses when they
reach out to Weavr, and how do you solve them?

ing on the responsibility to ensure compliance with
financial regulations, sourcing and contracting with
third parties, introducing new support processes
that deal with sensitive customer data and more. It
can seem like the investment needed to become a
bank – it comes with a corresponding level of oversight, and taking on new levels of risk and responsibilities that board directors might be reluctant to
accept. Hence, the traditional way to deploy financial services – “Banking as a Service” (Baas) – is far
from a palatable solution for most.
Contrastingly, Weavr provides a simple plug-andplay solution that removes the complexity – all of
the requirements are built into our product and include the specialist supporting processes provided by Weavr in the background. Hence, a digital
business embedding finance through Weavr only
needs on average 5 weeks to launch – and a fraction of the cost of BaaS.
Is there a type of business that is more challenging to convert to embedded finance? Why?

To date, offering financial services has presented
a number of insurmountable challenges for digital
businesses. Offering financial services requires tak-

Embedded finance is primarily intended for digital
businesses. Hence, if you’re not digital, it’s unlikely
to be for you. In addition, embedded finance is unlikely to be a good fit with software businesses that
do not involve activities that enable or result in financial activity at some point in the customer journey

70

Industry Overview

Joaquim Marques,
Commercial Director at Weavr

– such as those that focus on providing simple productivity tools. That leaves plenty of opportunities:
for any software or online business that deals with
a human or business activity that eventually results
in a financial transaction, embedded finance is relevant. As the barriers to entry drop, we’ll see greater
democratisation of access to embedded finance.
Is embedded finance suitable for all levels of maturity? What is the level of maturity that is more
likely to embrace integration?
Yes. However, the rigidities in the embedded-finance
market have resulted in clear discrimination of access in favour of companies that are ready and able
to spend millions of euros to contract with banking
and financial technology partners, build embedded
finance integrations, and take on the complexity and
staff to manage financial processes. For small-to-medium businesses, that’s not an option.
That’s changing with the advent of simpler solutions,
such as Weavr. Since launch, digital disruptors have
been among the first to adopt embedded finance given their digital nature and need to launch quickly. But,
more and more often, we are partnering with established businesses and corporations that understand
how embedded finance can help them gain competitive advantage and find new routes to high growth.

Which will be the embedded finance trends of 2023?
There are a number of key trends expected for 2023:
1. Greater regulation: the BaaS model, which is being enthusiastically embraced by many banks,
even large ones, will come under increasing
scrutiny. It is very hard for a bank to provide
effective oversight when its interactions with
customers are limited to the data exchanged
via APIs, and where the customer interactions
are largely or wholly controlled by the fintech or
programme manager.
2. Growing feature parity with ‘normal’ banking:
the embedded finance industry extends to any
financial service – from payments to lending and
buy-now-pay-later. As the depth and breadth
of what can be offered by non-banks increases,
we see ‘feature parity’ with banks getting closer.
3. Drive for simplicity. In the journey of adoption of
embedded finance the reduction of complexity is
going to be key. Companies want the benefits of
embedded finance, but not the hassle. Providers
that can make the adoption of embedded finance
as simple as adding checkout pages to your website are going to very much be the winners.

Trends of 2022 & 2023

71

Cybersecurity
/
From reactive
to proactive posture
What is changing in web3 cybersecurity
and what to expect in this times ahead
Dyma Budorin,
Co-Founder & CEO at Hacken
and Andrii Matiukhin,
CTO at Hacken, respectively

First things first. What exactly is cybersecurity? In
simple terms, security means protecting any value
from threats.
Security = Protecting value from threats
There are only two variables in the equation security:
value and threat.
Value is crucial for understanding the need for cybersecurity as users want to protect their digital
assets. The total value of the entire crypto market
is around $1 trillion. While this figure tends to fluctuate depending on the price of key cryptocurrencies, the focal point is that the crypto industry has
amassed a very considerable value throughout the
years. Investors, businesses, and just regular people put anywhere between a few bucks to entire
life savings in crypto assets. In all cases, they don’t
want to lose their stake.
Despite the ubiquitous desire to avoid any losses
due to cybersecurity weaknesses, people still lose
money. The amount of stolen funds in crypto rises
every year because the total pool is increasing. But
who is losing money the most?
It turns out that the biggest players in crypto, such
as centralized crypto exchanges and large and established blockchains, don’t lose money to scammers and hackers anymore because they adopt
robust cybersecurity measures. As a result, most
cyberattacks target decentralized finance, the
so-called DeFi protocols as implementing impenetrable layers of security is much harder when all
your systems are scattered across dozens of onchain entities. At the same time, they are lucrative
targets for hackers as the decentralized segment
shows the largest growth in terms of the processed
transaction value.

For example, the hacker detects a logical error in a
smart contract function and creates specific conditions for exploiting the error to steal funds. Exploits
are common in crypto because deciding who’s in
control of what boils down to the automatic execution of a computer code. Poor quality of code
brings more risks of errors and thus more threats.
Scams, on the other hand, are efforts to trick users
into giving away their funds. For example, phishing scams operate fake websites to deceive unsuspecting users into authorizing transactions bound
for malicious addresses. Both exploits and scams
have dozens of variations, so protecting against
them is not that simple, but there’s no other way
around it.
As a cybersecurity company, Hacken protects digital assets owned or controlled by crypto companies from hackers and scammers who want to steal
them. Hacken reviews and fixes weaknesses in
smart contracts and blockchain protocols, assesses the trustworthiness of crypto projects, and provides community with security best practices and
education. According to Andrii Matiukhin, Hacken’s
CTO, “Blockchain protocols are the foundation of
Web3, and vulnerabilities in them can result in dozens of projects being exploited by bad actors.”
That’s why securing blockchain protocols is the ongoing and necessary step of Web3 evolution. Due
to enormous monetary and reputational losses of
the lagging cybersecurity, the market will only favor
those crypto projects that protect their users’ value
from threats.

The vast majority of DeFi projects are startups
lacking professional expertise and internal resources for dealing with complex threats. The most
successful startups adapt to this environment by
compensating for their innate lack of security resources/expertise with open-source libraries and
best development practices. But even these measures are not enough as hackers always find their
way. Indeed, according to Dyma Budorin, Hacken’s
Co-Founder and CEO, “A new type of attack can
be developed any time, and nothing can protect
you from this.”
There are two basic types of threats: exploits and
scams. Exploits are those threats where the attacker takes advantage of a weakness in software.
72

Industry Overview

Trends of 2022 & 2023

73

ESG
/
Clarity ahead as the
dust settles

categorize the degree of sustainability for each investment product and, depending on the level of
commitment advertised, the reporting obligations
increase accordingly.
This new sustainability infrastructure is poised to
dramatically change the investment landscape in
respect to environmental concerns.
The EU recently published the results of the survey on climate stress testing frameworks. What
do you think is slowing down adoption of these
methodologies by the banking system?
The amount of new legislation can be regarded as
overwhelming, but I widely expect the banking system to catch up quickly within the next months.
As a consequence of ESG regulations, what do
you think is going to change regarding how retail
consumers and SMEs engage with banks?
The regulatory changes primarily aim to drive and
channel more funds towards sustainable projects
and investments. As such, it is widely expected that
the embedded incentives will change the way economic participants position themselves in relation
to new sustainability concerns.

Carlos Eduardo Martins,
Sustainable Finance Expert

What were the main ESG related regulatory developments of 2022?

How have these developments brought clarity
over ESG obligations to the financial ecosystem?

ESG considerations and integration into business
models and decisions have increased significantly
over the last three years. While the majority has
been done within a strict regulatory framework,
recent attempts to increase transparency, comparability and, ultimately, reduce greenwashing risks
has changed that approach.

The EU taxonomy classification is designed to enhance financial products’ transparency and comparability for investors. By deploying a framework
that allows for full comparable measurement of
sustainability in economic activities, investors will
be able to make better informed choices, notably
between the percentage of taxonomy alignment
among their available investment products.

Companies and organizations now face increased
non-financial reporting and disclosure obligations
that are piling up in tandem with the speedy release of new regulations. For example, existing
rules, such as the Sustainable Finance Disclosure
Regulation and Non-financial Reporting Directive,
will enlarge their scope in light of the new Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive requiring all
large companies and companies listed on regulated markets to publish regular reports on their environmental and social impact activities.
But the key regulatory development this year, the
release of EU taxonomy regulation, will dramatically change the approach to sustainability by most
organizations and have a significant impact on the
future.
74

Each investment product will have to list its taxonomy alignment with the six environmental objectives
presented by the European Commission. To make
that measurement possible, the regulation forces
companies to measure the capital expenditure, operational expenditure, and turnover for each economic activity against those objectives, using the
Taxonomy-defined Technical Screening Criteria.
To achieve alignment, none of the proposed eligible economic activities can do “significant harm”
to any of the other environmental objectives and
must pass the minimum safeguard criteria.
Once each company reports on its taxonomy alignment, it is possible to compute the taxonomy alignment of any investment fund. Companies then must
Industry Overview

More specifically, as credit institutions face non-financial reporting disclosure obligations, it is expected (and probably intended) that loans to either
consumers or to SMEs evolve towards higher sustainability concerns. As those loans will be measured at the light of the taxonomy criteria in the
banks´ balance sheets, there is an embedded incentive for credit institutions to prioritize loans with
the highest level of alignment with the taxonomy’s
environmental objectives.
Ultimately, as markets adjust, loans that target
greener projects may enjoy lower financing costs.

The current European economic context is not
without challenges, as the current inflationary environment represents a danger to growth. The financial system must retain a good level of robustness
while keeping an open mind for innovation.
If Portuguese economic players don’t lag in implementing and assimilating the newly created regulation and embrace the opportunities presented by
sustainability considerations, then Portugal will be
particularly well-positioned to harvest the benefits
of the growth potential stemming from projects
combining sustainability and innovation.
How do you think ESG can be an opportunity for
fintech start-ups?
I would say, rather, that fintech start-ups are essential for successful ESG implementation. Sustainability considerations require considerable changes and
upgrades in most organizations, both in technological and cultural terms. Fintech start-ups bring both.
As sustainability-related reporting must be published in machine-readable format, a large amount
of workable data will be available for use, and even
better processed, by artificial intelligence. Similarly,
taxonomy alignment and other relevant disclosures
will feed databases for ESG rating agencies and
similar entities. The integration of blockchain-based
contracts into sustainable financial products is being
seriously considered and may gain renewed traction in the future, particularly for use-of-proceeds
bonds (which includes the known green and social
bonds), for sustainability-linked products (through
KPIs), but also eventually for covered bonds (which
are increasingly issued as social bonds).
Ultimately, the increasing need for innovation and
data from all players is an incredible opportunity for
the dynamic fintech landscape.

How does Portugal compare to Europe and what
are the specific challenges of our financial system?
The changes in sustainability-related regulation, and
sustainability concerns in general, must be regarded as a great opportunity, rather than a challenge.
Portugal has shown in recent years its extraordinary potential regarding start-ups and fintechs,
increasingly becoming an important international
hub for entrepreneurs and digital nomads, seeking
favourable business conditions, infrastructure and,
of course, a great place to live.

Trends of 2022 & 2023

75

CBDC and a
cashless society
José Alexandre Correia,
IT Advisory Partner at KPMG Portugal

The CBDC’s will be an add on for the banking system to use, to leverage, to bundle, to create new
products for clients. For instance, companies with
branches in Europe and outside of Europe must
transfer money regularly. Currently this system
goes through a company called Swift. CBDC’s can
guarantee that there is a digital way to validate
information through the banking system and ECB,
which should lower commissions and deliver better
services to the end clients. There is great potential
on how CBDCs can innovate, increase efficiency,
and bring new products to the banking systems.

What kind of pilots and test are being executed
to test this interoperability and usability of CBDC?
The following examples show how countries are
testing different structures and technologies to
benefit from CBDC’s and digital currencies.

What are the advantages of the digital euro?
Portugal is still not a full cashless society but there
has been a great success on the use of SIBS, namely using their latest innovation with MB Way, that
allows direct money transfers between individuals,
digitally and wire transfers across Europe using the
SEPA agreement.
Nevertheless, CBDC’s will prevail as society will continue to move towards a cashless system, as it has
already happened in the UK. When we reach out
to this vision, some of the political decisions around
Europe can be implemented using the digital euro
rails. And the second change will then be related to
the cross-border transfers, mainly outside Europe.

One of the main concerns is of cyber risks, because
at the end of the day, even though there is an increase in the implementation of technical security, most of the risks are related to social risks. For
that reason, there is a lot of education around do’s
and don’ts for the end consumer. Hence, to ensure
safeguards on these risks there is great effort to be
done on the technical side.
The second risk for Europe is privacy. Europeans
value their privacy and to spend money wherever
they want. At the moment there’s a lot of discussion on the digital legacy, and the digital data trail
consumers leave behind, while using several technologies and social media sites. Hence, CBDCs design should ensure that privacy is accommodated
to create trust.

On the other hand, the question of privacy in the
transactions will be intensified, such as a wholesale
system where the central bank issues currency, but
the bank network does the last mile to the clients.
Around trade finance and international markets, the
solution can be a new form of digital rails to keep
the business that we already do today, but with a
stronger process around security, traceability, and
anti-money laundering.

Finally, currently the digital euro has not yet been
created. However, on the crypto side, there are tokens, that can act as coins. There is of course the
need to ensure that if a corporation or end user
is looking at the digital euro it should be backed
by the European Central Bank and the European
Commission to say that it has value and guarantee
trustworthiness.

The implementation of a CBDC in Europe is a long
process. What are the main decision and risks still
to be considered and decided?

The digital euro can only be successful if it is used
by Europeans in their daily life. How would the
adoption of the digital euro look like?

76

Industry Overview

Firstly, there is the example of China using EU yuan.
China has already given away millions of dollars’
worth of the digital currency in real-world trials in
a number of cities including Shenzhen, Chengdu
and Suzhou. These involve the local government
handing out a certain amount of yuan via a lottery.
Users usually download a separate app to receive
the currency.
More specifically, China is using non fungible money by defining on where the money can be spent
or not, for example food, education, or the dentist.
Other examples are in the Marshall Islands and the
Bahamas with the Sand Dollar. These use cases are
called CBDCs but are basically a digital version of
the electronic cash that exists.

How do you think Portugal is positioning itself in
this process?
The Web Summit is a good example of attracting innovation and talent to the country and being open
to try new things. The worldwide technology conference, where KPMG is one of the founding sponsors back in Dublin when it started, was brought to
Lisbon by our current Prime Minister António Costa
when he was the Mayor of the city. Other examples
of innovation are Via Verde or Multibanco, but besides these cases, there is a policy on innovation
with different politics, the creation of Technological Free Zones (ZLT), which are physical spaces
for the testing and demonstration of new technologies and innovations, under special legislation and
controlled by regulatory entities and on the crypto
side, the Portuguese Central Bank (BdP) is already
issuing digital assets, licensing to several organizations.
In addition, Portugal has a very innovative financial
system. For example, checks are not common anymore in Portugal, whereas in France or the US people still use it and most of the transactions in the
country are through SIBS and SEPA, the European protocol. On the regulator side, the Portuguese
Central Bank is open to understand and work with
the market through programs such as Portugal FinLab. Finally, I would give some advice for FinTechs
who are starting today. Don’t wait to understand
every article. Start today. Work with the regulators,
work with the ecosystems to comprehend the concerns and try to add value on the actual law that
will be written beyond the discussion. If you make
part of the discussion, it will make your life easier
so that the concerns are addressed at the end.

In France the central bank is working with a technology provider, in this case IBM, to create a blockchain that acts as a digital ledger to support some
of the transactions for corporate banks. In another case it was a unit from Société Générale. The
bank issued bonds and supported them with a loan
from the DeFi platform MakerDAO using a stablecoin named DAI. This was performed outside the
regular ECB and France’s Central Bank Rails. Société Générale issued €40 million of covered bonds
as security tokens directly registered on a public
blockchain. These Tokens were fully subscribed by
Société Générale which simultaneously paid the issuer in a digital form of euros issued by Banque
de France through a blockchain platform. The ones
who bought the bonds from Société Générale had
access to the blockchain. They could read that lead
digital ledger and the central bank was giving the
trustworthy support.
Trends of 2022 & 2023

77

CHAPTER

3

Fintech Ecosystem

84 Emerging Fintechs
91 Fintech Ecosystem
134 International Operating in Portugal

78

79

Anchorage Digital /
Portugal’s first
crypto unicorn
Diogo Mónica,
President of Anchorage Digital

Thank you. How is Anchorage responding to the
downturn in the crypto market? We’ve heard
you’re expanding your reach to Asia and also still
actively hiring, can you tell us more about this?
During crypto downturns, we’ve capitalized the
company well enough to last one cycle to the other
side without requiring strong capital. And this just
means that when we raised the $350,000,000 last
year, that money needed to be executed immediately. It gave us a buffer so we could last for many
years of downturn without having to do significant
changes in terms of plans. We are currently finishing our hiring up until the end of the year, and we
are expanding to Asia to then monitor the market,
analyze as the market comes back and strategically grow more in all corners of the world. Overall,
the strategy has been to create a buffer, last to the
other side, and have enough capitalization so we
don’t have to raise doing a town market.
And what is unique about Anchorage’s product?
How has this evolved throughout the years?
Anchorage has built something unique from a security perspective. It is very hard to build a solution
that can custody private keys that are worth tens
of billions, if not hundreds of billions of dollars.

The San Francisco company, founded by Diogo Mónica and Nathan McCauley, has achieved the status of
a company which is worth over €1Bn.

Our first question is, how does it feel to have reached
the status of ‘unicorn’ and especially, given that Anchorage is the first crypto unicorn in Portugal?

In its mission to make it safe and accessible for institutions to participate in the rapidly evolving digital asset space, Anchorage is the first crypto-native
company to receive a banking charter from the Office of the Comptroller (OCC) in January 2021 and
is the first ever unicorn in the crypto assets area of
Portuguese origin.

How does it feel? I don’t have an answer. The interesting thing here is that valuation is not really
the metric that we measure ourselves by. Unicorn
is evaluation. It’s just a recognition of the growth of
the business. I think the things that feel a lot better than being a unicorn is really the type of team,
how much customers love it. Those are the metrics that I measure myself by and that we measure
ourselves by. I think the valuation is just something
the unicorns’ people have attached themselves
to. Evaluation is something that is unique. It’s less
and less unique, as now during the downturn, more
and more unique again. We track ourselves by the
metrics that we care about, which is delighting our
customers and the team and the culture that we’ve
built. It’s an interesting milestone, like any other
milestone, like 100 people, like 400 people. They’re
all milestones and they’re all part of the path. But
the most interesting things are not the valuation,
they’re the product and the people.

80

Fintech Ecosystem

We have built it in a unique way, even though it’s
a very hard technical cybersecurity challenge. For
the past five years it has been battle-tested and
some of the largest companies in the world are
now using it.
Since day one, we’ve been able to push forward a
lot of the innovation, from a technology and security perspective, which is something I’m extremely
proud of.
Portugal is currently in a competitive advantage
from a fiscal point of view. However, there are
governmental plans to change that. What’s your
opinion on this?
I think Portugal has many competitive advantages. I
think no taxation for crypto is not that big of an advantage. It’s only an advantage for individuals since
companies and professionals still must pay taxes.
Overall, it’s mostly a marketing campaign than a
real advantage. It’s attractive and it’s putting Portugal on the map as crypto friendly. This is candidly
the way we should be continue writing that Portugal is crypto friendly and supporting businesses. It
has nothing to do with taxation itself.

In the United States it’s so hard to get visas, especially post Trump which means that all European
countries have been looking for a place to flock to.
Portugal has all the obvious ones. It’s the westernmost point of Europe, it has direct flights to San
Francisco and New York. It has a great location in
terms of weather, no natural events that are dangerous and as of 2021, the third safest country in
the world. It obviously has great culture, very high
penetration of English, incredibly high penetration of higher order education, and thus incredible engineers, incredible potential employees, and
potential entrepreneurs. If you tie all these things
together, you really have a great cocktail of talent, lifestyle, connectivity to the rest of the world
and infrastructure, which is extremely important to
have a perfect place to grow your startup and to
grow your company. And none of that has anything
to do with corporate taxation or taxation in general.
Yes, the tax burden should be low because low tax
burden means that people come, bet, and spend
more money, which in turn creates a higher GDP,
and ultimately creates more jobs. The most important thing is to for as long as possible, stay incredibly competitive. And it does not have to be zero
taxes or at the outline taxation of zero, but rather
extremely competitive.
Thank you. And the last question. Do you expect
to collaborate with the Portuguese fintech and
crypto community?
Yes, we love cooperating with the Portuguese ecosystem and community. Portugal is not actually
the biggest place from a client perspective for Anchorage. Most of our businesses are in the United
States and there are some businesses in Europe,
but the regulatory regime is unfriendly because it’s
piecemeal. By the time MiCA regulation comes to
place and gradually unifies the policy around Europe, we might think about coming in a more meaningful manner to Europe with a regulated entity. But
for now, Portugal continues to be where we have
product design, engineering, talent base, but not
really where we sell our products and where we’re
where we are part of the crypto community.

And what other advantage does Portugal have?
Fintech Ecosystem

81

Portuguese Fintech
&
TS
N
E
YM
A
P

Y
NE
MO

ERS
NSF
A
TR

LEN
DIN
G

Ecosystem

&C
RE
DI
T

EMENT & ESG
ANAG
HM
ALT
WE

FINTECH
ECOSYSTEM

Rauva
Algae
Flexty
Zaisan
Relocare
Finvex.tech

INSURTECH

SU

RT

EC

H

REA

TE
STA
E
L

REGTECH &
CYBERSECURITY
YData
Biometrid
Jscrambler
Loqr
Fraudio
Yoonik
Elucidate
Probely

PAYMENTS &
MONEY TRANSFERS

LENDING &
CREDIT

InvoiceXpress
Sway
Swood
Ubirider
Gofact
Easypay
If Then Pay
deGrazie
Eupago
Phoebus

hAPI
Raize
GoParity
Finsolutia
StudentFinance
Parcela Já
Querido Investi Numa Casa
Doutor Finanças
ZoomiMoney
Collector
Its Credit
ExxoTrade

BLOCKCHAIN
& CRYPTO

WEALTH
MANAGEMENT & ESG

Zharta
Utrust
Revault
Velvet Formula
ImpactMarket
Polkastarter
Uphold
Ubits
Earhart

Lynxai
nBanks
Reflora
Profidata
Art2Trading
Tagpeak
Finvex.tech

U RI
EC

RS

BE

CY
&

H
EC

GT
RE

IN

INTERNATIONAL
OPERATING IN PT

Lovys
Toolto
Visor.ai
Mudey
Think Future
Coverflex
Habit
lluni
Kooli
Uthere

TY

AIN & CRYPTO
BLOCKCH

EMERGING
FINTECHS

Arcopay
Sfera
Weavr
Unify Giving
Yapily
Coinscrap
Klarna
Block Green
Younited
Anachron
Nowcm
Fcb.ai
SutHub
Apiax

REAL ESTATE
Unlockit
Propdata

82

Fintech Ecosystem

Fintech Ecosystem

83

PAYMENTS & MONEY TRANSFERS

#banking #credit #value_added_services

Emerging
Fintechs

Jon Fath,
Co-Founder & CEO

The New Kids On The Block
Fintechs created in 2022

Rauva believes that SME’s and
Freelancers spend too much time
focusing on their finances rather than on
the job they are passionate about.
ABOUT
Rauva, built by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, is currently developing a leading
financial super-app for Europe’s Mediterranean region. The solution is specifically
designed to provide a country-by-country compatible, automated, integrated
experience of banking and financial management needs. Rauva aims to tap into
a 20 million strong SME and Freelancer market in early 2023 with first launches
planned for Portugal and Spain. Headquartered in Portugal, the company recently received a multi-million dollar funding package and has started to kick off
development of their new solution. Rauva aims to expand globally over time.

HEADQUARTERS
Lisbon, Portugal
PRESENCE

TARGET CLIENTS
Portugal, Spain, Italy,
Greece, France

SMEs and Freelancers
USE-CASE

STAGE

Banking and credit for SMEs and freelancers in the mediterranean Region
KEY DIFFERENTIATION

WWW

AI/ML credit score, fully digital onboarding, compliant with bookkeeping
84

Pre-seed

Emerging Fintechs

rauva.com
85

Adrien Hardy,
CEO

Jérémy André,
CTO

ALGAE wants to digitalize real estate
ownership and make it more accessible
ABOUT
We are building Algae, a tokenizing platform whose mission is to empower the
world to build wealth and resilience through modern and regenerative real estate investing from 10€. Algae will enable collective financing and a fully digital
underwriting process; the holding of real estate assets; The real estate management of these assets and the search for returns (rents).

Francisco Grave,
COO

Flexty has proven its value within the
RE/MAX network. Currently we work with
more than 300 offices empowering RE/MAX
agents to control when they get paid.
ABOUT

TARGET CLIENTS
HEADQUARTERS
The typical target clients are individuals, located in Europe. Millenials, digital nomads, freelances who have difficulty invest in real estate and getting a mortgage,
looking for flexibility and education to invest easily from 10€ in consciousness.

Diogo Cunha,
CEO

#embeded #realestate #fintech

LENDING & CREDIT

#realestate #investment #blockchain

REAL ESTATE

Flexty is an embedded contract finance solution for the real estate sector. We
partner with real estate networks and offices to enable agents to get paid on
their terms.

HEADQUARTERS
Lisbon, Portugal

Paris, France and
Lisbon, Portugal

TARGET CLIENTS
PRESENCE
Real estate agents, offices and networks.

PRESENCE

USE-CASE

Portugal with a pilot
starting in France
before end of year.

USE-CASE
Portugal and France

Portugal Finlab 4th, creation of the Blue Green Lab

STAGE

KEY DIFFERENTIATION
Fully mobile app developed to improve liquidity, security and portability of ownership; Benefits attached to tokens like community, social benefits, investors
rewards, time-sharing, discounts, governance; Polygon Blockchain as registery
to become the leader with a DLT (distributed ledger technology); The tokens
are ERC-1400 to make the bridge between C-Fi and D-Fi
86

Fintech Ecosystem

Flexty has proven its value within the RE/MAX network. Currently we work
with more than 300 offices empowering RE/MAX agents to control when they
get paid.

STAGE
Bootstrapped

Pre-seed
KEY DIFFERENTIATION

WWW

WWW
algae-app.com

We are embedded, focused in the real estate market and so very easy and
quick to use.
Emerging Fintechs

flexty.pt/en
87

BLOCKCHAIN & CRYPTO

Rhett Oudkerk Pool,
CEO

Daniel Liven,
COO

Adam Bouktila,
CPO

Dmitry Prostov,
CEO

ZAISAN is representing the EOS
ecosystem in Europe and Dubai on trade
shows, showing what this blockchain can
do for Fintech and other industries.

Gennady Telegin,
CTO

#CreditScore #CreditCard #Banking

#KYC #Blockchain #wallet

LENDING & CREDIT

João Cabrita,
Advisor

Relocare is trying to solve
discrimination in access to financial
services and knowledge

ABOUT
ABOUT

Providing enterprises with a suite of tools and services to enable the rapid
development of web3 products and concepts in an EU compliant and enterprise-grade. This includes Consulting, Project Management, Software Development & Training.
TARGET CLIENTS

Credit card and Global Credit Score for Immigrants. We help immigrants go from
0 to mortgage or any other type of loan.
HEADQUARTERS

Fintech companies

Quarteira, Portugal

USE-CASE

PRESENCE

Upto now most (Fintech) Blockchain and Crypto projects have been ignoring
regulations and that is getting them into trouble or never gets them from Proof
of Concept to production. With our suite of products (Europechain and KYC
Identity tools) they can start there legal compliant journey.

Europe
STAGE
Bootstrapped

TARGET CLIENTS

HEADQUARTERS

Immigrants and expats

Lisbon, Portugal

USE-CASE

PRESENCE

Relocare provides: 1.Credit card for immigrants that helps fund relocation and
provides money for a rainy day; 2.A credit score that moves with you and allows immigrants to get a mortgage, car, or business loan in a new country; 3.
Mobile app that shows how your credit score improves and gives you a local
bank account.

Europe
STAGE
Pre-seed

KEY DIFFERENTIATION
WWW
We are building the next generation Web3 foundational tools for the global Fintech community.cused the real estate market and so very easy and quick to use.
88

Fintech Ecosystem

zaisan.io

KEY DIFFERENTIATION

WWW

We create a Global Credit Score and find partners who give credit to use this score.
Emerging Fintechs

relocare.io
89

Fintech
Ecosystem

#API #Cloud #B2B

WEALTH MANAGEMENT & ESG

Rezaan Daniels,
CEO

Danielle Gonsalves,
COO

Ronaldo Oliveira,
CTO

Finvex.tech has launched its Supply Chain
Finance product in Portugal in 2022
ABOUT
At Finvex.tech we disrupt B2B payment terms across supply chains. We provide
automated access to crucial long-term working capital funding and support the
digital transformation, growth, and resilience of supply chains.
TARGET CLIENTS
HEADQUARTERS
Multinational enterprises with complex supply chains.
Lisbon, Portugal
USE-CASE
PRESENCE
We process over 40,000 invoices per day. We handle all supplier onboarding
for the multinational corporation (5,000 suppliers onboarded to date). We unlock working capital across supply chains at below market rate. Our multinational corporate clients support their critical local small suppliers by giving them
access to working capital that helps their businesses to grow.
KEY DIFFERENTIATION

STAGE
Pre-seed

Our API allow us to automate the collection of data to make financing suppliers
easier. Competitors do this process manually now – losing time and high cost
because of labor.
90

South Africa,
Brazil, Portugal

Fintech Ecosystem

WWW
finvex.tech
91

PAYMENTS & MONEY TRANSFERS

#Invoicing #Payments #API

#Payments #OpenBanking #AccountToAccount

PAYMENTS & MONEY TRANSFERS

Rui Pedro Alves,
Founder & CEO

Niek Volkert,
CPO

InvoiceXpress is an online invoicing software
that allows businesses to take care of their
invoices effortlessly while being compliant
with the Portuguese Tax Autorithy.

Instant bank transfers as a safer,
cheaper and more connected alternative
to cards and cash.

Isaac Hinman,
CTO

Marco Brito,
CEO

HEADQUARTERS
ABOUT
HEADQUARTERS
InvoiceXpress is an online invoicing software that allows businesses to take
care of their invoices effortlessly while being compliant with the Portuguese
Tax Autorithy.

London, UK
PRESENCE

Lisbon, Portugal
PRESENCE

UK, Netherlands, (Germany and Portugal by
the end of 2022)

TARGET CLIENTS
Portugal

ABOUT

SME & Mobility Companies.
STAGE
USE-CASE

Sway turns phones into payment terminals to allow businesses to accept payments without transaction fees.

Bootstrapped
It only takes three steps to invoicing: set up an account, fill out your invoice,
send it to your client. If an InvoiceXpress client needs to make an integration
with their e-commerce, there’s an API he can use for that purpose.

Pre-seed
TARGET CLIENTS

FOUNDED

FOUNDED
Small businesses taking in-person payments

2010
KEY DIFFERENTIATION

2021
KEY DIFFERENTIATION

WWW
InvoiceXpress believes that invoicing should be the easiest and simplest outcome of a business.
92

STAGE

Fintech Ecosystem

invoicexpress.com

WWW
We bring A2A payments to the physical world, allowing businesses to get paid
through their phones without transaction fees
Fintech Ecosystem

sway.money
93

PAYMENTS & MONEY TRANSFERS

#employeebenefits #hr #payments

Julia Cohen,
CEO

PAYMENTS & MONEY TRANSFERS

Bruno Lima,
CSO

Reaching 50 partners in less than
3 months in Portugal, Swood helps
companies take care of their talent
through an all-in-one platform.

Paulo Ferreira dos Santos,
CEO

Luís Neves,
Chairman

Jorge Pinto,
CTO

Inês Faria,
Product Design Manager

Ubirider allows cheaper, simpler, faster and
more transparent purchase and payment
processes through our mobility marketplace.
ABOUT
Ubirider englobes mobility operations for cities, operators, travelers and businesses. Ubirider is transforming how we move by creating a mobility marketplace
with cheaper, faster and more transparent payment process for all kinds of trips.
TARGET CLIENTS

HEADQUARTERS

Public and private transport operators, cities and agencies, businesses (mobility-as-a-benefit) (B2B) and travellers (B2C).

HEADQUARTERS

ABOUT

TARGET CLIENTS

PRESENCE
Portugal, Brazil
STAGE

Small to medium-sized businesses.
USE-CASE

USE-CASE

Porto, Portugal

Ubirider provides the complete mobility management system for Trevo’s bus
operation, in Évora, including daily operation management, payments and analytics, being the first operator in Europe to have Contactless Tap-On-Phone
technology for transit. Ubirider, in collaboration with Fertagus, also allows users
to recharge Lisbon’s Metropolitan Area monthly pass on their phone using Pick
Hub app, transacting almost 5M€ in one year.

PRESENCE
Portugal, Spain
STAGE
Seed

Seed
KEY DIFFERENTIATION

In partnership with one of our customers, we offered its almost one thousand employees a special Easter gift, with flexibility so that people could buy everything
from chocolates to ingredients for Easter lunch.
KEY DIFFERENTIATION

94

2020
WWW

We make people happier while saving people management time and money.
Fintech Ecosystem

FOUNDED

FOUNDED

useswood.com

Ubirider’s products generate value for both riders and transport providers (public, private, cities, agencies), creating seamlessness between all mobility stakeholders and simplifying payment through direct, cheaper and more transparent
processes. Ubirider provides real-time information and communication, key to
managing all aspects of mobility operations and, at the same time, creating
optimised travel experiences for riders.
Fintech Ecosystem

2018
WWW
pick.ubirider.com

#maas #payments #cloudbased

Aveiro, Portugal
Swood helps companies take care of their talent through its all-in-one platform
that combines financial services and people management features.

95

Hugo Pinto,
CEO & Founder

Rui Vala,
Board Member

Carlos Oliveira,
Board Member

Rui Almeida,
Executive Director

Diogo Nesbitt,
Co-Founder

Having reached a 21% growth in revenues
in 2022, Gofact facilitates integration and
automation of management support systems
with banking and finance functions.

#aggregatedinformation #onboardingprocess
#digitaltransformation #trustableinformation

LENDING & CREDIT

PAYMENTS & MONEY TRANSFERS

Frederico Mangas,
Co-Founder

hAPI streamlines the digital
transformation of onboarding data
intensive processes, avoiding waste
of resources, efforts, and time.
ABOUT

ABOUT
Gofact develops integrated solutions that provide a greater efficiency and democratization of financial management processes.

HEADQUARTERS

hAPI software works in the B2B space and provides, through APIs, aggregated information and documents about a person from different sources and in a
format ready to be used in new services. hAPI helps applications and services
connect to information from banks, social security, tax authority and a range of
different other sources.
TARGET CLIENTS

Braga, Portugal

HEADQUARTERS
Lisbon, Portugal

TARGET CLIENTS
PRESENCE

PRESENCE

Banks, Insurers, Financial Services and Fintechs.

SME’s
USE-CASE

Portugal

Portugal

USE-CASE
SibsPayForward: Gofact was featured in the SIBS acceleration program, and
was one of the first integrators of SIBS APIs

FOUNDED

KEY DIFFERENTIATION
The company has a proven record of addressing the B2B market with technological solutions that promote efficiency in management and administrative
processes. The level of experience and competency of its team enables it now
to focus on the consumer market, with the potential to respond to the needs of
households and the personal finances market.
96

Seed

Fintech Ecosystem

2012
WWW
fact.pt

#DigitalArchive #PFM #invoicing

STAGE

We are focused on the credit process. Most of our clients are banks and financial
institutions and 95% of the cases uses our technology to facilitate and speed up
the credit process. However hAPI also ads a lot of value on document authentication, filling in forms, management software and risk analysis.

STAGE
Pre-seed
FOUNDED

KEY DIFFERENTIATION
2017
hAPI provides accurate, trustable and structured information that you can use
directly in any of your apps. It will give you the tools to reduce latency, eliminate
manual input and typing errors, automate information processing and reduce
risk in the processes.
Fintech Ecosystem

WWW
hapi.pt
97

LENDING & CREDIT

António Marques,
CTO & Co-Founder

Having been recognized within
innovation and customer satisfaction
awards, Raize provided over € 70 Million
in financing to SMEs and Consumers.
ABOUT
HEADQUARTERS
Raize is a payments institution and marketplace lender providing financing for
SME and consumers, and providing alternative investment services for retail,
banks and institutional investors.

Nuno Brito Jorge,
CEO

Luís Ferreira Couto,
CFO

Manuel Nina,
CCO

With 17M€+ lent by investors
from +65 countries, Goparity
has reached 22+ tonnes of CO2
avoided per year.

Lisbon, Portugal
ABOUT
PRESENCE

TARGET CLIENTS
Portugal
Small businesses, consumers, retail investors, institutional investors and banks.
STAGE

crowdlending, impactinvesting, ethicalbaking

#Lending #Investments #Payments

José Maria Rego,
CEO & Co-Founder

LENDING & CREDIT

Goparity is an impact finance and investment platform that empowers people
and companies to use their money for good. Its community of 24 thousand
users has already funded 200 impact projects in several countries around the
world, across Europe, South America and Africa.

HEADQUARTERS
Lisbon, Portugal
PRESENCE
We have users from
80 countries; The top
10 are: PT, ES, BR, IT,
FR, PL, NL, DE, GB, SE.
We have projects in
11 countries promoted
by companies with
headquarters in
PT, SP, IT, UK, IR, LT
STAGE

USE-CASE
TARGET CLIENTS

IPO
SME and consumer financing, Deposit Brokerage service for banks and retail
investors, Crowdfunding services and alternative investment services for retail,
banks and institutional investors, insurance services for SME.

FOUNDED
2015

Seed

People and companies looking for a sustainable and ethical alternative to traditional investment; companies promoting projects that contribute to the fulfillment of the United Nations 2030 Agenda that require funding

FOUNDED
2017

KEY DIFFERENTIATION
WWW
Quick, agile and digitalized access to financing and robust capability of delivering through the cycle returns on credit investments proposed to investors.
98

Fintech Ecosystem

raize.pt

KEY DIFFERENTIATION

WWW

We fund single impact projects directly to the promoters
Fintech Ecosystem

goparity.com
99

LENDING & CREDIT

Finsolutia has signed a
partnership with the
largest Portuguese bank
as the technological and
operational service provider
for residential mortgages
loan origination business.

Marta Palmeiro,
Co-founder & CFO

Mariano Kostelec,
Co-founder & CEO

Student Finance enables access to
upskilling and economic mobility.

ABOUT
Finsolutia is a leading Fintech Servicer in Iberia, offering independent loan and
Real Estate management services through innovative business processes and
disruptive proprietary technology. It was the first to have been rated successfully by Standard & Poor´s (S&P) for 5 consecutive years in Spain and the only
rated in Portugal, with an overall “Above Average” rating as Special Servicer of
Residential Mortgages.

#embeddedfinance #careermobility #reskilling #upskilling

LENDING & CREDIT

Nuno Espírito Santo,
C-Level
Miguel Madeira,
C-Level

TARGET CLIENTS
HEADQUARTERS
Banks, RE Funds Investors, REO Managers, Mortgage Brokers, Mortgage Portfolio Managers, Mortgage Distributors, Servicers (PL, NPL, Secured and Unsucured Loans)

PRESENCE
USE-CASE
Portugal, Spain, rest
of Europe and outside
Europe

Education providers, individuals and corporates upskilling their employees.
Series A
USE-CASE
FOUNDED

WWW

Fintech Ecosystem

PRESENCE

STAGE

Later Stage

2007

100

London, UK

Spain, UK, Germany

STAGE

KEY DIFFERENTIATION
A full E2E Lending Manament Platform, specialized in the Mortgage segment
(including ion).

StudentFinance is a Global Career Mobility Fintech platform for reskilling and
upskilling the global workforce. Their expertise in loan and real estate management enables them to identify, analyse, advise and provide active management
services on an array of heterogeneous portfolios rapidly and diligently.
TARGET CLIENTS

finsolutia.com

#LaaS #SaaS #BPaaS

Finsolutia partnered with Banco CTT (a neo bank) as the technological and operational service provider for residential mortgages loan origination and servicing
business processes, launch the new businesses leveraged by Finsolutia’s FinTech DNA and 4 Sight LaaS platform – TWINKLOO (a brand-new mortgage broker) and SELL AND GO (Instant Real Estate Buyer). Finsolutia has also launched
Launching of 2 new Iberian platforms: Bridge Lending IZILEND with €200M of
committed capital and the realtor NOLON (for Portugal and Spain). It’s also use
its LaaS platform (4 Sight) as a global and centralized platform for 7 international Servicers which are Servicing providers of a Global Management Investor.

HEADQUARTERS

ABOUT

Portugal

FOUNDED
Partnership with the European Investment Fund under the Skills & Education
Guarantee Facility Programe

2020
WWW

KEY DIFFERENTIATION
Key differentiators are the cross border approach and job placement support.
Fintech Ecosystem

studentfinance.com
101

Eduardo Rebelo,
CTO

Having won the LHOFT Catapult
Kickstarter Programme 2022, Lynxai
has raised 285.000€ of Capital.

Orlando Gomes Costa,
CEO

Nuno Oliveira,
CFO

Ricardo Vieira,
CTO

Making the relationship between clients,
accountants and financial institutions
simpler, more transparent and practical
HEADQUARTERS

ABOUT

HEADQUARTERS
City of Dover,
County of Kent, State
of Delaware.

Fernando Mazzocchi,
Head of Development

nBanks is a SaaS specialized in independent Open Banking & Open Finance
for the B2B segment. It enables the total domain of cash management in real
time for any type of company, without borders, and entropies and facilitates a
shared ecosystem between companies and accountants, eliminating the complexity of bank reconciliation

Porto, Portugal
PRESENCE
Europe, Africa
STAGE

TARGET CLIENTS

Seed

All kind of companies, accountants and auditors

ABOUT
PRESENCE

FOUNDED

USE-CASE

Lynxai is a data-driven platform that makes ESG investment more efficient.
Europe, US
TARGET CLIENTS
STAGE
Financial Institutions: Banks; Asset Managers; Investment Funds

Reference platform for real-time treasury management by Mota Engil in Africa,
First Open Banking event in Angola in cooperation with KPMG and with several
of its clients to adopt nBanks technology for the daily management of their cashflow among other use relevant use cases.
KEY DIFFERENTIATION

FOUNDED
We help the client navigate through any government regulations – like EU Taxonomy – and control any red flags from their investments;We provide quantitative and qualitative data to facilitate the investment analysis. The provided data
is adapted to the client ESG standards; We collect data from non-financial and
financial reports, big data and score providers, institutional news, Reddit, Glassdoor, blogs, social media, and more, so that all information is covered.
102

Fintech Ecosystem

2021
WWW
lynxai.tech

WWW
nbanks.net

Pre-seed
KEY DIFFERENTIATION

2018

We are the first independent SaaS Open Banking platform fully focused on the
business end user, with fully focused features for real-time cash management
and bank reconciliation in a shared environment between business customers
and accountants. Also the 1st SaaS to enable Open Banking services in dozens
of African countries and the only SaaS that has a special algorithm that corrects
and eliminates the typical entropies of the PSD2 API service.
Fintech Ecosystem

#Accounts Aggregation #Cash Management in real time #RPA

Tiago Freire de Andrade,
CEO

WEALTH MANAGEMENT & ESG

#ESG#Sustainability#SustainableInvestments

WEALTH MANAGEMENT & ESG

103

WEALTH MANAGEMENT & ESG

Marcela Vinhatico,
Co-Founder & Head of
Business Development

#ESG #carbonmarket #climateaction

Nicholas Phillips,
Co-Founder, Partner

INSURTECH

António Leitão,
Co-founder, Head of
Projects & Partners

Reflora had more than 35 Forest Carbon
Projects analysed using its ESG-framework.

João Cardoso, Founder

António Castro, CFO

João Janes, CMO

B2C and B2B2C insurtech
(France, Spain and Portugal)
ABOUT

ABOUT

Ghislain Averty, COI

Lovys is the first and only all-in-one insurtech in Europe and the first 100% digital neo- insurance company that offers tailor-made insurance products that
meet the needs of new generations and accompany them at every stage of
their lives. Lovys offers an all-in-one monthly subscription that allows you to
subscribe simply and separately to a whole range of tailor-made insurances:
home, smartphone, car, and pets.

Reflora’s vision from the beginning was to provide the market with superior
service and solutions through the combination of a world-class team and innovative technologies.

João Macedo Pinto, CTO

HEADQUARTERS

TARGET CLIENTS
Companies around the world that want to understand and reduce the impacts
of their carbon footprints.

PRESENCE

USE-CASE
One of our key clients used our ESG assessment of forest projects to select two
projects to support, and jointly we developed a strategy to promote the product
line’s carbon neutrality. In one year they have reported a 17% sales growth, and
25% engagement growth in social networks, a performance that was attributed
to choosing projects indicated by our tool.

Portugal, Spain, Brazil
STAGE
Seed
FOUNDED

KEY DIFFERENTIATION
At Reflora, we understand carbon credits as a financial instrument that generates
long-term economic incentives to make forest conservation and regeneration
perennial. This means that along with the environmental impact, we also consider
the social and governance aspects of the forestry projects creating greater value
for our customers and partners.
104

Lisbon, Portugal

Fintech Ecosystem

TARGET CLIENTS

France, Paris. Portugal,
Lisboa, Porto, Leiria.
Spain, Madrid.

Young, urban, and digital

PRESENCE

USE-CASE
We’re the proud insurance partners of the digital banking arm of La Poste, called
Ma French Bank, in France. The group La Poste attempted to offer insurance
solutions to its clients via its insurance branch, LPBAI, but those solutions didn’t
match the needs and expectations of Ma French Bank digital native clients. This
is why MFB chose Lovys to protect its clients and cater to their wishes. We have
integrated our products within MFB’s ecosystem and, thanks to this collaboration, MFB is able to keep putting its clients first offering them tailor-made, simple,
and digital insurances.

2020

France, Portugal, Spain
STAGE
Series A
FOUNDED
2017

KEY DIFFERENTIATION
WWW
reflorainitiative.com

WWW
Lovys offers an all-in-one monthly subscription for all-things insurance, so clients
have full control over their coverage and contracts.
Fintech Ecosystem

lovys.com

#insurtech #insurance

HEADQUARTERS

105

INSURTECH

Nuno Sobral,
CEO

Rui Penim,
COO

Peter Brito e Cunha,
Chairman

Gianluca Pereyra,
Co-Founder and CEO

With a consolidated activity of 8M€ in 2021,
70.000 RSA files managed, 2M KM towed
and 150.000 contact center tickets handled,
TOOLTO is a mobility tool that is increasing
customer loyalty at a lower cost.
ABOUT
TOOLTO is a mobility tool. A tool for mobility players that serves for servicing clients in the new mobility paradigm, were new players are entering like UBER, like
CRUISE (self driving vehicles) competing with vehicle manufacturers, insurers and
utilities. Costumer Experience will be critical in a market that will increase a lot.

Gonçalo Consiglieri,
Co-Founder & COO

#Automation #AI #VirtualAssistants

#CX, #mobility, #fix

INSURTECH

Bruno Matias,
Co-Founder & CTO

Working with more than two dozen clients,
including some of the largest national banks
and insurance companies.
ABOUT
Visor.ai helps Customer Service teams deliver a better experience with AI and
automation. Visor.ai is the Conversational AI Platform for non-technical Customer Service teams. Its ease of use empowers your company from day one.

HEADQUARTERS
Lisbon, Portugal

HEADQUARTERS

TARGET CLIENTS
Companies with huge contact centres, mainly Banks and Insurance companies.

Aveiro, Portugal

TARGET CLIENTS
PRESENCE
Insurers, Vehicle Manufacturers, Fleet Management Companies, Rent a Cars,
Utilities, Banks and ride hailing platforms
USE-CASE

Portugal
STAGE

Dedicated Assistance Team, Dedicated Contact Center Team and International
Assistance Teams for foreigners in Portugal and Portuguese abroad.

Series C
FOUNDED

PRESENCE

USE-CASE
Banking sector: Intelligent Virtual Assistants on the web or mobile channels can
help opening a bank account by addressing initial queries, document collection
and follow-up communication with customers.
Insurance Sector: Reporting an Insurance Claim is made easier through a chatbot that collects the info from the user and start the process right on time. The
chatbot can also facilitate payment of insurance bills, by delivering the payment
details simply and effectively.

Aveiro, Lisbon
STAGE
Seed
FOUNDED

KEY DIFFERENTIATION
2017
Key differential factors are business model & usage of native digital platforms.
The business model is more simple, services sold instead of re isnurance and
delivery is done with dedicated resources with fully tailor made work flows.
Being native digital brings agility and faster continuous evolution with scalability.
106

Fintech Ecosystem

WWW
toolto.com

KEY DIFFERENTIATION

2016

The Visor.ai platform allows contact center teams to work independently and
at the same time comply with all the compliance and security requirements
demanded by large companies.
Fintech Ecosystem

WWW
visor.ai
107

INSURTECH

Ana Teixeira,
Founder & CEO

INSURTECH

Sónia Teixeira,
CCO

Duarte Abreu,
CEO

Launched in July 2020 with a B2C
proposition, Mudey has, to date, 15.000
users acquired directly or via strategic
distribution partnerships.

Nuno Silva,
Innovation

Think Future provides fully digital and
customizable experiences for the insurance
market using state-of-the-art technologies.
ABOUT
Think Future has been developing cutting edge solutions for the insurance market, working with insurance, brokers and reinsurance companies boosting the
digital transformation process through the provision of new digital tools that
aim to improve mitigation and underwriting processes as well as new channels
that enable greater proximity to their customers with a tailormade service.
TARGET CLIENTS

ABOUT

HEADQUARTERS

Insurance companies, brokers and reinsurance
HEADQUARTERS
USE-CASE

Castelo Branco,
Portugal

Porto, Portugal
FlySafeGO: provides drone operators with personalized location information,
such as weather conditions, NOTAM, restrictions as well as a real-time insurance subscription service. SafeGo.Solutions: multichannel platform that enables
brokers to provide insurance subscription platform directly to the distribution
and retail networks, where we have been working with luxury items, bikes and
e-bikes, hearing aids. TechSafeGO: validation process for the main components
of the mobile device

PRESENCE
Portugal, Brazil

TARGET CLIENTS
STAGE
B2C and B2B2C

Europe, India
STAGE
Pre-seed

Seed
USE-CASE

KEY DIFFERENTIATION
FOUNDED

2020
KEY DIFFERENTIATION
WWW
Digital platform, range of insurance products available online, simplicity of UX,
catered experiences based on usage of data
Fintech Ecosystem

mudey.pt

#digitalinsurance

FOUNDED
1st B2C insurance digital platform in Portugal

108

PRESENCE

myMDS app/portal – for MDS clients
Our ability to think, design, architect and develop end to end, combined with
a highly motivated, young and resilient team has enhanced us to develop multiple solutions in a short time using different channels, implementing different
models and helping insurance companies to transform standard products in to
a digital solution.
Fintech Ecosystem

2017
WWW
thinkfuture.pt

#ondemand #digitalsubscription #riskmitigation

MUDEY provides an intelligent digital platform for customers to buy and manage insurance..End users can purchase a wide range of insurance products, from
various insurance companies, with a jargon-free, personalised and fully digital
experience. Customers can also gain access to Mudey complementary services
by using Mudey tech platform to manage their existing insurance policies.

109

With over 3.000
companies as
customers, more
than 35.000 users
and having entered
to their second
market in 2022,
Coverflex helps
businesses unlock
their full potential.

INSURTECH

Miguel Santo Amaro, CEO

Rui Carvalho, COO

Luís Rocha, CMO

Domingos Bruges,
CEO

Sasha DeWitt,
COO

#insurtech #embeddedinsurance #habit

INSURTECH

Cristina Lopes,
CTO

Having transacted more than
1M insurance policies, Habit enables
innovative insurance distribution.

Nuno Pinto, CBO

ABOUT

ABOUT

Coverflex is remodelling compensation, starting with benefits and building an
all-in-one platform for any company to personalise benefits and rewards, from
micro to SMEs and large enterprises.

Habit enables companies with a large customer base to embed insurance products into their existing customer journey.
TARGET CLIENTS

TARGET CLIENTS

HEADQUARTERS
Telcos, Consumer Finance Entities and Specialized Retailers

We want all kinds of companies, regardless of their budget or size, to be able
to have a simple experience managing compensation and give their people the
possibility of improving their quality of life.

Braga, Portugal
(100% Remote)

USE-CASE

PRESENCE
Portugal, Italy
1. Address the needs of companies wanting to pay the meal subsidy to their
employees with a card; 2. Tackle the needs of companies that wanted to unify
their extra-salary compensation management efforts, by merging it all into one
platform; 3. Serve companies that want to increase salaries or offer bonuses to
their employees without “breaking the bank”, thus opting to do it with Coverflex’s
flexible benefits
KEY DIFFERENTIATION

Pre-seed
FOUNDED
2019

All-in-one platform, aggregating benefits, insurance, meal card and discounts;
Fixed, transparent pricing with no added commissions or hidden fees;
Superior employee experience with an app and a smart VISA card.
110

STAGE

Fintech Ecosystem

WWW
coverflex.com

#Compensationandbenefits #Fintech #HR

USE-CASE

HEADQUARTERS
Lisbon, Portugal

One business case would be within the Telco industry, where Habit leverages
realtime telco data such as Network cell registrations, Roaming or physical-store
purchases data to attach a one click action to purchase an insurance product.
Additionally, having a ready-made and umbilical connections with the Telco’s
major systems, such as billing, Habit offloads most of the IT and all of the policy
management activities from the insurer and the distribution partner, while guaranteeing high conversion rates and the best customer experience.

PRESENCE
Globe
STAGE
Series A
FOUNDED

KEY DIFFERENTIATION
Habit is the truly single API to interface with any insurance product, enabling
companies with a large customer base with all the required tools to distribute and
seamlessly embed insurance products in their customer journey. Habit enables
high conversion rates by leveraging contextual data to place the right insurance
product at the right moment to the right customer through the right channel.
Fintech Ecosystem

2019
WWW
habit.io
111

REGTECH & CYBERSECURITY

Gonçalo Martins Ribeiro,
CEO

Fabiana Clemente,
Chief Data & Product Officer

#AML #AI #Payments #Verification
#Authentication #Liveness

#AML #AI #Payments

REGTECH & CYBERSECURITY

Miguel Côrte-Real,
COO

YData accelerates and increases
the RoI of AI solutions by
improving the quality of data

No-code Identity Verification Solution.
Biometrid brings trust in the person behind
the screen from sign-up to checkout
ABOUT

ABOUT
YData provides a data-centric development platform for data scientists that
make it easy to understand data quality through an automated quality profiling, access, and improve datasets by leveraging state-of-the-art synthetic data
generation and creating scalable data pipelines.

HEADQUARTERS
Aveiro, Portugal

Biometrid is a technology-based company, which developed a digital platform
for remote identification and authentication, using namely documentation validation systems, multimodal biometric technology, life, emotion and behavior
detection systems, among others, used to prove identities and the live and real-time presence of a person in a digital relationship.
TARGET CLIENTS

HEADQUARTERS
Porto, Portugal
PRESENCE

TARGET CLIENTS
PRESENCE

Banking & Finance, Defense & Security, Telecommunications, Healthcare

FSI, Banking, Insurance, FinTech, InsurTech, RegTech
Europe, North America

USE-CASE

Europe, Africa,
South America,
South East Asia

USE-CASE
STAGE
ML-based use cases, such as Fraud Detection, Credit Risk Scoring, Predictive
Modelling, Risk Modelling, Model Robustness, Data Quality standardization, Data
Sharing, Data Monetization, Data Privacy, Innovation, Anomaly detection, Customer churn, Forecasting, among others.
KEY DIFFERENTIATION

FOUNDED
2019

YData offers a complete solution in data quality for data science: from accessing data with privacy by design, to data understanding and data improvement
– all at scale.
112

Seed

Fintech Ecosystem

WWW
ydata.ai

Instead of clients having to visit a bank’s branch to join Digital Banking, now customers can register online using their mobile phone camera. We helped financial
entities develop a highly efficient
KEY DIFFERENTIATION

STAGE
Series A
FOUNDED

Biometrid is a no-code identity verification solution with a drag and drop interface that connects the client to the best tech in identity verification. Seting up a
customer journey complying with regulations and the company’s brand guidelines. Placing a piece of code into the client’s website or app and deploying any
changes without ever needing an IT department.
Fintech Ecosystem

2015
WWW
biometrid.com
113

Rui Ribeiro,
Founder & CEO

REGTECH & CYBERSECURITY

Pedro Fortuna,
Founder & CTO

Jscrambler protects more than 1 million
app builds, in 150 countries

#applicationsecurity #javascriptobfuscation #clientsidesecurity

REGTECH & CYBERSECURITY

ABOUT
Jscrambler is a leader in client-side web security. Jscrambler’s unique approach
to security protects every application component, providing companies with full
visibility and control of their applications against tampering and reverse-engineering. Trusted by the Fortune 500 and major companies in sectors such as finance,
e-commerce, media, and software development.

Porto, Portugal

eCommerce, Retail, Financial Services

Pedro Borges,
COO

João Cerdeira,
CTO

With more than 85 employees and 16+
current customers, LOQR helps banks
accelerate their digital transformation and
offer digital solutions to their customers.
LOQR provides a customer-centric platform that allows banks to offer faster,
easier, and compliant services and experiences to their customers. Their expertise in AI, security, and compliance, combined with a solid banking business
experience, are the foundations to deliver journeys through a Journey-as-aService platform

PRESENCE

USE-CASE

Richard da Silva,
VP

ABOUT

HEADQUARTERS

TARGET CLIENTS

Ricardo Costa,
Founder & CEO

HEADQUARTERS
Felgueiras, Porto

TARGET CLIENTS
North American,
Europe, Middle East,
Latin America

PRESENCE
Banking industry
Portugal, Spain
USE-CASE

STAGE
KEY DIFFERENTIATION
Series A
Jscrambler has been breaking barriers in application security since 2009. Many
innovations and patents in this area were introduced through our continuous
R&D efforts. We have the largest and most powerful set of JavaScript code
transformations, many of which are unique, like Jscrambler’s Control Flow Flattening, Self-Healing and robust source maps. We actively monitor threats and
show real-time alerts whenever anti-bugging and anti-tampering features are
activated. Our solution is continuously updated to resist all reverse engineering
tools and techniques and to assure its resiliency.
114

Fintech Ecosystem

FOUNDED
2014
WWW
jscrambler.com

STAGE
LOQR’s journey builder platform offers journeys as Online Account Opening,
Customer Data Update, Online Access Recovery, Buy Now, Pay Later / Online
Loans for Goods and Services, among others valued-added services that can be
deployed in customers’ journeys.
KEY DIFFERENTIATION

Series B
FOUNDED
2015

At LOQR, we are subject matter experts on AI and compliance, with the mission of
helping every client to empower their customers’ digital lives through certified journeys that are regulatory compliant and delivered within an end-to-end platform.
Fintech Ecosystem

WWW
loqr.com

#ai #digital banking #regtech

JScrambler helps customers defend against client-side attacks, including: JavaScript protection, Magecart mitigation, Data Leakage prevention, Supply-Chain
protection, Customer Hijacking prevention, Mobile App protection, User Data
protection and compliance

115

REGTECH & CYBERSECURITY

João Moura,
CEO, CTO

Nathan Trousdell,
COO

REGTECH & CYBERSECURITY

Robin Vastenou,
Data Scientist

Disrupting the payment fraud
detection and anti-money
laundering industries with a
patent-pending AI empowered
by a centralised database.

Claire Scott-Hayes,
Head of Product

Miguel Lourenço,
CTO

Vitor Pedro,
VP Engineering

Pedro Torres,
CEO

With 14 employees today, Yoonik decreases
onboarding times and drop rates, with
higher security and compliance and more
responsible handling of private data.

Oswin Frans,
Lead ML Engineer

ABOUT
Fraudio is helping companies of all sizes in the payments ecosystem fight payment fraud and financial crime. Fraudio is powered by secure, scalable, and
future proof technology and prides itself on being the fastest, and easiest to
integrate with, delivering value from day one.

HEADQUARTERS

ABOUT
HEADQUARTERS

TARGET CLIENTS

YooniK provides private handsfree authentication on any device to unlock a vision where users can authenticate with any kind of credential to any connected
object with a simple look.

Amsterdam,
Netherlands

Merchant acquirers, payment facilitators, payment service providers, issuers

PRESENCE

PRESENCE
TARGET CLIENTS
Europe, Latin America,
Asia-Pacific

STAGE
Seed

Seed
FOUNDED
2019

Fintech Ecosystem

Europe, Middle East,
America

USE-CASE

KEY DIFFERENTIATION
Fraudio gathers billions of data points from merchant acquirers, payment service providers (PSPs), card issuers and issuer processors into a centralised dataset that is being used to train the AI and produce better results with 10x faster
integration and setup times.

Software companies or communities in the financial, web3, digital workplace,
hospitality, and retail sectors.

STAGE

WWW
fraudio.com

#frauddetection #AML #AI

Viva Wallet, a Greek unicorn in the payment industry, uses Fraudio’s Merchant
Initiated Fraud product to stop merchants from defrauding them while facilitating hyper-growth at the same time. With the Fraudio product, their fraud
team is 600% more efficient while experiencing 7x growth in transactions at
the same time. Fraud attempts are caught 3 weeks earlier than their previous
solutions and they have experienced 8x return on their investment.

Passwordless, multi-factor authentication as well as eKYC in Banking, Online and
Web3. Employee authentication using corporate accounts. Remote check-in.
KEY DIFFERENTIATION

FOUNDED
2021

Top-tier accuracy and anti-spoofing. Fully private using zero knowledge decentralized face authentication. Plug and play that can be integrated by any
developer in minutes.
Fintech Ecosystem

WWW
yoonik.me

#privacy #identity #biometrics #ai

USE-CASE

116

Lisbon, Portugal

117

Shane Riedel,
CEO

Filipe Garcia,
CTO

Having reached a 500k Annual
Recurring Revenue, Elucidate aspires
to become the market standard for
Financial Crime risk management.

#NFT #DEFI #web3

BLOCKCHAIN & CRYPTO

#FinancialCrimeRisk #amlsolutions #pricingfinanciacrimerisk

REGTECH & CYBERSECURITY

Nuno Cortesão,
Co-Founder

Pedro Granate,
Co-Founder & COO

Diogo Pires,
Co-Founder & CTO

Zharta is creating solutions that
enable real time credit that support
several industry-wide usecases.

ABOUT
Elucidate is a data analysis and ratings company for financial crime risk, with
the mission to rid the world of financial crime. We enable financial institutions to
tackle one of the major systemic risks in the finance industry: financial crime risk.
TARGET CLIENTS

HEADQUARTERS
Berlin, Germany
PRESENCE

Main focus is on financial institutions globally. In the medium term we are expanding to the Public Sector and NBFIs.

ABOUT

HEADQUARTERS

Zharta is creating liquidity in the NFT market by enabling instant non-custodial
loans backed by NFT collaterals. Zharta is eliminating bureaucracy in credit allocation, giving access to high end assets by retail investors through liquidity syndication, and creating capital efficiency by building fully automated lending pools.

Global

Lisbon, Portugal
PRESENCE
Globe

TARGET CLIENTS
STAGE

USE-CASE

STAGE
B2C; B2B2C; DeFi users and NFT Holders

Seed
Portfolio Risk Assessment and Benchmarking – for a financial institution to assess risk of their counterparties; Risk Profile Self Assessment- for a financial
institution to assess their own risk; Portfolio Risk-based pricing – for a financial
institution to dynamically price-in their counterparties risk profile

Seed
USE-CASE

FOUNDED

FOUNDED
CX Real Time Loan provision using NFTs as collaterals

2018

2021
KEY DIFFERENTIATION

KEY DIFFERENTIATION

WWW

We have a fully automated model that sets the baseline for the industry.
118

Fintech Ecosystem

elucidate.co

WWW
Machine Learning Appraisal Engine for NFTs combined with a Peer2Pool Smart
Contract Protocol enabling a full non-custodial solution
Fintech Ecosystem

zharta.io
119

Sanja Kon,
Founder & CEO

Utrust contributes to a wider adoption of
digital assets as a fast, secure and reliable
payment method.

Kevin Loaec,
Founder & CEO

#security #bitcoin #open-source

BLOCKCHAIN & CRYPTO

#payments #cryptocurrency #ecommerce

BLOCKCHAIN & CRYPTO

Antoine Poinsot,
Founder & CTO

Revault is going to market after
2 years of product building.

ABOUT
Utrust is a Web3 payments technology, enabling businesses to easily accept cryptocurrency payments from their clients. At online checkout or by invoicing, it is the
radically better way to pay and get paid globally. Powered by Elrond Network.
HEADQUARTERS
HEADQUARTERS
TARGET CLIENTS

Terra-Chã, ilha Terceira,
Portugal

Braga, Portugal
Typically e-commerce businesses looking to accept payments in virtual assets
from their clients.

PRESENCE

PRESENCE
ABOUT

USE-CASE

European Union

Since inception, we have been focused on a single use case. A use case with
one of the highest sustainable potentials in the whole cryptocurrency industry
– Payments. Specifically, borderless cryptocurrency online payments.
KEY DIFFERENTIATION

Acquired
FOUNDED

Utrust turns the complex process of transacting with cryptocurrencies into a
seamless experience.
Merchants cut up to 90% transaction fees, eliminate the costs of inconvenient
chargebacks, and have no risk, since we allow them to settle in fiat without the
need to touch crypto.
120

STAGE

Fintech Ecosystem

2017
WWW
utrust.com

Globe
Revault provides open source security solutions for Bitcoin. Their flagship product is a trustless custody infrastructure for institutions using Bitcoin. The team
also works on backup safety, inheritance solutions and more institutional products launching soon.
TARGET CLIENTS

STAGE
Seed
FOUNDED

Bitcoin organizations, banks, exchanges.

2020

KEY DIFFERENTIATION

WWW

The only solution that is self-hosted and open source for institutional Bitcoin custody.
Fintech Ecosystem

revault.dev
121

#web3 #defi #financialinclusion

BLOCKCHAIN & CRYPTO

#crypto #defi

BLOCKCHAIN & CRYPTO

Misha Alefirenko,
CEO

Artyom Zavrin,
CTO

Marco Barbosa,
CEO

Velvet Formula is an advanced market
making software provider for digital assets.

Bernardo Vieira,
CTO

Afonso Barbosa,
CPO

impactMarket has reached 50K
beneficiaries, $3M distributed and
$7.2M transacted.

ABOUT
Velvet Formula’s software solutions ensure liquid and efficient markets on centralised and decentralised exchanges. Using low latency technologies and special pricing algorithms we offer the best services for upstart crypto exchanges.
We built our culture through bringing together people that feel involved, connected, considered and empowered to deliver their full potential with us.
TARGET CLIENTS

HEADQUARTERS
Lisbon, Portugal
PRESENCE

Decentralised exchanges, Token issuers, CEXes

HEADQUARTERS
ABOUT

Braga, Portugal

ImpactMarket provides a Human empowerment protocol that unlocks access to
finance and UBI to the most vulnerable communities in 30+ developing countries

Globe

PRESENCE
Developing countries

TARGET CLIENTS
USE-CASE

STAGE

STAGE
Unbanked/Underserved

Crypto currency market is very fragmented. Our aim is to help upstart crypto
exchanges to boost liquidity in their orderbooks from the day one. On the other
hand we are aimed at letting token-holders to benefit from the smooth quoting.
KEY DIFFERENTIATION

Fintech Ecosystem

Series A
USE-CASE

FOUNDED
2020

At Velvet Formula we combine high performance technologies and best practices,
based on our experience of trading in traditional financial market. Our approach
represents a mix of forefront blockchain innovation and low latency solutions.
122

Seed

WWW
velvetformula.com

FOUNDED
Providing basic income in vulnerable communities in Afghanistan, Togo, Mali,
Venezuela, etc
KEY DIFFERENTIATION

2020
WWW

Mobile-friendly, use stable coins, On-demand, decentralized
Fintech Ecosystem

impactmarket.com
123

Daniel Stockhaus,
CEO & Co-Founder

BLOCKCHAIN & CRYPTO

Miguel Leite,
Co-Founder

#fundraising #blockchain #web3

BLOCKCHAIN & CRYPTO

Tiago Martins,
Co-Founder

Polkastarter has launched 111 projects,
raising over $49 million, with +35,000
unique participants.

Simon Mcloughlin, CEO

Anthony Johnson, COO

Tiago Ribeiro, Co-CTO

Rui Marinho, Co-CTO

Uphold is a digital money platform serving
over 7M customers in more than 150 countries.
ABOUT
Uphold watches the market, does the research and curation, and packages all
of that into an easy to use trading platform, so that users can discover better
opportunities and stay ahead in the market. Leveraging blockchain technology,
the platform provides both consumers and businesses with easy access to
over 200 crypto assets, 28 national currencies, four precious metals and 50
fractional U.S. equities.

ABOUT
TARGET CLIENTS
Polkastarter is a decentralized Launchpad for Web3 Fundraising, providing a
safe and profitable for investors accelerator for credible projects.

Retail investors on the B2C side, and financial services companies on the B2B side.

HEADQUARTERS

HEADQUARTERS
TARGET CLIENTS

USE-CASE

New York, USA

Lisbon, Portugal
PRESENCE
USE-CASE
Globe
EPNS (+6.913% ATH ROI), WilderWorld (+14.472% ATH ROI) and Highstreet
(+3.800% ATH ROI) IDO’s
KEY DIFFERENTIATION

Pre-seed

– Strict due diligence process via our DAO council, selecting less than 1% of applicants. We continue to support the most popular and adopted chains, offering
secure and scalable decentralized token swaps;
– Full long term support from incubation to advisory, from idea to market, while ensuring their fundraising is fair and tamper-proof using our token incentivized lottery
and ticket system;
– Early-stage blockchain investments
124

STAGE

Fintech Ecosystem

FOUNDED
2020
WWW
polkastarter.com

Uphold is the wallet powering the Brave Browser Basic Attention Token reward
program, with over 50M monthly active users. Brave Browser is a privacy driven
alternative browser lead by Brendan Eich, creator of JavaScript and co-founder
of Mozilla. Uphold is powering IMVU, the world’s largest avatar-based social
network, with over 200M registered users. Uphold’s systems power its trading
capabilities, along with their network currencies.
KEY DIFFERENTIATION

PRESENCE
Global, except
sanctionized territories
STAGE
Series C

Uphold is one of 32 companies issued a Cryptoasset Firm Registration by the
FCA, holds over 100% of the assets under management, and connects to 26
different trading platforms, providing a superior price discovery, shopping the
market so users don’t have to. This includes 6 DEXs, enabling users to uncover
hidden gems typically exclusive to DeFi. Uphold’s API enables 3rd parties to
move money and create unlimited sub-accounts, benefiting from Uphold’s licensing and compliance.
Fintech Ecosystem

FOUNDED
2014
WWW
uphold.com

#trading #crypto #payments

Web3 projects and companies hoping to fundraise through a token sale

125

REAL ESTATE

Gonçalo Abreu,
Co-founder

Mário Gamas,
Co-Founder

Guilherme Farinha,
Co-Founder

#DLT #permissioned #transactionautomation
#smartcontracts #tokenization

#proptech #ai #realestate

REAL ESTATE

Daniel Stockhaus,
CEO & Co-Founder

Propdata addresses the lack of quantitative
information in the real estate market.
With over 7000 monthly active users, they
produce 50k+ real estate market reports
monthly and distribute 60k+ leads annually.

Unlockit is creating a convenient,
secure, collaborative and transparent
way of transacting properties.
ABOUT

ABOUT
Unlockit is a proptech & reghtech company which is disrupting the market by
digitising the whole process of buying, selling or renting a property, turning it
seamless, transparent, collaborative and secure for those involved whilst ensuring its fully compliance with the latest EU regulations (eIDAS, AML6 & GDPR).
Unlockit believes in a Europe where barriers to fair real estate transactions,
investments and ownership do not exist.

Propdata focuses on the use of artificial intelligence models and advanced computing methods for the development of innovative technological solutions for
analysis and decision support for different stakeholders in the real estate market
TARGET CLIENTS
HEADQUARTERS

HEADQUARTERS
TARGET CLIENTS

Real estate agencies, banking institutions, investment funds and public institutions
Lisbon, Portugal
USE-CASE

Lisbon, Portugal
Realtors

PRESENCE
Our subscription-based platform allows users to access a unique dataset of
more than 10 million listings of properties currently on the market. This data allows us to calculate metrics that reflect local market dynamics, making our tool
invaluable to any stakeholder: Real estate professionals (agents and certified
valuators) with a statistical report for any property in the Portuguese, Spanish
and English residential market; Servicing/insurance companies through an automated way to estimate a portfolio’s value by uploading an excel sheet; Banks
through risk analysis in real time of the assets currently under management
KEY DIFFERENTIATION

126

Portugal, Spain, UK

Fintech Ecosystem

European Union
Private Blockchain, Smart Rent B2B, Smart Rent B2C and smart audit for Realtors.

STAGE

STAGE
KEY DIFFERENTIATION

Bootstrapped
FOUNDED
2019

Develop a robust and scalable set of technologies that ensured the necessary
flexibility to minimize our product’s iteration time during the customer development process

PRESENCE
USE-CASE

WWW
propdata.uk

Pre-seed
Our Digital Transaction Management Solution built on top of a distributed
ledger has the potential to greatly reduce the burden in real estate transactions.
From a social perspective our solution can build trust, save time and money to all
parties, increase sustainability, reduce the risks of fraud and scams, promote full
transparency, streamline cross-border transactions and fairer taxation and commissions in real estate transactions. From the public administration perspective, our
DLT solution can streamline the process of collecting taxes related to real estate
transactions, as well as managing them in analytical terms.
Fintech Ecosystem

FOUNDED
2021
WWW
unlockit.io
127

CORPORATE

128

VERTICAL

ABOUT

TARGET CLIENTS

STAGE

WWW

HASHTAGS

Payments
& Money
Transfers

deGrazie is a self-checkout solution designed to seamlessly connect
payment technology with invoicing software. Specifically targeted to the
hospitality industry, it brings a dramatic upgrade both to merchants and
consumers when it’s time to leave. deGrazie simplifies and automates
all checkout processes so that humans get time for what matters most.

Hospitaly, Health sector

Seed

degrazie.com

#Payments
#Checkout
#QRCode

Payments
& Money
Transfers

Easypay is a fin-tech that helps businesses to scale. It is highly specialised in innovation applied to payments.We have an online payment
gateway easy to integrate with any open sourced system. We offer the
most popular payment methods, as well as specific payment solutions
for Marketplaces, Subscriptions, Split Payments, and Outpayments.

From small businesses that
need simple payments
solutions to larger
companies that need
complex payment solutions.

Series A

easypay.pt

#Paymentsgateway#marketplace#subscriprions

Payments
& Money
Transfers

Eupago is a Fintech that is specialized in e-commerce payments and
payments solutions

The target market is
e-commerce merchants

Bootstrapped

eupago.pt

#Payments #PaymentsGateway
#e-commerce

Payments
& Money
Transfers

IFTHENPAY is a payment institution regulated by the Bank of Portugal.
It works with several payment methods such as ATM Reference, MBway, Visa/Mastercard, among others. It moves more than 900 million
euros per year and and has more than 21,000 merchants, most of
them for online commerce.

Companies of euro zone

Bootstrapped

ifthenpay.com

#payments
#e-commerce
#methods

Payments
& Money
Transfers

Phoebus is a technology company in physical and online payments
with an independent white label and Omnichannel gateway called
PayStore. PayStore is much more than payments. We provide a
complete POS, smartPOS capture platform experience for acquirers,
sub-acquirers, banks, and your customers

acquirers, banks, sub-acquirers, Retails

Later Stage

phoebus.com.br

#gateway #payments #pos

Lending
& Credit

We are a customer centric Fintech, in the field of financial well-being. We
help 100.000 clients every year to make better financial decisions, mainly
when it comes to mortgages, personal loans or insurance. Our secret
ingredient? We kept the human touch in our Tech. Financial decisions
involve lots of emotions, so we designed a customer journey that blends
technology with humans – our Doctors.

Consumers and Banks

Bootstrapped,
from 0€ to 10M€

doutorfinancas.pt

#personalfinance #loanorigination
#customertech

Lending &
Credit

ExxoTrade brings together sustainable finance with open banking in
a Web3 platform to help companies get finance and payments when
trading while offsetting emissions in their supply chain, allowing users
to join or create networks connecting with banks, buyers, suppliers,
and funders in one ecosystem of trust with ESG performance.

SMEs – Buyers and suppliers with unfunded trades.
ESG Funds and Banks.
Climate Startups.

Bootstrapped

exxotrade.com

#Blockchain
#Open Finance
#Sustainability
#ESG #Digital
Trade

Lending &
Credit

We are working to shape the future of debt collections. Starting with
an A.I. Augmented interaction automation, Invisible Collector has the
ability to experiment and dwell in the mind of an individual, thus knowing him better than he knows himself, creating a favorable environment for both creditors and debtors, putting them on the same page.

Financial Institutions, Telcos, Utilities

Bootstrapped

invisiblecollector.
com

#AI #DebtCollections #predictivemodeling

Fintech Ecosystem

Fintech Ecosystem

129

CORPORATE

130

VERTICAL

ABOUT

TARGET CLIENTS

STAGE

WWW

HASHTAGS

Lending &
Credit

ITSCREDIT offers an omnichannel platform, focused on the dematerialization, improvement and standardization of credit processes and
digital transformation. We enable the implementation of an end-toend credit origination solution in a short period of time and optimize
risk analysis models through intelligent algorithms applying artificial
intelligence, to prevent credit defaults.

Banks and financial institutions

Bootstrapped

itscredit.com

#digitaltransformation #lending
#credit

Lending &
Credit

Parcela Já offers an up to 12 installments and zero interests payments
solution to end consumers. Present in hundreds of stores/retailers the
solution can be found in a physical POS terminal at a retailer checkout
counter; in an online website checkout or; through the app.

Retailers &
End Customers

Bootstrapped

parcelaja.pt

#BNPL #Installments #Credit

Lending &
Credit

Real Estate Crowdfunding Platform.

Individual and qualified
investors and real estate
developers

Series B

queridoinvesti.pt

#crowdfunding.
#lending #realestate

Lending &
Credit

Saving 7 years of struggle for 70m young people and creating higher yield safe/prime investments worth €26tn, our company is impacting and disrupting global banking and investment markets. Investments that fund mortgages can include years of on-time rent history
(“pre-seasoning”). A lower default risk, higher LTV mortgage is possible and our unique solution.

Renters aged 18 to 35 trying to save enough money
to purchase a home

Series A

zoomimoney.com

#mortgages #investments #risk

Wealth
Management
& ESG

At Art2Trading we’re changing the way people invest and analyse
the financial markets. We’re a team of passionate people dedicated
to developing proprietary automated trading software with artificial
intelligence algorithms and digital applications for analysis, management and trading of financial assets.

B2C – Financial market
traders and investors
B2B2C – Financial Institution

Seed

art2trading.com

#AITrading
#Robo-Adviser
#Algotrading

Wealth
Management
& ESG

Profidata specializes in the development and marketing of sophisticated investment management solutions and services. As well as
product development, our one-stop service includes consulting and
implementation for our customers.

Fund / Wealth management companies, Depository Banks, Insurance’s
Investment managers

Later Stage

profidatagroup.
com

#xentis #profidata

Wealth
Management
& ESG

Tagpeak combines shopping with investments to give customers unlimited money back on any purchase made at partners’ stores. We
partner with sellers across the world that pay us a fee for each purchase made using Tagpeak. We invest that fee in the financial markets
and share the gains with customers.

Individual consumers

Bootstrapped

tagpeak.com

#cashback
#investments
#ecommerce

Insurtech

Having the customer at the center of health insurance business strategy, we are developing a platform with new technological solutions
and digital tools, that will help to connect the entire stakeholders, on
fully digital way, to allow them to manage the entire health insurance
benefits and facilitate the access to healthcare.

Health insurance, Health
Plans and healthcare
financers

Seed

kooli.io

#insurtech
#healthinsurance #digitalinsurance#healthtech

Fintech Ecosystem

Fintech Ecosystem

131

CORPORATE

132

VERTICAL

ABOUT

TARGET CLIENTS

STAGE

WWW

HASHTAGS

Insurtech

lluni is oriented towards the development of solutions for the Insurance Broker Market through innovative products and technologies
that provide business models with a high level of integration. Automate bureaucratic processes immediately.

Insurance Brokers

Seed

lluni.com

#InsuranceBrokersOptimize
#ERP #b2b2c

Insurtech

uthere provides digital personalized insurance almost instantaneously.
Built from scratch, sits at the intersection between a digital broker and
a modern insurer. Inspired by you not by insurance

Clients looking for better,
more transparent and easier insurance interactions
– from quoting, to buying
and claiming. Current focus
on Retail Clients

Pre-seed

uthere.eu

#segurosvida,
#creditohabitacao, #protecaofamiliar

Regtech &
Cybersecurity

Probely is a web vulnerability scanner for agile teams. It finds vulnerabilities or security issues in web applications & APIs and provides guidance on fixing them. It can be integrated into development processes
(SDLC) and continuous integration pipelines (CI/CD) to automate and
scale security testing. Probely empowers Security and Development
teams working together towards releasing secure applications.

Enterprises that provide
services to their clients or
partners online.

Series A

probely.com

#AppSec
#CyberSecurity
#SecurityTesting

Blockchain
& Crypto

Earhart is a trusted and secure smart aviation network. Blockchain
powered. All intervenients can record, share and monetize data instantly, increasing the efficiency of the data operations.

Aviation Ecosystem

Pre-seed

earhart.dev

#Aviation
#Blockchain
#AviationIndustry

Blockchain
& Crypto

Blockchain fundraising platform that allows any investor access to the
best assets anywhere in the world, from US$10, in a simple way, without intermediaries or international transfers with minimum bureaucracy.

Startup ans SMBs that
need to raise funds

Seed

ubitscapital.com

#blockchain #equitycrowdfunding
#moneytransfers

Fintech Ecosystem

Fintech Ecosystem

133

PAYMENTS & MONEY TRANSFERS

ABOUT

PRESENCE

Afterbanks Arcopay, part of Minsait Payments, has a technology (API) that allows extracting and aggregating bank details and initiating payments in real
time between any bank in Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Romania, Mexico, and
Argentina. They develop their technology in Spain, complying with the ISO27001 and European PSD2 standards. Arcopay is a Payment Institution authorized by the Bank of Spain, and Afterbanks Ltd. is a Payment Institution authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority of the United Kingdom.
TARGET CLIENTS

Spain, Italy, Portugal,
Greece, Romania,
Mexico and Argentina
STAGE
Later Stage
FOUNDED

ERPs, Fintech, Banks, Neobanks, Cloud accounting companies, etc
HEADQUARTERS

2012
WWW

Madrid, Spain

arcopay.io

#API #Payments #PSD2

International Operating
in Portugal

PAYMENTS & MONEY TRANSFERS

England, Czech,
Russian

ABOUT
“SFERA is not just a messenger with a lot of built-in services to find jobs, friends,
but also a whole digital ecosystem aimed at the development of users in their
personal life and hobbies, in real life.”
TARGET CLIENTS
The target audience
HEADQUARTERS
Russia
134

STAGE
Pre-seed
FOUNDED
2019
WWW
sfera.zone

International Operating in Portugal

#Payments #Socialnetwork #Usefulness

PRESENCE

135

PAYMENTS & MONEY TRANSFERS

PAYMENTS & MONEY TRANSFERS

ABOUT

Weavr enables digital businesses to seamlessly embed financial services into
their application via a radically simplified model, called Plug-and-Play Finance.
In 5 weeks, businesses can launch and monetise financial services – and at a
fraction of the cost of the traditional method, Banking-as-a-Service. By making
embedded finance results achievable for a far wider range of digital businesses,
we are helping drive a new wave of expansion in the frontiers of embedded
finance innovation.
TARGET CLIENTS

UK and EU today. We
will open in the APAC Q4
2022 and US Q1 2023
STAGE
Series A
FOUNDED

B2B SaaS

2018

HEADQUARTERS

WWW

London, United Kingdom

weavr.io

PAYMENTS & MONEY TRANSFERS

Yapily is an infrastructure platform enabling businesses to unlock the power of
open banking. It connects its customers to thousands of banks using a secure
open API, removing complexity and enabling seamless access to financial data
and payment initiation.

19 countries
STAGE

TARGET CLIENTS
Series B
Any business that wants to enhance its offering by embedding open banking into
its products and services. It currently has customers ranging from financial institutions to start-ups in the following verticals: accounting, lending, payments, wealth
management, banking, crypto, and insurance.
HEADQUARTERS

FOUNDED
2017
WWW

London, United Kingdom

yapily.com

LENDING & CREDIT

U.K, Portugal and
Spain

Unify Giving is a mobile application which connects donors directly with homeless individuals to receive and store donations in a safe and effective way in an
ever-increasing cashless society.

STAGE
Bootstrapped

TARGET CLIENTS
FOUNDED
Kind-hearted donors who already donate to homeless causes.
2021
HEADQUARTERS
WWW
Cardiff, United Kingdom, C-level – Portuguese residents with Vida e Paz partnership to operate in Portugal once subsidiary set up.
Fintech Ecosystem

unifygiving.com

Europe and LATAM
#Payments #Contactless #Cashlessness

ABOUT

ABOUT
STAGE
We support leading European banks and insurance companies in extending
their value proposition to younger customer generations by personalizing their
digital experience and developing new data-driven business models.

Series A
FOUNDED

TARGET CLIENTS
2016
Banks and insurance companies
WWW
HEADQUARTERS
Pontevedra, Spain

coinscrapfinance.
com
International Operating in Portugal

#Creditscoring #FinancialInsights #Microsavings

PRESENCE

PRESENCE

136

PRESENCE

#openfinance #innovation #payment

PRESENCE

#embeddedfinance
#plugandplayfinance #payments

ABOUT

137

LENDING & CREDIT

LENDING & CREDIT

PRESENCE
PRESENCE

TARGET CLIENTS

Global
ABOUT
STAGE
Later Stage
FOUNDED

Mainly any player in the shopping ecosystem (shoppers and merchants)
HEADQUARTERS

2005
WWW

Stockholm, Sweden

STAGE

klarna.com

The leading instant credit provider for the e-economy in Europe.
TARGET CLIENTS

Later Stage
FOUNDED

Digital customers looking for credit and financial institutions or merchants choosing
Younited to engineer their loan solutions.

2009
WWW

HEADQUARTERS
pt.younited
-credit.com

France

#instantcredit #younitedpay
#openbanking

Klarna is the leading global payments and shopping service, providing smarter
and more flexible shopping and purchase experiences to 150 million active consumers across more than 450,000 merchants in 45 countries. Klarna offers direct payments, pay after delivery options and instalment plans in a smooth oneclick purchase experience that lets consumers pay when and how they prefer to.

France, Italy, Spain,
Germany and Portugal

#BNPL #Shopping #Payments

ABOUT

WEALTH MANAGEMENT & ESG

LENDING & CREDIT

PRESENCE
Jordan, Dubai, London
with operations in 10+
countries.

PRESENCE
ABOUT
ABOUT

Global
STAGE

Pre-seed
TARGET CLIENTS

Seed

FOUNDED
FOUNDED

We are onboarding the largest BTC miners worldwide and institutional clients
with bitcoin.
HEADQUARTERS

2021
WWW

Lisbon, Portugal and Zug, Switzerland

block.green
Fintech Ecosystem

#DeFI #lending #BTC

TARGET CLIENTS

138

STAGE

Budgeting Apps, eWallets, Payment Apps, NeoBanks, Brokerages, Banks, Asset
Managers.
HEADQUARTERS

2021
WWW

Company incorporated in the UK (Opening a branch in Portugal soon), CEO is
based in Lisbon, team is global.

anachrontech.
com

International Operating in Portugal

#Fintech #EmbeddedFinance
#WealthTech

Block Green is a lending protocol offering revenue based financing for green
BTC mining operations.

Embedded Personal Finance Platform enabling Fintechs to launch Roboadvisory
& Financial Planning products in a fraction of the time and cost.

139

WEALTH MANAGEMENT & ESG

INSURTECH

ABOUT
PRESENCE
PRESENCE
International
Brazil and Portugal

Series A
FOUNDED
2020

TARGET CLIENTS
WWW
Issuers (borrowers) and dealer banks. Distinction between established issuers
and new entrants.

nowcm.eu

HEADQUARTERS
Portugal, Luxembourg, France, Austria, UK, Germany.

INSURTECH

ABOUT
STAGE
SUTHUB is an Infratech created to simplify the Insurance market through technology.
Series A
TARGET CLIENTS
FOUNDED
Digital Channels, Mobile Platform, Insurance and Assistance companies, Financial Services, Retail (physical and online).
HEADQUARTERS

WWW

São Paulo – Brazil

suthub.com

REGTECH & CYBERSECURITY

PRESENCE

PRESENCE

TARGET CLIENTS

STAGE
Series A
FOUNDED

Financial Service providers, telecoms.

2017

HEADQUARTERS

WWW

Luxembourg

fcb.ai
Fintech Ecosystem

#RPA #ConversationalAi #UX

FCB.ai offers powerful solutions to help businesses revolutionise customer experiences and achieve high-performance results. Integrated digital solutions, managed, and optimised for performance, to seamlessly onboard, serve and retain
customers in a more personalised and efficient way

Lisbon, Portugal
Singapore, Singapore
Frankfurt, Germany
London, United Kingdom

ABOUT
Apiax is a technology company that builds the compliance infrastructure for the
digital world. Businesses of every size – from FinTechs to globally operating
banks – use our product to bring compliance into their applications and operational processes.
TARGET CLIENTS
Financial institutions
HEADQUARTERS
Zurich, Switzerland

STAGE
Series A
FOUNDED
2017
WWW
apiax.com

International Operating in Portugal

#embeddedcompliance
#digitalcompliance #regtech

Portugal, Luxembourg,
France, Kenya, Botswana, South Africa, Ivory
Coast, UK, Zambia

ABOUT

140

2017

#insurance #fintech #saas

STAGE

#capitalmarkets #digitisation #sustainablefinance

NowCM has a fundamental belief in the power of capital markets to finance
economies and distribute capital efficiently. The process of issuing debt in capital markets has remained manual and inefficient and entry barriers have kept
them out of reach for most borrowers across the globe. NowCM focuses on
not only digitalising the entire primary issuance value chain for those already
active in the debt capital markets, but we also seek to bring down barriers to
entry through our regulated issuance vehicle (CSSF) and marketplace (AMF
and ACPR). As such, we go well beyond just software solutions and provide a
full CMaaS (capital markets as a service) for ourclients.

141

CHAPTER

4
144
146
148
150
152
154

142

Decentralized Finance
Portuguese Crypto Ecosystem Map
Financial Literacy in the crypto world
MiCA is coming. Crypto for the win?
Blockchain and Crypto are a different world
Why a crypto lab in PT
How can financial institutions take advantage
of the crypto scene?

143

Portuguese Crypto
Ecosystem Map

Events

Blockchain is all about community and Portugal is no exception. Communities serve as catalysts for talent, policy making, startups, researchers, and enthusiasts. Below is a collection of examples of associations
FACE was born in 2022 from the growing collaboration between the 3
key associations: APBC, ALL2BC and New Economy. FACE believes that
the blockchain industry is at a crucial crossroads, facing intense regulatory scrutiny. This warrants great attention and care to create policies
which don’t harm innovation and put our builders in an unfair competitive position. FACE promote the crypto economy to consolidate Portugal’s currently fragile status as a global crypto hub. To achieve this,
FACE works towards favourable legislative action by engaging with
regulators, the government, and members of the parliament.

Established in 2018, the Portuguese Blockchain Alliance is an
ecosystem composed of companies, startups and universities
to develop national skills in Blockchain. Amongst other initiatives,
the association is exploring the
application of blockchain technology for public administration.

The Portuguese Blockchain and
Cryptocurrencies Association aims
to promote blockchain technology
focusing on cryptocurrencies by
gathering the community, developing events, collaborating with
public and private entities and providing knowledge to the market.

Instituto New Economy is a collaborative association of industry
leaders, professionals and interested citizens who wish to increase
Portugal’s global standing and its
participation in the digital economy that rules the modern society.

Solana
4—7 November
Lisbon

WOW Summit
1—3 November 2022
Lisbon

FilLisbon
30 October—4 November
Lisbon

Immerse Global Summit
29—30 September
Madeira Island, Funchal

ETH Lisbon
28—30 October 2022
Lisbon

Porto Tech Hub Conference
27 October 2022
Porto

Nearcon
11—14 September
Lisbon

Risks and opportunities
of cryptoasset adoption
June 2022

Non-Fungible Conference
4—5 April
Lisbon

The Portuguese blockchain community is connected to the European
movement so it makes sense to highlight 3 relevant institutions that
operate at EU level.

Combine and leverage blockchainrelated activities of European corporations, startups, venture capitalists, and academic institutes. The
European Blockchain Association is
a neutral body to aggregate blockchain activities throughout Europe.
144

The EU Crypto Initiative aims to
shape EU regulation to favor open,
permissionless, decentralized applications leveraging blockchain technology.

A European Commission initiative
to accelerate blockchain innovation
and the development of the blockchain ecosystem within the EU.

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145

Financial Literacy
in the crypto world
“Crypto has been acting as catalysts
towards wider equalization of knowledge,
mostly due to its global reach and lower
barrier to entry, while requiring only in
ternet access and a willingness to learn
and improve one’s standing.”
Sanja Kon,
CEO at Utrust

Crypto is becoming accessible beyond the crypto communities and raising awareness in general
society. How do you see current financial literacy
and are there disparities between geographies?

Are crypto B2C businesses and other exchange
platforms responsible for promoting the financial
literacy of their users? What is Utrust doing to
promote this?

Indeed cryptocurrency is serving as a way for people in different societies to increase their financial
literacy. This is due to the fact that most newcomers to the ecosystem are intrinsically interested in
its fundamental workings, and by proxy many of
the financial theories that underpin its use cases
and perceived market value. At the same time, this
increased knowledge of the fundamentals also
translates into a higher awareness of many fundamental aspects of money, finance, drivers of value
and the wider financial system that they are part of.
Although this is a general trend across the globe,
disparities still persist across geographies, as different nations have widely different economic conditions,institutions and policies. In this area, crypto
has been acting as catalysts towards wider equalization of knowledge, mostly due to its global reach
and lower barrier to entry, while requiring only internet access and a willingness to learn and improve one’s standing.

While business and exchange platforms have a
role and underlying responsibility to make available
clear and concise information on the products they
provide, the wider component of financial literacy
is not always within the direct scope of responsibility of the company. Effective financial literacy is
not something that can be simply pushed in a topdown manner, requiring the individual to have a
proactive interest in the topic (and it is in their best
interest to do so), to understand and internalize
the concepts and behaviors in their own life.
Despite this, there is a lot that companies can do
to help users access information and resources in
a structured and user-friendly way, explaining complex concepts in a visual, engaging and interactive
way. At Utrust, we do this by periodically providing
articles on different topics of the cryptocurrency
ecosystem, in our blog, newsletter and direct community engagements. Utrust also contributes to financial literacy of the ecosystem in a practical way,
by virtue of its own open ended mission and services provided – as an enabler of on-chain payments
for its merchants. This means that the clients of merchants can use any wallet, as part of an open ecosystem to safely pay for their goods and services.

Portugal occupies the last position of the 19 countries of the euro zone in the European financial
literacy ranking according to a study from ECB in
2020. Can fintech and crypto act as a tool to increase financial literacy? How so?
Fintech and crypto can and are becoming a tool for
financial literacy. Their technology underpinnings
are serving as facilitators for people that wouldn’t
otherwise be required to understand financial concepts to do so. However, this requires access to
productive capital to employ, individual willingness
and commitment to learn, a predictable fiscal environment, a focus on future gains in opposition to
immediate gratification.
While Portugal still ranks the lowest in terms of financial literacy due to different factors, its also in
a great position to leverage most of the benefits
of the technology elements to close the gap and
catch-up with the rest of the ECB. This of course
depends on individuals’ initiative to seek out and
create opportunities for themselves and their communities, rather than passively waiting for a third
party to deliver the opportunity to them.

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What should be done within the next 5 years to
reach better literacy than the European average?
In the next 5 years, literacy can be improved by a
concerted effort between traditional financial institutions, Fintechs and Academia. More topics and
concepts of financial literacy should be included as
part of the mandatory pre-college curriculum (one
should not need a Financial major to be versed in
the elementary elements of financial literacy, such
as principal, interest, correlation of risk vs reward).
This should be reinforced by Fintechs institutions,
which could provide engaging and informative content to their users, enticing them to expand their
knowledge by proactive discovery.
How can crypto startups drive financial literacy?
Crypto startups can definitely drive financial literacy, by providing their users with appropriate material knowledge and insights that foster self-learning
of financial topics. This is a long continuous effort
and process that should be reinforced with the
practical application of the acquired knowledge in
a safe and controlled environment, which Fintechs
are in a prime position to provide.
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147

MiCA is coming
Crypto for the win?
“MiCA shall provide rules on important
matters, such as the issuing of assets and
requirements for their commercialization
and custody. It shall also establish the terms
for the regulatory relation of cryptoassets
concerning other EU financial rules on
payments, crowdfunding, e-money and
financial instruments.”
Martinho Lucas Pires,
Policy Affairs Board Member of Portugal Fintech

Law and technological innovation do not always
go hand in hand. While the former tries to stabilize
market dynamics, the latter tries to reinvent them.
However, the constant transformation of services
through technological solutions, leading to more
digitalization, automation, and inter-connectedness between market operators (businesses and
consumers), has made regulatory policy a priority.
Since the core of fintech is the use of new technologies to bring benefits of efficiency and efficacy,
it is no surprise that regulatory developments will
catch up with the sector.
There are areas in clear need of renewed regulatory standards. Cyber security is already a pressing
issue in the provision of financial services. Automated decision-making mechanisms will continue
to get more sophisticated, requiring more duties
of transparency for better consumer protection.
The growth of micro-credit and buy-now-pay-later
mechanisms and the continuous surging of web3
projects require new forms of regulatory licensing
and updated normative frameworks to serve as
tools for a vibrant and secure market to exist.
MiCA shall provide rules on important matters, such
as the issuing of assets and requirements for their
commercialization and custody. It shall also establish
the terms for the regulatory relation of crypto assets
concerning other EU financial rules on payments,
crowdfunding, e-money and financial instruments
2022 was a year marked by discussions surrounding the approval of the Market in Crypto Assets
Regulation (“MiCA”). The purpose of MiCA is to
provide normative benchmarks for the issuing and
commercialization of cryptoassets in the EU. The
goal, according to the proposal of regulation issued
by the Commission, is to guarantee more legal certainty, while supporting innovation, instill satisfactory levels of consumer and investor protection, and
ensure financial stability.
The current status of cryptoasset regulation in the
continent is far from satisfactory. It is not easy, in
practice, to incorporate the market in cryptoassets
within current rules of financial services and compliance. To make matters more complicated, different
States have adopted different perspectives, with
some jurisdictions advancing with friendlier regulations (like Malta or France), while others adopt
more precautionary positions. The discrepancies
invariably generate market distortions that need to
be covered.
MiCA shall provide rules on important matters, such
as the issuing of assets and requirements for their

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commercialization and custody. It shall also establish the terms for the regulatory relation of cryptoassets concerning other EU financial rules on
payments, crowdfunding, e-money and financial
instruments.
The process of approval has not been easy given
developments in the sector, such as the growing
NFT and DeFi markets, and debates surrounding
the hosting of wallets. It is also unclear how certain realities, such as staking, protocol governance,
play-to-earn, among others, shall be covered – or
not – by MiCA.
It is important to understand that MiCA will not
be the end of the story in the regulation of cryptoassets in the EU. Financial rules will have to be
updated in the future to cover situations where
cryptoassets are used by regulated entities providing such services. Furthermore, new developments and updates will be required to deal with
the continuous innovation that the next years will
bring. Still, MiCA represents a major step and an
important milestone for the sector, given that it will
be directly applicable and effective in the whole of
the EU. The recently approved Regulation on a pilot regime for market infrastructures based on distributed ledger technology (the blockchain market
infrastructure) is another element that will provide
further certainty for companies wishing to enter the
market of tokenization. Although the rules of this
regulation apply only from March 2023 onwards,
we may not be too far away to see blockchain and
crypto getting mass adoption.
2022, therefore, was a year of significant steps,
even if small in terms of impact. A lot is being prepared, that will produce significant effects. Predictions on how such proposed developments will
shape the digital finance market in the EU are premature. There will undoubtedly be improvements,
but there will also be shortcomings, given the continuous range of innovations that the creativity of
developers and entrepreneurs continues to bring.
No law is perfect nor messianic; the focus should
be on following the approval procedures and preparing to adopt the new standards.
At this stage, a level playing field for crypto markets in Europe is essential, one that is sufficiently
stable for providing trust and enough dynamic to
accommodate innovation. Or, in other words, a robust regulatory framework that is not too onerous
on businesses that advance the market with new
ideas and products. Easier said than done, for sure.
Let’s see what the future brings.

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149

Blockchain
and Crypto are
a different world
Simão Cruz,
Fouding Managing Partner at Lightshift Capital

Fundraising went up more than 6 times to $34.3 billion in 2021. In one year, M&A increased from $1.1B
in 2020 to more than $55 billion according to PwC.
150

In a context of such cutting-edge technology, and
in a market where everything is still so recent, talent, skills and experience became the most valuable resource. This created excellent economic incentives for projects to start building remote teams
recruited from anywhere in the world and individuals to move to wherever offered optimal conditions.

While Web2 had accustomed us to seeing a founder as the hero of a story at least until the IPO, in
blockchain the community quickly has to become
bigger than the founder for the project to thrive.

There are more than 10 unicorns coming out of Portugal, and the trend is continuing with the emergence of leading founders in the blockchain industry,
such as Diogo Mónica (Anchorage), Pedro Gomes
(Wallet Connect), Roberto Machado (Utrust), or
Gonçalo Sá (Consensys Diligence), to name a few.
The ecosystem started attracting some of the
leading investors, founders and builders in the
space. It is remarkable to note that even though
we see them establish their companies outside of
the country, the Portuguese capital is where they
mostly live and work from.

Scalability always comes first. For most blockchain
companies, it is a must from day one. The code
is typically flexible enough to accommodate the
growth of the application to any number of users
in any part of the world.

According to pitchbook, valuations in blockchain
grew rapidly. Several new funds were launched
during 2021 and the competition for projects led
to an increase in early stage prices. On top of that,
established investors, with larger ticket sizes and
looking for more traditional business models, set
their entry point in the industry through late stage
companies which would in turn drive even faster
growth on its valuations.

Community
and Collaboration

US residents often chose Puerto Rico as a place
to move, as well as NY (still the center of financial
services and boasting a strong connection with the
blockchain industry). In Asia, Singapore has seen a
lot of innovation. Finally, Lisbon emerged as one of
the main global hubs.

Companies in the blockchain industry have a set of
unique characteristics that differentiate them from
traditional fintech or digital industry companies.

Open source is always key. This is what allows any
group of people to swiftly start building on top of
whatever appears that is truly strong. The level of
experimentation and innovation this setup allows
for is something we haven’t seen before in information technology, and it’s created and impact that
has become wildly attractive to investors.

Lisbon as
a main hub

Blockchain valuations soar, others sputter

Average

Median

$5B

Some material effects of these migrations are now
being felt, with Lisbon hosting some of the largest
events in the ecosystem. Leading projects are now
choosing it as the place to organize global events
such as Near Con or Solana Breakpoint. Other notable events for 2022 include ETHLisbon (hosted in
2021 at the Fintech House), the Websummit or the
Filecoin Summit.

Capital quickly became a commodity in the past
two years. Projects need skills and experience
more than ever. Specifically, talent with the knowledge to build great projects, something that is exceedingly rare as of yet.
The same goes for supporters or even investors
that come to the table. The need for them to differentiate and add value is becoming exceedingly
evident. At Lightshift, we believe in being partners
and builders, with a core team of engineers that
can directly contribute to our portfolio companies,
and the organization of events at a much larger
scale to create a community around them.

The future
As with any nascent technology, the ecosystem
will go through extremely different evolving phases. Overall, we look forward to the growth of the
industry and to many more builders to come. The
transition from traditional industries (and even
Web2) is evident. While the first years were focused on building Layer 1s and other technologies
that work as a foundation, we expect more customer focused applications to arrive and the main
use cases to be deployed.

$3B

$2B

$1B

* As of April 21, 2022
Source: PitchBook data
Valuations are post-money

0
2018

2019

Decentralized Finance

2020

2021

Global VC late stage

Global VC early stage

Crypto late stage
Decentralized Finance

Crypto early stage
151

Binance
/ Why a crypto
lab in PT

The reasons that make Portugal an attractive place
for some of these players are most likely the same
identified by us. First, its unquestionable pool of talent allows companies to hire top skilled individuals. Second, the clear focus that the country and
its government has dedicated to establishing Portugal as a hub for technology and innovation with
both public and private-backed initiatives such as
Portugal Fintech, Startup Portugal, Made Of Lisboa
and many others. Lastly, the fact that the quality of
life found in Portugal has made it one of the top destinations for expats and migrants around the globe.
Europe is about to launch its MiCa regulation and
that will have an impact on crypto assets. What
are the main impacts you expect to have?

Binance recently announced its request to get a
license from Banco de Portugal (BdP). What are
the plans for Portugal?

João Pedro,
Growth Lead at Binance

On April 23, 2021 Banco de Portugal (BdP) adopted a regulation that would require companies that
provide virtual assets services to get registered
with the regulator. Besides being a requirement
to operate in the country, this registration testifies
that entities like Binance comply with the legal procedures and have at their disposal tools that allow
them to prevent money laundering and terrorism
financing. By submitting our registration we are
sending a clear message to anyone that is planning to use Binance for illicit reasons: “you are not
welcome on our platform”.

The EU has taken a more progressive approach
than others when it comes to regulating crypto
assets, recognizing the particular characteristics of
cryptocurrencies compared to traditional finance,
and therefore the need for a bespoke legal framework MiCA will change the way crypto assets are
listed, held in wallets and traded. It has the potential to provide much needed certainty for crypto
companies to operate and strong safeguards for
users. Because it is a regulation, it will apply in the
same way across the EU, ensuring a level playing
field and creating a single market for crypto.

On top of that, Binance also wanted to establish itself in Portugal and hire local talent to drive Web3
adoption and ensure users will be served with the
same level of security and trust as they are used
to from local companies.

On the other hand, in some parts, MiCA introduces
an excessive burden or creates legal uncertainty.
Stablecoins and DeFi are two cases in point. This
is partly the consequence of Europe moving fast in
devising rules for a sector that is in its infancy and
rapidly developing. To mitigate these drawbacks, it
is important that regulators are open to dialogue
with the industry on how to implement the rules in
a sensible manner.

What do you find special about Portugal?

What are your views on the current crypto crisis?

Portugal has drawn quite a lot of attention over the
past few years especially from some of the tech-giants that have already demonstrated their interest
in joining the blooming hub in the country – when
we talk about the Web3/Crypto industry, this interest is even more emphasized.

The Web3 and Crypto industry is still in its early
stages and therefore the valuation of crypto-assets can be subject to steeper price fluctuations
than those observed in traditional and more established markets.
Overall, we like to look at these cycles as a healthy
and necessary means to weed out the weak projects and leave room for the strong ones to grow. In
such an embryonic industry with so many projects
appearing every day it is very easy to lose focus
on the ones that have actual substance and bring
real value to the ecosystem and ultimately to the
community/end-user. These “crises” often serve as
a reminder that our focus should be on them.

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How do you envision Binance overcoming this period of widespread industry crisis?
We understand how it may feel when we see many
projects that spent a lot of money during the socalled “bull market”, especially some that have recently joined the industry, and now find themselves
in a corner with a tight budget and need of cutting
down on expenses.
While we do not want to diminish or belittle any
industry companion that might be going through
rough times, we truly believe that for projects that
have responsibly realized profits, conserved cash
and avoided increasing their spending as a result of
a positive market fluctuation this sentiment of crisis
shouldn’t affect or limit their growth and operations
– this is the case of Binance.
Throughout this period we will continue to do what
we do best which is building great products that
are safe, reliable, easy to use and aligned with our
community’s needs and wants.
As recently mentioned by our CEO, “(…) we’re still
fine, we’re still hiring, we’re still growing”.
How do you expect to collaborate with the local
fintech and crypto ecosystem?
Binance fosters collaboration and empowers blockchain entrepreneurs, startups, and communities to
facilitate positive impact in the crypto space and
the decentralized web.
Furthermore, Binance has excellent mentors with
extensive experience in both crypto and the traditional/wider start-up space and so we definitely seek to establish ourselves as the facilitator to
connect startups with our vast network of industry
leaders and investors in the crypto ecosystem.
On top of this, Binance has its own venture capital arm and innovation incubator – Binance Labs
– that is committed to financing industry projects
that promote Web3 and blockchain technologies
and is continuously seeking to identify, invest, and
empower viable blockchain entrepreneurs, startups, and communities around the globe.
Knowing that Portugal is now a breeding ground
for startups, having as many unicorns as Spain, Italy and Greece combined, we are also undoubtedly
keeping a close look on any investment opportunities that may arise.

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153

How can financial
institutions take
advantage of the
crypto scene?
As the cryptocurrency adoption is becoming more
attractive to individuals and companies all over the
world, Traditional Finance Business Models, which
usually represent a source of security and trust, start
looking at crypto as an opportunity to diversify and
innovate their services/products. As a recent study
mentioned, 81% of Bitcoin Holders would move their
holders to a bank if it had secure storage.

António Veiga Ferrão,
Fintech Solutions Director

Portugal

3. Facilitating investments in crypto currencies

Focusing on Portugal’s environment for cryptocurrencies, it is possible to say that is one of the
European countries leading in terms of percentage of investments in cryptocurrencies. According
to Chainalysis, Portugal showed a total volume of
cryptocurrency transactions superior to what was
expected considering Portugal’s economy size.
With no taxes in capital gains from crypto transactions, Portugal has been considered one of the
European most crypto-friendly countries, having
attracted several investors over the past few years.

Allowing for the investment in cryptocurrencies will
allow to increase customers trust in the bank, as well
as differentiate by the services provided. The German Banking Group Sparkasse is now developing a
crypto wallet for its customers, allowing for the direct
purchase of cryptocurrencies through their wallets.

Call to Action for Traditional Financial Institutions
As previously mentioned, traditional financial institutions such as banks, should leverage their operation into innovation and growth by taking advantage of the cryptocurrency scene. For that, there
are several strategies that one could follow:

1. Contribute to financial literacy on crypto related
topics
With the great increase of platforms and tools for
financial education, customers may feel vulnerable
to amount of information and its complexity. To face
this problem, banks can act as vehicles of information, helping to educate and inform customers about
the crypto opportunities, to help them navigate
through their possible choices and to understand
how to take the best advantage of it. With this, they
are deepening customer relationships, as well as creating a better customer journey experience. For example, Caixa Geral de Depósitos, a Portuguese bank,
used its content platform Saldo Positivo, to present
10 best practices on how to deal with crypto assets.

4. Processing payments
With the global payment systems becoming more
digitalized, cryptocurrencies are gaining space in
the market, which creates the need for banks to
adapt and provide innovative solutions to customers wanting to explore this new environment. To
face this challenge, banks should start developing
payments processors that will accept cryptocurrencies as a form of payment.
In conclusion, similarly to the fintech revolution,
whose startups were in first place competitors and
only later partners of traditional banking, the same
will happen with DeFi. In the future, both realities
will coexist and what currently appears as competition will convert to synergies. The rhythm of this
change will just depend on regulation, openness to
innovate and customers’ drive for digital services.

/

2. Being a digital asset holder
As mentioned above, with the strong increase in
cryptocurrencies holding, the majority of investors
would prefer to hold it on Banks, as they are usually
providers of security and safety. By adapting to this
opportunity, banks would increase customer interest and awareness. In Portugal, Bison Bank is the
first bank allowed to operate in virtual assets’ custody and exchange, having created the Bison Digital
Assets for that purpose.

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Decentralized Finance

155

/Crypto Case Study

What is Bison Digital Assets’ strategy and what
markets does it intend to address?
Bison Digital Assets aims to serve as a bridge between the traditional financial world (or TradFi) and
the new reality of cryptocurrencies or digital assets.
In this scope, we are the first company fully owned
by a Portuguese Bank to operate the Custody and
Exchange business of digital assets with a license
granted by the Bank of Portugal.

/ Bison Digital Assets
Diogo Brás,
Chief Crypto Business Officer at Bison Bank

Bison Digital Assets’ positioning is global and is
mainly focused on two sectors: High Net Worth
Individuals and Institutional Clients that want to
exchange, acquire or sell digital assets (cryptocurrencies) in a safe way, and with formal procedures
characteristic of a bank without leaving aside the
technology inherent to the blockchain, that is, with
ease of deposit and withdrawal.

our interest to support and mainly cooperate with
fintech start-ups in which we see a huge compatibility both in culture and establishment stage.
How do you think the rest of the national and European banking sector is looking at this topic?
Portugal is in a relevant position among the countries that enable the development of organizations
and businesses in the digital asset economy.
We have a globalized approach to innovation and the
development of this sector in Portugal has attracted a
very significant level of talent and foreign capital that
has allowed the birth of several startups and organizations linked to crypto-active and web3, becoming
a key ingredient for Portugal to have an outstanding
chance in the birth and consolidation of the sector.

Do your customers perceive and value the added
security of Bison Digital Assets having a bank behind it?

Thus, we know that the remaining national banking
sector is attentive to all developments in this ecosystem. However, we note that the adoption of this
trend is taking some time.

We count on it,
The value proposition that Bison Digital Assets
brings to the market is that it is the first entity owned
by a Portuguese bank that is regulated by the Bank
of Portugal.

We are pioneers and our doors are always open for
cooperation. We see opportunities and not rivalry in
the rest of the market. We support businesses and
partners in adopting digital assets without the need to
involve third parties that include risk in this value chain.

We aim to provide a safe channel of exposure that
is strategically limited – it will only have instruments
such as Bitcoin and Ethereum – the two largest
cryptocurrencies in the world.

What advice do you leave, both to mature players
and startups, to accelerate collaboration in these
areas?

In addition to Custody and Exchange services on
these two assets, Bison Digital Assets does not expect to provide “Stablecoins”, thus limiting the potential risk for its issuers. Thus, fiat Custody will be
done exclusively by the bank and cryptocurrency
Custody will be done by Bison Digital Assets. For
this, Bison Digital Assets will use partners that enable the latest and best practices in blockchain.

We are in a consolidation phase in which more than
a competitive spirit, we must have a spirit of unity
and cooperation. There is room for all players to
grow, and both Bison Bank and Bison Digital Assets
are clearly available to collaborate and add value.

How will the fintech startup ecosystem be able to
partner/client with Bison Digital Assets’ services?
In the financial sector, Bison Digital Assets stands
out for its openness to products that involve digital assets. We are in Portugal and beyond borders
one of the few entities with unprecedented banking support in terms of auditing and compliance.
We fully believe in the financial revolution through
technology and especially when framed in the context of the Portuguese market, which, precisely
because it has not yet matured, presents an enormous opportunity for disruption.