“The Netherlands is one of the global front-runners in successful FinTech innovation,” says Wopke Hoekstra, Dutch Minister of Finance. The city at the heart of this is Amsterdam. But why is Amsterdam’s fintech sector so strong, and what are the leading companies? In this article, we’ll take you through why Amsterdam is a fintech powerhouse.
Who’s Who in Amsterdam fintech: Meet the Unicorns
The Netherlands has over a dozen unicorns. These three Amsterdam-based fintech unicorns should be on your radar:
Founded in 2006, Adyen is a payments company focusing on large enterprises. Its payments platform provides businesses with a single system for accepting payments online and is used by companies such as KLM, TransferWise, Spotify, and LinkedIn. Adyen also offers POS solutions.
Founded in 2004 and often misconstrued as a rival to Adyen, Mollie’s payments platform is geared towards mid-size European businesses looking for easy setup, low-costs, and all leading payment methods. Mollie joined the unicorn club in the fall of 2020 with a EUR 90 million raise.
Also founded in 2004, Flowtraders is a world-wide, tech-enabled liquidity provider, both on and off-exchange, that specialises in exchange traded products.
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Fintechs to Watch
Besides the unicorns, Amsterdam has countless noteworthy fintechs. Here are a few:
BUX launched in 2014 and is a mobile-only, commission-free trading platform built for the digital generation. It’s amassed over 2 million users across Europe, and was started to make trading more accessible and affordable.
Many banks are wrestling with legacy systems, and Ohpen’s 2009 founding seeks to change that. Ohpen provides the next generation of core banking services with its cloud-native platform.
Founded in 2017, Factris provides a completely online invoice factoring platform for European SMEs. On the platform, companies can get paid the same day as they upload their invoices.
This Amsterdam-based, online-only challenger bank was founded in 2012 by tech entrepreneur Ali Niknam, who at the time secured the first European banking permit in more than 35 years. Bunq recently became the first digital Bank to roll-out Google Pay in the Netherlands and Portugal.
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Nxchange was founded in 2015 and is a stock exchange directly connecting investors and companies looking to trade securities. Hence, trading takes place without a bank or a broker.
Why Amsterdam is a fintech powerhouse:
All of the above companies are innovative, true. But the other ingredient in their success is the environment in the Netherlands and its capital city Amsterdam. Below are a few major reasons why Amsterdam is a fintech powerhouse:
- A cooperative regulatory environment
- An abundance of highly-skilled talent
- A high adoption rate for new tech
- A strong digital infrastructure
- It’s multilingual
- It’s internationally-oriented
- It has a very strong payments sector
- It has the highest mobile banking service adoption in Europe
Dive deeper into fintech
This overview gives you a small peek into some of the innovative companies populating Amsterdam’s fintech landscape. For additional information on Amsterdam and fintech, check out Holland FinTech’s Dutch Fintech Navigator.
If you are interested in finding out just how fintech impacts financial services, dive into how fintech is transforming what’s possible.