Europe and the FinTech Adventure: The Austrian Case
As the FinTech industry keeps growing, it is fundamental to know where to find the best conditions to start and effectively run a company. Although it may seem that online technologies have diminished the role of geolocation, MEDICI’s experience shows how important it is to have the best services available for our activities.
Austria has been recognized as one of the most interesting international startup hotspots. The startup community, and particularly FinTech startup community, is growing day by day, and finding a lively ecosystem.
One of the reasons for such development is that Austria’s environment perfectly fits startups’ needs. The past few months have seen the birth of many communities and incubators. New services are available online, providing any kind of information that could be useful for startups. Let’s take a closer look at some of the initiatives enabling entrepreneurs to launch and run a successful business in Austria:
The Startup Program by the Austrian Federal Government
The Austrian Federal Government has launched a comprehensive startup program in 2016, covering a period of three years and entailing a volume of about 185 million euros ($204 million). It consists of a number of initiatives; here are the most remarkable ones:
- The creation of a new legal entity, the Mittelstandsfinanzierungsgesellschaft (MiFiG), aiming to stimulate investors into providing risk capital for small and medium-sized companies
- Tax exemption for applying up to 15,000 euros in dividends for investors in a MiFiG
The ABA-Invest In Austria, among all the other things, gives an insight about the most important funding sources in Austria:
- The Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), a national funding institution for applied research and development in Austria. It offers various services such as the management of public funding programs to consulting services in all phases of technology development.
- Austria Wirtschaftsservice GmbH (AWS) should be kept in consideration as well for what concerns non-repayable grants, guarantees or subsidized loans.
According to ABA, the funding activities of the City of Vienna are bundled under the auspices of the Vienna Business Agency, and encompass consulting, services and favorably priced office space in addition to monetary funding.
AustrianStartups is a non-profit platform of, by, and for the Austrian startup community to increase its visibility and strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem. It has created an event calendar for startups where it is possible to find most of the relevant upcoming startup events in Vienna and Austria. These events are the best places to implement networking strategies to find potential partners and talent for working with and creating value.
According to Startus Magazine, anyone involved in the FinTech business should keep his/her eye on SpeedInvest. The most recognized Venture Capital fund in Austria, it specializes in FinTech, technology, media-centric and e-commerce segments from CEE countries. It works hands-on with founders and partners. Startups which have their product and team ready can get up to 500.000€ in seed round funding.
Elevator Lab is a leading FinTech accelerator built by Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI) to jointly develop scalable business cases. It offers access to 14 CEE markets and a global network of clients, business partners, and investors.
Noteworthy FinTech Startups in Austria
At MEDICI, FinTech’s Global Knowledge Network, we too want to contribute to the growth of the Austrian FinTech ecosystem. Therefore, we are offering startups an opportunity to shine the light on their technologies, mission, and plans through our MEDICI Now! Stories.
Furthermore, we will review some of the most interesting Austrian FinTech ventures worth keeping an eye on:
Kompany provides an official international business register information platform which provides real-time access to official company register documents, business credit reports, annual reports and other documents filed with the government.
Nexperts is a company active in the following industries: mobile wallets for payment, loyalty, ticketing, and access control.
Cashpresso provides a mobile-based personal loan lending platform which helps users to apply for loans up to 1500 euros. It enables its users to pay bills online by directly transferring money from their Cashpresso account to shops. Users can also transfer money into their banking accounts.
DaoPay GmbH offers micropayment solutions, enabling online merchants of digital goods to bill charges directly to the consumer’s mobile account.
Finnest provides a crowd-based investing platform for SMEs to get access to unsecured loans using crowd investing based on a rate-auction process.
Mycelium is cryptocurrency platform that provides bitcoin wallets, trading, and payments solutions to customers.
Oratio GmbH is an insurance-focused brand being operated by Oratio. It allows businesses across several industries to connect with customers via messengers like Facebook Messenger. It offers advice about insurance products in layman's terms.
Grid Singularity is a decentralized energy data exchange platform. It hosts a range of applications to facilitate energy data analysis and benchmarking, smart grid management, trade of green certificates, investment decisions, and energy trade validation.
Ubimet is a private weather service provider with an international team consisting of experts in the fields of meteorology, physics, mathematics, geoscience, and information technology.
Wikifolio is a social trading platform that enables investors to publish their stock investment strategies in forms called 'Wikifolios.' Wikifolio.com enables traders to turn their trading strategies into fully-fledged financial products listed on a leading stock exchange. With wikifolio.com, investors can easily invest in the most suitable trading strategies by ordering Wikifolio certificates via an online brokerage account of their choice.
mobile pocket is a subsidiary of Bluesource-mobile solutions, a mobile-based platform that collects shopping vouchers, coupons, loyalty cards & rewards points and stores it in a single location. It provides custom-made information, news, deals, discounts and more. It enables users to save money and helps companies with customer loyalty.
There is an innovative atmosphere permeating Austria, and now is the right time to make the most of it. MEDICI offers an opportunity to understand the landscape and the hallmarks of the ecosystem to make informed decisions for future growth and development.
Stay tuned for the next big FinTech hub developing across the world!
This list of FinTech startups in Austria is not exhaustive; more companies can be found here. If you would like to suggest a company for our overview, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.