Author: Ali Kiraz

fintech europe

Top 8 Amsterdam and Berlin Fintechs to watch in 2021:

For more in-depth insights, discussions and expert opinions on all things Fintech, check out the latest issue of PCN Magazine.


Amsterdam – One of the most promising fintech hotspots of Europe and the home of PCN’s HQ.

Being home to the Dutch East India Company, the world’s first publicly traded company and the most valuable company to ever exist, Amsterdam is by no means a newcomer to the financial sector.

But even with the rapid digitalization and transformation of the industry, the Dutch capital is able to keep up.

Here are 8 fintech companies based in the Venice of the North to look out for in 2021.

  1. Mollie

Mollie made headlines as fintech’s latest unicorn in 2020, having crossed the $1 Billion threshold with their Series B funding round that brought them an additional 90 Million $. With more than a 100.000 customers across Europe and four additional branches outside of Amsterdam, Mollie is arguably the largest fintech company coming out of the Venice of the North. With CEO Adriaan Mol’s leadership, the payments pioneer employs an international team of more than 300 employees. 

Together, they work on revolutionising payment integration for businesses, supporting all major markets and utilising a wide variety of payment methods ranging from traditional credit card payments to new fintech technologies such as PayPal or Klarna.

2. Fraudio

Backed by ING, PayVision and VivaWallet, this Amsterdam Startup is all about fighting payment fraud. Accomplished using innovative technologies, such as AI, machine learning, and multi-dataset network effects – there is no barrier for entry; the service is provided on a pay-per-use basis. Founded in 2019 by CEO Joao Moura, the future of Fraudio looks bright; their products have already proven to make 40% fewer false positives than one of the top 3 market leaders serving Dutch acquirers.

3. BUX

Offering a single-destination finance app to make participation in the financial market easier, accessible, and commission-free to everyone. 

CEO Nick Bortot launched the project in 2014, and the company has since amassed a user base of nearly 2.5 million across 9 European countries.

If you’d like to hear more about BUX and Nick Bortot’s vision check out this episode of ‘In Check with Fintech‘ with one of our stellar hosts Rogier Van Der Voort. 

4. Adyen

Since 2006 Adyen, a payments provider for businesses allows the acceptance of point-of-sale, mobile payments, and e-commerce transactions has been steadily growing through the leadership of founders Pieter van der Does and Arnout Schuijff, CEO and CTO. Having become a fintech unicorn in 2015 and a part of Forbes’ Cloud 100 list in 2016 and 2017, Adyen is perhaps one of the most household names on this list. Their offices span across 22 countries, which are the workplace of more than 1000 international employees. The online payment platform links to various payment methods across the world, including online banking methods and cash-based methods alike.

5. Factris

With a recent raise of €50 million through debt financing, Factris becomes a prominent member of the Amsterdam fintech scene after being founded in 2017 by Brice Laurent and Marcel Meijer. The company specialises, among others, in financing SMEs and invoicing. But central to their repertoire is the process of factoring; small businesses can apply for their unpaid invoices to settle immediately to gain capital for growth. Their philosophy of saying ‘yes’ accompanies their mission to embrace new businesses and help them grow.

6. Peaks

The concept of Rabobank-backed fintech Peaks could not possibly be any more grounded in Dutch culture. The name derives from the Old Dutch’ piekenpijp’ (Peaks pipe), a tube designed to collect coins and make saving spare change easier – which is precisely what the Peaks application accomplishes. It allows easy saving and investing through an accessible and user-friendly interface. Founded in 2016 the app is currently only accessible in the Netherlands, though it is quickly growing, with access in the rest of Europe being the next goal.

7. CreditClick

Founded in 2017 by Jeroen Bosch van Rosenthal and Jeroen Mulder, CreditClick’s mission is to bring an easy payment solution facilitating immediate, real-time online credit for consumers by credit suppliers. With no additional expense to the merchant or the consumer, and instant availability, this now Europe-wide application can be used immediately through a one-time registration, after which no transaction costs apply.

8. Ohpen

CEO and founder Chris Zadeh launched Ohpen in 2009 with a simple idea: developing the world’s first cloud-based core banking engine. After initially struggling to find clients, the investment company Robeco took the chance and bought their product. Since then, Ohpen has established itself as a market leader; with more than 150 employees and offices in three European countries, it is only continuing to expand. Their belief in a single, centralised system across countries is knitted into the company’s DNA and has brought on rapid growth over the last 10 years.


Berlin’s young, enthusiastic and creative energy and business mindset is nearly unmatched in mainland Europe. Comparisons to the US’ Silicon Valley are becoming increasingly justified: with more than 2.500 active startups, Berlin is attracting more young minds than any other city in the EU. Berlin’s distinct lack of significant banking presences like you find in London creates an atmosphere accommodating for fintech specifically.

Here are 8 Berlin fintechs to look out for in 2021:

  1. N26

With the rapid speed of digitisation, N26 sets the scene for the next step in the banking world by establishing a fully digital bank; Since 2013, the Berlin-based company has had a globalised worldview serving the purpose of transforming the financial landscape from an outdated industry into one that uses the latest technology to offer an optimised customer experience.

With Co-Founders Valentin Stalf (CEO) and Maximilian Tayenthal (CFO) leadership, they have expanded their business across multiple continents and 25 markets with more than 1,500 employees, crossing the 5 million customer mark earlier this year.

2. Raisin

The Berlin fintech Raisin is not named after dried up grapes, but conveys a more literal meaning in its title: the company works on raisin’ interest rates across Europe. From the comfort of your home, this app provides a service allowing customers to safely deposit up to 100.000€ in any of their 97 partner banks. Being active since 2014 the online banking platform now stretches across more than 30 countries with the leadership of founders Dr Tamaz Georgadze (CEO), Dr Frank Freund (CFO), and Michael Stephan (COO). 

3. Solarisbank

This Berlin fintech, led by CEO Dr Roland Folz, is not your everyday bank. Solarisbank offers Banking as a Service (BaaS), a business model providing businesses outside of banking and finance sectors with solutions for financial services that would usually take extensive banking licenses. Solarisbank removes this barrier to enable their financial services to move into new industries and contexts. The solution allows the empowerment of businesses to launch their own banking products.

With the fintech’s latest funding round in Summer 2020, bringing in 60 million EUR, the future of Solarisbank looks exciting.

4. Penta

Fueled by frustration in a company story reminiscent of Ferrucio Lamborghini’s infamous dissatisfaction with Ferraris, the six founders of Penta collectively decided that the banking landscape before 2017 was not accommodating enough for small businesses. Discontent with their efficiency, speed and support, they decided it was time to build a bank providing better solutions for SMEs. Since December 2017 it has been available in Germany, but Penta isn’t stopping there: expansion into more European countries will follow soon.

Fun fact: Penta is powered by one of our earlier entries: SolarisBank. One of the founders of SolarisBank, Marko Wenthin, also happened to be Penta’s CEO at one point.

5. Taxfix

1027. That is how many Euros the average employed individual in Germany overpays their taxes each year. 1027€ that can be regained through a process that many people find irritating and don’t fully understand. Taxfix’ founders Lino Teuteberg (CPO) and Mathis Büchi (CEO) recognised this as unjust. They set out to fix this problem: their product allows customers to get their tax refunds through an easy chat-like interface.

With a funding round of $65 million in April 2020, the company undoubtedly intends to grow and expand into new markets in the coming years.

6. Trade Republic

Trade Republic’s vision is accessibility and equal opportunity. The German fintech was founded in 2015 by Christian Hecker, Thomas Pischke und Marco Cancellieri to bring brokerage closer to the average citizen. Leaving commissions behind, the company is revolutionising trading by enabling customers to take it into their own hands. This empowerment for individuals to handle brokerage without a broker changes the trading landscape, putting the industry in new contexts and setting the Trade Republic apart.

Since obtaining a trading bank license in 2019, the company has been steadily growing, finally expanding into Austria this year, thereby setting the first step towards international expansion.

7. Billie

The B2B-Payments specialist Billie is all about innovation: the company’s philosophy dictates that technology must be used to lift the weight of repetitive and unnecessarily frustrating tasks to enable humanity to innovate and open up new opportunities.

For this, Billie offers seamless business transactions through an improved workflow, secured liquidity and equal access to large and small businesses alike. 

Thus, the often challenging chore of B2B-payments is updated to fit the digital age’s speed and ease. The buyer is also free to choose conditions of their preference, while the seller does not have to wait for payment.

The company was founded in 2016 by Aiga Senftleben, Dr Matthias Knecht, and Dr Christian Grobe.

8. Finleap 

The name can be taken more or less literal; Finleap allows other fintech enthusiasts the leap into the industry.

Since 2014, CEO Ramin Niroumand has expanded a fintech ecosystem, allowing them to build fintech companies to solve customers’ pain points surgically.

Since then, 17 companies emerged through Finleap in 15 different countries; more than 1300 employees work in H:32 in Berlin, now Europe’s largest fintech hub.

Check out our other articles here.

Check out the latest edition of PCN Magazine.

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