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Fast-tracked fintech: Modulr’s reasons for going Dutch

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By Marca Wosoba, General Manager, Modulr Netherlands

Modulr is a leading Payments-as-a-Service platform for digital businesses and one of the UK’s fastest growing tech companies. In September 2021, we were pleased to announce the opening of our offices in the Netherlands and we’ve also recently announced that we’re licensed as an Electronic Money Institution by De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB). Both developments mark major milestones for our European ambitions.

Amsterdam is now home to Modulr’s continental European headquarters, from where our pan-European operations are run. The Netherlands is often cited as a ‘springboard’ for companies looking to expand, and the reasons for Modulr’s move here are clear. We chose the Netherlands and Amsterdam due, in part, to the vibrant fintech scene. The Netherlands is Europe’s third biggest tech ecosystem by market value and ranked fourth as Europe’s best fintech ecosystem in 2021. Amsterdam is also a key venue for several major global industry conferences, including Money 20/20. Such events have affirmed its trendsetting role in the world of finance and nurture a lively business culture that promotes innovation, collaboration and new opportunities.

The Dutch regulatory framework was another reason for choosing the Netherlands as our base. The regulatory environment supports financial innovation whilst ensuring the highest standards.

Offering an operational and regulatory hub to launch into continental Europe, the move, and our DNB licence, are key enablers of Modulr’s expansion into other countries such as Spain, France and beyond. Also, the prevalence of English language in the Netherlands and its multilingual talent pool is a huge draw for us. Indeed, it is seen by many global FinTechs as an ideal test market and starting point into the EU.

I think that the success of any relocation or expansion relies on companies having the right plan, the right operations and, crucially, the right people. Attracting the best local and international talent was a top priority for us when it came to our compliance, operations, product and business development teams. We also enlisted local professional service support to help us establish the Dutch office and ensure that Modulr’s Dutch employees enjoyed the same warm welcome and experience as those based in the UK and Ireland.

I would also advocate proactive relationships and partnerships – seek out the right advisory firms and industry bodies, such as the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) which was hugely supportive to us. Their local expertise and connections were vital in the initial stages of our expansion. And, it pays to ensure that a business’s operational set-up is built for both speed and scalability – that’s something that really helped us to hit the ground running.

Having the right cultural understanding is also critical – we optimised our cross-cultural competence by building a team that understood the nuances of the local market. Finally, a cohesive go-to-market strategy defined by product market fit and commercial opportunity is essential!

For FinTechs looking to go Dutch, the Invest in Hollandnetwork is ready to assist and make introductions to relevant partners within the Dutch fintech community; whether it’s in connection to licensing procedures, access to talent or even other international FinTechs who’ve already made the move.

What’s clear is that, for many companies such as Modulr, the Netherlands, with its access to specialist talent, excellent local business services and energetic fintech scene, provides a unique set of market conditions conducive to European expansion.

NFIA join this year’s Fintech Aviv Annual Summit on the 9th of March. Meet them to discover opportunities in Holland. Register here.

Find out more about Modulr.

Published as a Guest Post by Tal Sharon

The FinTech Aviv annual summit is taking place this year on March 9th. It will be a hybrid event, with on-site and online tickets both available. To find out more, and to purchase tickets, visit the website here: March 9 – Annual Summit 2022 | fintechaviv (fintech-aviv.com)

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