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24 February 2021
press release

Romania: Schoenherr advises Elevator Ventures on seed round investment in fintech start-up Finqware

Schoenherr Romania advised Elevator Ventures, the corporate venture capital ("VC") entity of Raiffeisen Bank International ("RBI"), on leading a seed round investment in the Romanian fintech start-up Finqware. Besides Elevator Ventures, the investor pool for this round included another venture capital fund and two angel investors.

Through this project, Finqware raised a seed investment of approx. EUR 500,000 to be used for further expansion of the company and the development of its cloud multi-banking data aggregation infrastructure. The Romania-based start-up produces a cloud-based middleware that builds a bridge between businesses and their financial services providers. With the new investment it intends to speed up its market expansion in CEE, addressing the growing needs of Open Banking data consumption of banks and other financial players.

"Financial institutions are making great strides in integrating fintech solutions into the functioning of their business. Romanian fintech start-ups have a lot of potential in providing such tools and VC investments can help them reach this potential. Elevator Ventures is a leading growth partner for fintechs in CEE and we are proud to have advised them on this project." – said Matei Florea, partner and head of Schoenherr's banking & finance practice in CEE, who led the team advising on this matter.

Recently, there have been quite some investments from VCs outside Romania into local start-ups. Still, these types of projects are relatively new in the local market, especially when it comes to making international investments in Romanian limited liability companies.

"Some of the aspects of the transaction were, legally speaking, off the beaten track in Romania. This called for creative solutions that would help the VC's and founders' interests align to both parties' satisfaction. The collaboration between Elevator Ventures and Finqware through the project was truly inspiring." – added Matei Florea.

Elevator Ventures focuses primarily on early stage and growth investments in fintech and related enabling technologies in CEE. The company leverages RBI’s expertise, network and corporate strength in order to help promising scale-ups expand across this dynamic region and beyond.

Finqware is a Romanian fintech company operating in CEE. The company was founded in 2018 with the aim of developing disruptive technology and solutions to put Open Banking at work, one of the most important shifts in the financial industry on its path to data driven economy models. Finqware is known for starting up the Open Banking movement in countries like Croatia and Romania, and it is internationally recognised for its technology with numerous awards, including a Seal of Excellence from the European Commission.

The legal team was led by Matei Florea (partner, Romania), with Markus Piuk (partner, Austria) running the international angle of the project.

Schoenherr has been active in Romania for 25 years. The Romanian office has a strong banking & finance practice, which is ranked by all major international legal directories (Chambers and Partners, Legal500, IFLR1000).

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