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The co-founder of Lithuanian co-founder recognised among top 15 the most influential women of the industry in Europe

2020-05-28

The news portal sifted.eu for start-ups owned by 'Financial Times' announced the top 15 the most influential women of Fintech in Europe. One of them - a Lithuanian, co-founder and director of crowdfunding platform 'Profitus' as well as of account managing business 'Victory Funds', Viktorija Vanage.

When making the list, Sifted.eu concentrated on the 5 Fintech countries, after the UK, that received the most investments - Germany, Sweden, France, Spain and Lithuania. In the list of the C level women executives, V. Vanage is noticed among such influential Fintech women as German fintech unicorn, digital bank N26 product group executive Georgie Smallwood or the best-rated fintech start-up 'Klarna' financial executive Camilla Giesecke.

'It is nice to see, that influential start-up news portal, by which is challenging to be noticed, paid attention not only to me but also to Lithuania. It is a substantial appraisal of trust and recognition for our country, that again was presented as a great place to invest. I hope that this international recognition will open new opportunities for us internationally and will attract new investments into Lithuania' - says V. Vanage 

The only Lithuanian from the list, who is working, as she noticed herself, in manly industries - in real estate and finance - claims that more and more women courageously take on executive roles 'with time more women are becoming executives in Lithuania. Such a tendency can be seen even in the industries that are man-dominated from first sight, for example, construction. To be a company's executive is a question of how much responsibility can a person take on his shoulders. Women work truly great, they only need to be brave, not to be afraid of taking decisions that sometimes can cost more than a few million euros' - claims V.Vanage.

Lithuania – the second biggest fintech centre in Europe 

Analysts of news portal Sifted.eu name Lithuania as the second biggest Fintech centre in Europe after the UK. In our country, this industry is rapidly developing and is chasing the first place. In 2018 alone in Lithuania, the number of start-ups grew by 45%. In comparison, in 2018, there were 170 start-ups registered, while in 2017 - 117 start-ups. Additionally, Lithuania is in the first place in the EU for women who are involved in the technology industry. In 2018, when the average in Europe was 41% of women in the industry, in Lithuania 57% of women were in the industry. Also, most of the country's fintech companies have at least 30% women as their employees.

Since the company was founded in 2018, the platform for investing in real estate, Profitus, raised 12.3 m euros and financed 83 projects. Just in a few years of operating, the platform attracted over 8000 registered investors, and at the start of this year, the news portal eu-startups.com named the company as one of the most promising start-ups in Lithuania.

The pandemic did not stop investments

When asked to share the business's success, V. Vanage revealed the main principle that she follows - 'one thing is to have an idea, but to make it come to life is different - to establish a business, make that every process would work - and to keep everything functioning is even more challenging. It is especially relevant when running into unexpected situations such as this pandemic. If you want to keep your business, you need to work considerably, invest a lot of energy, concentration but most importantly - is to clearly know your strategy and always follow it.

Although the pandemic touched the whole world, the businesswoman also sees new opportunities 'this situation allowed businesses to calculate expenditure, to check effectiveness and ability to adapt. I'm very happy that many businesses introduced the ability to work remote, it even allowed us to increase the effectiveness of our work. In my opinion, it is a great step forward for every company.'

V. Vanage is sure, that the pandemic will not have a substantial influence on real estate businesses - 'this pandemic will not affect the real estate markets much as it was affected in 2007 by the crisis. People continue buying real estate, additionally, according to economy expert, Nerijus Maciulis, people do not plan to stop buying expensive things' - says the expert. 'Indeed, there will be changes: banks have already started to make borrowing conditions strict, many people lost their jobs and at this moment they cannot invest. However, the market is slowly coming back to the level it had before the pandemic and I think it was more of a technical pause, after which we will go up. The prices possibly will change due to lower demand and worse financial possibilities but there shouldn't be any bigger changes'.

The businesswoman adds that the bigger developers who want to keep their clients have a decision packet. They suggest more appealing conditions such as paying rent to buy the property or more attractive paying off conditions, so the buyers would have time to recover financially and would buy that real estate that they reserved and is new.

'In 2019 a record number of deposits was collected - 25 milliard euros. Such a number in Lithuania is seen for the first time and it is 12% more than in 2018. It means that there is a lot of money in the market. This tendency can also be seen in our industry - in April, during the peak of the pandemic and the lockdown, we raised almost 1 million euros of investments - people continue investing. It signifies that during the one and a half years of operating, we obtained the trust of the market, and it is the most important thing in finance business' - claims V. Vanage.

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