FinTech

FinTech

Our lawyers are constantly involved in the development of FinTech regulatory legislation and actively participate in the development of the FinTech field in Latvia as a whole. Therefore, we can safely say that FinTech is one of the drill.’s strongest areas of practice.

 

We are competent and work hand in hand with the client at all stages, from the idea development to the preparation of all the necessary documents and obtaining of licenses required for the activities.

 

drill. experts will create the most suitable solution for each of our clients in matters related to online lending, crowdfunding, payment services, virtual currency and credit comparison platforms, pension funds and other areas of FinTech, as we can be proud of our rich and valuable professional experience gained over the years.

 

We are also pioneers in the implementation of innovative financial services and solutions – we research side by side with our clients and go step by step through the strong and complex twists and turns of financial sector regulation. Our joint projects in the field of online financing and crowdfunding services already serve as a model for other market players, who often take over the drill. expert-developed legal documentation as industry’s best practices.

Publications and Projects

drill.’s FinTech practice team provided legal support to one of the most successful Latvian start-ups, SIA Nordigen Solutions, on raising EUR 2.1 million from several international venture capital funds, including Black Pearls VC, Inventure, Highgoal Capital, ID4 Ventures, Superangel, Calchas Holding, and business angels, including Artis Kehris, Henry Nilert, Gerri Kodres and Riivo Anton.

 

SIA Nordigen Solutions is an authorised payment institution that has obtained the first licence in Latvia for the operation of a payment institution with the right to provide account information services in 31 European countries. The licence was issued by the Financial and Capital Market Commission, which regulates and supervises the players of the Latvian financial sector. This type of payment service is considered to be one of the latest types of payment service, which allows customers to see aggregated information on the content of their payment accounts located in different banks and payment service providers.

 

Nordigen launched the first-ever free open banking API platform in Europe that provides connections to all major European banks. Since its inception in 2016, Nordigen has been an industry leader in developing solutions to turn raw transaction data into actionable insight.

 

drill.’s FinTech expert team advised Nordigen on investment deal made with several international venture capital funds, including Black Pearls VC, Inventure, Highgoal Capital, ID4 Ventures, Superangel, Calchas Holding, and business angels, including Artis Kehris, Henry Nilert, Gerri Kodres and Riivo Anton. As a result of the transaction, an investment of EUR 2.1 million was made in return for Nordigen shares.

 

drill.’s FinTech expert team assisted Nordigen in preparing and coordinating with existing and new shareholders all documents related to the investment, including the investment agreement and the shareholder agreement, as well as concluding the transaction and resolving post-closing issues.

 

Lawyers involved were partner Ramona Miglāne and senior associate Edgars Turlajs.

 

For more detailed information on Nordigen’s success story, see here.

In response to the request of SIA Mindi Insurance, drill. Regulatory team provided its assistance when SIA Mindi Insurance was registered as an intermediary for insurance and reinsurance services with the Financial and Capital Market Commission. We are pleased to say that the registration process went easily and smoothly.

 

While providing advice, drill. team developed a number of internal documents required by the company as an insurance and reinsurance service provider, namely, the Rules for Testing and Ensuring the Compliance of Knowledge and Skills of the Responsible Person and Employees Involved in Services, the Customer Payment Processing Procedure, the Information System Protection Rules, the Complaints Review Procedure and the Organizational Structural Rules.

 

In addition, we invested a lot of work in developing the Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy for the needs of SIA Mindi Insurance, as well as the terms of use of the Mindi Portal.

 

More information at: FCMC news.

Ramona Miglāne, head of FinTech practice team, provided an opinion to Delfi RUS on competition between FinTech and banks in the field of payment services.

 

The article is available šeit (in Russian only).

We are indescribably happy and satisfied that on 21.01.2021, our client, AS Indexo Atklātais Pensiju Fonds, received a licence from the Financial and Capital Market (FCMC) to operate a private pension fund. INDEXO plans to offer conceptually new and innovative 3rd pillar pension plans in the near future.

 

drill. experts piedalījās licences saņemšanai nepieciešamo dokumentu sagatavošanā un saskaņošanā ar FKTK, tajā skaitā, izstrādāja visus iekšējās kontroles sistēmas dokumentus un piedalījās tikšanās un sarunās ar regulatoru. Šī ir pirmā licence, ko ir saņēmis pensiju fonds pēc jaunā Privāto pensiju fondu likuma spēkā stāšanās, kā arī, ņemot vērā stingro AML regulāciju pēc finanšu nozares kapitālā remonta.

 

More information at INDEXO blog and FCMC news.

The Alternative Financial Services Association of Latvia entrusted Ramona Miglāne, the head of our FinTech practice group, with the great privilege to lead the development of the Guidelines for the Crowdfunding Industry in Latvia. The aim of the Guidelines is to create a sustainable and transparent crowdfunding industry in Latvia.

 

The Alternative Financial Services Association of Latvia unites financial technology or FinTech companies, as well as other companies operating outside the banking sector and providing financial services to the residents of Latvia and other EU Member States.

 

The Guidelines cover issues such as the protection of platform users’ assets, corporate governance, access to information and customer information, advertising practices, measures to prevent conflicts of interest and data protection, as well as a number of other principles. Please see the text of the Guidelines here:

https://www.lafpa.lv/content/uploads/2020/05/LAFPA_guidelines_crowdfunding_ENG-1.pdf.

IPAS Indexo is a start-up pension fund that has helped revitalize the Latvian pension fund industry in recent years by offering low-cost second-tier pension fund services. It is the first pension fund in Latvia to offer passively managed pension plans.

 

Our FinTech team successfully provided consultations and represented Indexo in the discussion of the new draft Private Pension Fund Law at the Saeima’s Legal Bureau. Thanks to the Indexo initiative, the draft law incorporates a mechanism that facilitates the convenient transfer of funds between private pension funds, as well as amendments to the Credit Institutions Law to ensure stronger protection of pension fund members’ assets in the event of insolvency of credit institutions. Both of these legal initiatives have been adopted.

 

Legal advice included preparation of amendments to the draft law and their substantiation (annotation) and successful representation of Indexo’s interests in the Saeima’s Legal Bureau.

 

For more information, please see:

https://indexo.lv/blogs/parmainas-3pl/ 

Our FinTech team of experts represented the Alternative Financial Services Association of Latvia in the working group established by the Ministry of Finance for elaboration of the draft Law on Crowdfunding Services, including drafting of amendments to the law, represented the Associations in the working group meetings, prepared arguments and justification for implementing various Association-initiated rules, requested opinions from the European Commission, ESMA, EBA, the Bank of Lithuania and the Estonian Financial Services Authority, as well as led discussions between the members of the Association, gathered their opinions and formulated the consolidated position of the members.

 

Although the draft Law on Crowdfunding Services did not make progress beyond the Saeima’s Budget and Finance Commission, as during its implementation, work was started on a unified EU regulation in the field of crowdfunding, this bill played a significant role in the development and arrangement of the industry. Thanks to the work of our experts, both the supervisory authorities such as the FCMC and the Bank of Latvia, as well as the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Justice gained a deeper understanding of the industry and the operation of platforms, which ensured productive dialogue with industry representatives.

With the support of our FinTech team, the first lending-based crowdfunding platform, www.mintos.lv, was created, which currently ranks among the largest platform of its kind in the world. To date, the Mintos platform has 340,000 investors from all over the world, with a total funding of € 5.7 billion. Currently Mintos is the leading platform in continental Europe with a 45% market share.

 

For several years, our FinTech team has helped Mintos grow and start its operations in more than 70 jurisdictions worldwide, providing a full range of legal assistance to the client. It should be emphasized that other Baltic market participants, when creating their crowdfunding platforms, have taken over the operating structure of the Mintos platform and the legal documents developed with our help as industry best practices.

SIA Mobilly is a licensed electronic money institution with the right to provide payment services. Its licence was issued by the Financial and Capital Market Commission, which regulates and supervises the participants of the Latvian financial sector. SIA Mobilly owns the most convenient and user-friendly billing system in Latvia, which facilitates the daily lives of more than 250,000 people and provides an opportunity for mobile phone users to make payments wherever mobile communications are available.

 

Our team of FinTech experts advised on the financing transaction of SIA Mobilly, which was concluded with the fourth largest bank in Latvia, AS Citadele banka. As a result of the transaction, AS Citadele banka acquired 12.5% of the SIA Mobilly shares. The purpose of the transaction was, among other things, to integrate Mobilly’s mobile payment services into the services offered by the Citadele Group, as well as to develop new mobile payment services.

 

Our FinTech team helped SIA Mobilly prepare and coordinate all documents related to the bank’s investment, including the investment agreement and the shareholder agreement, with the existing and new shareholders, as well as to close the transaction and resolve issues after the closing.

Our FinTech experts participated in the development of the AML internal control system of the Latvia-based international cryptocurrency bitcoin exchange platform Paybis. Under this assignment, our experts performed an AML risk assessment and prepared a report on the AML risk assessment, as well as developed AML procedures and other documents.

On 21 October 2016, Mobilly, one of the largest mobile payment service providers in Latvia, announced that it has managed to attract large investments in the amount of 1.1 million euro, including 700 thousand euro from the venture capital fund ZGI-3 to expand its operations. By signing an investment agreement with the venture capital fund ZGI-3, Mobilly became the largest investment attractor in the FinTech sector in Latvia in 2016.

 

Our FinTech practice team advised the venture capital fund ZGI-3 throughout all stages of the investment transaction, including legal due diligence, as well as the development and coordination of all investment-related documents.

 

Venture capital fund ZGI-3 made this investment in cooperation with the state-owned Development Finance Institution Altum and the European Regional Development Fund within the framework of the European Union Funds Operational Program “Entrepreneurship and Innovation” for 2007-2013, which is implemented with co-financing from the European Regional Development Fund.

Our FinTech team was honoured to participate in the establishment of the first distance (SMS and online) non-bank lending company in Latvia.

 

As part of the legal assistance, our FinTech experts initially provided an opinion on the legal risks of the proposed business and the conclusion of the transaction by means of remote communication. In the course of further coordination, our FinTech experts developed standard contract terms, agreed transaction documents with the IT software developer, as well as provided other legal services necessary for the establishment of the FinTech start-up business. It should be noted that at the time of the establishment of the company, there was no special legal regulation of consumer lending in Latvia and the conclusion of financial transactions using means of remote communication was atypical.