Turkish fintech companies have potential to become unicorns

Fintech ecosystem is growing fast in Turkiye and those financial technology companies have the potential to become unicorns, said Ufuk Bilgetekin, head of the Turkiye Payment and Electronic Money Institutions’ Association (TÖBED).

After the Central Bank gave its approval to 16 more firms to operate in the industry, the number of authorized electronic money institutions rose to 42.

“We are the most dynamic and attractive industry. Local fintech companies have several strengths such as well-developed technological infrastructure and skilled work force. But capital and investments should become part of those strengths,” said Bilgetekin.

Local companies need to increase their ability to attract international investments, which requires a more state-supported investment program, according to Bilgetekin.

He added that the Istanbul Finance Center offers a good opportunity for creating a market environment which will help the fintech ecosystem to flourish.

“We have not yet met out targets in terms of opening to foreign markets due to certain difficulties. However, companies in the sector have the vision and skill to become an important player in the region given the developments in money transfer and wallet products,” said Bilgetekin.“Those companies have the potential to become unicorns.”

The number of fintech companies reached 520 according to data from 2021, he noted, adding that 9 percent of the newly launched companies in the start-up ecosystem each year are fintech companies.


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