2021 was a breakthrough year for digital invoicing solutions provider Finbite, and the most successful in its more than 10-year history in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. At the beginning of the year, Finbite began operating as an independent company within the Omniva Group and adopted a new brand. According to Keir Veskiväli, CEO of Finbite, it is safe to say that this separation was a step in the right direction. ‘’In order to keep pace with rapid development and provide convenient service to our customers, flexibility is essential in the fintech sector. We are working on it every day, and our ability to compete on international level with the strongest technology platforms was also confirmed when we reached the semi-finals of the Singapore Hackathon last summer. We can see that our separation from a large logistics-focused state enterprise has provided us with a solid foundation and enabled the company to achieve a 26% increase in turnover compared to the previous year. The results on the Lithuanian market were particularly significant – we joined the 40% club, i.e., our turnover, the number of new customers, and the volume of digitised invoices, increased by more than 40%,’’ said Veskiväli.
In the first half of the year, the continued popularity of working from home contributed to the stable growth of the company. ‘Companies have begun paying greater attention to convenient solutions that also allow remote working – digital accounting solutions are no longer only the concern of the accountants and financial managers, their importance is also being more widely understood,’ said Veskiväli. As various constraints and disruptions have affected the economic performance of many companies, it is increasingly important for managers to have a real-time view of the cash flows and financial situation of their company. ‘‘Smart solutions, such as e-invoicing, digitisation, the e-confirmation circle, and mobile expense reporting, help to create a holistic picture of the financial performance in real-time,’ said the CEO of Finbite, as he explained the change of the emphasis in demand.
The time when digital invoicing solutions only benefited the public sector and large companies is long gone. ‘’This is why we revealed a new logic for packages in the autumn, one that covers not only large companies but also the needs of smaller companies and start-ups. We also launched an extensive digital campaign to introduce the different solutions,’’ noted Veskiväli, describing the main factors for success in the second half of the year that have led to a three-fold increase in the number of people interested in e-invoicing solutions. According to Veskiväli, it is important for Finbite to evolve along with its customers, offering services that help small companies grow and large ones organise their operations more intelligently.
For example, the solution known as e-expenditure reporting was upgraded in 2021 – employees will now be able to submit their expense reports via a mobile app, where the reports move directly into the accounting system and from there to their managers for approval. Even though there is less movement and business trips than before, the number of receipts entered for reporting purposes has grown by a factor of three. According to Veskiväli, this is just the beginning, as there’s a plan to break all achieved records within 2022.
Finbite will face 2022 with a growing team, as the goal is to complete the technological separation from Omniva’s systems in order to increase the range, ease of use and quality of the services the company offers. ‘’Whereas in the past we offered digitisation, mediation and a confirmation circle for invoices, today we are moving towards end-to-end solutions covering all accounting and billing needs – for us, this means that we are currently looking for people to help contribute to bringing this change in direction to life,’’ said Veskiväli, explaining how the global trend towards the consolidation of services will affect Finbite. In the labour market, Finbite is competing with start-up stars like Bolt, Wolt and Wise, and finding good talent is not easy for anyone. According to Veskiväli, the main thing setting Finbite apart is that the software it is working on is Estonia’s public sector calling card to the world and an example of how the public sector can successfully compete with the private sector, and develop the relevant technology and services.
Overall, the company’s performance and achievements over the past year clearly show that there is still a lot of potential for development in the fintech sector. In addition, the company’s objectives and plans are set up in such a way that no discounts are given on results and there is no losing ground to private sector competitors – either domestically or internationally.