Vilnius, Lithuania

Vilnius, Lithuania

Singapore-headquartered start-up Instarem has entered the European paytech arena and will now provide international money transfer services from Vilnius in Lithuania.

The Bank of Lithuania has issued an approval for the electronic money institution (EMI) licence. As reported last year, the bank, the country’s central bank and regulator, promised to provide preliminary answers to financial institution licence enquiries within one week, “the fastest turnaround in the EU”.

Now that it’s got the go-ahead, Instarem says it plans to employ 25 IT and customer service specialists by the end of the year and “gradually build up” its team in Lithuania. It plans to invest approximately €3 million in its European operations over the next two years.

Prajit Nanu, co-founder and CEO of Instarem, says: “Our central operational headquarters for Europe and the North and South Americas will be based in Lithuania. From here, we will provide services for the whole of Europe and North Americas.

“We made this decision after considering the flexibility of the Bank of Lithuania, the speed of the EMI licence issuance, the excellent specialists in the country’s labour market and, last but not least – the operational costs.”

Next year, Instarem says it plans to apply for a specialised bank licence. The firm foresees a quarter of its employees will work in one of its major offices in Vilnius.

Currently, it provides services to individuals and businesses in Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Canada, India and Malaysia. The EMI licence will allow operations in the European Union by passporting through the SEPA region.

Established in 2014, the company currently employs more than 100 staff. As reported in July, it received a $13 million investment led by GSR Ventures, with participation from SBI-FMO Ventures, Vertex Ventures, Fullerton Financial Holdings and Global Founders Capital.