The Connector.

The Connector Podcast - Latvia FinTech Forum 2023 - PrimeX

October 12, 2023 Koen Vanderhoydonk (The Connector) / A. Mustafa Baltaci Season 1 Episode 28
The Connector.
The Connector Podcast - Latvia FinTech Forum 2023 - PrimeX
Show Notes Transcript

Join the conversation with  A. Mustafa Baltaci from PrimeX achieved remarkable success at the Fintech Factor competition held during the Latvia Fintech Forum 2023.

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Koen Vanderhoydonk

#FinTech #RegTech #Scaleup #WealthTech

Introduction  0:01  
Welcome to the connector podcast, an ongoing conversation connecting fintechs banks and regulators worldwide. Join CEO and founder toe and Vander Heiden as you learn more about the latest available trends and solutions in the markets.

Koen Vanderhoydonk  0:19  
Welcome to another episode of the connector podcast and today, I'm streaming live from Latvia, Riga. And I have a very special guest. I say that all the time. But this time, I have a winner from a FinTech contest and around me and the table. Mustafa, can you tell me a little bit about yourself and about your company? Couldn't Thank you very much for having me. It's a pleasure. So my name is Mustafa Baltacha, I'm based in Istanbul. I'm from Turkey. And I just came here for this event, Latvia FinTech forum. And I think I'm one of the happy participants of this contest of this competition. And as a matter of fact, most of the times, I would say that I'm, I'm in the FinTech industry for the last 10 years. And I am the one who is mentoring the startups. This time, I'm basically in the shoes of an entrepreneur of a founder. And which made me in the lucky minority, I guess, in this in this event today. And I think it is purely a good luck that we became the winner. And gratulations by the way, oh, thank you very much. Appreciate it. And but let us start from the from the very beginning. So

A. Mustafa Baltaci  1:33  
I have this background in the FinTech industry. But even before that, I have this, you know, corporate you know, pedigree, and what the capital markets with the financial services industry. I was Deputy CEO of Istanbul stock exchange for five years. And before the No, oh, okay. So, before that I was with the World Bank, I was with the government, you know, in Turkey. And but for the last 10 years, I'm I've been running my own business. And here and there, and I think we have several, you know, companies in several places in various places, including Estonia, so, but the focus is mostly on FinTech business. And we started the first ever FinTech hub in Turkey. Back in 2017, we, we launched the first ever FinTech event in Turkey back in 2015. So we have this, you know, first in a way, but we are not, I mean, make no mistake, we are not event managers, the whole idea with us was that let's you know, build a community around that one. Because once we started our own, our own, you know, FinTech consultancy, it was it made a lot of sense, but it's not quite easy to come up with good sort of prospects, from the startups, you know, from even from the banks, you know, front. And these were the sort of, you know, two major sort of players by then, because they didn't fully understand the whole spectrum, as well as the opportunities and challenges. That's why we started to, you know, build this community around that one. It made a lot of sense. We did a lot of things, I guess. I don't remember the number of meetups we have ever pulled together. It should be definitely more than 60. I guess. That's probably why you know, origin, of course, although she's a great friend. So yeah. So I think last time we were together, it was this, you know, meetup in Azerbaijan. So yeah, so he was, he was a speaker there by then. But so we have a lot of, you know, great friends like collusion. Again, it is the ecosystem. It is a community, right. And, yeah, and worlds are sort of, you know, meeting with each other in different places. In a way. This is how I feel about it today, because this is my first time in Latvia, even though I have been to more than 60 countries. But this is my first time. It's a bit unfortunate, but I loved it today here. So and to me to hear. So I guess, what we experienced today is basically just sort of an outcome of

A. Mustafa Baltaci  4:03  
what we have been building at our end in a way because we are here today as an invitee for this, you know, startup competition, but I was also a speaker at a panel in terms of the FinTech investment. So I have several shows here. And thanks to this, you know, predicator so we have managed to build over time, but now you

Koen Vanderhoydonk  4:23  
make me very curious. Can you explain me and the audience what you guys are doing? Can you give us like a mini one minute pitch in the podcast? Let

A. Mustafa Baltaci  4:32  
me do that. Let me do that. Sorry. Here we go. So we do consultancy for banks, for insurance for brokerages, and as well as for startups. So whenever there is this m&a, or fundraising, so we help them out. For the corporates like banks and insurance, we also help them out with their corporate innovation programs for the FinTech strategies and all this as, for example, why today I am helping the largest bank in Azerbaijan. So I'm their advisor. So, we are building this strategy for the startup, you know, programs as well as for the FinTech strategy, digital banking, too. So we have sort of multi-dimensional angle when it comes to the FinTech business here,

Koen Vanderhoydonk  5:17  
almost like a connector to

Speaker 2  5:21  
I think I don't I don't think I can, you know, sort of, I want to say that you guys are doing an amazing job based on what you, you know, shared with me. And it is incomparable, definitely. But we are doing our part in a way, I think, one of the events, I mean, we don't do such many events. But we have this sort of landmark event in Istanbul is called Istanbul FinTech week, we did the fourth edition last April, and we are doing the fifth one. And so at the last edition, we had 1500 People from 30 countries. So it is another thing that I'm in terms of this community building and all and we would love to, we would love to you and work with you guys in the resolvable we will love to come. Assembled is definitely a meeting point. And that's a place I have not been to come on. No kidding. No kidding. Istanbul is a must be place. You should be there. So this is an open invitation to let's do very much,

Koen Vanderhoydonk  6:16  
Mustafa. It's noted down.

Unknown Speaker  6:18  
Okay, thank you.

Speaker 3  6:21  
Okay, and because the so did you pitch them the the ecosystem today as to the pitching contest? Because I had the impression there was also a product involved. But that maybe was my misunderstanding. But

Speaker 2  6:34  
no, no, the pitch was about this startup. So the startup is already available. And we have this business in Turkey. But the idea is basically to change the business structure and incorporate the whole project here in Latvia. So that is that is the current approach and curious standpoint at our end. So that's why it's actually we are here. So and the contest was basically just a leverage. And so with or without that one, so we are quite willing to start a business here. And so the product comes with it. And it's based on our experience, because I think I've been in crypto for almost 1213 years now, I mean, trading trading business because of the capital markets pedigree. So but I always have had my suspicions around that one. Because whenever you ask about Bitcoin, or crypto products to a finance professional or an asset manager, they would always come back to you by asking what is the underlying value? Right. So it's a whole discussion, I'm not going to, you know, dig through that one, not necessarily, no, not but the current, you know, environment is basically dictating us that the crypto is here to remain, right. And apparently, there are 42 million users only in Europe, they have been touching upon crypto products, you know, at some point, in a way, it is a huge number. So, meaning that crypto has carved a niche not only in Europe, but around the world. So and the second thing is the regulations are also paving the way and they're leveling the playing field. Right? Yeah, mica is something quite important here. And apparently, most of the European countries, and they are adjusting themselves towards, you know, make a regulation, it is happening this year or the next year. So there is this, you know, window of opportunity here. So based on the regulatory initiatives, as well as the sort of the willingness and ambitions of the banks, and brokers and asset managers to jump into this huge and growing industry, we are basically just filling a gap by providing this service, which is a crypto trading platform that is completely embedded, like a SaaS service for the banks, right? They could not only for banks, but also for brokers and other FIS too, so they could easily embed this, you know, service into their mobile apps, as well as their web service. It is very doable quickly, and it's very, you know, cost efficient, because most of the times, you know, these FIS they're either sluggish in terms of this, you know, investments towards technology, and they're lacking you know, some resources, some of the times in terms of development is and that, so, time to market it is definitely so we are helping them out, we are helping them out with this service. And but on top of this, we are also offering this liquidity, meaning that this is the exchange part that you're right, but it's not going to be like this, you know, big guys like big names right crypto exchanges, because it's not a b2c exchange. It's just a liquidity machine. Meaning that we are basically helping the clients, these b2b clients banks brokerages and others for their not only, you know, software requirements is you know, trading service, but also with the liquidity because there are two angles with that you You might have this market maker if you want. Yes, absolutely, absolutely. So, based on this, you know corporate structure that we are having here, we are also starting a b2b exchange, illiquidity machine liquidity engine here. So, once the customers are willing, so we will be also offering them the liquidity service. So it is end to end and plug and play, you know, solution for them.

Koen Vanderhoydonk  10:24  
And you said that you have an ambition to lengthen to Latvia, you made it also clear in your presentation. Yes, idea. But going forward. Well, what was the reasoning of selecting Latvia as your new home base in the Baltics?

Speaker 2  10:40  
So I think the Baltics, they have this argument that they are becoming this TechOps. Right. And it started with Estonia and this E government initiatives, a residency and everything, they have attracted a lot of talent from different parts of the world. That's correct. And Lithuania follows suit. And by having this FinTech sort of focus, right, they have done a great job to a lot of, you know, digital banks, you know, some of the banks, also conventional banks, they have their sort of licenses and offices in Lithuania. And Latvia is also trying to make a difference here. And I think you will notice that on everything. Absolutely. They made it they made the emphasis many times a lot of energy. Absolutely. It is amazing. By the way, I'm so much impressed. So and even the regulators, I mean, it's not quite easy to find such conducive and friendly regulators, countries. That's why we came down here. Okay. So, crypto and the banking and the capital market. These are overly regulated industries. So you need to work closely with the regulators without the support and backup of them. I don't, I don't mean that we need to overlook the regulations. Now. They're not what you said, absolute, it's not how I read it, there should be full compliance with the regulations with the procedures and everything. But while I mean, the approach of the regulators, it is something quite important. It is pivotal, right? So that's what we see here. And since we have this positive approach towards our product and our service, we are incorporating here in Latvia. That is that is the current strategy that we have

Koen Vanderhoydonk  12:14  
makes sense. We actually at the end of our podcast, time flies when you're having fun. So have one last more last, I have one more question for you. Where can people find you? How can they contact you? Because there are so many banks in Europe. So let's give them the way to come to you to get a grip to offer.

Speaker 2  12:34  
So our product is called prime x. So it's prime plus x. So I guess they will get to hear more about us right through through different you know, great advice. Absolutely. Absolutely. But currently, I mean, it is it is not public yet. So if there would be such a thing they can always, you know, find me and contact me through LinkedIn. I'm available on LinkedIn. I'm available on Twitter. My name is Mustafa Baltacha again. So So and the company that I'm currently basically representing is called coop ventures, kop ventures. So we are based out of Estonia currently. But once we are incorporated, I guess it's going to be you know, primax. And they will get to hear more about us.

Koen Vanderhoydonk  13:21  
Big Bang. We all looking forward to that. Appreciate it. Most of us. Thank you very much for joining me in this podcast. Again, congratulations with your price well deserved. And thank you also to the listeners for tuning in. And stay tuned for more news in the FinTech world. Thank you so much.

Unknown Speaker  13:37  
Thanks for having me.

Introduction  13:39  
Thanks for listening to another episode of the connector podcast to connect and keep up to date with all the latest head over to www dot join the or hit subscribe via your podcast streaming platform.

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