Fintech startup okoora continues expansion with entry into Polish market

Swiss-Israeli fintech startup okoora has expanded into the Polish market, marking a pivotal step in its European Union (EU) growth strategy. Okoora's Polish operations will eventually encompass sales, marketing, and customer support offices, along with a research and development centre to further its product innovation.

“We come to Poland with the belief that the market for currency management solutions can and should be disrupted. When okoora researched the European market, Poland scored high due to its developed banking sector, high level of foreign trade and other relevant parameters. Poland also offers economic incentives that make it seem like a good idea to open an R&D centre here. We believe this is the best place to jumpstart our European expansion,” says Benjamin Avraham, Founder and CEO of okoora.

Okoora’s expansion into Poland aims to simplify cross-border currency transactions for Polish businesses. The company's ABCMTM platform helps manage the risks associated with currency exchange rate volatility. Additionally, Okoora offers Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) via APIs, allowing fintech companies, banks, and other financial institutions to provide foreign currency transactional services to their clients.

This move follows the opening of Okoora's offices in Limassol, Cyprus, in late 2023, aimed at ensuring EU regulatory compliance. However, Poland represents Okoora's first significant European market where it will actively market and sell its services to the local business community.

Poland Chosen as a Fintech Hub in Central and Eastern Europe

Poland was selected for its status as a European Union member with its own currency, the złoty, and a burgeoning fintech scene. According to the "Map of Polish Fintech" report, co-authored by Mastercard and Okoora, Poland hosts 368 fintech companies. Notable international fintech players like Binance, Curve, Kevin, Klarna, Revolut, and Tink have established offices or R&D centres in Poland.

Poland boasts the largest financial services market in Central and Eastern Europe. In 2021, the Polish banking industry's assets totalled €564 billion, nearly double the €336 billion of the Czech Republic, the second-largest market in the region. Polish banks are known for their agility and early adoption of technologies such as mobile banking and digital payments, as highlighted in the "How to do FinTech in Poland 2023" report.

Poland’s market consists predominantly of SMEs, which constitute over 99% of all businesses and contribute almost half of the GDP (45.3%), according to the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development. Polish SMEs are highly integrated into global trade, with exports accounting for around 50% of their total revenue, significantly higher than the EU average of 30%. Imports make up about 45% of procurement costs for these SMEs, reflecting their dependence on foreign-sourced materials and goods. This vibrant SME sector aligns perfectly with okoora's target market.

According to Avraham: “Another aspect for which Poland was chosen for the beginning of the expansion is the high value of transfers on the platform so far between the Israeli shekel and the Polish złoty – Poland ranks in the EU Top 5, ahead of such economies as Spain and France.”