Mintos chose their first identity verification partner in 2018, Veriff, and we've been partners ever since. We chatted to their team about what made them choose Veriff, and why they've stuck with us through a significant time for their growing business.
This isn't the first time we've written about the partnership between Mintos and Veriff. That was back in 2019. Veriff were, and still are, the only verification provider they've used, and we're incredibly proud of that. So we decided to get in touch with Marcis Gogis, Head of Product at Mintos once again and ask about how their journey has been going since their founding in 2015 (same year as Veriff!), and how they've found the partnership with us so far.
We launched in 2015 as a marketplace for investing in loans, however Mintos (officially AS Mintos Marketplace) is now an authorized investment firm under MiFID II, licensed and supervised by the Financial and Capital Market Commission.
We provide a platform where international retail investors invest in loans originated by selected alternative lending companies from more than 30 countries. On Mintos' platform, investors can access unmatched diversification opportunities within the asset class, but also diversification of the investment portfolio with the asset class of loans. Currently, we are in the process of transitioning to securities backed by loans (as of October 2021) that will be available on Mintos as financial instruments.
Today, we serve more than 440,000 registered investors. Since 2015, more than €7 billion in loans have been funded through Mintos. The company is the leader in continental Europe, with 43.6% market share. In 2020, we had one of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns on Crowdcube, backed by 6,147 crowdfunding investors who invested more than €6.55 million in Mintos.
And we've been cooperating with Veriff since 2018.
Mintos growth accelerated in 2018 when our customer base more than doubled - we started the year with a little over 40,000, and closed it with almost 100,000 investors. Until that point, we managed user verification manually - our Investor Service team literally had their hands full of work. On the other side, we started building up the Mintos AML function, growing the team, and introducing high compliance standards in line with AML and KYC requirements. Hosting investors from all over the world, we had to deal not only with a variety of identity document forms but also with different cultural conventions when it comes to sentiment about data sharing.
With such high growth, it was a logical step to look for a third-party service provider that would help us standardize and automate the verification process.
In reality, this meant much more than just offloading the workload. We needed a service that would provide a safe environment for our investors' data, that would comply with all regulations across global markets, and would provide fast verification without disrupting the customer experience. Above all, we needed a partner open for collaboration and willing to customize the service based on our investors' needs. That’s when we started working with Veriff.
Although both companies hail from the Baltics, this wasn't the primary reason we turned to Veriff. As a company working on the global markets, we did extensive research on identity verification providers from across the world. To shortlist our options, we made a very detailed list of criteria that would help us evaluate the best fits. We had several product demos and conversations.
In the end, we chose Veriff because we had a common vision. Both Mintos and Veriff wanted to pursue quick growth while continually improving products and services. Most importantly - we recognized the same eagerness to provide the best user experience for our customers.
From the start of the cooperation, Veriff was super responsive to all our ideas, willing to help us resolve the verification pain points that we started to encounter when this new step in the investor onboarding was introduced. These solutions helped us to improve our conversion rates while keeping the best user-experience environment that we could provide.
Mintos can be really seen as an early adopter of Veriff, partnering with us when we were still in our fledgling phase. They are a partner who has always shown such a commitment to helping us improve our service and have faith in what we’re building. To have played a small part in their evolution, becoming a fully licensed investment firm, is pretty amazing and reinforces our ambition to scale with our partners. - Sacha Vasilkioti, Senior Solutions Engineer at Veriff
So far, we’re very satisfied with this partnership, and that’s why we’ve been collaborating exclusively with Veriff for the past three years.
One of the most appealing characteristics of Veriff as a third-party solution provider and a business partner is that, besides the technology solution that fulfills our identity verification needs, Veriff goes one step further. The company’s team is truly eager to understand the problems we encounter, possible hiccups in our customers’ journeys, always looking to improve the Veriff service to meet business goals of Mintos. Since the beginning of our collaboration, we have verified over 466,000 customers, and Veriff has helped us to work more efficiently and provide additional security for our investors. But that’s not all.
For example, at the beginning of our collaboration, Veriff came forward to provide a custom solution in its design adjustments to reflect the web design of Mintos, allowing us to maintain a consistent design throughout the verification flow. Once we introduced the identity verification step in the onboarding of investors, we saw a reluctance to get verified in some specific markets. We collaborated with Veriff to provide Mintos users with additional educational content that will help users to understand the benefits of identity verification in an environment that deals with their money and private data.
Additionally, we discovered that conversion rates are higher for those who access the verification from their mobile phones. After we shared this finding, Veriff readjusted the flow from their side to provide users with an easy switch from desktop to a mobile phone during verification. And these are just some of many examples when the Veriff team heard our feedback, helping us to improve our conversion rate while simultaneously improving the Veriff product itself.
In August 2021, we received the investment firm and electronic money institution licenses, which our team worked on for 17 months. We've made some great innovations, even collaborated on projects with other players - such as automating how ISIN codes are requested and issued, a project we worked on with the Nasdaq CSD. Becoming a regulated investment firm meant that more than 1,500 tasks were completed across our teams, and we’re super happy that now we move on to new projects.
As a newly regulated investment firm, in the upcoming weeks Mintos will be transitioning to offering investments in financial instruments - 'Notes', and what’s ahead of us is a huge project of passporting our products and services across the European markets.
At the beginning of the next year, we plan to introduce more investment products to our platform, starting with offering investments in ETFs. Right now, our product team is working on setting up our platform to expand our offering, while the electronic money institution license allows us to offer IBAN accounts to our investors, and eventually, Mintos debit cards.
Our core mission has not changed since the beginning of our expansion - we aim to become the go-to investment platform where retail investors from all around the world can invest in a diversified way in income-producing assets to build wealth in the long term.
We are working toward this, and as the leading fintech platform of our kind not only in Europe but globally, we’re sure that we will become the household name when it comes to alternative investments in the asset class of loans, in a fully regulated environment.
Thank you so much to Marcis for taking the time - we're so excited to continue this incredibly successful partnership, and to see what the future holds for the newly-minted investment firm, Mintos.