In 2021, 156 fintech companies operate in Bulgaria, whose revenues amount to BGN 1.8 billion, or 1.3% of the country’s GDP, reports the Bulgarian Fintech Association (BFA) in the Annual Fintech Report 2022. Despite the global economic instability, the data indicate that the total revenue of fintech companies has increased by 24.6%, and in terms of those working in the sector, there has been a 25% growth in employment, reaching an industry record level of 11,862 people in 2021. One of the main reasons for this may be due to the average gross salary – BGN 3,248, twice the average salary for the country. The demographics of employees in the sector maintain the trend of previous years and still, 44% of people in the sector are women, and the average age of employees is 35.4 years.
Fintech – the most attractive sector for venture investments
Data from the BFA’s Annual Fintech Report reveal that investments in the fintech industry in Bulgaria are at record levels due to the good environment for the development of entrepreneurship. In the period 2017-2021 investments in Bulgarian fintech companies have grown nearly tenfold from BGN 1.3 million to more than BGN 10 million in 2021. Compared to the total venture capital invested in Bulgarian companies, fintech represents ⅕ of all venture investments, making fintech the most attractive investment industry for 2021.
Although next year the consequences of the war in Ukraine will be most strongly felt on the financial market, according to Associate Professor Dr. Deyan Radev, the fintech industry in the country should continue to develop in 2023.
290% average revenue growth of the top 10 fastest-growing fintech companies
In 2021, a number of companies saw impressive growth in operating income. The highest growth of 636% was achieved by Phos, followed by Crypto.com and Payslip with 388% and 291% respectively. The first Bulgarian unicorn Payhawk ranks fourth with a 267% growth in operating income, followed by licensed open banking experts – Iris Solutions.
The conference “Bulgaria on the European fintech map” 2022
On December 15, the Bulgarian Fintech Association presented its Annual Fintech Report for the fourth consecutive year. The report aims to bring together and present a comprehensive view of the fintech ecosystem in Bulgaria, including quantitative and qualitative analysis of the fintech sector in the country, fintech mapping, and interviews with fintech experts.
On the occasion of the release of the report, BFA, in partnership with Mastercard and Nexo, organized a conference in Sofia Tech Park. During the event, the key findings of the report and the development of the sector in Bulgaria and Southeast Europe were presented. The conference was attended by representatives of the Financial Supervision Authority, EC, VUZF, Sofia University, Nexo, Penkov, Markov and partners, Paysera, Innovative Sofia, IRIS Solutions, and others. They took part in panel discussions on some of the main topics in the field of fintech, such as Fintech Education, Regulation, and Innovation.