Stockholm firm brings transparency to the cryptocurrency market
Frank Schuil, the CEO of Safello, decided to embark on the journey of innovating in the cryptocurrency space in 2013 and base his company in Stockholm. When he first moved to Stockholm it was nearly unthinkable that a cryptocurrency company could reach 140,000 customers by Q3 2020.
Safello was able to contribute by enhancing transparency, accountability and traceability into the previously opaque cryptocurrency world and to show government agencies that compliance requirements and cryptocurrencies are not a contradiction in terms. When the Covid-19 crisis arose, it mattered that the firm was based in Sweden, a near-cashless society where the overwhelming majority of commercial transactions are digital. As an example of the country’s openness to change, the National Bank of Sweden, Riksbanken, recently tasked Accenture with developing a technical solution for an e-krona, a trial digital currency project.
For Frank, another criterion for establishing Safello in Stockholm was the access to talented programmers from the financial sector who understand and thrive on the complex challenges posed by blockchain development.
When developing the venture, Frank found the regulators to be constructive – they asked relevant questions and showed a high level of understanding for this emerging industry. The Swedish culture of consensus and the willingness for dialogue was crucial to finding solutions that would work well for both regulators and startups.
“Innovating isn’t easy and all startups that are working on establishing new paradigms will know how hard it can be to work with regulators while driving product innovation. However, the willingness of the Swedish regulators as well as the Riksbank to take the development of blockchain technology seriously make Sweden one of the best places for digital currency startups to be based at”.
As with many FinTech founders, Frank’s decision to relocate to Stockholm was taken together with his family. Sweden’s excellent universal healthcare system and generous paternity and maternity leave of more than 480 days were just some of the deciding factors.
Frank, a father of five-year-old twins, had a vision to build a company that allowed for work-life balance. Safello aimed to be a company that would build innovative products while also supporting employees with family benefits. It is now clear that this vision has been fulfilled: Safello multiplied the number of orders within the last 12 months eight times while all co-founders and key members of the management team had young children and were able to take some time off. This is simply unheard of in many other startup ecosystems in Europe and especially in the US.
“Stockholm has a truly unique FinTech ecosystem compared to other European cities. We have access to some of the best talent and capital from some of the leading firms globally and we can combine this with a high quality of life that allows young families to thrive even if they work for fast-growing technology startups”, says Frank.
This story is featured in the new Stockholm FinTech Guide, which you can download here (PDF).
For more information, please contact Jenny Berthling. Details below.