Financial services providers are currently in a transformative phase, adapting to new technologies that are reshaping the way people access different services. The development of such technologies represents hard team work and compromise to achieve the expected results and offer high-quality products. We are pleased to share an interview with Raido Paaslepp, one of the five co-founders of Fintech Market, whose passion for programming has evolved into his primary profession.
- From Coding Enthusiast to Fintech Expert
- Founding Fintech Market
- Proud Accomplishments
- Challenges in the Fintech Industry
- Advice for younger generations
From Coding Enthusiast to Fintech Expert
Q1: What led you to become a technology expert, and how did you develop your skills in this field?
Raido: It all started with a love for programming. After high school, I had contemplated studying physics or mechatronics but, in the end, my passion for coding led me into the realm of Information Technology. In my very first year, I was hired as a software engineer at Apprise, a company that left a lasting impression on me. They instilled a culture of developers taking responsibility for the quality of their code, emphasizing unit and behavior tests.
The experience I gained at Apprise was invaluable. I was involved in developing in-house financial software for Bigbank and later moved on to create financial software for Julianus Inkasso, a debt collection company. At Apprise, we practiced pair programming, which accelerated knowledge sharing and honed my problem-solving skills.
Exploring different companies, and even moving abroad, can help shape your future in your professional path. After five years at Apprise, Raido transitioned to Julianus Inkasso, where he took on the role of lead developer. During his tenure, he undertook the task of refactoring the entire application. This phase was an eye-opener for him in the fintech sector, delving into debt collection, payment schedules, payment solutions, integrations, court proceedings, and automated debt collection flows, among other areas.
After that he moved to the Netherlands for a year, working as a software engineer at Digidentity, specializing in electronic identities and qualified trust services. Raido's journey led him back to Estonia, where he joined Wisemedia as a senior software engineer. At Wisemedia, they developed an internal loan management system, catering to eight different countries, each with its unique requirements and regulations. His entire career has been closely tied to financial solutions, equipping him with the knowledge and experience needed to venture into the fintech industry.
Joining Fintech Market - teamwork and innovation
Q2: How did you first become involved with Fintech Market, and what made you decide to join as a co-founder?
Raido: Fintech Market's inception was a collective effort. All of the co-founders, including myself, had previously worked together at Wisemedia. When the company was acquired, Siim-Erik proposed the idea of building our SaaS lending software. Given our extensive experience in the fintech sector, this endeavor seemed like the perfect opportunity to realize our entrepreneurial dream.
One crucial lesson I had learned from my involvement in side projects was the necessity of having a solid team. Building a successful company requires more than just one developer; we had an abundance of them. Additionally, this wasn't our first venture into creating a lending platform. We were well aware of the challenges that lay ahead and had innovative ideas on how to overcome them. Each co-founder brought a unique set of skills to the table: Siim-Erik's vision and development expertise, Madis-Siim's integration capabilities, Piret's deep understanding of banking processes, and my own background in financial software development and testing, along with server and infrastructure experience.
Together, we were an unstoppable team, which made the decision to co-found Fintech Market an easy one.
Proud Accomplishments with FTM
Q3: Looking back on the last few years, what are some of the biggest accomplishments that you're proud of at this company?
Raido: Fintech Market marked a significant shift in our approach. In our previous roles, we primarily developed in-house software with a narrow focus. However, at Fintech Market, we aimed to create software in the same way that banks do. This transition presented challenges, especially when designing the database structure. There were numerous questions and no readily available resources for guidance. We reached out to experts in the field, but their knowledge didn't quite fit our vision. Despite these difficulties, we managed to develop a highly functional database structure, which has garnered positive feedback, especially in understanding our analytics database.
One of our most significant accomplishments is the creation of a competitive, highly configurable platform with our relatively small team. Our platform empowers users to automate almost everything that can be done manually. This flexibility and automation potential are powerful tools for our clients. It allows for a gradual shift from manual operations to automated processes, enhancing efficiency and productivity.
Challenges in the Fintech Industry
Q4: What do you believe is the biggest threat facing the fintech industry today, and how is Fintech Market as a company working to overcome that challenge?
Raido: The fintech industry is changing faster than ever. Customization is key, and the market is teeming with new entrants. To survive and thrive in this environment, companies must adapt quickly to market changes without getting bogged down in long development cycles.
At Fintech Market, we've taken this challenge head-on by building a system from the ground up that is remarkably flexible. While our platform may have a steeper learning curve initially, it becomes an incredibly powerful tool once you grasp its logic. We are constantly improving our platform to enhance flexibility while ensuring it remains user-friendly and understandable to the average user.
Our mission is to provide our clients with the means to respond swiftly to market changes, giving them the edge they need to compete effectively.
Q5: Looking back on your career as a technology expert, what is one piece of advice that you wish you had received when you were just starting out?
Raido: Reflecting on my journey, there are a few key pieces of advice that I would have found immensely valuable as a budding technology expert:
- First and foremost, if you embark on a side project or startup that involves IT and has more than one person involved, ensure there are at least two developers. The collaborative effort significantly enhances the quality of your work.
- Actively engage in as many side projects as you can. These experiences provide invaluable lessons, especially early in your career. However, be selective in where you invest your time and commitment to avoid burning out.
- Follow Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000-hour rule, which states that true expertise in any skill is achieved by practicing for at least 10,000 hours. Dedication and continuous learning are the keys to success.
- Finally, don't be a "Notepad hero." Using a code editor with features like hints, suggestions, and code definition greatly enhances your productivity and code quality. The investment in a good integrated development environment (IDE) pays off in the long run.
Remember, continuous learning and collaboration are the cornerstones of a successful career in technology.
In this interview with Raido, we've gained valuable insights into his journey from a budding technology enthusiast to a fintech expert and co-founder of an innovative Loan Management System. Fintech Market's emphasis on flexibility and adaptability serves as proof of the ever-evolving nature of the fintech industry.
As Raido's journey and advice have shown, the world of technology is a dynamic one, where collaboration, continuous learning, and innovation are keys to success. Whether you're a seasoned expert or just starting out, there's always room to grow and adapt in this exciting field.
Read our previous founder’s stories:
- Piret Tiks - From Corporate Banking to Agile Fintech Startup
- Madis-Siim Rull - Building Trust and Thriving Together
About Fintech Market
Fintech Market (FTM) works in the lending software market, offering a comprehensive no-code loan management system for financial service providers. The platform covers loans, deposits, current accounts, and investments and includes essential features like CRM, KYC, risk management, and debt management. FTM serves neobanks, SME loan providers, car leasing businesses, and buy-now-pay-later providers in the EU, Mexico, and Indonesia, providing tailored solutions to optimize their operations.