Latvian fintech start-up Nordigen issues stock options to all employees. This means that employees, including new employees who are just starting at Nordigen, have the opportunity to become co-owners of the company. Experience from the most successful start-ups in the world and also in Estonia shows that employees can become millionaires if the start-up is successful.
“Stock options allow employees to be part of the success story of a start-up. The team is thus more motivated and focused on achieving common goals. The availability of stock options is also a very important factor in attracting highly qualified employees. At Nordigen, we are convinced that it is impossible to build the next unicorn or billion-dollar company without stock options,” says Robert Bernans, co-founder of Nordigen.
In December 2020, amendments to the Commercial Code and the Personal Income Tax Act were adopted in Latvia. The laws included more favourable tax conditions and a mechanism for a company with the legal form of an LLC to grant share purchase rights to its employees. Latvia is thus one of the countries in Europe where the legal framework for granting employee stock options has become particularly attractive for employers and employees. The European technology media Sifted even called Latvia’s share option regulation the best in the world. This regulation was particularly welcomed by start-ups as it is a common practice in Silicon Valley. It is also a great opportunity for employees to see the fruits of their labour.
“It should be clarified here that stock options are not shares in the company. The issuance of stock options is an agreement with employees that after a certain period of time they will have the opportunity to buy a certain number of shares at a certain price. This is a common practice that we have borrowed and introduced at Nordigen from names that are now recognisable outside the start-up environment, such as Revolut and Wise. These companies have made their employees millionaires by introducing stock options. We want to follow this path too,” explains Mr Bernans.
Nordigen, a Latvian fintech start-up, is a data analytics company that provides account information services to financial institutions and technology companies in 31 European countries. Nordigen’s free and fee-based solutions are currently used by several European banks, lenders and innovative technology start-ups. “Nordigen’s free account information service is regulated by the Financial and Capital Markets Commission. To date, Nordigen has raised €3.5 million in investments.