Spain's sandbox stabilizes the creation of more Fintech unicorns after Flywire's epic Nasdaq debut

Updated: May 27

- 18 projects made it into Spain's first regulatory sandbox.



Have you ever built a sand castle on the beach? Just playing and enjoying the moment while the castle is becoming more magnificent by the minute, without worrying your creative mind with that an ocean wave might sweep it all away, or that an evil by-passer could demolish your master piece with one precise kick?


In reference to another dreamy phenomena, many of the unicorns, the highest valued tech startups in the world, happen to belong to the Fintech sector. The disruption of financial services in Spain has gained huge momentum and new Fintech's seem to be popping up in the media almost every week, throughout the country, not just in Madrid or in Barcelona.


Although the company today has its HQ in Boston, the most notable example of a Spanish Fintech unicorn is Flywire, listed on Nasdaq on May 26, 2021. English media seem to have missed the very important fact that Flywire, founded in Valencia by Iker Marcaide back in 2009, is the very first, made in Spain tech company to make it to an IPO on the Nasdaq.


Image: From first investor Iñaki Berenguer's Twitter.

"Historical day for the world of technology and startups in Spain. Today, Flywire began trading at the Nasdaq, the prestigious U.S. stock market index where the big technology companies are located. The company created in Valencia in 2009, has in 12 years reached the Prime league of technology companies, becoming the first Spanish startup to achieve this", writes Spanish tech media Xataka.


Regulatory sandbox follows the EC's digital finance strategy


Both the European and the Spanish supervisory authorities are conscious of the increasing importance of the Fintech sector and the need for updating legal frameworks to allow for this rather complex ecosystem to further develop, in a creative yet controlled manner.


So for the sake of everyone's peace of mind, the European Commission presented a digital finance package on September 24, 2020. It included a digital finance strategy and legislative proposals on crypto assets and digital resilience.


It seems like great timing that Spain then followed suit on November 14, 2020, with the government signing the Law 7/2020 on digital transformation, including the creation of a regulatory sandbox for the crypto currency and Fintech ecosystem.


"The Financial Technology Law Review: Spain", gives further descriptions:


"The environment will be safe for participants to test new financial products and services, while ensuring that the stability of the financial system is maintain