Introducing the Latvian Fintech Hub around PaysTree!

FCA-regulated PaysTree and its Latvian ecosphere
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This report is part of our “European FinTech Ecosphere” series. In it, we want to introduce individual companies and people but also the connections and networks. This is to increase the transparency of the European FinTech scene. The financial industry has traditionally functioned as a network across different regulatory regimes: FinTechs and cyberfinance perfect this borderless and “regulatorless” approach. Our “European FinTech Ecosphere” series aims to provide a path through the dawning European cyberfinance for interested readers.

Some 2 million live in Latvia, making it one of the smallest EU countries. However, Latvians are prominently represented in the European FinTech scene. We have reported several times about the Latvian Racket, which has operated dozens of broker scams. Latvians also have a notable presence in the UK FinTech scene, such as the PaysTree ecosphere, consisting of two FCA-regulated e-money institutions, several regulated agents, and connections to Russia. Here’s a brief introduction.

Key data

Hub operatorPaysTree
Business activitye-Money Institution and
Merchant Service Provider
Legal entityPaystree Ltd (UK)
AuthorizationFCA-regulated e-Money Institution
with reference no 900900
JurisdictionUnited Kingdom
Related entitiespayinter ltd d/b/a payinter (agent for PaysTree)
Everyfin Ltd d/b/a everyfin (agent for PaysTree)
Hawex Group Ltd d/b/a Hawex (agent for PaysTree)
Paypugs Limited d/b/a PayPugs (agent for PaysTree)
Sebes Technology Ltd, Cyprus, d/b/a SEBES Technology
Tiaplata Fintech Ltd, Canada, d/b/a TIAPLATA
Xpate Ltd d/b/a xpate regulated by FCA as EMI
Related individualsMihails Safro, Latvia (LinkedIn)
Anna Zotova, Latvia (LinkedIn)
Stanislavs Caikovskis, Latvia
Evija Meimane, Latvia
Guntars Reidzans, Latvia
Oksana Zelepene, Latvia
Kirill Baldakov, Russia
German(s) Juferova, Latvia
Roman(s) Jakovenko, Latvia
Stanislav(s) Jakovenko, Latvia
Eugene Malahov, Latvia
Aleksandrs Zelinskis, Latvia
Mohammad Awada, UK
Michael Charles Borrelli, UK
Anselm Schmucki, Swiss
Alisa Saltykova, UK

Short narrative

PaysTree and Xpate founder Mihails Mike Safro

PaysTree Ltd is an e-money institution regulated by the FCA since August 2018. It was founded in December 2017 by Latvian Mihails “Mike” Safro (pictured left), who was initially registered at UK Companies House as both a director and controlling person. He resigned from PaysTree in the summer to establish Xpate Ltd, another FCA-regulated EMI.

Currently, Swiss citizen Anselm Schmucki is the controlling person of PayTrees. The directors are the Latvians Stanislavs Caikovskis, Evija Meimane, and Guntars Reidzans.

In 2020, the company had 21 employees, most apparently in Latvia, as the LinkedIn connections suggest.

PaysTree‘s FCA-registered agents are also all controlled by Latvians: payinter (https://payinter.me), everyfin (https://everyfin.co.uk), Hawex (https://hawex.io), or PayPugs (https://paypugs.com). The acting individuals of everyfin also founded and run the SEBES Technology payment venture in Cyprus and TIAPLATA, a registered Money Business Service in Canada.

Hawex Group Ltd was founded in July 2021 by Russian Kirill Badakov, who was also registered as the company’s beneficial owner. With the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Badakov has withdrawn, and London-based musician Alisa Saltykova is now officially the beneficial owner.

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If you have any information about the PaysTree ecosystem, please share it with us through our whistleblower system, Whistle42.

CategoriesFCA Fintech

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