There are currently more than 200 FinTech players operating in Luxembourg, including both major international players – such as PayPal, Amazon Pay and Alipay – and home-grown startups. Finologee, a digital platform operator that provides ready-made and compliant systems and APIs to support the financial services sector, is one of them. We caught up with the Head of Software Engineering, Victor Nedioglo, to hear what it’s like to work in a fast-paced, tech-focused startup.
Can you tell us a bit about Finologee?
Finologee is a software products company with a track record of building great FinTech and RegTech products. These products are recognised for their high quality and are used by major players in the financial sector in Luxembourg and other countries.
Building such products definitely requires a clear vision, which the founders – Raoul Mulheims, Georges Berscheid and Jonathan Prince – have. Their extensive experience in building businesses around digital platforms [they developed Digicash in 2012] has fostered an entrepreneur-driven environment at Finologee. By promoting flexible and agile working practices, trying new approaches, and taking calculated risks the tech team can experiment and innovate more confidently. This requires the creativity, engagement and trust of all the employees.
In my team, we have software engineers and software testers of all levels (including juniors, seniors, tech leads and architects). Most have studied computer science, mathematics, engineering and economics but some have come into software development from other professions. The average age of my team is around 32 years old – they are very experienced in what they do, yet still full of energy and creativity. This creates a great environment for people to grow and develop their skills.
At Finologee you learn mainly by doing and everyone has the chance to take ownership of their work. Everyone in the team strives to do things as well as possible, and we have many talented colleagues who are happy to share their knowledge and experience. Individuals who like to take control of their own personal and career development really thrive here. The tech team’s contributions and decisions have a direct impact on the company’s performance and growth which results in a sense of accomplishment and pride once the work is done.
Can you talk about the team culture that exists at Finologee?
There are more than 40 people representing 15+ nationalities at Finologee and the overall work culture is about excellence, flexibility, employee empowerment and individual initiative.
In the software engineering team especially, we emphasise continuous collaboration, open communication and mutual respect. Everyone is empowered to voice their opinion, contribute new ideas, suggest improvements, raise concerns and ask questions during our regular team meetings.
Every individual on the team is passionate about software development and is driven by a shared desire to deliver state of the art products to our clients. It is about multiple things carefully packaged together: meaningful features, premium user experience, resilient architecture based on top-notch technologies and strong security.
How does it compare to other tech companies you’ve worked at?
It’s a fast-paced company, and working closely with the founders means the decision-making process is super swift. Developing an idea into a feature or standalone software product, then deploying a working solution into production servers and onboarding clients takes only a few weeks to a couple of months. No other company I have worked at is comparable in terms of speed.
Finologee also differs from many companies in that it really values its employees. The company creates an environment that enables people to focus on their job: office space, equipment, workplace ergonomics, salary package, flexible working hours. There are company events that focus on team building and having fun together as well as events with high profile guests from outside the company. For example, Prime Minister Xavier Bettel joined our 5th anniversary celebration last June, and took time to speak to employees and have pictures taken with them.
Last but not least: technological excellence. For us software engineers, this is crucial. Finologee works with the latest technologies and provides its employees with the most advanced tools to achieve the level of perfection present in all its software products and services.
All applications and components are fully containerized, running on a Kubernetes cluster and the team has access to the latest versions of all the libraries and frameworks: Java 17, Spring Boot 3, Angular 14, PostgreSQL 14, Flutter 3 with Dart 2. The CI/CD pipeline is fully automated, built with multistage docker containers. We use Bitbucket for version control, pull requests and code reviews, and AWS for Development and Test environments.
Everyone is free to choose their IDE, but VSCode and IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate are most commonly used, and the team rigorously adheres to clean code principles. It’s all based on a microservices architecture and our automated test suites (UT, IT, end-to-end UI automated tests) offer more than 75% coverage. We also have top-notch cybersecurity. All the artefacts and images are continuously scanned for vulnerabilities as part of the CI/CD pipeline and issues fixed as soon as they are detected.
In other words it is a technological heaven to work in!
What are some of the most exciting projects you’ve worked on in your role?
The new Enterprise Payments (ENPAY) platform is definitely the most exciting project right now. It’s a sophisticated software application, connected to the SWIFT network, which enables us to onboard accounts from virtually any bank in the world. I have seen this project evolve from an idea to a state-of-the-art SaaS offering which includes credit transfers initiation, approval (via digital signature), processing by the bank, beautiful UI and well-thought user interactions and workflows. It is used by multiple clients to process payments and credit transfers worth tens – even hundreds – of millions of euros.
I am very proud of ENPAY, as my team and I developed it from scratch, and every single team member contributed to its development in some way. It’s also a great example of how Finologee is different from other companies as we take a more democratic approach to developing new products. There isn’t a top-down directive on what the product should look like or how it should be developed, instead it is based on a discussion of ideas across the team.
I like the support and empowerment I receive from the founders of Finologee, in particular Georges Berscheid, with whom I work closely. We share the same values and are both result-oriented. He’s always available to discuss any topic and is super knowledgeable, which makes him a great learning source for me and the team.
I also love collaborating with the team to deliver great results, and the satisfaction of finding solutions to complex challenges never gets old. It is fun and rewarding to be given the opportunity to have a greater impact on the direction and success of one of the top FinTech companies in Luxembourg.