Vilve Vene is the CEO and co-founder of Modularbank, a new fintech company from Estland that provides a flexible banking platform. For more than 25 years Vilve brings technology to the finance world, she started devising innovative financial technology well before ‘fintech’ even became a tangible concept.
The timing for her career in fintech couldn’t have been any better: After she graduated in Applied Mathematics in 1985, she worked in programming for the first few years of her career. In 1992, just one year after Estonia gained independence, she joined Hansabank, a start-up formed by four economics graduates who wanted to modernise banking. With no initial capital or experience in commercial banking, out of both necessity and ingenuity, they built a bank that was digital from the very beginning. As early as 1993, Hansabank was offering PC banking to business customers. While Hansabank was on the way to become the largest bank in the Baltic States, Vilve was responsible for managing the IT Development Division with 300 employees. Eventually, Hansabank was bought by Swedbank.
In 2002, Vilve left Hansabank with a wealth of experience that enabled her to set up the fintech Icefire, which has successfully built more than 15 banks and financial institutions and is responsible for the infrastructure of the Estonian tax system. In 2019, Vilve co-founded Modularbank, a start-up that underpins the aims of both regulated banks and other businesses in meeting customer needs and aspirations by enabling the rapid rollout of new financial services.