London is ‘the European capital of FinTech’


London is home to nearly half of Europe’s best FinTech companies, according to research.

The latest FinTechCity’s Fintech50 list features the hottest European FinTech startups, and 24 of the businesses on the list are based in London. All of the companies featured have been recognised for their ability to grow, disrupt and change the market.

This is testament to the work being done by the government and the private sector to make sure that London is seen as a really accessible location for tech start-ups. Aside from initiatives such as Tech City UK and the London Co-Investment Fund, there have also been moves to encourage venture capital funding into the city.

According to figures from London & Partners, FinTech companies have been given $472 million (£302 million) during H1 2015. The biggest deal of the year so far involved peer-to-peer lender Funding Circle, which attracted $150 million of investment to support its growth plans.

Mariano Belinky, managing director of the Santander Innoventures Fund and a member of the panel that chooses the Fintech50, thinks the vibrancy of the FinTech community has been integral to its success.

“There is a great network of both public and private organisations working together in London to create a vibrant ecosystem and community to support FinTech companies,” he told City AM. “This network gives London a great advantage over other FinTech centres around the world, and I expect to see London maintain the momentum it has created.”

The sector now employs more people in London – 44,000 – than in New York or Silicon Valley, which is testament to just how successful it has become.

Alex McCracken, managing director of venture services at the Silicon Valley Bank, said the impressive track record of the London FinTech sector across multiple services – payments, asset management, lending, big data, foreign exchange – was what attracted the bank.

“[What stood out is] the high quality and growth of companies that were just formed a few years ago, and yet now have significant transaction volumes, revenues and users. These businesses are disrupting incumbent financial services institutions,” he added.

Among the London-based Fintech50 companies are Algomi, Blockchain, Byhiras, Calastone, Commuter Club, Credit Benchmark and Currency Cloud.