Having produced such high-profile companies as financial-information firm Nutmeg and peer-to-peer lending unicorn Funding Circle, it’s no wonder London has long been hailed as the European capital of fintech. And while a 33.7% drop in investment in the UK sector in 2016 may have raised doubts about the British capital’s ability to keep its crown, it seems the number of fintech startups hailing from the city has never been higher.
Organised by FinTechCity, the fintech community, the FinTech50 lists 50 of most promising startups in the sector from across Europe. And with over 1,500 businesses to pick from, it’s safe to say that the judging panel – which featured representatives from companies like Microsoft, Silicon Valley Bank and Samsung – had their job cut out for them.
Of the startups to make the cut, 31 hailed from London, which is an increase from 29 in 2016 and 24 in 2015. Among the ventures on the list were Azimo, the money-transfer company; Onfido, the background-checking scaleup; and MarketInvoice, the marketplace connecting investors with growing businesses.
And the FinTech50 wasn’t the only list where the UK shone bright. Celebrating successful fintech companies that have featured on the list over the years, the separate FinTech50 Hall of Fame list recognised ten European startups, six of which were British. The companies singled out include Funding Circle, WorldRemit, the money-transfer startup and Zopa, the company connecting investors with borrowers.
And it didn’t stop there. British companies also dominated The Hot 10 list, which highlights ten up-and-coming startups to keep an eye on. Six of the startups on this year’s list hail from London, including Bud, the banking platform; Cleo, the money-managing smart assistant company; and 10xBanking, the fintech consultancy.
Noting that more traditional financial institutions are working with emerging fintech firms, Fintech50 founder Julie Lake told City A.M. that “there is a new generation of innovators going direct to the consumer in areas such as insurance and financial management”. She added that the even though challenger firms don’t have “the customer volume of traditional providers”, they “are winning hearts and minds in a style more often associated with consumer goods”.
So at least for now, it seems that London is safe on the throne when it comes to being the world’s fintech nerve centre.