Dubbing it “the heart of fintech”, FinTech Connect Live is concentrating over 2,000 attendees and 100 sponsors in London for a two day exhibition next week. They have chosen their location well: taking over 68% of European Fintech investment in 2015, London is already teeming with some of the sector’s most exciting opportunities.
Its future prospects are even rosier. A recent UK Trade and Investment Government Paper found Fintech deal volume in the UK & Ireland (overwhelmingly London based) has been growing at an annual rate of 74% since 2008. It’s a pretty devastating percentage, when compared with these deals’ global growth of 27%, and 13% growth in Silicon Valley. No late arrival to the party, the UK government has already announced plans to create 100, 000 new jobs in the sector by 2020 and pledged £10million towards research into the distributed ledger technology which underpins Bitcoin.
Location Location Location
Straddling both US and Asian time zones, London has always been well-placed for international transactions. With an increasing non-English speaking Asian and African population, it is also a springboard for launching a company into other areas of the world.
Rules of the Game
It brings a lot more to the Fintech table, though. Not least is a warm regulatory climate. The FCA actively encourages reduced risk experimentation, with regulatory sandboxes and the one-year-old Project Innovate. It’s also markedly open-minded, recognising the importance of bitcoin and blockchain, while many of its foreign counterparts still ignore them.
This goes hand in hand with a proper dialogue between the government and Fintech community. The UK’s special Fintech envoy Eileen Burbidge is a good example: a venture capitalist inside London’s investment community.
London also boasts a lot of capital: both financial and human. Home to a growing population of institutional investors, it has a rapidly growing individual private sector market which is being supported by government schemes that are easing investment in technology start-ups. On top of that, it has a large pool of professionals with financial industry experience, too.
60% of the attendees at Fintech Connect Live next week will be from the UK, including us. Stop by our stall and say hello if you’re going too. We’re looking forward to connecting, sharing news and learning from others in the community.