Friday 28 November 2014

Investment triples into London-based FinTech firms
London best placed to lead FinTech innovation

The Mayor of London has revealed new figures that indicate London is a world leader in financial technology and driving innovation that is changing the face of the financial services industry. He revealed the figures while attending an event in Singapore to showcase London’s FinTech sector.

Figures compiled by London Partners, the Mayor’s promotional company, show a record amount of venture capital investment is being made into London-based FinTech firms.  So far this year companies have attracted more than US$539 million – triple the amount raised in 2013 – and an amount representing more than half of all FinTech investment across Europe ¹.

Further research commissioned by London Partners shows that more than half (56 per cent) of senior executives and above surveyed in Britain’s financial Services believe London is best placed globally to lead FinTech innovation, ahead of New York (3 per cent), Hong Kong (4 per cent) and San Francisco (8 per cent), with London’s position as a global trading hub cited as the key reason by those who thought the capital is best placed (85 per cent), followed by the close proximity of financial and technology businesses in London (62 per cent) ².

The YouGov poll also found that 81 per cent of those surveyed thought that FinTech was already having an impact on the traditional financial services sector.  More than half (52 per cent) said high street, retail banks need to embrace new technology while 48 per cent said that banks were failing to adapt quickly enough to the challenges presented by advances in financial technology.

The Mayor is on a six day trade mission to the Far East where he is aiming to build on his work to create jobs and growth, and promote London to the world as a major investment destination as he leads a trade mission to Singapore, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur. Over six days he will meet senior politicians, business leaders and investors in some of the world’s largest and fastest growing economies, to champion investment opportunities in London and the UK by forging closer ties with the three cities. He has been accompanied by a delegation of the capital’s top business leaders from key sectors including financial and investment services, and construction and design. They are being supported in the region by a parallel UKTI mission made up of London’s emerging small technology and science related businesses.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “London has always been at the forefront of financial innovation and now our financiers are leading another global revolution, this time driven by technological innovations that are changing the way the world does business, creating new jobs and economic growth both in the UK, and in the other financial centres of the world.”

Steve Leonard, Executive Deputy Chairman of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), who co-hosted the event said: “Singapore and London are natural partners. Just as we see London as a gateway into Europe, we want London to see Singapore as the best gateway to Asia. The Prime Minister of Singapore has laid out a vision for us to become a Smart Nation. This means Singapore is pulling together our world-ranked universities, multibillion annual RD investments, a fast-growing community of tech startups and large pools of investment capital to tackle important global challenges brought on by the inevitable trends of ageing populations and urban density. The financial-services sector also represents an interesting space with huge opportunities for disruptive innovation.”

At the event Steve Leonard announced that Startupbootcamp, the London-based FinTech accelerator will launch an Asia accelerator programme in Singapore next year.  To showcase Singapore’s commitment to tech entrepreneurship, Mr Leonard also announced that IDA would be partnering with London-based Founders Forum to bring its exclusive “Leaders-in-Tech” gathering to Singapore next April.

Brent Hoberman, co-founder of Founders Forum, entrepreneur and investor said: “We’re delighted to be working alongside IDA to co-host the inaugural Founders Forum Smart Nation Singapore next April. We look forward to bringing some of the world’s leading tech entrepreneurs to Singapore and hope that through this, we can help IDA on its mission for Singapore to become the world’s first Smart Nation. We want to strengthen the ties between London and Singapore so aim to promote Singapore as the pivotal hub for top London entrepreneurs who are looking to expand into Asia.”

The Mayor of London also used the event to demonstrate some exciting new technology developed by the London-based startup Vieweet, which is working with TescoLabs, the innovation arm of the UK supermarket chain, to explore the future of online retailing ³.  The company is developing a platform that allows people to navigate around a ‘virtual’ supermarket.

Domenic Versace, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Vieweet said: “Online shopping is largely about picking things off a list. It doesn’t really engage the consumer in the same way as actually being in a shop. What we’re trying to do is bridge that gap. Our technology was originally conceived as a tool for the real estate industry but we’re demonstrating, with TescoLabs, that it has potential to revolutionise ecommerce too.”

Singapore, which is the leading financial hub of Southeast Asia, is well placed to benefit from advances in FinTech. The country boasts over 200 banks with operational headquarters and Singapore-based tech startups attracted more than US$1.7 billion VC funding in 2013 – more than Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea 4.

The UK FinTech market is currently worth £20 billion in annual revenue and growing according to EY 5 and London is now the world’s largest centre for financial technology, with 44,000 people working in the sector – more than both Silicon Valley and New York, according to research by South Mountain Economics 6.

Gordon Innes, Chief Executive of London Partners, the Mayor’s promotional company for London, said: “London’s FinTech sector is growing faster than anywhere else in the world. The proximity of our world-class financial services infrastructure to London’s booming tech industry is driving innovation across mobile payments, retail banking and crowdfunding, resulting in dynamic products and apps for a plugged-in, online generation.”

Claire Cockerton, CEO Innovate Finance – the UK trade-body representing the FinTech sector – and technology ambassador for the Mayor of London said: “The increased investment in Britain’s FinTech community is fostering innovations that are shaping the future of the global financial services industry. The best talent in the world is being drawn to this rich landscape and setting up FinTech startups that are investment-ready and have high growth potential.”

Alastair Hughes, CEO, Asia Pacific for JLL, the professional services and investment management company specializing in real estate, a key sponsor of the event, said: “As FinTech is leading to disruption across all sectors, we thought this summit was a great opportunity to showcase how innovation in London and Singapore is having a profound impact on other sectors including real estate, creating new opportunities for forward-thinking firms to capitalise on.”

Other UK FinTech companies accompanying the Mayor in Singapore include: TransferGo, Algomi, Azimo, JustYoYo, Tryum, Real Asset and Iwoca.

Notes to Editors

Images from the FinTech event in Singapore and a video showcasing London FinTech can be downloaded from 8am GMT here


¹  Based on data from CB Insights. London-based FinTech investment between 1/1/2014 – 20/11/2014 and London-based FinTech investment FY 2013.  European FinTech investment over the same period 2014 = US$1.06 billion

²  All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 271 senior decision-makers and above that work in the financial services sector. Fieldwork was undertaken between 20-25 November 2014.  The survey was carried out online.

³ Follow this link to view an example of the work being developed by Veweet and TescoLabs on the future of online retailing. As part of this demonstration certain products have been activated and highlighted with a red target. Alternatively product specific navigation is available via the drop down menu. NB this work is in development and as such not all items have been activated and no purchases can be made

4  KPMG: Unlocking the potential: The FinTech opportunity for Singapore, 2014

5 Landscaping UK FinTech, 2014$FILE/EY-Landscaping-UK-Fintech.pdf

London: Digital City on the Rise. 2014


About London Partners

London Partners is the official promotional company for London. We promote London and attract businesses, events, congresses, students and visitors to the capital. Our aims are to build London’s international reputation and to attract investment and visitor spend, which create jobs and growth.

London Partners is a not-for-profit public private partnership, funded by the Mayor of London and our network of commercial partners.

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