London enjoys fintech investment boom

London enjoys fintech investment boom

The UK and Ireland has emerged as the world's fastest growing region for financial technology investment over the last five years as London establishes itself as the fintech capital of Europe.

According to Accenture, global investment in fintech ventures is booming, more than tripling from $928 million in 2008 to $2.97 billion in 2013. Over the past three years, such investment has grown at four times the rate of overall VC spending.

Although the US still dominates, the UK and Ireland is seeing far greater growth. Deal-volume, mostly related to London, has been growing at an annualised rate of 74% since 2008, compared with 27% globally and 13% in Silicon Valley.

According to data from CB Insight, over the last five years, the value of fintech investment in the UK and Ireland increased nearly eightfold to $265 million in 2013.

Although this is well short of the $950 million raised in Silicon Valley last year, the annualised growth rate for the UK and Ireland since 2008 is 51%, compared to just 23% for the West Coast hub.

With London's status as a financial services superpower enticing the fintech world, the UK and Ireland now accounts for more than half of all investment in Europe.

Accenture's Julian Skan, who oversees the firm's own London fintech innovation lab, says: "The fintech boom is a huge opportunity for London with its well-developed financial and technology industries. It is also crucial to London maintaining its position as the leading global financial center because of the growing importance of technology to the financial industry."

However, London still has problems, he warns: "It is harder to raise funding, and entrepreneurs are less focused on commercialising new ideas than in the US. It is also difficult for small entrepreneurial companies to gain entry to big global banks."

Finextra is running a two-day conference exploring the new wave of innovation and debating the hot issues influencing the fintech investment scene in Europe. Finextra Future Money will play host to more than 250 senior business, IT and innovation participants at banks, VCs, start-ups and industry influencers at Level39 in Canary Wharf, Europe's largest accelerator space for finance, retail and future cities technology companies.

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