Fintech startups have emerged as the hottest ticket in London for venture capital investors, taking the lion's share of VC-directed funds in the first half of the year.
According to data from corporate finance house Ascendent, 22 fintech startups walked away with just under £300 million of VC funds in the first six months of the year. The figure is more than the combined totals scooped up by the software and cleantech sectors, and represents a clear majority share of the £520 million directed towards the internet/mobile services sector in which fintech is bracketed as a sub-set.
With fintech leading the charge, the internet/mobile services startup sector enjoyed unprecedented growth in the first six months of 2014, capturing more than double the total £259 million invested in the whole of 2013. Again, reflecting the gravitational pull of London, the capital completely dominated the sector taking 88% of funds invested and 79% of number of deals.
"Are we in a bubble?" asks Ascendant. "Some of the warning signs that were troubling us at that time have eased - syndication has increased and growth has slowed - and so we continue to believe that there is no bubble, but we are watching the market carefully."