Revolut founder hits back at Brexit scaremongers
20 April 2017 | 9566 views | 0
As a new round of reports suggest a rebound in fintech spending by VCs in London, the founder and CEO of Revolut has hit out at the doom-mongering about Britain's post-Brexit future by his peers at Transferwise and Azimo.
New figures from the founders of London Tech Week say the capital's burgeoning fintech scene scored over £177 million of funding since the beginning of the year - more than any other quarter in 2016. The numbers were driven by major deals for Funding Circle (£82 million), Monzo (£22 million) and Currency Cloud (£20.27 million).
Another report from tech investment bank GP Bullhound, positions London as the European capital for fintech unicorns, pointing out that the UK houses four tech behemoths with a combined value of $18.5bn, compared to just two in the rest of Europe, which are worth $4.6bn between them.
Nik Storonsky, founder & CEO of Revolut, says: "Fintech produces more billion-dollar-valued startups than any other segment in the UK, and includes digital financial services, from money transfer to peer-to-peer loans. There is no doubt in our minds that London will remain a hub for fintech irrespective of what a few fear mongering individuals might say."
Storonsky's views can be seen as a rebuff to fellow fintech founder Taavet Hinrikus of Transferwise who remains outspokenly pessimistic about Britain's future outside of Europe.
At a government-backed conference last week designed to trumpet the UK as a post-Brexit fintech powerhouse, the CEO of Transferwise went off-message, suggesting startups should avoid London and confirming that his own firm will move its European headquarters to the mainland.
Likewise, Azimo has moved to open an office in Dublin, fearful that the loss of passporting rights and a clampdown on free movement of people will hurt the business and do irreparable damage to London's status as a fintech powerhouse.
Storonsky takes a strikingly different position: "Revolut is passionate about nurturing the home-grown talent that continues to drive UK fintech forward, as well as continuing to attract the best people from around the world and Brexit won't change this. As a Russian immigrant to the UK, I have built a home and a business here and if I was starting over I would make exactly the same decisions and even post Brexit London would still be top of my list."