The UK has registered a record year in annual fintech investment in 2021, exceeding $11.6bn – representing a huge 217% increase from 2020.
The funds in the UK were spread across 713 deals, which marks 11% of all global deals (6,495), leaving the country in second place behind the US, but streets ahead of its European rivals.
The UK regions also experienced rapid growth, with investment outside London and the South East in 2021 reaching $696m compared to $206m in 2020 - a 237% increase.
The majority of funds backing UK companies went into early ($2.7bn) or late stage ($7.0bn) rounds, with a smaller share of funding at the growth stage level ($1.6bn). However, by number of deals, the Seed stage (<$1m) saw a decrease in funding.
Following a challenging year in 2020 impacted by the pandemic, which saw the investment numbers for the UK stagnate for the first time in years, the 2021 figures represent a substantial annual jump and a validation of the sector’s strategic potential as it emerges from the pandemic, says Janine Hirt, CEO of Innovate Finance.
Pointing to research that show that fintech products are now being used by 8 in 10 UK Brits, she says: “Fintech is delivering on all the biggest global trends and needs, including business productivity, consumer behaviours, financial wellness and inclusion, climate change solutions and cyber security - which is why it is such a magnet for investors.
“We are on the right trajectory in terms of levels of funding and now it’s time to also properly address the funding gap for underrepresented founders, if we are to create a truly sustainable and forward-looking sector."