The UK’s FinTech industry attracted a record investment of $16 billion (£12bn) in the first half of the year, more than any other country including the US.
This was in large part due to the $12.9 billion takeover of WorldPay by Vantiv. Thanks to the deal, the UK accounted for over half the total FinTech investment into Europe ($26bn), according to KPMG.
Despite some concerns about Brexit, venture capital investors remained bullish on UK FinTech with four of Europe’s top 10 deals happening here: a $250 million raise by Revolut, a $100 million raise by eToro, a $60 million raise by Flender and a $54 million raise by MoneyFarm.
“The year has got off to an exceptionally strong start for the FinTech sector,” said Anton Ruddenklau, global co-lead, KPMG FinTech.
He added: “Fintech investment is always fairly volatile but the UK tends to enjoy higher highs and lower lows than most, the blockbuster acquisition of WorldPay by Vantiv certainly means H1 2018 was a real high for UK FinTech investment.
“Whilst the rest of the year will struggle to replicate the first half, I’m optimistic that we will remain in robust shape.”
The news was welcomed by Simon Wax, partner at financial advisory firm Buzzacott, who said the UK should “certainly feel proud of its ability to attract more investment into the sector than any other country”.
However, he stressed that it’s vital that young companies are able to scale successfully by overcoming certain challenges.
“Increased uncertainty around Brexit and how this will impact the UK’s access to the digital single market, the availability of skilled technical workers and even funding for R&D are all key risks for small businesses,” he said, adding that scaling FinTech companies should focus on long-term success, not being the biggest money maker.
“Scaling FinTech companies must address and identify their sweet spot in the market, and develop a business plan focused on which best suits their model. That way, scaling businesses can secure their success in the market, and grow in a way that is right for their business.”