Tuesday 16 July 2019 5:02 am

British fintech booms as 2019 set to be a record year for UK investment

The UK’s standout fintech sector has once again broken records, hitting a new high of $2.9bn (£2.3bn) in funding in the first six months of 2019.

The amount represents the highest intake of investment in a half-year period to date, and is equal to approximately 85 per cent of the sector’s total funding in 2018.

Data from Innovate Finance revealed investment in the first half of 2019 was up 45 per cent compared to the same period last year, and nearly doubled the inflows recorded in the second half of 2018.

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The number of deals declined 30 per cent, indicating a move towards larger and later-stage rounds as the sector moves towards maturity.

The UK scored 2019’s largest fintech funding round in the world so far when Softbank invested $800m in supply chain finance lender Greensill. The Japanese mega-investor’s other UK fintech bet, a $440m round for savings challenger bank Oaknorth, was the third-largest globally.

Fintech is the highest-performing part of the UK’s tech industry, which contributes more than £130bn to the economy every year.

London startups dominated the UK’s intake in the first six months, representing 90 per cent of all investment flowing into the fintech sector.

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Challenger banks such as Monzo and Starling Bank had stellar rounds in the period, raising $147m and $98m respectively. Starling also added another £100m to its coffers after winning a business banking grant from the RBS Remedies Fund.

Payments firms were similarly popular with investors, as Checkout.com, Worldremit and Gocardless raised a combined $481m in funding.

Innovate Finance chief executive Charlotte Crosswell said: “It is hugely encouraging to see evidence of [the UK’s] resilience and growth despite the uncertainty and challenging times ahead.”

Separately, 2019 is forecast to be a record year for UK investment across all sectors, breaking a milestone previously set in 2017.

Read more: The UK’s young ‘tech for good’ startups provide £2.3bn boost to British economy

Data from Beauhurst showed a 20 per cent increase in the total amount of investment received by the UK’s startups and scaleups in the six months to the end of June, while the number of deals rose four per cent.

The artificial intelligence sector experienced a record first half of the year and a 15 per cent increase in deals compared to the end of 2018.

Meanwhile adtech reported a 14 per cent increase in deal numbers, its first rise in three years.

Main image credit: Monzo