Monday 12 July 2021 7:00 am

Exclusive: UK fintech firms raise $5.7bn in record-breaking year

UK fintech firms raised $5.7bn (£4.1bn) in the first six months of the year alone, smashing investment records for the booming sector.

The bumper figure outstrips the total investment secured in the whole of 2020 and is more than a quarter higher than the previous annual record of $4.6bn set in 2019.

The record-breaking cash injection, which came across 317 deals, cements the UK’s position as the European capital of fintech and highlights growing investor appetite for the sector.

There was also a record amount of so-called mega-rounds, where investment exceeds $100m.

A total of 13 UK companies secured a mega-round in the first six months of the year — up from seven in 2020 as a whole.

Payment startups Saltpay and bagged the two largest rounds, raising $500m and $450m respectively.

Challenger bank Starling raised $376m, while crypto trading platform and payments network Rapyd both secured $300m investments.

These top five deals were among the 10 largest funding rounds secured across Europe.

The UK’s fintech sector is now second only to the US in terms of funds raised. American companies raised $26.7bn across 940 deals.

The biggest fintech deals of 2021 (so far)

RankCompanyDeal size
3.Starling Bank$376m$300m
6.Smart Pension$230m
8.10x Future Technologies$187m
9.PPRO Financial$180m
10.DNA Payments$140m

“This analysis clearly demonstrates that the appetite among international investors to fund high-growth, innovative firms has never been greater, and is a testament to the UK’s position as a world leader in Fintech,” said Janine Hirt, chief executive of Innovate Finance, which compiled the figures.

“Fintech is one of the fastest-growing sectors of our economy and has a vital role to play in the UK’s economic and business recovery. To have secured record funding — in just six months — speaks to an enduring confidence in UK innovation, as well as our ability to build and scale world-class businesses.”

The strong investment figures follow the publication of the Kalifa Review, which set out recommendations for the future growth of the UK’s fintech sector.

The UK is also considering an overhaul of London’s listing rules in a bid to attract more tech IPOs in the capital.

Last week payments group Wise was valued at £8bn in its London stock market float, which was the capital’s first ever direct listing and its largest ever tech IPO.