Monday 9 December 2019 5:55 am

London’s fintechs are magnets for venture capital investment

William Russell is Lord Mayor of London.

The outcome of Thursday’s election will be of significant interest to our partners on the other side of the Atlantic.

I am confident, however, that both our US and Mexican partners will recognise the huge, long-term opportunities for closer collaboration as technology opens up a new chapter in our trading relationship.

The rapidly increasing digitisation of the global economy is a major challenge and opportunity for us all.

Fintech startups across the UK are already at the front of the curve. London alone has seen a record year so far of venture capital-led fintech investment, with over $2bn of funding across more than 100 deals — more than New York.

This success story was evident when I recently visited both Manchester and Northern Ireland, where the likes of Acceleris and FinTrU demonstrated that this potential is nationwide and not just confined to the capital.

This is innovation and creativity that global investors want to know about, none more so than those in the US — the biggest investor into the UK’s financial services sector and the broader economy — and especially those in Silicon Valley.

2019 has been a record year for American VC investment into UK and London companies, with US investors already involved in $4.4bn worth of deals into British firms so far this year — up from $4bn in 2018.

I believe that this is just the start, and that we are only beginning to realise the full scale of opportunities that exist.

That’s why this visit forms part of a broader campaign by the City of London Corporation to connect two of the world’s leading tech and innovation hubs more closely than ever before.

For that reason, a delegation of British VC representatives will also join me in San Francisco to build relationships directly between US and UK investors — relationships that will be essential to helping UK fintech startups and scaleups to the next stage in their growth.

The delegation will showcase the best of British fintech and innovation, highlighting the investable propositions offered by our country’s vibrant sector.

We understand that overseas investors want to stay close to the companies that they are supporting, and building close and trusted relationships between UK and US investment partners will be a key part of cementing our fintech investment pipeline.

We are natural partners thanks to our shared values and proven track record of innovation.

As the political drama unfolds, the implications of the election result for our partnerships across North America — including a possible future trade deal with the US — are likely to come even more into the spotlight.

Of course, these are important issues for our nations and the City, but irrespective of Thursday’s outcome, the advent of the fourth industrial revolution has given us a golden opportunity to revolutionise the global financial services sector.

It is one that I want us to grasp with both hands.  

Main image credit: Getty

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