Fintech has grown into a £6.6 billion business in the UK that employs 60,000 people, with London at the heart of the industry. Venture capital investment in London fintech hit £820 million in 2016 and, despite the uncertainty caused by Brexit, the market is thriving, according to one leading industry figure.
Niels Turfboer, managing director of online lender Spotcap, said: “We know there will be two years of deal making and uncertainty over trade barriers and freedom of movement. But London is by far the best fintech hub in Europe and perhaps even globally.
“I see a lot of talent and innovation and support systems for fintech. There is regulation that is favourable for innovation. It’s a huge, booming sector where a lot of people find great jobs. It’s a driver for the London economy.”
With that in mind, here are five London fintech startups to watch in 2017:
The challenger bank specialises in mobile banking, with customers able to receive transparent, real-time data on their accounts and spending from their smartphones.
“Processing financial transactions should be free and instant for everybody,” said Jonas Huckestein, co-founder and CTO. “Our mission is to be the provision of that service for as many people as possible.”
Monzo was granted a banking license in in the UK in February this year — the newly-established, official bank can hold consumer money and offer current accounts.
The company raised £19.5 million, also in February. Monzo also recently banked £12 million on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube, after raising £1 million in 96 seconds on the site in March 2016.
--> Overview of the latest job openings at Monzo.
WorldRemit is a money transfer startup that is tapping into growing demand for mobile payments in emerging markets.
“For the world’s unbanked, tech-enabled platforms can bring about positive change and financial inclusion,” said Ismail Ahmed, who founded WorldRemit in 2010 after facing difficultly sending money back to Africa to relatives while studying in London.
Having launched seven years ago in the UK capital, and receiving £40 million from Facebook-backer Accel Partners, the company is plotting a major global expansion, with offices recently established in South Africa and Kenya. The service is available in 50 countries in total.
--> Overview of the latest job openings at WorldRemit.
Novastone is an uber-secure instant messaging system for banks, which can, using the startup’s slick software, chose who employees and clients communicate with inside their companies. It solves the problem of meeting regulatory requirements, as all conversations can be scanned by auditors. It also provides a secure way for corporate banking and wealth management clients to share documents.
The company, which has 16 employees, was founded in 2011 by Douglas Orr, a serial entrepreneur who has built three technology companies in six European countries. After cornering the financial services market, Novastone is hoping to expand into the legal and health industries.
Set-up by Oxford University graduates Matt Robinson and Hiroki Takeuchi, GoCardless processes B2B payments and direct debits — quicker than traditional lenders, it claims. The technology allows small businesses to process direct debits by aggregating payments, and fees are kept at 1% for each transaction — and capped at £2 in total.
The system is limited to the UK and Europe but the company is fast-growing and hopes to expand into new markets.
GoCardless has raised £20 million in venture capital funding so far, with investors including Balderton Capital and Accel Partners.
--> Overview of the latest job openings at GoCardless.
Blockchain.info lets people store and spend the cryptocurrency bitcoin, and it also builds software that lets companies accept bitcoin payments from consumers.
Blockchain.info is the most popular bitcoin wallet globally, with more than 4 million users.
The business was launched by Nicolas Cary, Ben Reeves and Peter smith in 2011. The startup has raised £22 million in venture capital and is backed by Sir Richard Branson, the billionaire Virgin founder.
--> Overview of the latest job openings at Blockchain.info
See the Londen Fintech jobs available at this moment!
This article is written by our London based correspondent Seb Murray.