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London to become the world's fintech king
With nine of the world's 29 fintech unicorns-companies valued at $1bn or over – San Francisco is the global current leader of fintech revolution. However, London- where seven fintech unicorns are already based- is on track to overtake as early as this year according to a report from recruitment consultancy Robert Walters and market analysis firm Vacancy Soft.
In 2018, London received 39% of European fintech venture capital funding while Berlin took just 21% of the total investment, followed by Paris (18%), Stockholm (5%), Barcelona (4%), Amsterdam (4%), Zurich (3%), Copenhagen (2%) and Dublin (2%).
Figures released in January 2019 also showed that tech firms in London had raised a total of £1.8 bn in venture capital and public listings last year, followed by Berlin, where companies secured £936.5 m.
Major funding rounds in London last year included banking disruptors like Transferwise, Oaknorth and Revolut, as well as an initial public offering by Funding Circle.
Figures from last year also revealed that 60 unicorn tech startups have been created in the UK overall since 1990. E-money firms – those authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to conduct some banking operations – grew by 51% between 2017–18.
The report also predicted that by 2020, over half of all payment service providers in the UK would become digital-only. The last year alone has seen the income growth of the UK's fintech unicorns growing from a combined £77.1m ($100.8m) to £177.6m ($232.1m) revenue.
The growth led to a 61 per cent increase for Job creation in fintech, making it the fastest-growing sector of the UK economy.
"IT continues to dominate the hiring agenda for fintechs, with just under third of roles within the sector dedicated to tech – in 2018, we saw IT vacancies within the space increase by 74% when compared with 2017” Ihsan Iqbal, director of technology at Robert Walters, remarked.
"The increase in demand for IT talent – coupled with Brexit-related concerns – poses the risk of stifling the talent pool, as a result, we are already starting to see salary inflations for IT professionals of around 6-8% – and some pretty impressive buy-back and counter offers," he added.
The report also found that the UK enjoys the highest rate of consumer fintech adoption of any Western country as more than 50 per cent of Brits are using fintech services, against a global average of 33 per cent.
It looks like London is on track to become the world's fintech leader.