UK fintech sector enjoys record-breaking year for investments
Figures released this week by Innovate Finance show the UK fintech sector secured record-breaking investment in the first six months of 2021.
According to the industry body, H1 2021 saw $5.7bn raised across 317 deals by UK firms. This was more than the total investment secured in 2020 ($4.3bn).
Thirteen of the H1 2021 deals exceeded $100 million (there were seven in this category in 2020). The level of investment is also well above pre-pandemic levels, being higher than the total investment for 2019 of $4.6bn, which in itself was a record-breaking year.
Payment technology firms SaltPay and Checkout.com attracted the two largest deals so far in 2021, raising $500 million and $450 million respectively. Also notable were Rapyd ($300 million), PPRO Financial ($180 million), DNA Payments ($140 million) and PaySend ($125 million).
Starling Bank raised $376 million, followed by crypto trading platform Blockchain.com ($300 million), pension and payroll providers Smart Pension ($230 million) and PayFit ($107 million) and credit-scoring specialist ClearScore ($200 million).
The SaltPay, Checkout.com, Starling Bank, Blockchain.com and Rapyd fundraisers were among the top ten deals closed across Europe.
During the period, the UK only trailed the US (940 deals and $26.7bn) in terms of funds raised, and was ahead of Brazil (40 deals and $3bn), Germany (56 deals and $2.5bn) and India (132 deals and $2.2bn).
The strong H1 investment figures come off the back of the UK’s Kalifa Review from the first half of the year, which set out recommendations for the future growth of the sector and provided a roadmap to ensure long-term, sustained investment.
The start of the year has also seen an increasing number of UK fintechs announce Initial Public Offerings (IPOs).
Janine Hirt, CEO of Innovate Finance, commented: “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.
“It is hugely encouraging to see evidence of this resilience and growth, particularly in light of the uncertainty and challenges brought on by 2020. Both the flow of capital and a wide talent pool are essential to maintaining the sector’s strength, and we remain committed to supporting efforts in these vital areas.”