London emerges as FinTech capital of Europe

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The UK’s goal to become the financial innovation capital of the world edged closer to reality this week, as London was named home to half of all the startups on this year’s FinTech50 list.

The list, which covers the most important FinTech companies in Europe, included major players such as Funding Circle, TransferWise and Nutmeg, as well as smaller companies such as Osper, which creates pre-paid debit cards for under-18s, and Algomi, which looks to address problems in the bond market by providing better data to traders and sales teams.

Algomi CEO Stu Taylor said that the company, which has scaled up from launch to over 200 staff in just two years, is “thrilled” to be featured alongside such eminent competition.

“Hopefully it’s testament to some of the success we’ve had over the past few years,” he told Treasury Insider. “We have a lot of high profile clients in the finance industry… and we’re lucky that they’re very vocal about their support for what we do

Venture capitalists invested nearly £1 billion into technology startups in the UK capital last year, with a third of this going into fintech companies. Top areas for growth include new payment platforms and models, mobile payments, alternative funding and data analytics, and the sector now employs more people than rival clusters Silicon Valley and New York.

Taylor, who joined London mayor Boris Johnson on fintech trade delegations to Singapore and Malaysia last year, believes the city is “absolutely” becoming a global hub for financial innovation.

“London is defining itself as a fintech hub,” he said. “Just look at the sheer number of firms setting up here.”

“There’s political support behind this, and that brings global recognition.”

The FinTech50 shortlist was judged by several of the city’s technology-focused venture capitalists, the technology giants Google, Microsoft and American Express, and the banks Santander and Silicon Valley Bank.