Record-breaking year for UK FinTech

In the first six months of the year, record-breaking investment has taken place across the UK FinTech sector.

According to research from Innovate Finance, an industry body representing UK FinTech, the first half of 2021 saw $5.7 billion raised across 317 deals in UK firms.

This represents growth of 34 per cent compared to the whole of 2020, which made just $4.3 billion.

This year has also broken the record set in 2019 by 26 per cent, when $4.6 billion was invested in the market.

SaltPay and Checkout.com attracted the two largest deals made this year and are amongst the largest fundraises in the UK FinTech sector so far, with $500 million and $450 million respectively.

Payment technology firms including SaltPay, Checkout.com, Rapyd ($300m), PPRO Financial ($180m), DNA Payments ($140m) and PaySend ($125m) dominated the charts with the most significant investments.

Challenger bank Starling Bank ($376m), crypto trading platform Blockchain.com ($300m), pension and payroll providers Smart Pension ($230m) and PayFit ($107m) and credit-scoring specialist ClearScore ($200m) also secured large investments to support their growth.

The first half of the year also saw 13 UK FinTech companies close mega deals (investment above $100m), surpassing the record set in 2019 when 10 firms secured investment that topped $100m. Of these, SaltPay, Checkout.com, Starling Bank, Blockchain.com and Rapyd were among the top 10 deals closed across Europe.

Today, the UK is second only to the US (940 deals and $26.7bn) in terms of funds raised, and well ahead of the levels secured by Brazil (40 deals and $3bn), Germany (56 deals and $2.5bn) and India (132 deals and $2.2bn) during the same period.

“This analysis clearly demonstrates that the appetite among international investors to fund high-growth, innovative firms has never been greater, and is a testament to the UK’s position as a world leader in FinTech,” said Janine Hirt, chief executive, Innovate Finance. “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.”

Hirt added: “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.”

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