More money was invested in UK financial technology (fintech) than in the same sector in the US and China in the first half of this year, according to KPMG.
Fuelled by the $12.9bn deal that saw Vantiv acquire WorldPay, investment in UK fintech in the first half of 2018 reached $16bn, compared with $14bn in the US and just more than $15bn in China. In Europe, the UK accounted for well over half of the money invested in fintech (£26bn).
“Despite some concerns about Brexit, venture capital investors remained bullish on UK fintech with four of Europe’s top 10 deals happening here,” said KPMG. The four biggest investments in Europe were in by Revolut, eToro, Flender and MoneyFarm.
The year has got off to a strong start for the sector, with fintech investment in the first half of the year reaching $57.9bn, compared with $38.1bn for the whole of 2017.
“In addition to the bullish levels of investment the UK has attracted, our fintech sector has also benefited from the government’s continued support with the launch of the Fintech Sector Strategy,” said Anton Ruddenklau, global co-lead, KPMG Fintech.
“Fintech investment is always fairly volatile, but the UK tends to enjoy higher highs and lower lows than most. The blockbuster acquisition of WorldPay by Vantiv certainly means the first half of 2018 was a real high for UK fintech investment. While the rest of the year will struggle to replicate the first half, I’m optimistic that we will remain in robust shape.”
The Nordic regions fintech ecosystem also attracted significant investment, with the buyouts of Nets in Denmark and iZettle and Nordax Group in Sweden among the top deals during the six-month period.
Meanwhile, Blockchain investments continued in the six-month period with more experienced companies and consortia looking to obtain additional rounds rather than on new market entrants. These included more than $100m investment in R3 and Circle Internet Finance in the US, and $77m to Ledger in France.