UK fintech investment reaches record levels

Out of the ​​112 tech unicorns in the UK, 40 are part of the fintech sector

The third quarter of 2021 set an all-time record for venture capital (VC) investment in UK fintech startups, at £3.6 billion.

The achievement signifies the sector re-gaining ground following a financially difficult year.

According to Tech Nation, the UK fintech has received $11.4 billion in VC funding over the past nine months – more than double the amount of 2020's total ($4.57 billion). 

The first half of 2021 saw the number of the UK’s tech unicorns double, with 20 tech companies achieving the prestigious status. Out of the ​​112 tech unicorns in the UK, the largest number in Europe, 40 are part of the fintech sector. London was found to be the main fintech unicorn hub in the continent, hosting 35 of them.

However, this couldn’t have been achieved without foreign investment: almost half ($5 billion) of the investment made into UK fintech firms this year has come from US investors, with Tech Nation interpreting it as a sign of the “international appeal of some of the UK’s world-leading fintech firms”.

Tech Nation published the findings as part of its announcement of the new cohort of the latest iteration of its sector-specific growth programme for fintech entrepreneurs, Fintech 4.0.

30 companies have been accepted into the programme this year, covering areas such as insurance, investment, blockchain, and digital assets.

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This includes the London-based, SME-focused trade finance marketplace Nu-Credits, and Newbury’s open banking-enabled payments-as-a-service platform Ordo.

Although the majority (60%) of inductees hail from London, Scotland and Wales were represented by cloud-based R&D accounting application WhisperClaims and order-and-pay service provider Yoello.

Katja Palovaara, fintech programme lead at Tech Nation, said the organisation is “delighted to welcome these 30 inspiring fintech companies to the Fintech 4.0 cohort”. 

“As the UK’s flourishing fintech sector continues to drive more investment than ever before, our fintech companies are not just disrupting traditional financial sectors; they are working alongside them to ensure that everyone has the tools and knowledge they need to succeed financially," she said.

"Many of these fintechs are not only focused on helping people earn more and invest better, but on making the world a better and fairer place. We can’t wait to see what they do next."

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