London’s architectural scenario combines perfectly historical constructions with modern skyscrapers. Something similar is happening in the financial industry. The world’s oldest financial centre and its traditional incumbent banks have opened space for the emergence of one of the most vibrant fintech clusters in the world.
In the UK, the venture capital annual investments in fintech reach $4.5 billion, according to Tech Nation’s Dealroom report for 2021. Only the US has a bigger investment in fintech.
Revolut, Monzo, Wise (formerly TransferWise) and Starling Bank are some of the successful fintechs and challengers that emerged from London. Commonly, the founders are seasoned executives who once world for legacy institutions, and know very well the challenges in the banking system and the consumers’ needs.
New entrepreneurs count on a well-established ecosystem of incubators. Even some of the traditional banks are investing in fintech hubs. They also find a supportive regulatory environment.
Pismo joined the UK Fintech Week 2022, and visited some of the most important clusters for fintechs in London. The impressive Canary Wharf hosts some of the most traditional UK banks, and also headquarters fintechs as Revolut, valued at $33 billion. From the Level 39 office, which hosts over than 200 tech startups, we can see impressive views of the area, surrounded by the Thames river.
Pismo also visited the emerging cluster of Broadgate, around Old Street’s Silicon Roundabout where wall paintings show the creative face of artists and entrepreneurs. Incubators, co-working offices and tech and fintech companies are everywhere. There, we find the headquarters of the fintechs mentioned above, as well as major tech companies Microsoft and Amazon.
Incumbents are also around. Barclays opened their Rise (#HomeofFinTech), focused on building a global community in fintech “to disrupt, challenge and confront the way things are done in our industry.”
The imprint of major banks is everywhere in London, one needs only to look at the rows of bike stamped with the branding of Santander. Definitely, the world’s oldest financial centre is also a benchmark for the fintechs entrepreneurs around the globe.