Investment remains strong in Scottish fintech
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Despite political and economic uncertainty, including conflict in Ukraine, spiralling inflation and the cost-of-living crisis, innovative Scottish fintech (financial technology) firms are continuing to grow and attract investment.
Nicola Anderson, chief executive officer of FinTech Scotland, a cluster organisation that acts as the umbrella body for the sector and its ecosystem, has pointed to growth in recent times. At the end of 2021 there were just under 190 fintech businesses in the Scottish community and that now stands at more than 200 – about a 12 per cent growth in numbers. She said: “These business numbers are a really positive indicator of how vibrant the sector is.”
Investment figures are also strong with more than £300 million going into the sector in Scotland over the year. In fact, according to Anderson, more than £1.3 billion was invested in total but that included £1bn into one significant unicorn. Ms Anderson added: “We're really lucky in Scotland with the quality of our entrepreneurs.”
As part of its future planning for the sector, Fintech Scotland unveiled the FinTech Research & Innovation Roadmap 2021-31 in March this year. It is described as a “pioneering document” designed to speed the growth of the sector. It aligns with the recommendations set out in the Review of UK Fintech in February 2021.
Graeme Rennison, team leader in digital economy at Scottish Enterprise, said: “Scotland is increasingly being recognised as a leading global region for fintech.” Oli Henderson, partner in EY’s financial services strategy and transactions practice, said that Scotland’s fintech ecosystem is of a favourable size and nature. He explained: “From an ecosystem perspective it’s all here and accessible. There is great collaboration between big financial institutions and fintechs and we need to build on that foundation.”
Callum Sinclair, partner and head of technology and commercial at Burness Paull, is optimistic about fintechs that focus on such areas as payment technology simplification and allow consumers and businesses to integrate everything onto one platform.