UK fintech investment soared to $901m in 2015

Over 60% of last year's fintech VC rounds involved alternative finance and payment services such as Funding Circle, Currency Cloud and Transferwise

Investment into UK financial technology (fintech) businesses rose by 35% to reach $901m in 2015, according to figures released by Innovate Finance.

There were 72 deals made in 2015, the highest volume outside the US, with Funding Circle, Atom Bank, Ebury Partners, Transferwise and WorldRemit accounting for the five biggest investment rounds of the year. Young Gun-founded Funding Circle and Atom Bank were also counted among the top 20 global deals.

Over 60% of fintech venture capital (VC) investments in 2015 were made into peer-to-peer lender, alternative finance and payment services such as RateSetter, Currency Cloud and Azimo.

Although UK deal volume was lower compared to 2014, deals were generally larger – keeping pace with a global trend. Worldwide, there were 860 fintech deals in total, attracting $12.5bn in investment.

Lawrence Wintermeyer, CEO of Innovate Finance, said of the data: “A couple of years ago, entrepreneurs in the community were looking for introductions to VCs. Last year, they were interested in introductions to institutions. What this reveals is that corporate venture funding could be the new smart money for fintech.”

Ismail Ahmed, founder of WorldRemit, added:

“Reassuringly, we are doing serious business here in the UK. There is an absence of the frivolity that sometimes characterises a burgeoning tech scene, and I have no doubt, for the most part, that $1bn was very shrewdly invested.”

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