Today, 12 Canadian Fintech firms are in the UK on a 5-day trade mission led by the UK Department of Internation Trade (DIT). The visit is part of an initiative in support of these Fintechs seeking to enter the UK market. According to DIT, the Canadian Fintechs will visit both London and Edinburgh while participating in Fintech Connect, the UK’s largest Fintech trade show. Of note, Fintech Connect will expand into North America next year with an event taking place in Toronto.
According to a note from DIT, the participating Fintechs have collectively raised over half a billion dollars in venture capital and now are looking to expand their operations. The UK is one of the leading Fintech hubs in the world and has created multiple Fintech unicorns. The UK Fintech industry has recorded a record level of investment into the sector in the first half of 2019.
The trade mission is expected to provide the companies the opportunity to find financing, meet partners and potential investors, as well as find out what is required to set up operations in the UK in hubs such as London and Edinburgh.
While in London, the Canadia Fintechs will meet representatives from major banks including Barclays, HSBC and Santander, as well as Founders Factory – a startup incubator.
In Edinburgh, they will have the opportunity to meet with Fintech Scotland, Scottish Investment Bank and the University of Edinburgh’s Data Lab, among others.
Graham Stuart, Minister for Investment at DIT, commented on the Canadian visit:
“The UK and Canada are natural partners in Fintech, and we are determined to make the UK the easiest and most attractive place for Canadian innovators to open and build their businesses. Trade missions like this allow us to show the strength and depth of the UK offer and encourage investment, market entry and partnership between UK and Canadian firms. The UK is a global leader in Fintech, welcomes foreign entrants to its market and, through its dedicated trade department, DIT, will continue to reach out to the world’s most exciting entrepreneurs and show them all that the UK has to offer.”
The UK Fintech sector has emerged as a strategically important sector of industry for the UK. A long-established financial center, Fintech now contributes £6.6 billion annually to the UK economy, with overall investment in the first 6 months of 2019 topping £2.3 billion in funding.
This is the second inward Canadian mission DIT has led for Fintech firms. The previous mission saw six Canadian Fintech companies—Sensibill, Kooltra, Zafin, OutsideIQ, RentMoola and Q4—each set up a UK base, creating 200 new jobs.
Steven Clarke, founder and MD at Fintech Connect, explained that Canada is increasingly the target market of choice for banks and Fintechs looking to build a presence in North America.
“Traditionally centred around its banking oligopoly, this previously insular market has lacked the global collaborations that would see Canada fulfil its potential on the World fintech stage,” said Clarke. “To address this, we’re launching FinTech Connect Toronto in 2020 which will bring the global community of financial institutions, VC firms and fintechs we’ve built through our flagship London event to Canada, promoting international trade, commerce and partnerships.”
Mark Hallan, Director of Global Investment at Scottish Enterprise, commented that they were delighted to welcome these Canadian firms while showcasing Scotland as a Fintech center.
“Scotland has ambitions to become a top-five global Fintech centre by 2020. We have an incredibly exciting fintech ecosystem, with more than 100 companies now operating in financial services across our cities and towns. Attracting overseas Fintech firms to Scotland is a priority for Scottish Enterprise and our partners, with ten overseas companies setting up a base here over the past 18 months. These companies have advised us that access to talent, a thriving Fintech scene and governmental support have been the reasons for locating in Scotland.”
Hallan said that Scotland already has a strong economic partnership with Canada with around 40 Canadian-owned businesses in Scotland employing more than 3,700 people.
“We look forward to enhancing that relationship further as part of this Fintech delegation.”
Canadian participant Damir Hot, co-founder and CEO at Canalyst, said that since founding they have been focused on building a long-standing business centered around the needs of their clients. They have grown to serve many of the world’s most sophisticated money mangers:
“… the UK plays an important role in our overall business development strategy. This trade mission provides us with direct, valuable insights on the local business and capital markets landscape that will shape how we build our UK presence,” Hot said.
Companies attending the mission include:
- Clearbanc (venture financing for start-ups)
- Overbond (AI-powered fixed-income insights engine that enables efficient bond issuance and trading)
- Koho (digital banking service for millennials)
- Purefacts (wealth management solutions)
- Highline (start-up co-creation company that launches new ventures with leading corporations and financial institutions)
- Mindbridge (AI-powered solutions for internal auditors)
- Mylo (personal finance robo-advisor)
- Impak Finance (digital currency dedicated to the social impact economy)
- Katipult (online private placements platform for capital markets)