“They all want to eat our lunch” this is the view of Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, about what the major technology groups are planning to do to the banking sector.
Innovation in finance is not limited to the likes of Apple and Google though. In 2013, The Economist declared that “an explosion of start-ups” is changing the ways people borrow and save, pay for things, buy foreign exchange and send money. FinTech at its core is looking to change finance for the better.
FinTech is the focus of considerable publicity and investment at the moment, with the promise of igniting the finance industry. Since 2008 there has been over $700 million invested in UK and Irish FinTech companies. This doesn’t include recent successful rounds of fundraising, benefiting, for example, TransferWise, which raised $25 million; Seedrs (£2.6 million); or Nutmeg ($32 million).
Whilst the UK is at the forefront of much of what is happening in FinTech, it is part of a broader, global interest in the sector. Management and technology consultancy Accenture estimate that more than $2.97 billion was invested worldwide in FinTech during 2013 alone.
In terms of volumes of business, snapshots from the industry include:
- close to £1 billion of mobile and internet transactions are being processed daily in the UK alone
- 15,000 people a day downloaded banking apps in the UK
- £290 million lent through CrowdCube alone since 2010
As for Cambridge, the FinTech community is small but growing. A local startup which has been making waves since starting a £500k fundraising campaign is Money Mover. One of their founders, Hamish Anderson, has explained that one of the reasons they chose Cambridge is that there are incredible local skillsets, such as designers, who have little experience of working with finance companies. This allows them to see the challenges through fresh eyes. An additional benefit is being able to collaborate with the University of Cambridge’s top graduates and researchers, such as the leading Cambridge Finance Group.
Cambridge News this month suggested that,”while Cambridge invents the technology, Tech City thinks of things to do with it”. We believe Cambridge can do both.
In November we are organising Cambridge’s first FinTech Startup Weekend. The focus is on bringing together talented financers, developers, designers, marketers and any other person who has a passion for finance and innovation.