There must be something in the water…and it’s not Brexit.

In 2018, over $3.3 billion was injected into the coffers of UK financial services technology companies. So far in 2019 the figure is just shy of $1 billion, and we’re only three months in.

What’s interesting this year is the cash isn’t just from large private investors, technology companies and VCs. More and more established financial companies and industry stalwarts are getting involved in the action, signalling a major shift in attitudes held by incumbents around trusting fintech start-ups as both partners and technology providers for the future.

In my opinion the wait for their investment was necessary. As you wouldn’t commit to buying a car without first taking it for a test drive, it was important for established players to see validation of potential before jumping head first into the deep end of the FinTech pool. Now they have seen it, it is expected that more frequent deals come in the short term and of much greater value that what we have seen to date.

The current momentum around the UK FinTech industry takes me back to 2016, when Japan’s Softbank bought ARM Holdings for $31 billion. Around the time of the acquisition many were upset, declaring that ARM – one of Britain’s leading "unicorn" companies – was being taken from us. Something tells me, however, that we will soon have an entire field of unicorns in the UK.

Here’s to hoping. But whilst we wait let’s check out some of the deals made so far this year:

MarketInvoice

  • Date: 20th January
  • Sector: Invoice Financing
  • Deal Size: $72 million
  • Investors: Barclays, Santander

Bud 

  • Date: 3rd February
  • Sector: Personal Finance, Retail Banking
  • Deal Size: $20 million
  • Investors: HSBC, Goldman Sachs, Investec, Banco Sabadell, ANZ

OakNorth

  • Date: 7th February
  • Sector: Specialist Business & Property Lending
  • Deal Size: $440 million
  • Investors: Softbank, Clermont

Iwoca

  • Date: 18th February
  • Sector: SME Lending
  • Deal Size: $150 million
  • Investors: Action Capital Partners, Commerzbank

Nutmeg

  • Date: 16th February
  • Sector: Specialist Business & Property Lending
  • Deal Size: $58 million
  • Investors: Goldman Sachs

GoCardless

  • Date: 18th February
  • Sector: Retail Banking
  • Deal Size: $75 million
  • Investors: Google, Salesforce, Adams Street Partners