FinTech 50 2014 - the DueDil take

03 February 2014 DueDil Team

The recent FinTech 50 list prompted lots of coverage and comment. As our business is information (and because we were in the list), we’ve done our own analysis of the 2014 “50 most innovative and disruptive brands in financial technology”.

1.Not just disrupting, building

The combined turnover of UK firms among the FinTech 50* is a stonking £408.3m.

While many don’t (yet) file accounts, the ones that do show a net worth of £274.3m.

Conclusion one: the UK’s FinTech pioneers are both disrupters and industry-builders. They’re creating new businesses that will be fast, slick, global and, critically, more relevant in a digital era than the incumbents. They’re already generating jobs and economic activity; they’re the big taxpayers of the future.

London may have recently slipped behind New York as a financial services exporter, but our next-generation financial services giants are primed to return us to the number one slot. As a country, let’s get behind this dynamic new segment.

2.FinTech 50 – top seven by turnover

  • Wonga – £309.2m
  • Thunderhead – £39.8m
  • Fixnetix – £28.1m
  • Dovetail – £12.6m
  • Ixaris – £8.4m
  • Borro – £3.3m
  • Zopa – £3m

3.FinTech 50 – top six by net worth:

  • Wonga – £179.2m
  • SmartStream – £50.9m
  • Thunderhead – £8.6m
  • OpenGamma – £6.7m
  • Funding Circle – £6.6m
  • Zopa – £3.5m

4.Who’ll be in next year?

Of the 2014 FinTech 50, no less than 26 previously appeared in the 2013 list. Now you could read this a few ways. We’re going for the positive one: the UK, and London in particular, is clearly a hub for sustainable FinTech success stories. As Silicon Valley Bank director Alex McCracken says in the FinTech 50 report: “Of the $11bn invested in FinTech worldwide in 2012, around $3bn was invested in the UK. Two-thirds of this ($1.8bn) was earmarked for London-based FinTech businesses.”

To illustrate the depth of UK FinTech, we did our own DueDil-digging. So here are some other contenders:

  • Kingston upon Thames-based Avantia, founded by David Walker, has several FinTech firms in its group and is a real insurance disrupter. As the firm’s website says: “Residential property insurance is a £6+ billion market, offering vast opportunities for diversification and growth.”,In the Avantia stable: Avantia itself, the only insurance provider to quote for flood-exposed business online (Somerset residents, take note); 08000 helpme, which joined the Avantia group in 2006, provides crisis insurance quotes; and HomeProtect (previously known as Webmoney).

  • Capital on Tap, founded by serial entrepreneur George Karibian (who also runs £12.4m-turnover PaymentSense), is shaking up the overdrafts market. Galmarley, which operates the BullionVault service, which enables private investors to own their own gold, has an estimated net worth of £22m.

  • Asset Match wants to open up liquidity among privately owned businesses, and has two very experienced co-founders (Stuart Lucas and Iain Baillie) to make it happen.

  • And Adrian Black’s Contego is a new player in the identity verification space

Whether any make it into future FinTech 50 rankings depends on how we define “fintech”, which changes a lot. AlleyWatch recently called for a new definition, which goes further than just serving the back end of financial services, “but also the coveted front office that for so long has been human-driven.”

We agree. In fact, many of Britain’s FinTech pioneers are already reshaping the consumer front end. So here’s to all the UK’s finance disrupters. We hope we’re in again next year, but we’ll understand if it’s someone else’s turn…

Article and analysis by Matthew Rock, editor-in-chief at DueDil.

*Many of the FinTech 50 haven’t yet filed accounts; do not file them separately; or, in some European cases, don’t make financials available. Here’s our worksheet.