UK fintech investment shook off its Covid blues in Q1 2021

By Oliver Smith on Monday 19 April 2021

Alternative LendingDigital BankingSavings and Investment

Levels are up 331% versus the start of 2020 when Covid shut down fintech investment.

UK fintech investment shook off its Covid blues in Q1 2021
Image source: Markus Spiske/Unsplash.

Over 100 fintech investment deals were struck in the first three months of the year, marking a solid start to 2021, and in contrast to the dour beginning of 2020.

According to figures from Innovate Finance and compiled from PitchBook, UK fintechs raised $2.9bn in Q1 across 117 deals.

Those figures are up 331 per cent versus Q1 2020, when Covid-19 fears and the UK-wide lockdown put new funding rounds on ice.

This year ($450m), Starling Bank ($376m) and Rapyd ($300m) were among those fintechs raising mega-rounds to kick off the new year.

“Following a tough and turbulent year in 2020, it’s brilliant to see the speed and vigour with which investor confidence has returned and the Q1 investment figures for our FinTech sector look very encouraging,” said Charlotte Crosswell, the outgoing CEO of Innovate Finance.

Funding in the first three months of 2021 already represents 69 per cent of the total fintech investment in 2020.

“It’s clear that the appetite to fund high-growth, ambitious businesses is back, and investors are ready to put capital behind UK FinTechs that are now so vital to our economic and business recovery,” added Crosswell.

The quarter is also a vast improvement on the end of last year, with investment volumes up 153 per cent on Q4 2020.

Crosswell also points to a host of fintech IPOs as further signs of optimism for the sector, with PensionBee’s IPO on Wednesday and Wise (formerly TransferWise) in talks for a direct listing.

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