Published this month, the U.K. Tech on a Global Stage report finds that investment in “fintech” totalled £4.5 billion between 2015 and 2018, helping to cement Britain’s position as a world leader.
Fintech matters because it is one of the segments within the wider technology arena that plays to Britain’s economic strengths. For better or worse, the financial sector accounts for a disproportionate percentage of U.K. gross domestic product. With the City of London and other financial centres, such as Leeds and Edinburgh, on their collective doorstep, British fintech businesses are in close proximity to both customers and a deep well of industry expertise. Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that investment levels are running so high.
Jared Jesner, founder of rapidly growing currency trading platform WeSwap, this week discussed the ability of businesses in the fintech sector to raise cash from VCs or move to an IPO with Forbes. Commenting, “We are on the path to profitability, our aim is to build a profitable business – not just a scaleup.”
WeSwap is enjoying impressive growth. The company is a consumer-facing fintech venture that offers customers a means to buy foreign currency at cheaper rates than would be available through traditional outlets. This is achieved by enabling travellers moving in opposite directions to swap their available currencies. In the last year, the company traded £100 million in such swaps compared with £70 million the previous year. In 2019, it is moving into the Asian market for the first time.
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