The annual FinTech50 list of European financial technology (fintech) firms was unveiled Tuesday with the U.K. dominating the rundown.
The 50 names selected for the 2017 list include U.K. challenger banks Atom and Monzo; German competitor N26; and technology providers such as Iwoca (U.K.); NetGuardians (Switzerland); Fenergo (Ireland); and Traxpay (Germany).
Announced at a ceremony in the City of London, the list also included Mambu, a Berlin headquartered fintech that offers software-as-a-service (SaaS) core banking systems so that anyone can install and run them in the cloud as part of their bank account provision, is also on the list.
One of its prominent clients is the OakNorth challenger bank which is aimed at entrepreneurs. It uses the Mambu SaaS solution to run their back-end account reconciliation and core banking accounting ledger for customers. OakNorth also hosts all of its operational systems on Amazon Web Services (AWS), which essentially acts as a data center in the cloud, so that it can scale up or down flexibly as demand dictates.
The Ethereum blockchain protocol and community has been included on the list as the one global exception in recognition of its status as a potentially disruptive worldwide phenomenon. All other companies are Europe-based as the organizers FinTechCity also plan to run a separate Asia list later this year.
Chosen from a long-list of over 1,500 companies across Europe, up from 1,200 last year, the Fintech50 2017 list, "features 24 businesses that are new," says founding director, Julie Lake.
The list is compiled in-house and then adjudicated on by a 63-strong judging panel that includes leading names such as Alastair Lukies, non-executive chairman of Innnovate Finance, and the U.K prime minister's business ambassador for fintech.
Some other names on the 2017 FinTech50 list include:
- Advice Robo (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
- AQMetrics (Kildare, Ireland)
- Behaviosec (Stockholm, Sweden)
- DarkTrace (Cambridge, U.K.)
- Figo (Hamburg, Germany)
- MarketInvoice (London, U.K.)
- Meniga (Rejkyavik, Iceland)
- Onfido (London, U.K.)
- PayKey (Tel Aviv, Israel)
- Qumram (Zurich, Switzerland)
- Revolut (London, U.K.)
- Suade (London, U.K.)
As can be seen U.K. companies dominate the list but German, Swiss and Irish fintechs have made their strongest ever showing in 2017. The trend may be reinforced in future years if the U.K.'s vote to exit the European Union (EU) means that the post-Brexit country can no longer access the single European market from 2019 onwards or easily import the skilled computer scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs or technologists it needs to maintain its lead. This depends on how the final Brexit negotiations play out, but is a potential threat hanging over the future prosperity of U.K. fintech.
Hot 10 growth prospects
The separate "Hot Ten" list of smaller fintechs, which are at an earlier stage of development but in the opinion of the organizers FinTechCity offer huge growth potential, was also released Tuesday in London. It includes names such as ClearBank (U.K.); Governance.io (Luxembourg); Meteo Protect (France); Nxchange (Netherlands); and Bud (U.K.).
The other names on the 2017 "Hot Ten" list of growing fintechs to look out for are:
- Cleo (U.K.)
- Datasine (U.K.)
- Deposify (Ireland)
- Post Quantum (U.K.)
- 10x Future Technologies (U.K.)
Julie Lake, founding director of the FinTech50 list, said in conversation with CNBC that, "of the 24 new companies this year some are relatively new businesses but are already experiencing strong growth, or considerable interest in their product. Unsurprisingly, these companies are often working 'with' financial institutions in areas which could improve efficiency or customer services."
"Fintechs working with banks is a powerful collaboration trend," added Lake, "but there is also a new generation of innovators going direct to the consumer in areas such as insurance and financial management."