Amidst a recent surge in investments into the Fintech sector in the United Kingdom, the Government has appointed Passion Capital’s Eileen Burbidge as its ‘special envoy’ for Fintech, according to a Fintextra report.
Earlier this month, London & Partners published an aggregated data pool of total venture funding in the UK and London for the H1 2015 – during the first six months of the year, $1.469 billion in investments went towards UK companies in a total of 227 deals. However, of investments relegated to London, Fintech firms accounted for 40% of the venture investments firms, for a total of $472 million.
In her new role as the UK’s special envoy to the Fintech sector, she will help forge and advocate innovation in the financial services realm, not just across the UK, but on an international level. The appointment was recently announced in a lengthy document published by Chancellor George Osborne, which spelled out measures to boost the UK’s productivity.
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Ms. Burbidge is currently an acting partner at Passion Capital, an active investor in the UK’s Fintech scene, and venture capital firm based out of London. The group has a penchant for early-stage startups in such entities as Coinfloor, Birdback, GoCardless and putative challenger bank Mondo.
According to Ms. Burbidge in a recent statement on the appointment and Fintech data in the UK, “Last year it took London tech firms nine months to reach the billion dollar mark, this year they’ve done it in six months. The city has become such a tech powerhouse because it excels over other tech hubs around the world. London combines the technology and digital innovation of Silicon Valley with the Wall Street financing heritage of New York and the policy making of Washington DC – all in one phenomenal city.”
Indeed, the UK has seen an uptick in Fintech investments that has manifested itself over the past year or so. Last year, Innovate Finance launched in London, which was backed by the Canary Wharf Group and the assistance from the City of London. Innovate Finance was created specifically as an industry body to include both startups and existing financial companies, promoting Fintech in the UK. Among its goals, Innovate Finance has marketed itself as a platform for companies to learn from each other where they need to innovate, and how technology can provide solutions.