Wales employs 40,000 people in the financial and insurance services sector as per the latest ONS data who in turn generate economic activity of £2.8bn. Wales has strong roots in various areas but insurance (and online digital comparison identified as world leading by the MIT-REAP programme) is a key capability with homegrown success stories including the likes of Admiral group who make up close to one quarter of all FS employment in Wales, along with Confused.com, GoCompare and MoneySupermarket.
FinTech is recognised as one of 5 key sectors for Wales both by regional bodies, such as city deals, and the national Government including the Review of Digital Innovation by Professor Philip Brown. FinTech Wales operates as a not for profit organisation to support growth of the local capabilities, impacting ways of working and supporting creation of the right environment for innovation.
Wales now boasts a rapidly emerging FinTech cluster with a number of national success stories in the areas of insurance, price comparison, payments and lending. With local law firms and business schemes becoming specialised in FinTech, Wales is increasingly becoming a leading tech hub of choice for entrepreneurs and founders outside of London.
Recent years have seen increased levels of investment in Welsh FinTech firms. Cardiff based Sonovate, the UK’s leading finance and back-office tech provider to recruitment agencies, raised £110 million Series C in September 2019. Private Asset Infrastructure as a Service providers Delio raised £3.3 million to help the business scale its international sales team across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North America. Business intelligence start-up AMPLYFI closed a $5 million growth round in April 2020 bringing its total raised across all rounds to $10 million. In May 2020 Anna Money received investment of £17.5m to increase their product offerings and recently Aviva spent £17m buying robo-advisor startup Wealthify. The Development Bank of Wales has been one of the country’s most active seed investor funding sums in the region of £250,000 to multiple FinTech startups such as MoneyShake, Yimba, Monva, and W2 to name a few.
Combined with recent Cardiff Capital Region funding to FinTech Wales this demonstrates a focus of investment to support progression and growth with both commercial and strategic objectives.