A lot can happen in a very short space of time across the fintech cluster of Cardiff Capital Region. In February, we kicked off our series of features and digital discussions, exploring just how good our fintech ecosystem is – and perhaps more pertinently, just how good it could be.
As our series concludes, it’s safe to say that the past few weeks have provided something of an answer, with Yoello winning TechNation’s award for the UK’s best fintech (joining an illustrious list of past winners that include Deliveroo, JustEat, Monzo and Revolut); and Delio being selected from more than 200 applications across the globe to participate in the Accenture-sponsored 2021 Fintech Innovation Lab in New York (where they’ll rub shoulders with the brightest fintech businesses from Canada, Israel, Singapore and the US).
Winning awards and plaudits on the national and international stage
These real-life testaments to our fintech start-ups, scale-ups and grown-ups reflect the reasons why Ron Kalifa identified Wales as a key fintech centre in his UK government-sponsored report. And those globally recognised achievements also validate Fintech Wales’ view that we have the potential in our region to become a fintech cluster of world repute.
The well-deserved plaudits for Yoello (which launched in 2020) and five-year-old Delio show that successful fintech start-ups are coming into the top of the funnel and they are maturing towards the meaningful mid-size – which is a key criteria for growing any cluster of any kind. And those two luminaries are in good company…
The funnel is filling with start-ups, scale-ups and grown-ups
Over the past few weeks, our features have seen how in just three short years, Coincover has established the world standard for cryptocurrency from their base in the Welsh capital. We’ve explored how start-up Ship Shape VC has created a unique recommendation platform employing algorithms that help fintech start-ups identify the investors and VC firms who are right for them. And we’ve discovered how Mayo Twala’s Stock Up will launch this September, with a mission to make wealth creation more accessible to socio-economically disadvantaged people.
World-class collaborations between companies and universities
The Stock Up platform has been developed by the University of South Wales and reflects the world-class collaborations between fintechs and academia in our region. Cardiff University’s Fintech Research Group is well on its way to becoming an internationally recognised institution and a genuine leader in interdisciplinary fintech research, having worked successfully to develop ground breaking innovations with ActiveQuote, Admiral, Confused and Wealthify, as well as having the vision to establish a one-year Fintech MSc. Across the capital, Cardiff Met’s School of Technology has brought together some of the world’s leading academics and fintech thinkers, to help nurture this fast-expanding cluster in South East Wales.
All the key criteria for building a world-class cluster are being met
There’s no room for complacency, but all of the above augurs well for the future – especially as the core ingredients needed to create something special in the fintech space appear to be present. We have certainly seen in our series how the key criteria of being able to build on an existing critical mass, of benefitting from academic and industry collaboration – and possessing a consciously ‘fintech’ community – have already been met.
Fintech in the region couldn’t be alive at a more important time
The last words (for now) go to Sarah Williams-Gardener, CEO of Fintech Wales – the community that’s spearheading the growth of this fascinating sector in our region:
“The remarkable achievements of Delio, Yoello and our many other fintechs show that we can succeed on the national and world stage. This is vital for our economy and for building a growth mind set here in the region – but it’s even bigger than that. The tech, products and services that we’re seeing evolve here are helping power new business models for financial services – and in the process addressing key societal issues, environmental challenges and the whole future of work. Fintech in Wales really couldn’t be alive at a more important moment in time.”