FinTech Board Dinner 2019
The Up Group kicked off our Digital Masters programme for 2019 with our annual FinTech dinner at Grace Hall in London. The Digital Masters dinners bring together investors, entrepreneurs, fast growth companies and scaled corporates to share ideas and make new connections.
The discussion in the room covered many topics from the potential impacts of Brexit, to which technologies and segments of FinTech will be the most important in the next two years.
London has always been Europe’s FinTech hub, discussions about how this can continue once the uncertainty around Brexit clears were fascinating. The growth of the FinTech ecosystem has been driven by a mixture of a friendly regulator, a supportive government and mayor, and a city with access to established global financial services players. There were questions about availability of talent, which is already in high demand and often short supply. Some were asking how to integrate talent from China or Silicon Valley into European countries, while still producing home grown talent.
What is clear is that the movement of people and visas needs to support this industry, full of innovation driven by great talent. We asked attendees of our last FinTech dinner ‘Will London continue to be the FinTech capital of Europe?’ - this question certainly still remains today.
As the discussion moved onto the technologies that will dominate 2019, most concurred that this may not be the year of blockchain, which hasn’t reached maturity as previously predicted. AI was a hot topic, particularly in areas like insurance and some started to see its application in the consumer financial services space with applications like Cleo.
We finished by asking those that attended which segments of the broad FinTech market will thrive through to 2020. InsurTech will continue to disrupt, with the crossover of AI, connected devices and better data and analytics. Crowdfunding will continue its growth as a way to connect more directly with consumers, as we saw with the likes of Monzo and Crowdcube. The final theme was the overarching collaboration that will happen between the ‘challenger’ FinTech businesses and the established financial services organisations, which may be followed by consolidation and acquisition as the race to be at the forefront of open banking and emerging.