Q2: Fintech Observations and Insights
Summertime is here. Students have finished their exams and families are taking well deserved holidays.
So it’s a good time to reflect upon the past quarter in the Fintech market. There have been some really interesting moves of late so let’s take a look at their significance.
Investment levels remain strong particularly across money & payments and lending, areas of expertise in Ireland. Locally Plynk received funding of €25M and Fire confirmed their expansion plans by setting up new offices in London. Tech Ireland launched last week and will enable better network connectivity for industry participants. The Digital Hub meanwhile is increasing its footprint in Dublin 8 to further support local start-ups in the capital. Finally it’s been confirmed that MoneyConf is due to return to Dublin in 2018.
Global Platforms & Disruptors
We have witnessed a number of prominent industry moves by non-banks. Amazon now has a $2BN client loan book in place, secured by inventory. They also intend to purchase Whole Foods for $13.3BN, which sent jitters across the global retail market. Paypal meanwhile has invested in LendUp, an online US credit based short term financier, an area traditionally covered by banks. What are the chances of these institutions holding our money in the not too distant future?
Brexit breakup talks recently kicked off. Ireland continues to attract the attention of institutions with a number of leading firms rumoured to be establishing or expanding. Starling Bank, the UK challenger announced plans to create a new office in Dublin in light of passporting rights. Other firms are sure to follow. Interestingly Sweden announced plans to abolish income tax on stock options for smaller start-ups, an incentive to avoid tech based brain-drain. The Irish scene could so with something similar no doubt.
Stephen Sheehan is a graduate of MIT Future Commerce and Fintech and is an international banking specialist assisting Fintech focused companies through www.digitalstate.ie