London FinTech just broke records for VC investment, securing more funding in 6 months than any other year. VC Investment in London FinTech reached $5.3B in the first half of 2021, compared to $4.5B for all of 2020. Put into perspective, London FinTech secured 2.5 times more VC investment than any other European city (Berlin comes in 2nd at $1.9B). London is the second largest global hub for fintech (first being San Francisco), with 3,018 fintech companies calling London home. Fast-growing fintech markets including cryptocurrency, payments, insurtech, and open banking contributed to the surge in VC investment.
Tribe Payments released the Fintech Five by Five Report this week, identifying five emerging technologies that will be big in the next five years. These five emerging technologies are AI, APIs, Blockchain, Low-code, and Edge Computing.
Some of the Key Findings include:
- APIs stand to have the most impact in the next year, while AI will have the greatest impact over the long term
- 90% of fintechs use APIs already, driven by Open Banking successes
- 70% of fintechs are already using AI in some form
Fintech is pioneering the way to bring the finance world into the modern world, employing technologies at the forefront of innovation. Much of these “emerging” technologies underpin fintech already, but fintech will continue to push the boundaries of these technologies in the next few years, redefining how the financial sector operates.
This week, Netflix announced that it would be expanding into gaming, starting with ad-free mobile games included in members’ subscription. Netflix’s growth has plateaued for the first time since 2019, struggling to sustain the same level of immense growth seen in the height of the pandemic. But it’s going to be hard to beat the 16 million new users added in Q1 2020 as lockdowns were enforced around the world. The expansion into gaming is a long-term strategy aimed at retention and engagement of users. Netflix has acknowledged that competition doesn’t just come from other streaming services, recognising that it competes with gaming for time and attention. Can the introduction of gaming give Netflix a competitive edge in the crowded entertainment space?
Right-to-repair legislation is a hot topic in 2021, as the UK, US, and EU have all introduced plans to curb anticompetitive restrictions on repairing consumer goods. The European Parliament is pushing to remove obstacles that prevent repair, resale, and reuse, and introduced rules in March that require manufacturers of electrical goods to make their products repairable for at least 10 years. In July, the UK announced right-to-repair rules that require manufacturers to make spare parts available to both 3rd parties and consumers purchasing electrical appliances. However, this includes primarily household appliances, not smartphones or laptops. In July, Biden administration issued an executive order to encourage competition and urge the FTC to consider right-to-repair concerns. Last week, the FTC voted unanimously to ramp up law enforcement against repair restrictions. While governments cite a need to curb anticompetitive behaviour and cut down on e-waste, electronic manufacturers argue that their repair restrictions protect intellectual property, prevent cybersecurity risks, and provide safety for consumers. Though both have valid arguments, it seems like tech companies will soon have to pass over the wrench to someone else.