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Editor's Choice Europe Fintech

Close the Capital Gap: Stellar Backing for New UK Fintech Growth Fund

UK FinTech Growth Partners has unveiled its new ‘FinTech Growth Fund’, marking an assertive step towards addressing the UK’s growth capital gap in fintech.

The initiative, which garnered immediate support from Barclays, NatWest, Mastercard, London Stock Exchange Group and Peel Hunt, aims to transform the UK’s fintech landscape by providing critical support to growth-stage fintechs.

FinTech Growth Fund is touted as the premier investment fund of its kind – laser-focused on aiding growth-stage fintech firms in their scaling endeavours.

Committing between £10million and £100million, the fund plans to execute an average of four to eight investments annually. Beyond just capital, the fund offers strategic guidance, allowing its portfolio companies to tap into a reservoir of expertise spanning fintech, venture capital, and broader financial services.

Stellar leadership

The executive team of UK FinTech Growth Partners is a veritable who’s who of the industry, boasting rich experience and extensive networks:

  • Angel Issa –former global head of corporate development and strategic investments at Nomura, as well as a leader at BNP Paribas and Morgan Stanley
  • Joe Parkin – former MD, head of banks, digital channels and UK inorganic at BlackRock
  • Kaushalya Somasundaram – executive director and UK head of payments, partnerships and industry relations at Square, as well as the former MD and global head of fintech partnerships and strategic innovation investments director at HSBC
  • Phil Vidler – CEO of FinTech Alliance, formerly group strategy director at Pollinate and head of global markets for HM Treasury 

UL FINTECH GROWTH FUND

Alongside the executive lineup, a non-executive advisory board strengthens the fund, featuring Lord Philip Hammond as its chair and former Chancellor of the Exchequer. Alongside him are luminaries from the UK financial services and fintech sectors,  such as Romi Savova, CEO of PensionBee and Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia, chair of Moneyfarm, founder of Snoop and ex CEO of Virgin Money.

Funding gap

Vidler, managing partner, stressed the significance of the initiative, stating that the UK has consistently been a frontrunner in fintech innovation. However, the evident growth funding gap needed urgent addressing.

“Our aim is to not only provide the capital needed for founders to scale their businesses, but to also engage with stakeholders across the nation to support the wider ecosystem. In doing so, we believe we can ensure the UK remains a global leader in fintech,” he said.

The conception of this fund was inspired by the pivotal Kalifa Review, which suggested a strategic five-point blueprint to solidify the UK’s global dominance in financial services. The review pinpointed an annual £2billion funding shortfall for growth-stage fintechs and endorsed a £1billion growth fund to address this gap.

Key building block

Sir Ron Kalifa, the mastermind behind the Kalifa Review, expressed his enthusiasm for the fund. He views it as a quintessential component in the support mechanism for burgeoning UK fintech enterprises.

He commented: “The Fund represents another key building block in the support ecosystem for growth stage UK fintech businesses. This is an important step forward towards ensuring the UK retains its leadership role in fintech.”

‘New heights’

In a sentiment echoed by many, Lord Dominic Johnson CBE emphasised the significance of UK fintech on the global stage. He highlighted its potential to climb even higher with the backing of UK-centric growth funds.

“UK fintech remains one of this country’s crown jewels, casting a shining light to global investors that
attracted $12.5billion of inward investment in 2022. Second only to the US and larger than the next 13 European markets combined, UK fintech can still reach new heights with new UK-based growth funds.”

‘Another milestone’
Charlotte Crosswell
Charlotte Crosswell, CFIT

Charlotte Crosswell OBE, chair, Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology (CFIT), also comments: “I am delighted to welcome the FinTech Growth Fund which marks another milestone in instituting the
recommendations of the Kalifa Review.”

“Not only can it provide deeper pools of domestic capital, so vital to domestic growth-stage fintechs, but it shares a common purpose with CFIT, to maximise impact across all the regions of the UK, to scale our most exciting and innovative companies, and to focus on increasing access to jobs in financial innovation”.

Various financial industry behemoths, including Barclays, Mastercard and NatWest Group, have publicly endorsed the fund. Each underscored the promise of fostering economic growth, transforming financial services, and bolstering the UK’s position in the fintech arena.

Looking ahead

Beyond its core investment objectives, UK FinTech Growth Partners is also devoted to providing holistic support for the UK fintech ecosystem. The encompassing ‘Beyond Investing’ initiative will concentrate on fostering national connectivity, backing early-stage founders, and championing diversity and inclusion in the industry.

The FinTech Growth Fund will invest in UK fintechs predominantly between Series B and pre-IPO. The fund is also currently recruiting for a number of roles, including regional positions as part of its commitment to supporting businesses throughout the UK.

Author

  • Claire is an experienced editor and writer with 25 years of experience in the publishing industry. As a tech journalist, Claire has covered every subject possible over the years, from the launch of broadband and next generation mobile networks to the arrival of the metaverse and Web3.

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