Business Technology

Boris Johnson lauds fintech sector as he heads trade delegation to Asia

3 min read

27 November 2014

Former editor

As London mayor Boris Johnson heads to Singapore to promote the financial technology sector, new figures show that investment in the space has tripled during the last year.

A six day trade mission to South East Asia is hoped to further enhance London’s footing as a centre for financial innovation and technology – with Singapore, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur on the agenda.

Research compiled by London & Partners, the mayor’s promotional organisation, has revealed that venture capital investment totalling $539 million has been injected into London-based fintech companies – more than half of all commitments in Europe.

Johnson will be meeting with politicians, business leaders and investors, accompanied by the UK’s best from financial and investment services, construction and design – such as Azimo, TransferGo and Iwoca.

“London has always been at the forefront of financial innovation and now our financiers are leading another global revolution, this time driven by technological innovations that are changing the way the world does business, creating new jobs and economic growth both in the UK, and in the other financial centres of the world,” the major added.

In its survey of senior executives and above, London & Partners has found that London is the runaway leader when it comes to perception on where is best placed to lead fintech innovation. The English capital polled 56 per cent of votes, far ahead of San Francisco (8 per cent), Hong Kong (4 per cent) and New York (3 per cent).

A separate YouGov poll has revealed that 81 per cent of respondents think fintech is already having an impact on the traditional financial services sector, while 52 per cent believe banks need to embrace new technology.

Brent Hoberman, co-founder of the Founders Forum and entrepreneur behind Lastminute.com, will be working with the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) to host a maiden Founders Forum Smart Nation Singapore in April 2015.

“We look forward to bringing some of the world’s leading tech entrepreneurs to Singapore and hope that through this, we can help IDA on its mission for Singapore to become the world’s first Smart Nation,” Hoberman said.

“We want to strengthen the ties between London and Singapore so aim to promote Singapore as the pivotal hub for top London entrepreneurs who are looking to expand into Asia.”

According to EY, the London fintech market is worth £20bn and is now the world’s largest centre for financial technology with 44,000 in the space.

Vieweet, one of the participants on the trade mission, will be showcasing its technologies on the trip. The company’s co-founder and COO Domenic Versace said: “Our technology was originally conceived as a tool for the real estate industry but we’re demonstrating, with TescoLabs, that it has the potential to revolutionise ecommerce too.”

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