Ireland ‘losing out’ on FinTech investment

Ireland is losing out to major European tech hubs that are attracting a far greater share of FinTech investment.

Despite having a seat at the top table of financial technology (FinTech) internationally, Ireland is failing to attract a sufficient share of investment in the area, according to KPMG Ireland partner Anna Scally.

“From an Irish perspective, I’m very keen to see more money going into Irish FinTech companies because when I look at where the money is going in Europe it’s going into London and after that it’s going into Germany and I want to see the big bucks going into Ireland,” Ms Scally said.

Despite being internationally recognised given the success of its indigenous FinTech companies, competition is “very hot”, she added.

London, in particular, she described as an “incredible competitor”.

Europe is, in turn, losing out in comparison with the US and Asia which are enjoying greater success in the field.

Asia has emerged strongly in the past 12 months adding further pressure to European companies.

“There is shed loads of money being spent in FinTech but actually if you look at it probably 75%-80% of it is actually being spent in the States.

“It was 80% in 2014, it went to 70% at the end of 2015 and the reason why is that more money is being spent in Asia. So Europe is still lagging very far behind in the amount of money that’s actually being invested in FinTechs.

“It lags behind the investment in FinTech companies in now, Asia, and certainly the last number of years in the US and that’s something that we really need to get to grips with and to make sure that Europe continues to remain relevant in that area,” Ms Scally said.

Speaking as part of a panel discussion on the sector at the European Tech Summit, Deloitte partner David Dalton echoed Ms Scally’s comments.

In Ireland, venture capital firms perhaps lack specialised knowledge in the area which is stunting the sector while there is also a lot of capital “sitting on the sidelines” here, he added.


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