The fintech research programme at Clarus Investments has been expanded and is now tracking over 1,000 fintech companies started in the UK since 2009. In aggregate, as of the end of 2020, these companies represent approximately:

  • Equity invested of £11 billion
  • Valuation of £86 billion*
  • Employment of 57,000
  • 2020 revenues of £5 billion
  • 2020 losses after tax of £2 billion

* updated for funding rounds in 2021

Our analysis of the Fintech sector covers all companies founded since 2009 which have received at least one round of funding. We estimate the number of companies that meet these criteria to be approximately 1,100.

The companies in our sample received £11bn of equity investment from 2009 to the end of 2020 and have a current valuation of around £86bn. There has been a noticeable increase in valuations since the start of the COVID pandemic.

Survival rates are relatively high with 60% of the companies at least 3 years old active and a further 18% active but not having raised any funds in the past 3 years. Successful exits are, however, relatively rare accounting for just 2% of the sample so far, although there has been a pickup in exits during 2021.

The returns on paper for investors have been very high – for a cohort including all companies founded in 2015 (and allowing for failures) the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) for first round investors is approximately 75-80%. This cohort includes Revolut which has recently been valued at £24bn, and investor returns (as expected) are very concentrated.

While valuations and returns have been high, achieving profitability remains a struggle, even for the older companies – less than 5% of the companies in the sample are reporting profits and around 80% increased their losses in the last financial year.

The Banking sub-sector has received the most investment, followed by Payments and Lending. However, the Banking sub-sector has the lowest level of revenues relative to investment received of all the Fintech sub-sectors, and incurred the highest level of losses relative to revenues in 2020.

Further analysis is available from the research programme on each of the different fintech sub-sectors, and other topics such as investor types and trends, and founder shareholdings. Nearly 100 case studies of individual start-ups are also available.

A summary of the research can be downloaded here:

The UK Fintech Sector: An In-Depth Analysis of Fintech Start-Ups from 2009 to 2020