Bid to help Scottish fintechs harness £1bn global investment firepower potential

A newly flagged project being delivered in collaboration with the Scottish Government’s Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review is hoping to help fintechs north of the Border gain access to a collective boost of up to £1 billion a year from international investors.

Those behind the initiative, led by Glasgow-based venture-builder and cluster-developer Vivolution, say it is aiming to create greater links between Scotland's fledgling start-ups and the firepower provided by overseas sources of finance, and it is tapping funding and expertise from international investors including Silicon Valley Bank, EquiSolve, Pario Ventures and the Rainmaking Fund.

The venture intends to help companies link up with potential corporate clients, for example showcasing their innovative offerings to financial services institutions. Plans also include a series of roadshows for Scottish fintech start-ups in locations such as London and New York.

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The plans follow on from a meeting held earlier this month that brought together Scottish high-growth-potential fintech companies such as Exizent, Zumo, Nude, EedenBull, Asura and Cerebreon alongside investors, and corporations such as CapGemini and Mastercard.

Participants at the event, which was supported by the Scottish Government, are said to have noted the potential in Scotland’s burgeoning fintech market, and the need to bring greater liquidity to local businesses.

Vivolution also said the plans build on Scotland’s successful fintech ecosystem, with the Scottish Government kickstarting its Tech Scaler Ecosystem Review programme that is designed to create venture scaling “open” ecosystem studios around individual technology sectors.

The firm added that it is focusing on funding as there is a “clear hunger” for international investors to help catalyse sustainable technology, and it cited data company Crunchbase having found that venture funding globally grew by 92 per cent last year.

Mark Logan, author of the Scottish Government’s Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review. Picture: Chris Watt/Visual Media.

Vivolution chief executive Mark Roger said: "Our aim is to dispel the myth that there is not enough funding out there for our growing companies – the opposite couldn't be more true. In fact there is a significant shortage of investable companies on the global stage for the international private investment market.

Eager

"The investors we are speaking to are excited to partner with us as we play our part in opening up further the Scottish fintech sector to international investment, while our corporate partners are eager to engage to develop world-leading products and services.

"We in Scotland have the companies and the potential, and our investors and corporations have the capital, cash and the know-how to turn start-ups into unicorns.”

Stephen Dury, vice president of strategy, innovation and fintech at Capgemini Invent, said: “It is a pleasure to be part of a forward-thinking debate on the future challenges and opportunities for fintech with a base in Scotland. We look forward to continuing our work together to make this a springboard for collaboration and growth.”

Katie Lewis, chief operating officer of entrepreneurship-focused Rainmaking, said: “The opportunity to bring multiple partners together to have meaningful discussions around growth barriers and challenges is an important part of ecosystem development, and we believe will successfully encourage the growth of the fintech startup ecosystem in Scotland.”

The 2020 Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review was authored by Mark Logan, the former chief operating officer at Skyscanner and advisor to the Scottish Government. Its recommendations included school stage extracurricular tech activities being strategically supported.