Martin Flanagan: Fintech not backwards about coming forward

'Being disruptive is now a must-have business accessory,' writes Martin Flanagan. Picture: Contributed
'Being disruptive is now a must-have business accessory,' writes Martin Flanagan. Picture: Contributed
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Fintech gets you immediate brownie points in the business world these days.

If you can wangle in the word “disruptive” as well you are metaphorically sitting by the corporate pool with a pina colada. Chiming with the times, then, a new report says more than one in two UK financial technology outfits reckon revenues will double in the next year. Ker-ching for the new thing!

Being disruptive is now a must-have business accessory

• READ MORE: Fintechs gear up for revenue surge but worries persist

The 2017 UK Fintech Census, produced by professional services major EY and Innovate Finance on behalf of the Treasury, says financial technology companies have received an average of £15 million each in investment to date.

Most of the angel investors I talk to are salivating at the prospects for the sub-sector and want to get in on the ground floor of the paradigm shift.

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The fintechs are not exactly backward in coming forward about their prospects. The report says half of all respondents said they expect their next funding round to exceed £2m, a third expect more than £5m, while a third believe they could float on the stock market within five years.

Ambition in the sector, then, is certainly not being found wanting.

Europe and the US are already being seen as targeted markets for fintech, while the UK revolution is still afoot. Being disruptive is now a must-have business accessory.

Little Southern comfort

It would be surprising if transport operator Go-Ahead Group’s latest annual results had not borne the scars of the chronic industrial action on Southern Rail. Add in tightening household income exerting pressure on the company’s UK regional bus operations as well and you can see why the shares took a significant hit yesterday.

There is little sign of any end to the strikes on Southern, or of a meaningful upturn in the wider economy in 2018.

Therefore, Go-Ahead may be caught in this pincer movement for some time yet. Chief executive David Brown sees a drive overseas as one way to get out from under the rail and bus pressures on home turf. He is targeting 15 to 20 per cent of profits coming from abroad within five years, particularly bus operations in Dublin and Singapore and rail in Germany.

It is an ambitious target, but the logic of diversifying away from a more uncertain UK is credible.

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