The number of deals in European fintech rose 11% to 179 in 2016, compared to a 1% global drop (according CBInsights). Germany and the UK dominated, staking claim to nine out of the 10 biggest European fintech deals.
Of the 22 fintech unicorns globally, four are based in Europe, including the $2.3bn-valued Dutch payments processor Adyen, whose transaction volume has just hit $90bn, and Funding Circle, which facilitated more than £1.1bn of loans to small businesses last year. “Europe has had a competitive advantage compared with the US in fintech. In the US, everything is regulated state by state, but here, if you have a European passport it’s fantastic for a fintech,” said Niklas Zennstrom, founder of Skype and European venture capital company Atomico.