Checkout.com crowned UK’s most valuable fintech
- Checkout.com has become the country’s most valuable private fintech company after its latest fundraising valued at US$40 billion
- The UK has 119 unicorns, making it the fourth largest country with the most unicorns
- Attracting qualified talent was one of the biggest challenges faced by UK fintechs in 2019
Checkout.com, the online payments company disrupting Britain’s retail sector through its business model, has become the country’s most valuable private fintech company after its latest fundraising valued at US$40 billion.
The company which simplifies payment processes for business is now worth more than its fintech peer Revolut, valued at US$33 billion.
Launching products and involvement in the Web3 space
Checkout.com said it would use the latest funding to launch new products and further its involvement in the Web3 space. Web3 is the term used for the next chapter in digital innovation and is set to take us into a new digital frontier by offering complex solutions based on decentralized technologies.
Web2.0 was about the rise of social networking and user-generated content; Web3.0 will be about the rise of artificial intelligence and blockchain technology – a digital, decentralized ledger that underpins the cryptocurrency market.
Fintech in the UK
Fintech is a fast-growing sector in the UK, with several companies looking to innovate and disrupt the financial services industry. The country has developed a financial regulatory landscape that gives businesses the freedom to innovate and grow while providing an environment for consumers to feel safe about spending their money.
Despite Brexit uncertainty and the “challenging environment” of changing regulation, investors continue to pump money into UK FinTech startups at a record rate.
The UK tech startup and scaleup ecosystem is presently valued at US$585 billion – more than double the next most valuable ecosystem, Germany, at US$291 billion.
According to a report, one of the critical strengths of the UK Ffintech sector is its ability to adapt and innovate to meet challenges and seize new opportunities.
This was seen when economic activity abruptly halted during the Covid-19 pandemic. Within days, FinTechs responded to the pandemic and started building new products and services to meet the needs of UK citizens.
Fintech unicorns in the UK
While the United States dominates the list of unicorn companies, the UK has 119 unicorns, making it the fourth largest country with the most unicorns.
It’s not surprising that over a third of the UK unicorns are fintech companies, and one-quarter of them were created in 2021.
In the third quarter of 2021, venture capital (VC) investment in UK fintech startups hit US$4.89 billion. The achievement signifies the sector’s re-gaining ground following a financially challenging year.
Challenges of fintech in the UK
Attracting qualified talent was one of the biggest challenges faced by UK FinTechs in 2019.
The financial services sector faces a growing skills gap, particularly domestic technical talent such as software engineering, system architecture and data scientists). This includes skills aligning to emerging areas of disruption such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning and cryptocurrency.
According to the report UK FinTech: Moving mountains and moving mainstream, Current challenges cited for FinTechs in high-potential clusters outside of London include limitations to national infrastructure such as transportation, broadband and barriers to flexible working.