By Bernard Lunn
According to my crude scoring system (shown below) London wins the Fintech Capital of the World title.
I am using the Minimum Viable Product mantra of “if the first version does not embarrass you, you have left it too late to launch”. I know my scoring system is crude and some of the scores will change after further input and research. That is the point of using Daily Fintech as a collaborative research tool. We learn by putting stuff out there and getting market feedback.
I feel qualified to do this because a) I have lived and worked in all three regions (America, Europe and Asia) and b) the Fintech Global Tour went to 19 places (and then later some smaller more alternative places).
I took the top 10 Global Financial Centers as a starting point:
Then I created 4 Criteria specific to Fintech:
I gave each equal weight. I applied a crude ranking of 1, 2 or 3 (lower is better).
Comments on these criteria and ranking:
- Unicorns. How many tech unicorns from this location (not just Fintech, not enough of them yet to score this). Obviously San Francisco scores far higher and my crude 1-3 scoring does not capture this. Innovation has a way of surprising us all and San Francisco (aka Silicon Valley) has an extraordinary ability to “float the good stuff to the top”.
- Regulatory. This is an area where more research is needed. Some places are good in some areas of regulation but not in others. For example, Switzerland is good for Bitcoin and New York is bad for Bitcoin. I scored London tops because the FCA has a reputation of being at least accessible to conversations with entrepreneurs and generally focused on the economic value add from innovation.
- Hubs. This is a subject of a session that I will be moderating at SIBOS in October in Singapore. My ranking is not by number of Hubs. It is more to do with how easy it is to go to one of these capitals and meet the key players through some event or networking group. This is where London scores tops thanks to the pioneering work of Innovate Finance as well as the Fintech Circle networking hub.
- Funding. I am focused on early stage (up to Series B). Again my ranking is not Fintech specific (because most Funds are still domain agnostic).
Without further ado, here is the ranking (lower is better):
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