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UK needs a big success to become Fintech Capital of the world & it is not $MONI

By Bernard Lunn

Monitise (stock symbol MONI.L) is the sad story of near death experience of UK Fintech’s first poster boy.

Monitise is a publicly traded Fintech (MONI.L). We do not include them in our Daily Fintech Index because they fail to meet our $300m minimum market cap threshold.

Peak share price was $80. At time of writing it is below $3. Ouch! At peak Monitise was a Unicorn – big deal unless you sold shares at that price.

Three big takeaways from this story:

UK Fintech still lacks a poster boy. This matters. Without a big success (in real terms, realized cash on cash from an exit), people will talk about hype and bubble.

Silicon Valley open sourced its core intellectual property. You can get the startup manual on many sites and the combination of open source, cloud and APIs made building that Minimum Viable Product easy, quick and cheap. So the puck moved to scale ups as Reid Hoffman describes so well in this post.

StartUps are easy, ScaleUps are hard.

A few weeks ago I declared London the winner in the Fintech Capital of the World ranking. That was premature. In terms of buzz and activity and conferences, London certainly wins as I can attest after having just come back from London. In a few weeks in Singapore I will be moderating a panel at SIBOS about Fintech Hubs and plan to reissue this Fintech Capital Index with some new data points before then.

As the old saying goes “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”.

It is hard to weight the disruptive innovation that San Francisco/Silicon Valley is known for. San Francisco was not known for transportation expertise before totally changing the industry through Uber.

Which UK company will be the first to get to IPO at a valuation over $1 billion? The candidates that are often mentioned include:

Nutmeg

Transferwise

World Remit

Zopa

CrowdCube

Etoro

Funding Circle

Iwoca

Seedrs

Currency Cloud

Who have I missed?

The one thing that would make a big difference to London’s Fintech Capital status is a big win on the London public market (a subject we explored in this post). The big Fintech winners in London have to head to New York to do an IPO on NASDAQ or NYSE. That must put London at a disadvantage. The Monitise story will sadly make public investors wary of a Fintech story in UK unless it is backed by very good numbers.

Daily Fintech Advisers (the commercial arm of this open source research site) can help implement strategies related to the topics written about here. Contact us to start a conversation.

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