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August 17, 2015

10 biggest UK fintech fundraising rounds from 2015

London's financial technology scene is showing increasingly rude health.

By Jimmy Nicholls

With its centuries of history in finance London is proving to be one of the most exciting locations on the planet to start a business in financial technology.

And whilst California still rules in terms of attracting investment to interesting start-ups, the British capital’s efforts are looking increasingly respectable, with growing numbers of venture capitalists and independent angel investors willing to back innovation with cash.

But so far this year which companies have drawn the most money in their funding rounds? CBR investigated, and here’s what we found.

1. MarketInvoice – £6m

MarketInvoice is a peer-to-peer fintech company started in London in 2011 with the aim of facilitating funding for smaller companies, one of the key markets for the start-up scene.

Only on Monday the company raised £6m from the technology investor Northzone, among others, adding to a previous round where it nabbed £5m at the end of last year.

2. eToro – £7.7m

Describing itself as a "social investment network", eToro runs a platform allowing people to trade in currencies, commodities, indices and much else, covering 4.5 million users across 170 countries.

In the seventh funding round since the company formed in 2007 the company pulled in £7.7m from the German Commerzbank, the latest in the £47m the firm has collected in various rounds.

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3. Velocity – £7.7m

Velocity is the creator of an app designed to take away the awkwardness of splitting bills at the end of meals, as well as provide reward programs to keep punters coming back.

In June of this year the company collected £7.7m in Series A funding, with investors including former Thomson Reuters chief executive Tom Glocer as well as Initial Capital Partners.

4. Currency Cloud – £11.5m

As implied by its name, Currency Cloud is an international money transfer service that runs an engine and APIs [application programming interfaces] which developers can use to loop themselves into the firm’s payment network.

In a Series C funding in June the company raised £11.5m, taking total funding to £23m after just three years in business.

5. Azimo – £12.8m

Another money transfer service, Azimo managed to achieve a valuation of just shy of £64m after its latest funding round which bagged it £12.8m.

According to chief executive Michael Kent, the money has been marked for expansion into Europe, with the firm making special effort to reach out to migrants whom it claims are often neglected by conventional finance.

6. RateSetter – £20m

RateSetter is a peer-to-peer lending platform that helps connect people who want to borrow money with those willing to lend it.

Back in March the company was able to secure almost £20m in investment from the investment banker Ken Costa, Woodford Investment Management and investment managers Artemis. RateSetter said it would spend the money on technology and marketing.

7. LendInvest – £21.8m

Another peer-to-peer marketplace, LendInvest distinguishes itself from similar platforms by handling mortgages rather than other types of loan, allowing customers to borrow up to £5m.

Though based in London, the company managed to secure backing from Beijing Kunlun, a Chinese tech firm that agreed to invest agreed to invest £21.8m in the company.

8. TransferWise – £37.2m

TransferWise is one of the larger money transfer services in the British start-up scene, operating a peer-to-peer platform that now shifts £500m overseas a month.

Near the start of the year the company was able to bag £37.2m in investment from noted California venture capitalists Andreessen Horowitz, the British entrepreneur Richard Branson and PayPal founder Peter Thiel.

9. World Remit – £64m

WorldRemit is another company in the money transfer game, competing in the global remittance market that covers small fees often transferred between migrants and their families back home.

In February of this year the company was able to obtain £64m in global funding, leaving it valued at £320m, half the amount needed to place itself among European increasingly common tech "unicorns" worth $1bn.

10. Funding Circle – £96m

Perhaps the largest peer-to-peer lender in London is Funding Circle a technology start-up that began life five years ago and since claims to have handled £771m in loans.

In what was seen as one of the strongest signs the British capital is making ground on Silicon Valley’s investment seen, Funding Circle managed to raise £96m in April of this year, with Russia’s DST Global leading the round.

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