Ireland and Germany will battle for fintech crown post-Brexit, says VC founder
The UK’s loss of easy access to Europe’s financial industry will hit the industry, says B Capital Group founder
Ireland and Germany are poised to step up to fill a void as leader of Europe’s fintech scene once the U.K. leaves the European Union (EU), according to the co-founder of a global venture capital firm backed by The Boston Consulting Group.
While it’s difficult to tell exactly what it will be, Brexit, which will mean the U.K. will lose its easy access to Europe’s financial industry, is certainly going to have an impact on the fintech industry, says Raj Ganguly, co-founder and partner at B Capital Group.
“It seems like London is going in the direction of a hard Brexit. And with the passporting rules potentially going away, I personally think that, even if you look at last year, Germany for the first time had two of the biggest fintech fundings versus traditionally mostly happening in the U.K.,” Ganguly told CNBC from the Superreturn conference in Berlin.
“I think it’s going to be a little bit of a battle between Ireland and Germany over who really steps up and takes the leadership role in fintech over from the U.K. post-Brexit,” he posited.
Describing the burgeoning importance of regions outside of the U.S. for fintech investing, Ganguly said his firm had been increasingly turning its attention to opportunities in Asia.
“We also have seen a rebound here in Europe, initially we saw the rebound mostly in the UK but we’ve really seen Germany take off over the last year or two,” continued the long-time VC investor and former strategy consultant.
Turning towards his home market of the U.S., Ganguly drew a distinction between the challenges thrown up by the political environment and the opportunities emerging from accelerating technological developments for fintech industry players.
“There are two sides to it. We’ve seen tremendous growth in technology over the past decade. Areas where technology hasn’t impacted before from transportation to banking to healthcare. There’s a lot of excitement about that,” he noted, focusing on the key positives for FinTech investors today.
“I’d say the political climate is a bit more challenged. There’s a lot of questions about what these changes in the political climate mean but at the end of the day our belief is that the relentless march forward of technology and innovation won’t be slowed by the geopolitical environment,” Ganguly concluded.