Manchester has proven to be a prime location for fintech startups with a ranking in the Top 50 on the Global Fintech Index (GFI). This ranking system categorizes cities based on the success of individual firms located within and the ecosystem more broadly. In 2021, Manchester climbed to the 34th place globally, which is up 19 places compared to last year. On a more regional level, it ranks at number 9 in Europe and number 1 in the UK when excluding London.
The 2021 Global Fintech Rankings were created to recognize rising hubs, trends, and fintech companies. The GFI utilizes an algorithm that compiles and ranks over 264 cities from 83 countries. It analyzes data from findexable that is confirmed by a Global Partnership Network that involves Crunchbase, SEMrush, StartupBlink, and many other fintech companies that span internationally. The data they collect includes factors like the opportunity for tech incubators, investments, and simplicity of doing business.
The GFI was originally reported in 2019 and has since received much attention within the fintech community. Within the 2021 index, 13 cities within the UK are included. However, of these cities, only London and Manchester possess ‘unicorn’ companies, a term used to describe private startups that are already valued at over €1 billion. Greater Manchester hosts six unicorns, which is 43 percent of the UK’s total fintech unicorns. This region also holds more e-commerce unicorns than every other location in Europe.
The GFI is used as a manual for financial establishments, investors, government departments, advisors, and fintechs. Many prominent figures in the fintech sphere of Manchester have spoken positively on the high global ranking and rising power of the city as a tech hub.
Manchester is up and coming as a sound, profitable alternative to London. The ecosystem is composed of distinguished universities and development agencies such as MIDAS that have paved the way for Manchester’s ascension on the GFI scale.
Currently, there are over 80 fintech businesses that reside in the city. It is also home to the UK’s biggest financial, professional, business services (FPBS) enterprises outside of London and employs over 280,000 residents. Many of the fintechs based in Manchester have honed in on the payments, platforms, software, and consumer finance industries. Larger fintech companies such as OakNorth, Ayden, MoneySuperMarket, and Klarna have recently expanded into Manchester. These companies add to a number of native companies, which include AccessPay, Raisin, and Nivo.
Manchester has proven itself to be a major contender in the fintech industry and it is only just the beginning. The city has become a hub that allows start-ups, SMEs, and larger companies to work together to be the newest drivers of innovation. In only a single year, it was able to rise 19 places on the GFI scale with positive expectations that the industry will continue to grow exponentially in the near future.
Symcox, Jonathan. “Manchester Races Up Global Fintech Index.” Business Cloud, 25 June 2021, https://businesscloud.co.uk/manchester-races-up-global-fintech-index/.