When people think of hubs for financial technology, certain places come to mind. London. New York. Hong Kong. But there’s another city that many might not realize is making waves in the space: Dublin. Though Dublin might not be top-of-mind when you think of financial technology, Ireland has become a hot spot for this booming industry.
Financial technology – or “FinTech” – encompasses a wide range of companies. Originally, FinTech described technology used to support financial services, such as specialized software for retail banking or capital markets. Yet over the last few years, the term has taken on wider use and applies to a more innovative range of companies, products and services. Think apps and solutions for crowd funding, payments and transactions, digital currencies, risk and compliance, insurance, trading and much more.
Nearly everyone has heard of big FinTech successes like PayPal – yet many Irish FinTech companies are among the new up-and-comers. Companies like online payment firm Realex Payments, which was acquired by Global Payments, are already globally successful, while companies like CurrencyFair, which offers an innovative currency exchange solution, are already making waves on the international scene. In fact, CurrencyFair raised €10 million in funding in the first half of 2015 and recently announced plans to hire an additional 50 people here at home. Another upcoming player in the Irish FinTech scene is Fenergo, which provides regulatory, data and onboarding solutions for financial institutions. Fenergo made headlines when they announced a US$75 million investment from an American private equity firm.
So what makes Ireland such a great place for FinTech?
With the right people, strong financial backing and comprehensive support available from within the community, it’s no wonder that Ireland has ambitions to become a world leader in the FinTech sector.
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Anna advises many early stage Technology and FinTech companies on the challenges around fundraising, structuring shareholding arrangements, rewarding founders and employees and growing global businesses. Anna is a founding member of the Board of the FinTech and Payments association of Ireland which was launched on 14 September 2015.
Anna leads KPMG’s global partnership with Connected Intelligence (or Ci), the company behind Web Summit, F.ounders and their related US and Asian events, Collision and Rise. Anna has been recognised by Silicon Republic Women Invent Tomorrow programme as one of the 100 Top Women in STEM. She was nominated for the Woman Mean Business (WMB) Award for Women in Technology and was nominated one of the Top 30 Women in Tech in Ireland.