I love to see the statistics on Fintech investments and the country league tables. It always gives a sense of Eurovision contest.
But a few comments on this:
1- Cities over countries
it makes sense to look at cities and not countries when you look not just at startup ecosystems but addressable markets. Especially in consumer fintech where you need large network effects (at least in payments).
That's the concentration of talent, investments, supporting services (including regulators) and consumers that creates 'hotbed' for innovation.
Good to see cities like Madrid and Amsterdam on that list.
They have a few lessons to share for startups and incumbents as well on how to react and embrace changes.
And for Amsterdam, this has always been a centre of excellence for payment innovation (adyen anyone?)
2- Having travelled across Europe, Russia, Middle East and Africa over the past years, it is clear that the Fintech scene is happening everywhere. It is just not 'evenly distributed'.
You can see local and national champions popping up in every country and in each Fintech compartment (from P2P to SMB lending, from Wealth Management to credit scoring and so on)
That's the first stage. Most of them are already working on geographical expansion.
Will there be a consolidation in the next few years? More businesses started in Europe going to conquer the US? lets see over the next 24 months
3- Entrepreneurs have regional if not global ambitions.
I was struck how many entrepreneurs have clearly learnt their lessons: 'we don't want to be #1 in our market, we want to go to the US and be #1 across all Europe".
Platforms for fintech can be european from the get-go, localisation and customer adaptation can scale and become a competitive advantage.
And regulation gives us an edge: one licence that you can passport across the EU. You don't get that in the US...
So expect to see more and more cities on that list (I would put Istanbul firmly there, Stockholm, and soon Paris, Milan)
Madrid Spain is one of the leading countries in uptake of smartphones and mobile commerce. Madrid, with homegrown fintech companies such as Kantox, peerTransfer and Coinffeine, is gaining visibility in the fintech world market and boosting record venture rounds. Earlier this year a collaboration of six fintech companies joined together in Madrid to form the Spanish Association of Financial Technology (SAFT). The main objective of the group is to pressure government and legislative officials to offer better conditions for fintech startups. Globally, traditional banks have been slow to catch onto the fintech bandwagon, but Spanish banks have been some of the first to react. BBVA was the first incumbent traditional financial institution to venture into fintech, and last year Santander set up a $100 million fund to invest in fintech startups.