It is anticipated that in 2023 Greater Manchester's FinTech sector will contribute £1 billion to the region's economy, employing 10,000 people across the 240 companies that make up the thriving financial services, technology, and FinTech sectors.
With growth of 67% over the last 3 years, a recent report from Whitecap Consulting found the city-region was the largest regional FinTech ecosystem outside London, made up of a variety of startups and scaleups contributing to the sector which has tripled in size over the past three years.
Greater Manchester is now home to hundreds of FinTechs taking full advantage of the regions core strengths in Payments, Lending, WealthTech and Accounting, we’ve put together a list of the FinTechs to watch here in Greater Manchester.
UK digital challenger bank Starling is our number one in this list having recently chosen Manchester as the location for its newest headquarters Starling is set to create 1,000 jobs in the city-region. Founded by former Allied Irish Bank COO, Anne Boden in 2014, the bank now has over three million registered accounts including half a million business bank accounts and accounting for almost a 10% share of the sector. Voted as Britain’s Best Current Account for the past five years and with a large team working across three offices, the bank continues to be a leader in digital banking.
Anne Boden, Founder and CEO at Starling Bank said:
“Manchester is one of the most important tech hubs in the UK. London’s success as a global fintech hub enables it to spread wealth and jobs throughout the UK and the wider economy. That’s exactly what we’re doing with this office in Manchester.”
OakNorth Bank is a UK bank that was founded by entrepreneurs Rishi Khosla and Joel Perlman in early 2015, it has since become one of the country’s best-known challenger lenders with over 800 staff and hitting a $2.8bn valuation in 2019. Offering loans as well as business and personal savings accounts, and one of the UK’s few profitable digital banks, OakNorth has grown significantly since its launch lending over £9.5 billion to UK businesses and helping to create over 39,000 new jobs. OakNorth opened their first Manchester office in 2015 and focused on SME lending and have since expanded to incorporate SME banking, commercial and risk functions in the city.
Twentyone is a B2B financial services provider offering business current accounts for small businesses as an alternative to traditional business banking. Part of the AAO Group, Twentyone has been built from the ground up to provide a tech-first response to the long-standing pain points commonly felt around B2B finance.
CEO Danny Brewster is passionate about making complicated and time-consuming systems simple for users and businesses and Twentyone’s platform provides a time saving and cost-efficient solution to business finance management whilst providing new financial options to underserved businesses.
Twentyone started life due to Danny’s own struggled to find a bank to support AAO Group due to the difficult onboarding process, and so in a stroke of entrepreneurship decided to set up a tech-first business current account for entrepreneurs and innovators that struggle with traditional high-street banks. Twentyone is set to disrupt the banking sector by simplifying the onboarding process and bringing first-class service and communication.
CEO, Danny Brewster commented:
“Manchester is an attractive proposition for any tech company, owing to its thriving digital ecosystem and the relatively low costs associated with rents and other business expenses in this area. However, for twentyone, the connection with the city goes much deeper and relates to our shared sensibilities and ethos.
Elifinty is a digital platform that brings together creditors and debt advisors to help individuals take control of their debt in a socially conscious way. After CEO and founder Maysam Rizvi visited Iceland during the previous financial crisis, he experienced first-hand the problems with the banking system which led to him launching Elifinty in 2018.
Maysam realised that the financial sector needed a systemic transformation in how institutions handle debt. Elifinty addresses that issue by creating a people-first debt management solution which closes the debt advice gap, promotes financial literacy and speeds up the time to resolve and increases the rate of debt recovery.
Elifinty are looking to bring more utility, housing and advice partners onto their platform whilst scaling into new territories. Their EliHub platform offers personalised debt plans, spend management tools and access to professional advisors so consumers can access financial education resources to manage their money while receiving tailored advice to tackle their debt.
Using a combination of a next-gen payment platform, a proprietary payment network and vertical specific software, Flywire enables the worldwide payment and receivables process through seamless transaction experiences.
Flywire has established solid client connections over the last ten years, created cutting-edge technology, understood the market, and formed a distinctly down-to-earth corporate culture centred on the success of their clients. To date Flywire has digitized payments for more than 3,300 global clients across education, healthcare, travel & B2B, covering more than 240 countries and territories and supporting over 140 currencies.
Flywire partnered with Manchester Met University to offer students a more modern, dynamic and easy to use online storefront for the students. The University has been working with Flywire since 2015 to streamline international payments and wanted to upgrade to Flywire’s Comprehensive Receivables Solution to address a wide variety of needs for its diverse and growing student body.
In 2009 Jason Gardner, founder and executive chairman of Marqeta had a vision for streamlining payments. The platform was built from the bottom up to give developers the speed, adaptability, and size they need to introduce new programmes. Marqeta became the first open API modern card issuing platform in the world. The California-based FinTech unicorn has established a presence in Greater Manchester and continued to be successful operating in the city-region.
Certified to operate in 40 countries and having a $160+ billion processing volume in 2022, the company continues to grow increasing its growth volume by 80% since 2017. Marqeta is now turning to embedded finance as it’s next core focus to enable non-financial services providers to embed payment technology and credit facilities into their user experience.
To find out more about FinTechs in Greater Manchester and the support we can offer please contact:
Joseph Beaden, Business Development Manager- Financial, Professional and Business Services
Read the Whitecap Consulting report here