As it’s London Fintech Week, we’ve taken a quick look at some of the fintech companies that are flying the flag for London right now.

 

London’s status as the world’s premier fintech hub is by no means assured, with strong challenges coming from Silicon Valley, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore. And with some doubt as to whether Brexit could lead to an exodus of financial companies from the capital, these are tense times for London.

 

However, there are many reasons to be optimistic, as fintech companies in London continue to keep themselves in the spotlight.

It’s London Fintech Week this week, a series of conferences, exhibitions and parties where delegates from around the world gather to learn, network and promote this burgeoning industry.

 

While Silicon Valley, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore can all put forward a strong claim, London is very keen to flaunt its credentials and declare itself the global capital of fintech. London still very much leads the way in Europe, though it’s still uncertain what the consequences of Brexit will be for the city’s fintech scene.

It is billed as the festival of creativity – so why were the meeting rooms and beachfront cafes at last month’s Cannes Lions buzzing with talk of machine learning, probabilistic modelling and blockchain transaction dispersal?

 

None of these things sound especially creative, but the hand of artificial intelligence is now beginning to touch every industry – and marketing is no different.

 

In recent years, the world of advertising has seen a wave of new technology tools enter the market, helping to automate the planning, trading and measurement of campaigns.

Over the last 12 months Insurtech has become one of the most overused words in the British startup universe. It seems everyone wants a slice of the action in an industry which looks ripe for disruption. More recently, the bigger companies have been getting their act together and embracing all kinds of technology from AI to Blockchain.

For the time being, it is the startups leading the way. A host of companies have emerged on both sides of the Atlantic that are looking to harness technology to make insurance easier to manage and predict on one hand, and simpler for consumers on the other.

Insurtech is making an impact in the news agenda right now, and if you’re one of the companies involved in this exciting sector then you need to be aware of this.

 

A catch-all term for platforms and technology that is driving fundamental changes in insurance, ‘Insurtech’ is being covered by publications and outlets such as the Telegraph, CNBC, Reuters and the like.

 

While some aren’t keen on the clumsy portmanteau, what we can all agree on is that Insurtech is set to have a massively disruptive – but largely positive – effect on the insurance industry.

I thought the Lions were in New Zealand at the moment.

That’s rugby’s British and Irish Lions, who are playing a three-test series against the All Blacks at the moment. Cannes Lions has nothing to do with sport, although there will be a bit of a scrum in the south of France, all the same.

No, The International Festival of Creativity, to give it its proper title, is the advertising industry’s annual shindig, where agencies and brands show off their best works, hear speeches and do back-room deals in the small town by the sea.

We recently wrote about how working with PR agencies can benefit companies in the fintech sector.

But what should fintech firms be looking for in a PR agency? In this guest post, we asked Clarity client Sophie Guibaud, Vice President European Expansion at Fidor Bank, to outline five qualities she looks for in a PR agency.

 

Transparency

Having worked with PR agencies in the past, I’ve found that I really had to chase them to find out to find out about progress on different projects and to try and understand where their time was being spent, in order to justify the investment to top management.

It has been one of the fastest success stories in technology. “Adtech” – the collective name for platforms helping advertising buyers and sellers to target, trade and transact – has been booming.

In recent years, the sector has seen a flood of investment, as venture capitalists poured money in to a segment that facilitates the internet’s primary monetisation model.

If you’ve never heard of the term fintech then you are probably in the minority. It’s been in the media spotlight for several years now, sparked by a wave of innovative new businesses offering slick financial services to consumers, or enabling technologies to banks and retailers to enable them to operate more effectively.

The movement wasn’t self-conscious enough to describe itself as ‘fintech’ in the beginning – that tag came from the media. A portmanteau of the words ‘financial’ and ‘technology’, it describes any digital service or platform that supports or enables banking or financial services.

It is incredible to think that it was ever the case, but there once was a time when Venture Capitalists were perceived by entrepreneurs as almost mythical creatures – shy individuals who shunned publicity and were barely traceable online.

That clearly isn’t the case anymore as VCs jostle with each other to garner the most followers for their blogs and Twitter accounts. So why this sea change? What has happened in the VC world to bring this about, and crucially do VCs really need to employ PR companies?

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