Top 10 global fintech hubs

We travel through North America, Europe, and APAC in search of the Top 10 global fintech hubs arranged by the value of their largest startup

From financial inclusion to wealth management and ‘buy now, pay later’, there are a handful of key locations, in most cases cities, fostering the greatest innovations in fintech. Almost invariably, these hubs succeed by combining tech-focused skill sets with an accommodating regulatory environment and inclusive cultural dynamic.

Although there were myriad ways to arrange the entries, such as by capital raised or the total number of startups in each location, for this list we have selected the largest fintech in each hub and ranked them according to value.

Special thanks go to Deloitte and CB Insights for providing data that assisted our decision-making.

10: Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley is practically synonymous with technology, so it’s probably no surprise that this Northern Californian nexus for global innovation claims the top spot on our list.

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The area has a fintech talent pool of approximately 74,000 people, over 300 startups (at the time of writing), and has so far attracted over $5bn in investment. Its reputation as a prime investment hub is further supplemented by 17,000 angel investors.

There’s no shortage of big-name fintechs in the area; Square, Robinhood, Coinbase, and Stripe - currently the US’ most valuable startup - are just some of the global leaders housed in the Valley’s 47 square miles. Ranked as having the third-highest GDP per capita in the world, it’s clear that Silicon Valley has the resources and talent to maintain its position as the world’s foremost fintech hub for the foreseeable future. 

Most valuable fintech: Stripe

Value (in USD): $95bn

09: Stockholm

This Swedish fintech hub is producing some of the most highly valued startups in the world and its success is no secret. Attracting approximately 20% of all sector investment across Europe, the foundations for Stockholm’s achievements were laid by prescient digital adoption, big-picture strategic planning, and an inclusive cultural backdrop. 

Although arguably not quite in the same technical league as our number one pick, the city is still home to several fintech leaders - Klarna and iZettle - as well as other big names in tech such as Spotify and Skype. 

Now with over 400 startups residing in Stockholm and over $1bn in capital flooding the market, it’s a tech-friendly hub that fosters innovation and generates world-leading results.

Most valuable fintech: Klarna

Value (in USD): $31bn

08: Melbourne

As fintech began gaining significant momentum around 2015/2016, Australia quickly established itself as a key player. Sydney might have a larger financial sector overall, but it is Melbourne that houses one of the world’s most valuable startups, Afterpay.

Notably, Melbourne is also the country’s most tech-focused city. Driven by a highly skilled and diverse workforce, the city has over 330 fintechs and its top five alone are collectively valued at over $30bn.

Most valuable fintech: Afterpay

Value (in USD): $28.7bn

07: São Paulo

Breaking up the standard hegemony of Europe and North America in the fintech scene, Latin America is emerging as a force to be reckoned with, and São Paulo is its key hub.

Brazil currently accounts for 51% of all fintech investment on the continent, with São Paulo housing some of the sector’s greatest success stories, including Nubank. Beyond banking, the city provides a robust and diverse ecosystem of capabilities, including payments, cryptocurrencies, lending, and more.

Most valuable fintech: Nubank

Value (in USD): $25bn

06: London

London is one of the world’s largest financial services markets. Such is the value of its unique blend of capabilities that Deloitte compared it to a hybrid of the New York’s ‘fin’ and the US’ West Coast ‘tech’ sectors respectively.

With almost 1,000 startups reportedly taking up residence in the city and an estimated talent pool of 61,000, London’s reputation as a simultaneously established but also up-and-coming fintech hub is well-founded. 

Most valuable fintech:

Value (in USD): $15bn

05: New York City

The most densely populated city in the US, NYC is arguably the world’s leading finance hub and until very recently was second only to Silicon Valley in terms of overall fintech investment. However, that changed in 2019 when its $1.9bn year-end result was pipped by London’s $3bn. 

Today, it is particularly notable for housing two of the most successful insurtechs in the space so far: Lemonade and Oscar. 

Most valuable fintech:

Value (in USD): $6bn

04: Berlin

Berlin generates the second-highest amount of fintech investment in Europe per year, overtaken only by London. 

In fact, this German city might be poised to become London’s successor as the EU’s prime financial hub. A strong pool of skilled labour is available and leading challenger bank N26 is a testament to its technological development.

With other Big Tech firms (Facebook and Airbnb) also opting to open offices in Berlin, we may indeed be witnessing its growth into a fintech hub of even greater renown. 

Most valuable fintech: N26

Value (in USD): $3.5bn

03: Bengaluru

Mumbai might be one of the first Indian cities that come to mind as a finance hub, yet Bengaluru has recently been given the accolade of the fastest-growing tech hub since 2016.

One of the reasons for this includes government-led efforts to increase digital adoption throughout the country, including internet and smartphone penetration. Bengaluru’s workforce demographic is also perfectly configured to function as a fintech hub: technical skills in both finance and technology are readily available. 

Most valuable fintech: Razorpay

Value (in USD): $3bn

02: Jakarta

Indonesia has historically struggled with financial inclusion, and it is perhaps to remedy this that Jakarta’s fintech sector has begun making promising gains in recent years.

Payment service OVO (not to be confused with the energy company) is an individual highlight of the city’s growth as a fintech hub. Alternative, digital-based finance has also proved vital to the country’s post-COVID recovery roadmap, filling in the capacity that traditional banks, for instance, cannot accommodate.

Most valuable fintech: OVO

Value (in USD): $2.9bn

01: Beijing

Beijing’s status as a fintech hub is difficult to contend with - it has a substantial consumer market, cutting-edge technology, and is already ahead of many other nations in terms of emerging trends like CBDCs and blockchain.

However, with the CCP taking a hard stance on monopolistic behaviour, such as the cancellation of Ant Financial’s IPO in 2020, harsh regulation could have a deleterious effect on development and innovation. Regardless, Beijing will likely remain a global fintech hub for the foreseeable future.

Most valuable fintech: Waterdrop

Value (in USD): $2.88bn


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