Norfolk fintech sector could be worth £100m – but funding remains ‘limited’

Norfolk may be known for its picturesque towns and man-made broads but its fintech sector could be worth £100m by 2027, according to a new report.

The East of England county is home to 24 fintech companies that have collectively raised £49m in investment, a report commissioned by advocacy group Tech East has found.

It found that Norwich, the largest city in Norfolk, is the main driver of economic and fintech growth in the county. Between 2010 and 2021, Norwich recorded the highest growth in real output per hour of all UK cities at 2.3%.

However, funding opportunities in Norfolk are “limited”, the report noted, with only a “handful” of investors physically based in the region.

The majority of the funding raised by Norfolk fintechs stems from the £33m raised by Snoop, the money-saving app founded by former Virgin Money boss Jayne-Anne Gadhia, which Vanquis recently acquired.

The Norfolk FinTech Report 2024, produced by Whitecap Consulting, cited strengths in insurtech. It found that Norwich has the highest concentration of insurance workers – 7,500 – outside of London. The working population in Norfolk consists of 454,100 people, with over 12,000 of those working in the financial services sector. International insurance companies with offices in Norwich include Aviva and Marsh.

Aviva is the largest employer in the region and in 2016 established Aviva Ventures with an initial £100m to back Norfolk startups.

The percentage of female fintech founders in Norfolk – 17% – is slightly higher than the UK average of 16%. Fintech startups in Norfolk include Sekura ID, JaeVee, and Idenfo.

The region’s academic institutions – University of East Anglia (UEA), Norwich University of the Arts (NUA), and City College Norwich (CCN) – are all active in fintech-related fields, the report noted.

“The findings of the report are very positive,” said Lisa Perkins, chair of Tech East. “Despite challenges with access to funding and relatively small financial investment, the Norfolk fintech ecosystem is flourishing and this new report highlights some immense potential.”

Key recommendations to grow Norfolk’s fintech sector include attracting other major financial services brands to the region, raising awareness of fintech opportunities to local students, and creating a regional fintech entity for the East of England to act as a focal point.

Perkins added that Norfolk must now build new relationships and partnerships to “truly unlock [its] potential”.

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