London confirmed as leading blockchain hub 

UK continues to thrive as an epicentre of blockchain technology development, but a report also highlights lack of women in industry is still a huge issue

London has been named as one of the world’s leading blockchain hubs and a haven for start-ups, according to the latest industry research.

Analysis has revealed that more than $500m in equity funding has been raised by blockchain firms in the UK capital since 2013.

The research work, carried out by Outlier Ventures, also shows that London is host to some 450 blockchain companies.

Reasons for the high concentration of firms and equity are suggested as: Inflow of talent from the EU (prior to Brexit), low barriers to company incorporation and active involvement of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) combined with the broader fintech ecosystem around London.

Since 2013, blockchain start-ups in the United Kingdom have raised a collective $503 million in equity. One in three blockchain companies successfully raise funding, with $95m being invested in seed stages.

Rampant scaling

Potential access to capital does not necessarily mean rampant scaling or growth. The power laws for blockchain firms in the UK are similar to those found elsewhere, with only 13 percent of all firms that raise funding going on to raise a Series A while just 3% make Series B.

Meanwhile, challenges around regulations, attracting the right talent post-Brexit, targeting ideal markets and improving user experiences plague start-ups in the UK. One of the main challenges faced by start-ups is down to the slow pace of regulatory changes.

Alarmingly, the report also finds that the number of women in the industry remains as low as ever. Research indicated that only 13% of employees in blockchain start-ups are women, and that around 90% of founders with investments are men – a statistic described as “appalling” by Dr Jane Thomason, CEO of Fintech Worldwide.

“We need to do more to facilitate the involvement of women in the blockchain ecosystem, and improve their access to capital,” she said.

“These statistics are appalling.”

The United States had slightly more female employees – at 14.2% – but considerably lower number of female founders with backing.

The full report from Outlier Ventures can be read here: https://outlierventures.io/research/london-blockchain-firms-raise-over-500-million-in-equity-funding-since-2013/

 

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