London has long been a financial stronghold in Europe, with many companies in Asia using the British capital as a stepping stone to reach European markets. This trend appears to be continuing in the bustling world of fintech and crypto companies in the city. To get a more granular view of this growth, Etienne Brunet, an investor focused on the sector, highlighted several features of the blockchain ecosystem in London.Follow the Money across the Channel
One of the most striking features of Brunet’s report is indeed how startups in the city raised their funds. Of the over $410 million gathered, very little of that was collected during the 2017 initial coin offering (ICO) rage. Thus, the so-called ICO “mania” left many investors relatively unscathed as only $63.2 million in total used the funding model.
Of the startups that fell into this category, TokenCard, which has since changed its name to Monolith, raised $12.7 million in May 2017. CommerceBlock announced a $6.5 million raise in November 2017, Codex $12 million in June 2018, FunFair over $26 million in June 2017, and earlier this year Fetch.AI was one of the first initial exchange offerings (IEOs) out of Binance’s launch pad. The London-based company raised $6 million in 22 seconds.
Making up much of the rest are heavyweight companies like Blockchain, SETL, and Elliptic. The wallet provider and exchange platform, Blockchain, is the biggest fish after having raised $70 million over four rounds beginning in 2014.(Source: Medium)
Blockchain, which was founded in 2011, is also the oldest company in the ecosystem, followed by BitPesa, Elliptic, Coinfloor, and Luno in 2013. These larger companies naturally command considerable workforces. Luno, another crypto wallet provider, employs 310 individuals, Blockchain 230, and Wirex 180. Still, these figures are low compared to most other well-established firms.
After that, the average age of a crypto startup in London is 3.2 years, fu...