Fintech Report

Ireland falls one place in global fintech rankings

Ireland fell to 18th in Findexable’s 2021 Global Fintech Rankings, making it 10th in Europe. There was a new entry for Cork into the rankings, a rise in the rankings for Belfast, but falls for both Dublin and Galway.

With the State as a whole falling one place to 18th in the annual rankings, the capital suffered a much worse fall, from 26th to 50th in the space of a year, placing it behind 14 other European cities as diverse as London, Stockholm, Vilnius, and Helsinki. The entrance of Cork is, however, some good news for the State. The southwestern city entered the rankings at 203rd, surrounded by cities such as Colorado Springs, Nicosia, Cologne, and Tbilisi. As well as ranking 203rd in the world, Cork now ranks 82nd in Europe and was one of 52 new entrants into the rankings for the year 2021.

Belfast rose to 134th in the world, climbing 51 places in a progressive year that saw it take 54th place in Europe. Galway, much like Dublin, also suffered a fall down the rankings, dropping 37 places down to 240th in the world and 90th in Europe, surrounded by cities such as Yerevan, Harju, and Chisinau.

The rankings are calculated by Findexable via a proprietary algorithm using quantifiable data such as the quantity of privately owned fintech companies, the quality of said companies, and the local business environment. Quantity, the report says, is “not just about innovating businesses”, but also “needs supporting organisations providing facilities to help the flow of connections and capital across the marketplace”.

Quality is most affected by fintech ‘unicorns’, who “impact the development and success of the wider ecosystem by inspiring other fintech innovators and encouraging more venture capital to flow”. Key to the environment in which these companies operate are “large scale fintech gatherings, accelerator and innovation programmes and other events”.

The rankings, perhaps unsurprisingly, show little change at the top, with a top three of San Francisco Bay Area, London, and New York City, unchanged from 2020. It is equally unsurprising then that the United States and United Kingdom would place first and second respectively in the country rankings. It is, of course, unlikely that Ireland will ever have the financial muscle to compete with either of the North Atlantic powerhouses, but inspiration could perhaps be taken from countries of similar size.

Lithuania, with a population just over half the size of the Republic of Ireland’s, ranks 10th in the rankings, a relative disappointment for the eastern European country given that this is the result of a six-place drop. Estonia, with a population less than half that of Lithuania, ranks 11th. Uruguay, with its population of just under 3.5 million, is one the countries pushing Ireland down the rankings, having risen 46 places to take 17th, the spot that Ireland had occupied in 2020.

The rankings make for clear reading for those invested in turning Ireland into a fintech hub: while good work is being done, there is certainly room for relative improvement.

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