Developments in the fintech space
WarwickTECH is a student-led angel fund backing founders from Warwick University. We aim to empower students to pursue tech entrepreneurship and innovation.
Welcome to WarwickTECH's February newsletter! Every month, we'll be sharing our top tech stories — including the most exciting things going on in tech, startups, and innovation at Warwick and beyond.
Curated and edited by Cyrus Ma
What’s new with WarwickTECH?
The second batch of tickets for our annual flagship hackathon, WarwickHACK, has been released! Whether you are a student interested in learning coding skills or launching your project on resolving some of the world’s most challenging problems, this event is for you!
Brief reasons why you should attend:
We are officially recognized by Hackathons UK, so you’ll be sure to be in good hands!
We have beginner to advanced streams, and have multiple workshops planned! Whether you have no experience with coding or wish to challenge your limits, this event is for you.
If you are a student, click here to learn more and register!
We also have something exciting updates in store for next month’s newsletter, so make sure to stay tuned!
Theme of the month: Financial Technology
The FCA is currently seeking to introduce new classifications for cryptocurrencies, with the aim of balancing innovation with market integrity and consumer protections. These proposals come after previous EU proposals to regulate issuing bodies of crypto assets outside of existing legislative boundaries, and are expected to set the roadmap for how future digital transactions may occur.
Gamestop, a physical video game retailer, has found itself surging to the top of the Russell 2000 Index in January, with its stock peaking at $484 a share on 28/01/2021. In light of hedge funds and trading apps such as Robinhood getting heat for their responses to the incident, this event has attracted strong controversy to the nature of financial trading, and indicates how fintech trading platforms have been disrupting the stock market through leveraging consumer investing.
With industries switching to digital payments during COVID, fintech has been booming in popularity, and is expected to be one of the most significant developments in 2021. This article summarizes a few important trends in fintech - from autonomous payments to financial literacy, knowledge of these developments will be crucial for success in the upcoming year.
What’s happening at Warwick?
Maybe Back to the Future is going to happen after all - albeit a bit late. The UK’s first hub for flying vehicles and drones will be built in Coventry with the support of the UK government. Developed with the main aim of alleviating traffic congestion, it also serves as Coventry’s return to the forefront of transport in the UK.
A new industry alliance has been formed between WMG, The Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub, and The Manufacturing Technology Centre to make it easier for manufacturers to access technology and expertise. This collaboration is expected to empower firms in the digitalisation and green manufacturing spaces, and particularly SMEs.
WMG has come again with more innovations in batteries, with the potential to radically accelerate the switch towards renewable energy. A collaborative effort between WMG and Imperial College London has developed a way to enhance the commercial uses of hybrid flow batteries, which will reduce the energy loss from conventional renewable energy technologies such as solar power and wind power for one-fifth of the cost. This will likely have positive implications in the renewable energy space, solving problems of irregularity and cost that have prevented their widespread adoption.
What’s new in the tech industry?
Wales continues to demonstrate growth in the Startup space. Raising £71m in 2021, tech companies in Wales continue to expand, solidifying its position in the UK as a “regional roundtable”.
2020 has been a rallying year for fintech M&A. Despite decreases in M&A activity during the middle of 2020, a near-record surge in tech M&A suggests that the upward trend in private equity appetite and overseas demand is expected to stay. This article summarizes the findings of a report compiled by ICON Corporate Finance, showing optimistic prospects for tech M&A in the new year.
Cybsafe, a cybersecurity startup dedicated to reducing human risk in cybersecurity, has raised £5.6m in their most recent funding round. Delivering instant and personalized support for end-users, it improves on existing approaches to cybersecurity education using behavioural science data. Their success reflects the growing demand for effective cybersecurity in an era of heavy digital reliance, showing positive prospects for future cybersecurity ventures.
That's all for February, let us know what you thought and if we missed any stories or topics worth including going forward — see you next month!