Welsh start-ups urged to use London as a ‘springboard’ to grow globally post-pandemic

The Lord Mayor of the City of London, William Russell, will today [2 June 2021] start a virtual visit to Cardiff to deepen the partnership between the two cities and harness the full potential of Wales’ life sciences skills, innovation and growing fintech sector.

In his role as ambassador for the UK’s financial and professional services industry, the Lord Mayor will meet with Welsh firms and policy leaders to identify ways for Cardiff and Wales to capitalise on its strengths and use London as a springboard for national growth.

The visit is a key part of the City Corporation’s Partnerships Strategy, which aims to strengthen ties between financial hubs across the UK. It also provides an opportunity for Welsh fintechs to utilise the City Corporation's work on the independent Kalifa Review launched earlier this year, which identified Cardiff as one of the UK’s ‘fintech hubs’. Discussions will include how Government, education and industry can collaborate to create and maintain talent pipelines, re-skilling and up-skilling, and global talent attraction in fintech.

The region’s technology sector is worth an estimated £8.5bn to the Welsh economy and it is continuing to grow, with financial and professional services in tow, employing 150,000 people.

Wales’ unique financial and professional services ecosystem (35% micro, 37% small medium and 38% large) specifically raises conversation around entrepreneurship, SME investment and scaling. Nurturing start-ups and helping with access to finance will be an important focus for strengthening the Welsh economy.

Lord Mayor of the City of London, William Russell, said:

“Wales’ life sciences expertise is internationally prominent and will be a key part of the UK’s economic recovery. The country’s fintechs also have great potential to drive growth and innovation that can benefit households and businesses. Partnership with the City can help these firms access new markets across the globe and tap into new opportunities.

“As we emerge from the pandemic, we should focus our efforts in making sure this sector’s growth is a success story right across the UK. Close collaboration between our successful fintechs will be crucial to maintaining the country’s role as a global leader in this sector.”

Sina Yamani, CEO at Cardiff based fintech Yoello, said:

“We are about two and a half years old and we have grown significantly over the last year or so. This time last year there was probably about five of us. From there we have scaled massively and we are now 60 people. We have staff based globally in all the jurisdictions that we are in but over 60% to 70% of our staff are in the UK.

“The City of London Corporation has been very helpful with their trade missions. The Department for International Trade can also put us in touch with representatives in any country we want to work with. This has opened many doors for us. We have global ambitions and want to be in every country in the next three or four years. But the UK will remain our global headquarters”