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Tech Weekly: Tech Nation CEO on UK fintech success, and Klarna focus on profits

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27.05.2022

Today City A.M. reporter Charlie Conchie talks to Tech Nation CEO Gerard Grech for a chat about the company’s Impact Report, which assesses how it has helped shape leading tech firms. They also discuss the UK’s place as a fintech hub, and the potential slowdown of VC investment in fintech later this year.

He also takes us through the week’s tech news — Klarna will now be focusing on profits over growth, and the ECB has warned against a continued crypto sell-off frenzy.

Episode transcript (auto-generated)

Host 0:08 Hello and welcome to Tech weekly, a podcast by city I am dedicated to bringing you the latest in the worlds of tech crypto FinTech and beyond. I’m nationalists over here is city AM’s very own Charlie country. Later, Charlie will be talking to Gerald Greg, the CEO of UK startup network tech nation. They’ll discuss tech nation’s Impact Report and talk about the importance of impact tech in addressing environmental degradation. They’ll also talk about the UK’s place on the global tech hub stage, and the level of VC investment in fintech this year. But first, the headlines, Charlie, what’s been going on this week?

Charlie Conchie 0:46 So a very busy week of global tech and fintech headlines. By now pay later giant Klarna is moving away from a rapid growth strategy to focus on a fast track to profitability. Its boss said yesterday. The Swedish FinTech firm has been on a major growth push in recent years, but boss Sebastien CMEA kowski said the firm is now tapering back that growth amid what has been a bit of a downturn in the tech industry and his comments came just days after Klarna announced a slew of job cuts 10% of its workforce on Monday. In the US venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz is looking to book the crypto crash with a new $4.5 billion fund this week, that is going to pump cash into crypto and so called Web three startups. The investor said that crypto firms and those driving web three which is a new age of the internet, based on blockchain technology, are entering a golden era and is decided to go big. And back in London FinTech paddles struck a $200 million deal to buy US firm profit well this week and its first acquisition since being founded 10 years ago. Pardo, which was founded by then 18 year old Christian Erin’s 2012 Bank date $200 million. Funding ran earlier this month, which was led by the private equity powerhouse KKR said it was now channelling that funding into expanding its payment services. And London venture firm Crane has buy the $140 million fresh deep tech fund this week, that’s worth 30 million pounds backing from the British business bank owned investor British patient capital. Crane closed its first $90 million fund in 2019. And said it’s now on the hunt for founders building technology across areas like open source, artificial intelligence, data and developer tools. And the European Central Bank has warned this week that a continued sell off frenzy in crypto could threaten the stability of global financial markets. In its annual financial stability review, which was published this week, the ECB said that a deep dive into the market had revealed evidence that crypto asset leverage and crypto lending are becoming more risky and deepening ties with banks and asset managers pose a risk to financial stability.

Host 3:01 And now Charlie will be talking to Gerald Grech.

Charlie Conchie 3:04 So we have had a decade of very buoyant venture capital investment into the UK across nearly every sub sector of our tech ecosystem. And I think, you know, the one area we perhaps pay most attention to in the UK is our FinTech sector. We saw record amounts of cash coming into that last year. But one area that’s really been sort of roaring away under the surface is so called Impact tech, and that is tech firms addressing the UN Sustainable climate development goals. A new report out today from UK startup network tech nation found that funding in the sector had jumped to 960 million so far this year, it was 2.8 billion pounds invest in the sector last year, and that is up from just 59 million in 2011. And we’ve been to mull over that rise is Gerrard. Greg, CEO of tech nation, good to have you with us.

Gerard Grech 3:49 Great to be here. Thanks for the invitation.

Charlie Conchie 3:51 So I wondered whether sort of just to kick us off, you could kind of break down this idea of impact tech and what sort of firms we are talking........

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