Nearly one in five (19%) of fintech companies operating in Ireland plan to raise €5 million or more in their next funding round, while 22% of companies expect to raise at least €1million, according to the results of a major new census of Ireland’s growing Fintech sector, launched by Enterprise Ireland in collaboration with EY.

The Ireland Fintech Census initiative is a key action of the Department of Finance’s IFS 2020 Action Plan for 2018, launched by Minister of State for Financial Services and Insurance, Michael D’Arcy TD in January 2018.

The Census aims to provide a crucial fact-base for fintech companies, investors, policymakers and other stakeholders on the scope, scale and strategic positioning of the fintech sector in Ireland and to chart its growth. As part of the census, data was gathered from Irish and international fintech companies operating in Ireland on the specific areas of revenues, investment, talent, regulation and future expansion.

According to the Irish Fintech Census results, the main fintech areas in Ireland are RegTech and digital identity (17.5%), payment and remittances (12.7%), Asset Management Solutions (7.9%) and Financial Software (7.9%).

While close to a third (32%) of fintechs anticipate global revenue growth of between 100% and 500% in 2018, 17% of fintechs anticipate global revenue growth of greater than 500% this year. 27% identified the UK and Europe as regions for future expansion, while 26% identified AsiaPac as a region for expansion.

94% of the fintechs plan to hire up to 50 employees in the next 12 months, though the skills and experience hardest to recruit for were identified as coding and software development, sales, product management, and regulatory and risk management.

The key challenges faced by the fintech companies in achieving their business and growth objectives in 2018 included; attracting qualified and suitable talent, building partnerships with established players, international expansion and customer adoption.

Regarding workforce diversity and inclusiveness, 87% have a policy or culture of inclusion. While 60% of executive teams within fintech companies have a female representative, 19% of fintechs have all male organisations. The sector has a strong multinational workforce within Ireland: 51% of respondents include employees from the UK, 63% include employees from Europe, 38% include employees from Asia and 37% include employees from North America.

Welcoming the results of the Ireland Fintech Census 2018, Minister of State for Financial Services and Insurance, Michael D’Arcy said: “The Government of Ireland is strongly supportive of fintech, recognising the significant benefits it can bring to consumers, economic growth, productivity and the competitiveness of the Irish economy. The Census provides, for the first time, a comprehensive landscape of Irish fintech and draws attention to the importance of talent and investment to entrepreneurs, the two key ingredients for companies and a healthy start-up ecosystem. The Census will provide valuable information to investors and policymakers on the composition and needs of Irish fintechs, helping to boost the understanding of Irish fintech across Ireland and the rest of the world.”

Eoin Fitzgerald, Senior Adviser for Fintech for Enterprise Ireland, said: “This first fintech census provides a clear and detailed picture of the ambitious and exciting Irish fintech sector and will assist in planning for the future of the sector within Ireland. It is clear from the findings that companies have ambitious future growth plans, with nearly one in five expecting to raise €5 million or more in their next round of funding. The Census also contains interesting findings in terms of gender diversity and inclusiveness within the Fintech sector. Our growing multinational workforce demonstrates that Ireland is growing as a hotbed for the fintech industry.”

Colin Ryan, Partner, Financial Services Advisory Leader Ireland, EY, said: “EY is committed to supporting the Irish fintech sector and we are proud to publish the first FinTech Ireland Census in collaboration with Enterprise Ireland. The report highlights the dynamic and vibrant fintech landscape as well as the ambitious growth plans of Irish fintechs, evident through the planned hiring of new talent, expected future investment and future revenues. Demand for fintech services and the opportunity for innovative Irish fintechs at home and abroad has never been so strong. PSD2 and Open Banking are key drivers, with the framework for sharing data between banks and fintechs taking shape. This together with strong global demand for payments and RegTech solutions is good news for Irish fintech. The report provides essential analysis for Irish fintech, delivering a benchmark for ongoing assessment, and a tool for continuous improvement within the sector. We are delighted to be able to share these results and look forward to our continued engagement across the fintech ecosystem in Ireland”

EY partnered with Enterprise Ireland on the preparation of the Census, and the initiative is a collaborative effort with support from key stakeholders in the sector, including IDA Ireland, Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland (BPFI), Fintech and Payments Association of Ireland (FPAI), Financial Services Ireland (FSI) and Fintech Ireland.

Sixty-three Irish and international fintech companies operating in Ireland took part in the Irish Fintech Census.

Click here to download the Ireland FinTech Census Report.