Fintech Breakfast - Partnerships as a path to growth

By David Macnamara on Friday, 24 January 2020

On Wednesday 22 January, we hosted our first fintech breakfast of 2020 in partnership with the Financial Services Forum, here at our offices to discuss “Partnerships as a path to growth”. The event marked the start of an important year for Teamspirit as we celebrate 25 years of helping financial services transform for the better.

We were delighted to have panellists from some of the UKs most successful and smartest fintechs including:

  • Ania Walker, Director of Partnerships, Oaknorth
  • Kevin Mountford, CEO and Co-Founder, Raisin UK
  • Conrad Holmboe, Chief Investment Officer, Wayhome
  • Nicholas Sando, Early Stage Investor, Octopus Ventures

At the end of 2019 London was finally crowned the undisputed FinTech capital of the world, when it overtook New York for fintech investment, attracting over 114 deals worth $2.1 billion, coming out $200 million ahead of New York on total deal value. Which is why we were looking at how fintechs are using partnerships as a path to growth. The fintech sector has evolved from pure disruption to collaboration and in 2020, in the race to scale and increase audience share and geographical reach, partnerships are going to prove vital. For the sake of clarity, we defined a partnership in its broadest sense: from investment partner to business model, to distribution partner to a product or service partner.

For all panellists, the key to a successful partnership was about the confidence in the people you are working with and ensuring at least one of the leadership team champion the partnership. As partnerships are continuously being assessed, communication between the leaders on both sides increases the opportunity to ensure that the total value is being recognised and reciprocated.

Another important element to consider is that you have to remain relevant for your partners customer base and offer a real value that can’t be achieved elsewhere. Partnerships are as much give and take so the need to meet customer expectations and to match the levels of service that your partner already delivers is vital.

Amusingly, the comparisons to a marriage were frequent throughout the discussion, until it was suggested that exclusive arrangements weren’t always optimal!

The panel discussed the importance of the right investment partner, where the more high profile investment partners can help to act as a badge of trust and to open further doors particularly in the early days. And how B Corps, the business model that looks beyond pure financial profit to measure positive social and environmental impact, can act as a differentiator and short cut to attract like minds.

Key lessons highlighted by the panel included:

  • Partnerships need to grow naturally. They can’t be rushed!
  • Capability leads to credibility. Only by proving yourself continuously, can you expect to be trusted.
  • Partnerships offer the opportunity to gain insights into new audiences which can prove to be invaluable to extending and developing your own offering.

The discussion concluded with a Q&A session with questions from the floor, with interesting points being raised concerned how regulation is already affecting partnerships.

Interested in reading more about the UKs fintech sector? Download our recent whitepaper, Welcome to the UK, The Fintech Capital of Europe.

With thanks to all the speakers for sharing their valuable insight. Our next fintech breakfast in partnership with Financial Services Forum is in June 2020. For details and attendance contact a member of the team at

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