As questions arise regarding London's ability to remain Europe's fintech center, Germany feels it can step into the ring and provide fintech startups with the capital, expertise and ecosystem they need to grow in the European market. Larger fintech companies are thinking of moving to Berlin, and smaller startups are looking into Germany's more lenient regulations with regards to immigration and import of foreign talent. The bigger question has to do with culture - can Germany step out of it's more risk-averse mentality and become an innovative fintech center as London is today?
Famously described by a former mayor as “poor but sexy”, Berlin has proved a big draw for web entrepreneurs the world over, with its cheap rents, vibrant nightlife and cosmopolitan vibe. Even before the Brexit vote, it was positioning itself as a rival to London’s Silicon Roundabout. A recent survey by EY suggests it is succeeding, and names Berlin as Europe’s start-up capital: the city’s tech companies received €2.15bn in venture capital funding last year, more than the €1.77bn attracted by London’s.