With the U.K. making its monumental decision to exit the European Union last week, The Financial Times reported today (July 7) that Germany is hoping to bring England’s startups and entrepreneurs into the fold.
“London has committed suicide as a leading FinTech center,” Jochen Siegert, COO of Frankfurt-based payments platform Traxpay, is said to have tweeted.
The tech community in Germany believes that London’s reign as startup capital is coming to an end and that Berlin has the opportunity to take the helm as Europe’s FinTech center.
According to the FT, Berlin’s Senator for Economics, Technology and Research Cornelia Yzer said her department has received dozens of emails over the past week from London-based companies looking to possibly relocate to Germany.
“Berlin will exploit the opportunity provided by Brexit,” Yzer explained.
“These companies need to be in the heart of Europe, and where is better than the capital of Europe’s strongest economy?”
As the Brexit dust settles, many of Britain’s tech players may indeed look to Germany’s startup capital as a new place to set up shop.
“Those companies who have headquarters in London are aware that they need to be in the E.U.,” Yzer told BBC News last week.
“We had competition in the last two or three years between London and Berlin. I am convinced that more funds will now make the decision in favor of Berlin.”
Yzer added that Germany is ready to take advantage of Brexit and that it’s more than fair for it to do so.
As the FT pointed out, if the U.K. loses access to the European single market through post-Brexit negotiations, then London may subside as a global banking center and the investment in the city’s startups may decrease.
But many in London are not sure about the city losing its global recognition for innovation and FinTech success.
“The London FinTech ecosystem is leaps ahead of Berlin,” Gerard Grech, CEO of Tech City UK, told FT.
“With 350,000 people working in financial services and over 320,000 in digital technologies, we have a critical mass of expertise, alongside deep capital and a continued creation of new initiatives to support our entrepreneurs,” Grech noted.