The UK Government has appointed Passion Capital’s Eileen Burbidge as a ‘special envoy’ for fintech, to champion innovation in financial services across the UK and at an international level.
The appointment was buried in an 88-page document published by Chancellor George Osborne detailing measures to boost the UK’s productivity.
Passion Capital has been an active investor in the UK’s burgeoning fintech scene, with stakes in early-stage startups such as Coinfloor, Birdback, GoCardless and putative challenger bank Mondo.
News of Burbidge’s elevated status comes just days after the Mayor of London’s promotional arm released figures showing venture capital investment into Britain’s technology companies has hit a record high of nearly $1.5bn during the first six months of this year, with London-based fintech firms leading the charge.
Commenting on the data, Burbidge – who moved to the UK from Silicon valley in 2004 as an early employee of Skype – says: “Last year it took London tech firms nine months to reach the billion dollar mark, this year they’ve done it in six months. The city has become such a tech powerhouse because it excels over other tech hubs around the world. London combines the technology and digital innovation of Silicon Valley with the Wall Street financing heritage of New York and the policy making of Washington DC – all in one phenomenal city.”
Alongside Burbidge’s appointment, the Treasury also teased plans to undertake an international fintech benchmarking exercise in the Autumn, to track how the UK ranks against its international competitors.