As a general rule of thumb, start-ups are engaged in creating products and services that disrupt existing ways of serving customers. While “disrupt” can be thought of to be a word with negative connotations, in the technology start-up space it denotes innovation. Fintech, a category within the tech start-up scene, is top of mind in Ireland currently for its innovative and far-reaching potential.

Fintech is short for “financial technology” and is defined as computer programs or technology that enables banking and finance services to happen in a new way, and fintech companies are setting up in substantial numbers in the country.

Estimates put global investment in fintech (in 2015) at $12 billion, and FinTech Ireland was set up by Peter Oakes to promote fintech in Ireland and match investors to worthy fintech start-ups.

Has Brexit had an impact?

Although fintech companies have been present in Ireland for a while, Stripe being the most high profile of this type of start-up, there’s no doubt that the vote for Brexit has galvanised more interest in the subject.

FinTech Ireland has gone on record as saying that they are receiving high volumes of calls from regulated and unregulated fintech businesses in the UK, and countries as far afield as the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Asia, that are responding to the uncertainty and confusion around Brexit. These companies are enquiring how their businesses could operate in Ireland.

The interest fintech companies are showing in relocating to Ireland can be read as a positive for the country’s economy and already strong start-up sector, but caution has been advised by PWC.

That said, Ireland’s status as the only English-speaking country in the EU once Britain makes its exit is in the country’s favour, and the European Parliament’s soon to be implemented (in 2018) data protection rules which govern data flow and security, count very much in Ireland’s favour.

Legally speaking

Our interest in Ireland’s fintech start-ups remains the legal aspect to setting up and running any new and emerging business. We work with start-ups to set up robust legal frameworks that enable them to scale and mitigate some of the risks inherent in fast-paced tech companies.

Augustus Cullen Law has a dedicated commercial law team who are experienced in every aspect of commercial law.
Contact us to chat about how we can help your start-up.

19 April 2017

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