Innovation is born out of crisis, so is Brexit good news for tech companies?
Business Management

Innovation is born out of crisis, so is Brexit good news for tech companies?

"Innovation happens in tough moments," says Marwan Forzley, CEO of San Francisco-based payments company, Veem. "It will be the same with Brexit. We will see new things being put onto the table."

Forzley has a point. In the wake of the great financial crisis, when bank lending to businesses slowed from a torrent to a trickle, the technology industry responded by creating alternative finance platforms. Arguably, the arrival of the first peer-to-peer lending and equity crowdfunding businesses back in 2011 marked the beginning of a much bigger and broader fintech revolution.

So will Brexit - when and if it happens - also spur the creative juices of ambitious technology startups? There can be no doubt that Britain and its European neighbours are, indeed, facing a tough moment. As yet, we don't know with any certainty how challenging that moment will turn out to be, but if the UK finds itself outside the European club without any agreement on interim measures, it's safe to say that the smooth flow of goods through ports and airports will be disrupted and businesses will also find themselves dealing with new and unfamiliar layers of administrative bureaucracy. The likelihood is it will become more costly and more difficult to trade.

So there is clearly an opportunity for technology companies to provide solutions that will help businesses to mitigate the impact of Brexit.

Marketing matters

And as things stand, Brexit is beginning to play a role in the way that certain providers are marketing themselves to potential customers. Veem is a case in point. The company has built a global payments system based on what it describes as "multi-rail" technology. Put simply, if one business wants to transfer cash to another, Veem provides a means to do so simply using a range of transfer technologies, including blockchain.

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Trevor Clawson

Trevor Clawson is business and technology writer, specialising in fast-growth technology companies and corporate innovation. In addition to writing for magazines, newspapers and online publications, he is the author of a number of business books.

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