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3.2 million more Brits become investors as financial apps continue pandemic boom

by jcp gbaf

Analysis by App Radar shows 6.4 million or 12% of UK adults now investing via their phones

London 28 July 2021: An analysis of the investment app market from app analytics and marketing platform App Radar, has found that the top 10 UK apps have gained an estimated 1.6 million more users since March 2020 on Google Play Store. This brings the total number of UK users to at least 3.2 million. If similar increases were recorded in iOS users the total number of UK app investors could be as high as 6.4 million with half of those added since the start of the pandemic.*

The insights team at the platform analysed Google Play Store data of 10 of the UK’s biggest financial investment, savings and pension management apps – including traditional investment choices such as Hargreaves Lansdown and fintechs Plum, Nutmeg and Wealthify.

Plum was one of the biggest winners of the investment boom with 382,000 new users – a 80% increase. Freetrade was close behind with 319,500 new customers via the Play Store.

App Radar’s analysis also revealed that the growth shows no sign of slowing with 140,000 new users added in May 2021 alone.

The growth in the UK tracks a general global surge in the investment app market with Robinhood and eToro leading the way with an estimated 8.2 million and 6.5 million new app users respectively.

It also seems that UK consumers had got their finances under control at the top of their 2021 new year resolutions list, with 179K downloads of the top UK finance apps that month. The January 2021 Gamestop short also benefited trading platforms, with the likes of Interactive Investors and Hagreaves Landsown seeing a peak month for downloads in January and February 2021.

Thomas Kriebernegg, CEO & Co-Founder, App Radar, said: “We are seeing a seismic shift in how people manage their money in the UK. Gone are the days where investing was for a select wealthy few. Now, because fintech companies have significantly lowered the bar to entry, more and more people are taking direct control of their finances.

“Undoubtedly the unique circumstances of the pandemic has helped to catalyse the app investment market, however, significantly, growth has shown no sign of letting up. With an estimated 12% of UK adults now investing via their smartphones, there’s a strong commercial incentive to create new app offerings and this is likely to drive even faster growth. It would not be a surprise to see the vast majority of UK adults using at least one investment app in the next five years.”

During the course of the pandemic the fintech sector has seen multiple large funding rounds as investors look to back players in the space. This includes a £32 million Series B funding for Freetrade. In the US, the popular trading app Robinhood which raised $460 million in Series G funding.

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