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Inside the Regulatory Sandbox: Effects on Fintech Funding


  • Gambacorta, Leonardo
  • Cornelli, Giulio
  • Doerr, Sebastian
  • Merrouche, Ouarda


Policymakers around the world are adopting regulatory sandboxes as a tool for spurring innovation in the financial sector while keeping alert to emerging risks. Using unique data for the UK, this paper provides first evidence on the effectiveness of the world's first sandbox in improving fintechs' access to finance. Firms entering the sandbox see a significant increase of 15% in capital raised post-entry, relative to firms that did not enter; and their probability of raising capital increases by 50%. Our results suggest that the sandbox facilitates access to capital through two channels: reduced asymmetric information and reduced regulatory costs or uncertainty. Our results are similar when we exploit the staggered introduction of the sandbox and compare firms in earlier to those in later sandbox cohorts, and when we compare participating firms to a matched set of comparable firms that never enters the sandbox.

Suggested Citation

  • Gambacorta, Leonardo & Cornelli, Giulio & Doerr, Sebastian & Merrouche, Ouarda, 2020. "Inside the Regulatory Sandbox: Effects on Fintech Funding," CEPR Discussion Papers 15502, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:15502

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    Cited by:

    1. Sebastian Doerr & Leonardo Gambacorta & José María Serena Garralda, 2021. "Big data and machine learning in central banking," BIS Working Papers 930, Bank for International Settlements.
    2. Marqués, José Manuel & Ávila, Fernando & Rodríguez-Martínez, Anahí & Morales-Reséndiz, Raúl & Marcos, Antonio & Godoy, Tamara & Villalobos, Pablo & Ocontrillo, Andrea & Lankester, Valerie Ann & Blanco, 2021. "Policy report on FinTech data gaps," Latin American Journal of Central Banking (previously Monetaria), Elsevier, vol. 2(3).
    3. Alaassar, Ahmad & Mention, Anne-Laure & Aas, Tor Helge, 2021. "Exploring a new incubation model for FinTechs: Regulatory sandboxes," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 103(C).
    4. Ahmad Alaassar & Anne-Laure Mention & Tor Helge Aas, 2023. "Facilitating innovation in FinTech: a review and research agenda," Review of Managerial Science, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 33-66, January.
    5. Giulio Cornelli & Sebastian Doerr & Lavinia Franco & Jon Frost, 2021. "Funding for fintechs: patterns and drivers," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, September.
    6. Maxime Delabarre, 2021. "FinTech in the Financial Market," Working Papers hal-03107769, HAL.

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    More about this item


    Fintech; Regulatory sandbox; Startups; Venture capital;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

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