Collaborating Authors

Asia tops US in VC-backed fintech deals in second quarter, gets new unicorn


The second quarter of 2018 saw Asia trump the US in terms of both venture capital-backed fintech deal count and maximum mega rounds – those over $100 million in value – for the first time, according to a latest CB Insights report. Asia's fintech startups raised $16.8 billion across a record 133 deals in Q2, driven by a spike in early-stage deals and a 94 per cent increase in Chinese deals, according to CB Insights' Q218 fintech report. Asia accounted for seven of the quarter's 14 mega-rounds and seems on pace to surpass the US in overall deals, where early-stage deals fell to a five-quarter low. Globally, VC-backed fintech companies raised a total of $20.3 billion across 383 deals, a new quarterly record in terms of funding and deal count. The record stands even after excluding deals by Alibaba's Ant Financial, which accounted for 69 per cent of fintech funding in the quarter.

33 unicorns and $25b in funding: Israeli tech sector sets new records in 2021


Israel's tech sector is wrapping up a record year in 2021, with startups raising an astonishing $25 billion in funding from January through November, and 33 companies entering the unicorn club of private firms valued at over $1 billion, according to a report published Monday by Start-Up Nation Central (SNC). The value of capital investments represented a 136% increase in equity funding over 2020, itself a record year with over $10 billion capital raised. Funding in Israeli startups and companies was 71% more than the global average, and 78% more than in US companies, according to the report, which examined comparative data compiled by research firm Pitchbook. These record-setting numbers are a "reflection of global trends that are not necessarily Israel-specific, like the rise in investments in technologies, partially as a result of COVID-19 and the lessons of how much digital innovation and tech are key components of a strong and robust industry… but the numbers in Israel are stronger than the average," Start-Up Nation Central CEO Avi Hasson told The Times of Israel in an interview Monday. Indeed, global venture funding has reached all-time highs in 2021, with roughly $500 billion invested in companies worldwide so far this year, compared to over $330 billion in all of 2020. Larger funding rounds of $100 million or more dominated the global tech industry, with all funding stages seeing significant growth, according to Crunchbase data.

39 FinTech Unicorns Valued at $147.37 billion - Chris Skinner's blog


I spotted an article by Linus Beliunas on LinkedIn this week, and liked it so much that wanted to share. Over a course of 12 months, Venture Capital-backed FinTech deals and funding set an annual record: in 2018, VC-backed FinTech companies raised $39.57 billion across 1,707 deals globally. The number of deals was up by 15% year-over-year while the funding surged 120% on the back of 52 mega-rounds ($100 million) worth $24.88 billion collectively. Right now, there are 39 VC-backed FinTech unicorns worth a combined $147.37 billion. It is important to note that the last quarter of 2018 saw five new unicorns births (Plaid, Brex, Monzo, Devoted Health, and Toss) and two in the first month of Q1'19 (N26and Confluent). The cohort's total valuation in 2018 was boosted by a record year for mega-rounds to existing unicorns, including Gusto and Robinhood, among others.

What is a 'Fintech Unicorn'? (And Why Should Banks Care?)


By itself, the word "unicorn" doesn't seem to hold much threat or importance for bankers. Unicorns, after all, are the stuff of mythology and legend, nothing to do with the cold, hard numbers of finance. To investors and venture capital firms, however, a "unicorn" isn't a beast, real or imagined, but a startup company that has reached the level of $1 billion in funding. The term unicorn was coined in 2013 by Aileen Lee, Founder of Cowboy Ventures, a seed stage fund, in an article she wrote for TechCrunch. At the time Lee wrote the article, the population of unicorns was quite small, though there were some companies that had grown into huge unicorns that she dubbed "super unicorns" like Google and Amazon.

A Booming Fintech Investment and Exit Landscape in South East Asia - Fintech Singapore


Since 2015, foreign investment into Southeast Asia's fintech companies has grown seven times, according to The Future of Fintech in Southeast Asia report by Dealroom, Finch Capital and MDI Ventures. Foreign investors' surging participation in the Southeast Asian fintech sector showcases that the region is emerging as the "fintech battleground" for financial institutions and established players, the report says. Some of the most active investors from outside of the region include Tencent, Ant Financial, Accel, Sequoia, SoftBank and Warburg Pincus. In Southeast Asia, fintech is the largest venture capital investment category by number of backed startups with 484 ventures, ahead of marketplace, health and proptech. By investment amount, fintech ranks fourth with US$4.6 billion raised between January 2015 and July 2020, behind mobility (US$15.4 billion), marketplace (US$7.3 billion) and foodtech (US$4.9 billion).