There has been extraordinary growth in funding for financial technology (FinTech) ventures in recent years, during which FinTech innovation, and especially disruption, has been a near constant focus of media and publicity. Worldwide, over $60bn of investment has flowed into the sector in the past 6 years1, with funding in 2016 at more than ten times the level in 2010. FinTech's growth has largely been driven by the possibilities of implementing technologies such as big data, cloud-based solutions, AI, and machine learning within the financial services industry. However, the growth of the FinTech sector is also partly due to the post-financial crisis environment in which the financial services industry has faced increased regulation, challenging firms to keep costs and fees low, as well as increased appetite for disruptive challengers to compete against entrenched players. While lending and payments related companies within the consumer banking sector remain the largest targets of FinTech investment, one of the fastest growing areas of funding is investment management.
Investments in Singapore's fintech sector grew 47% year-on-year to hit $3.94 billion in 2021. Blockchain and crypto raked in almost half of the funds, raising $1.48 billion across 82 deals. The country's fintech sector registered a five-year high of 191 deals, up 37% from 2020 when 139 deals were sealed, according to KMPG's Pulse of FinTech report. Total 2021 transaction value climbed 59% across venture capital, private equity, and merger and acquisition deals, compared to $2.48 billion in 2020. Some $2.98 billion in fintech deals were inked in the second half of 2021 alone, up from $1.04 billion the same period the year before.
China has unseated North America as the global investment leader in financial technology, or "fintech," according to Citigroup's (c) latest report on "digital disruption." The researchers attribute the power shift to the rise of what they term "Chinese dragons," an industry term for the biggest upstarts in Asia. Think of Ant Financial, the payments spinout of Alibaba (baba), as well as Lu.com, JD Finance, and Qufenqi, emerging eastern juggernauts that are generally less familiar to consumers in the west. As the report's authors summed up 2016: "The Chinese dragons roared and some previously feted FinTech leaders wilted." China accounted for more than half of all fintech investments globally in the first nine months of last year, the report said.
We rank top fintech investors by the number of fintech unicorns in their portfolios as well as the stage at which they first provided capital. Today, there are over 25 fintech unicorns across four different continents. Top names like Coinbase ($1.57B valuation), TransferWise ($1.6B), and Robinhood ($5.6B) have achieved global recognition. Using CB Insights data, we dug into which investors have backed the most billion-dollar fintech startups -- and which are poised to gain the most if their portfolio companies manage exits on par with their huge private market valuations. Fintech-focused VC firm Ribbit Capital takes the overall top spot as the most active investor in fintech unicorns, with 10 companies in its portfolio attaining at least $1B valuations.
Investment in financial technology firms hit a new high in Britain last year as the number of deals struck surpassed the combined total of those in France, Germany and China. KPMG recorded 603 UK fintech deals last year including venture capital and private equity investments and mergers and acquisitions, the most in any country outside the US. This was up from 470 the year before and compares to a total of 465 across France, Germany and China. The value of deals signed in Britain also increased sevenfold, rising from $5.3bn (£3.9bn) to $37.3bn. The figures were inflated by a small number of mega-deals, such as the London Stock Exchange's $14.8bn takeover of Bloomberg rival Refinitiv, the biggest tie-up anywhere in the world.