After a record-setting 2018, the first half of 2019 got off to a quiet start for fintech investment globally — mirroring a trend seen in the broader VC market. The steep drop-off in investment reflected the lack of blockbuster deals such as the $14 billion raise by Ant Financial or Vantiv’s acquisition of Worldpay for $12.9 billion during H1’18. Global uncertainty, regulatory changes in China, and the US-China trade tensions likely also contributed to the decline.
Fintech investment in Asia Pacific plummeted during the first half of the year, driven by uncertainty and increased regulatory scrutiny in China. Meanwhile, despite the ongoing concerns around Brexit, fintech investment got off to a very strong start in Europe. While well off the pace required to match 2018’s massive investment record, fintech investment in the Americas was also very good during H1’19.
After losing some of their lustre in 2018, blockchain-based cryptocurrencies got a fresh breath of life in H1’19 with Facebook’s announcement of Libra — expected to launch in 2020. The new cryptocurrency is being jointly driven by the Libra Association — a consortium including organizations like Visa, Mastercard, Uber and Andreessen Horowitz.
While payments continued to draw the most significant attention from fintech investors across most jurisdictions, H1’19 also saw the continued maturation of the fintech industry as a whole and the broadening of its definition. Areas like wealthtech, proptech and regtech also grew on the radar of investors.
We discuss these trends and other issues in this edition of the Pulse of Fintech, in addition to delving into key questions permeating the fintech market today, including:
― What is driving the strength of Europe’s fintech market?
― What are wealthtech and proptech — and how are they evolving into key areas of investment?
― How is cross-border investment propelling the fintech industry forward?
― What does the Facebook Libra announcement mean for cryptocurrencies?
― How are regulatory changes in China impacting fintech investment?
We hope you find this edition of the Pulse of Fintech insightful and informative. If you would like to discuss any of the information contained in this report in more detail, contact a KPMG advisor in your area. All currency amounts are in US$ unless otherwise specified. Data provided by PitchBook unless otherwise specified.