Investment in financial technology ventures in Singapore rose sharply in the first nine months of 2019, led by fundraising with payments startups and insurtech firms and a shift toward more-mature companies.
The total value of financial technology (fintech) deals in the nine months ended September jumped 69 percent from the prior-year period to $735 million (S$1 billion) from $435 million, and exceeded the $642 million raised in all of 2018, according to an Accenture analysis of venture-finance data from CB Insights, Pitchbook and Tracxn. The 2019 and 2018 figures included $47 million and $12 million respectively in undisclosed venture capital transaction data provided by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
Crossing a billion-Singapore-dollar investment threshold is a recognition from investors around the world of the potential of Singapore’s fintech ecosystem and the outlook for digital financial services not just in Singapore, but also in Southeast Asia, said Sopnendu Mohanty, chief fintech officer of the Monetary Authority of Singapore in a .
Singapore’s active investments into its fintech ecosystem, alongside its annual Singapore Fintech Festival, seems to be paying off: the city-state saw a nearly six-fold increase since 2015.
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It’s encouraging to see the local startups financing their global growth from Singapore. Additionally, several global fintech companies with regional headquarters in Singapore have recently raised sizeable funds to fuel their Asian expansion, Mohanty added.
However, the number of fintech deals fell by almost one-third (29 percent) in the first nine months of 2019, to 94 from 133 in the prior-year period showing that investors made larger bets into fewer deals as startups grow their business.
As we’ve seen in other parts of the world, fundraising is shifting to support the scaling up of challenger and collaborative fintech, which will cause lumpiness in some rounds as the market becomes more mature, said Divyesh Vithlani, a managing director at Accenture and head of Financial Services in the ASEAN region in a statement on Monday. Investments in payments startups and those in lending took the bulk of fintech fundraising, accounting for 34 percent and 20 percent of the total, respectively, while insurtechs raked in 17 percent.
The value of payments deals jumped 113 percent, to $251 million, making the biggest contribution to the overall gains this year. Insurtech funding nearly quadrupled, to $128 million from $35 million, and lending rose more than 50 percent, to $145 million.