Europe and Asia drive strong Q1 fintech investment growth - Accenture

Europe and Asia drive strong Q1 fintech investment growth - Accenture

The fintech gold rush continues, with global investment in the first quarter of 2016 hitting $5.3 billion, a 67% increase over the same period last year, according to figures put together by Accenture.

As technology has changed the financial services landscape, venture capitalists, private equity firms, corporates and others have pumped more than $50 billion into nearly 2500 fintech startups since 2010.

2015 saw impressive growth, with investment rising by 75% to $22.3 billion but by the end of the year there were signs that the sector was beginning to cool. The recent collapse of Powa and Square's relatively lacklustre IPO has led many to question fintech valuations.

Accenture argues that while traditional fintech hotspots such as Silicon Valley and London may have matured and seen investment settle down, other parts of the world - including Austin, Stockholm and Mumbai - have picked up the slack. In particular, Asia Pacific has seen investment soar, quadrupling to $4.3 billion last year.

Other signs of a maturing industry are the increase in the number of big-ticket investments, with 94 fintech deals larger than $50 million, and greater diversification away from retail payments to areas such as wealth management and insurance.

Accenture also notes that collaborative fintech ventures — those primarily targeting financial institutions as customers — are gaining ground over so-called 'disruptive' players that enter the market to compete against those institutions. This is particularly true in the most mature market, North America.

Richard Lumb, group chief executive, financial services, Accenture, says: "The so-called ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ is a global phenomenon that brings new innovation and digital companies that compete and collaborate with traditional financial services. Bank customers stand to gain from this."

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