Global investment in fintech ventures fell sharply in the first half of 2019, as fundraising and deal activity in China ground to a halt, partially offsetting strong gains in the US, UK and several other European countries, according to Accenture analysis of data from CB Insights.
The total value of fintech deals globally in the six months ended June 30 was $22 billion, compared with $31.2 billion in the same period of 2018, a decline of 29%.
The drop was due mostly to the lack of a giant deal like Ant Financial’s record $14 billion fundraising in May 2018, says Accenture. Discounting that transaction, global fintech investments would have climbed 28% in the first half of 2019 over the same period last year.
Investments into payments startups and those in lending took the bulk of global fintech fundraising, accounting for 28% and 25% of the total, respectively, while insurtechs raked in 14%.
The value of deals in the US in the first half of 2019 jumped 60%, to $12.7 billion, even though the number of transactions was virtually unchanged from the first half of 2018 (564 vs. 563), signaling a trend of larger deals in the world’s biggest and most active fintech market.
Fintech investment in the UK nearly doubled, to approximately $2.6 billion, and the number of deals jumped 25%, to 263, as challenger banks and payments companies continued to draw investors’ interest. For example, Monzo raised $144 million in June; Starling Bank raised $211 million from two separate transactions in February; money-transfer startup TransferWise closed a $292 million deal in May; and WorldRemit raised $175 million in June.
Other European markets also made big strides, with investments in German fintechs more than doubling in the first half of 2019, to $829 million from $406 million in the same period last year, led by the $300 million that challenger bank N26 raised in January and the $125 million investment in insurtech Wefox Group in March. Fundraising in Sweden more than quadrupled, to$573 million, while fintechs in France raised$423 million in the first half of 2019, 48% more than a year earlier.
There were also large fundraising gains in Asia Pacific, with the value of deals in Singapore nearly quadrupling, to $453 million, and the value of deals in Australia more than tripling, to $401 million.