The value of global investment in fintech dropped in the first half of 2019, yet the volume of deal activity edged higher, according to a new report from consulting firm Accenture.
In the first six months of the year, global fintech funding came in at $22 billion (all figures in U.S. dollars), down by almost 30% from $31.2 billion for the first half of 2018.
Despite the drop in deal value, the number of transactions actually ticked up to 1,561 in the first half from 1,526 for the same period last year.
Accenture reported that deal activity surged in the U.S. and the U.K., but dropped by 49% in China compared with the previous year, and declined by 21% in India.
“Increased activity in many markets is a good indicator of the level of confidence many investors have in the fintech industry,” said Piyush Singh, a managing director at Accenture who leads the firm’s financial services practice in Asia-Pacific and Africa.
“Startups and the solutions they offer are maturing, which bodes well for traditional institutions partnering with fintechs and for innovation in the financial services industry as a whole,” Singh said.
Accenture noted that the large drop in deal value primarily reflects the absence of a mega transaction, such as the $14 billion raised by Ant Financial in the first half of 2018. Excluding that transaction, global fintech investment is up by 28% year over year.
The value of deals in the U.S. jumped by 60% in the first half of 2019 to $12.7 billion, but the volume of deals remained essentially unchanged.
In the U.K., the value of fintech investment almost doubled to approximately US$2.6 billion, and the number of deals jumped by 25%, Accenture said.
“There’s been a lot of interest and demand from consumers for new fintech propositions, particularly in the U.K. and elsewhere in Europe, which helps explain the big jump in investments there,” said Julian Skan, senior managing director in Accenture’s financial services practice.
“Fundraising is also moving to support the scaling up of challenger and collaborative fintech, which will cause lumpiness in some rounds as we get to the business end of the investment cycle where investors look for returns based on a sustainable bottom line, rather than another buyer,” Skan added. “Fundraising is likely to reach a plateau soon and will most likely dip going forward.”