16 Fintech unicorns were born in 2018: 9 in the US, 4 in Asia, 2 in Europe and 1 in Latin America, while fintech rounds raised close to $24.8 billion in investments
2018 was an amazing year for Fintech: the industry raised over $39 billion in more than 1,700 deals. According to “The Future of Fintech Report” by CB Insights, tech market intelligence platform, investment in the field had grown 3.7x since 2014, with an amazing 120% of growth reported only between 2017 and 2018.
What’s happening in markets around the world
By the end of Q4 in 2018, there were reported 39 fintech unicorn companies in the world worth $147.3 billion. Asia was leading the investments with nearly $22 billion across 516 deals, followed by the US with 659 investments worth $11.8 billion in funding. For Europe, there was an annual record with $3.5 billion of funding in 367 deals, positioning it as the third biggest market in the world. Despite the South American market not being as dynamic as the other countries mentioned, the first unicorn came up and it had a new annual record in terms of investment and deals, worth $540M across 55 deals.
Ant Financial Group (known also as Alipay), an affiliate company of the Chinese Alibaba Group, is the highest valued fintech company and the most valuable unicorn company, with $14 billion investment, accounting for 35% of the total funding in 2018. This turned the numbers in favor of the Asian continent positioning as the principal fintech market and displacing the US to second place.
This report only considers VC-Backed deals and funding; nevertheless, in the report “The Pulse of Fintech 2018”, KPMG announced multiple record highs across fintech investments, including VC, CVC, M&A and PE close to $111.8 billion in 2,196 deals, driven by a small number of megadeals. All this information gives a great overview of the market development and opportunities for the fintech industry.