Fintech funding in Asean triples to record $4.7 billion; S'pore keeps top spot

SINGAPORE – Financial technology funding in the Asean region more than tripled from last year to hit a record US$3.5 billion (S$4.7 billion) in the first nine months of 2021, as investors poured money into mature firms seen as having a higher chance of emerging stronger from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The rebound was driven by 167 deals, including 13 mega-rounds – those which raise US$100 million and above – which accounted for US$2 billion of the total funding, said the report by UOB, PwC Singapore and the Singapore FinTech Association on Wednesday (Nov 10).

Singapore retained its top spot in fintech funding, with firms here securing almost half of the 167 deals, amounting to US$1.6 billion in funding.

This includes six mega-rounds worth US$972 million in total.

Indonesia stayed in second place, raking in US$904 million in funding (26 per cent), followed by Vietnam which rebounded sharply to US$375 million in funding (11 per cent) as a result of two mega-rounds.

Most investors showed strong interest in late-stage fintech firms which secured 10 out of 13 mega-rounds this year.

“This trend signals a shift in the strategy of investors across several Asean markets as they take a more cautious and risk-adverse approach of backing mature firms that are seen as standing a higher chance of emerging stronger from the pandemic,” said the report.

Investors injected the highest amount of funds into late-stage fintech firms from the payments sector amid the growing adoption of digital payments in the region.

Funds injected to investment tech and cryptocurrency firms in Asean saw the strongest growth this year, taking investment tech to second place and crypto to third, after payments.

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