MARKETS & INVESTING | Staff Reporter, China

Asia's fintech investments hit $22.7b in 2018

It was led by online payment provider Ant Financial’s mammoth $14b series C funding round.

Asia achieved a new high for fintech funding in 2018, with almost $22.7b raised across 372 deals, according to KPMG’s biannual global analysis of fintech investment.

Online payment provider Ant Financial accounted for more than half of this investment, with a record-breaking megadeal in H1 18 in the form of its $14b Series C funding round. Outside of the Ant Financial deal, Asia only saw only one additional deal over $1b by online lending platform with $1.3braised in December.

“Fintech investment in China softened slightly this year, not including the massive Ant Financial investment,” KPMG noted. “In part, this likely was a result of the maturation of key fintech subsectors in China. For example, investors were less focused on the payments space as China has seen the rapid maturation of several dominant market leaders, leaving little interest for smaller players.”

Whilst China continued to account for the largest fintech deals in Asia, there was an upswell of investment activity in other jurisdictions in the region over the course of 2018. Amongst the top ten deals during the year, three were based in India led by mobile payment platform Paytm with $356m, whilst Australia’s fintech platform Avoka clinched $245m, and Philippines’ digital payments provider Voyager Innovations bagged $215m.

South Korea also witnessed the birth of its first fintech unicorn in 2018 on the back of the $80m raised by financial services platform Toss that facilitates peer-to-peer payments.

Going into 2019, KPMG expects collaboration between fintechs and banks in Asia is to deepen, particularly in areas such as know your customer (KYC) compliance, anti-money laundering (AML) and digital identity management. 

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