Latest edition - H2 2021

What an incredible finish to the year for the fintech market globally. As you’ll see from this edition of Pulse of Fintech, there was significant investment across VC, PE, and cross-border M&A. We saw growing deal sizes in a wide variety of fintech subsectors — from crypto and blockchain to wealthtech and cybersecurity. If there was a word that could be used to describe 2021, it would be: expansion.

Some of the key trends we’ve seen globally so far this year:

— surging interest and investment in cryptocurrencies and blockchain as companies explored, tested, and discovered what roles crypto can play in modern financial services systems

 — strengthening partnerships as financial services extend into a broader range of daily transactions through the use of embedded banking, insurance, and financial products

 — growing focus on core banking systems as banks recognized how legacy infrastructure is holding them back from truly moving forward

— expanding reach of fintech into the farthest and most under-served regions of the world, including Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America

— increasing focus on global opportunities as corporates and VC investors looked all over the world for the right fintech opportunities and deals

Europe insights

Many of the largest deals in Europe occurred in H1’21 — including the $14.8 billion acquisition of Refinitiv by the London Stock Exchange and the $1 billion funding round of Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) specialist Klarna, making it the highest valued private Fintech in Europe. In H2’21 we saw the $9.2 billion acquisition of Denmark-based payments processor Nets by Italy-based Nexi and the $929 million acquisition of foreign exchange payments platform CurrencyCloud by Visa.

The largest deal in Finland was a $45 million raise by Enfuce, the card as a service (“CaaS”) platform. The series C investment round was led by Vitruvian Partners.

— Finland's fintech ecosystem is some years fresher than, for example, its Nordic comparators in Sweden and Denmark. However, and partly due to that, I would not be surprised to see this surge in funding for Finnish fintech's in upcoming years. It's something that we already see in other business sectors, along with the maturity of the startup ecosystem as a whole, says the Head of Startup Services Jussi Paski. 

Top 10 fintech deals in Europe in H2 2021

1.       Refinitiv — $14.8B, London, UK — Institutional/B2B — M&A

2.       Nets — $9.2B, Ballerup, Denmark — Payments — M&A

3.       Itiviti Group — $2.6B, Stockholm, Sweden — Institutional/B2B — M&A

4.       Tink — $2.2B, Stockholm, Sweden — Banking — M&A

5.       Unit4 — $2.15B, Sliedricht, Netherlands — Institutional/B2B — Buyout

6.       Capco Group — $1.5B, London, UK — Institutional/B2B — M&A

7.       Paysafe Group — $1.45B, London, UK — Payments/transactions — Reverse merger

8.       Klarna — $1.3B, Stockholm, Sweden — Payments/transactions — Later VC

9.       Nutmeg — $989.4M, London, UK — Wealth/investment management — M&A

10.   CurrencyCloud — $929.6M, London, UK — Payments — M&A

Top fintech trends for 2022:

During 2021, interest and investment in fintech grew significantly in many regions of the world — its scope broadening well-beyond its early definition. This expanding scope, combined with the growing maturity of a number of fintech subsectors, increasing investment in less mature jurisdictions, and surging corporate interest, is expected to keep investment high as we enter 2022.

Looking forward, here are our top predictions for the fintech market globally:

1.       Growing number of banks will offer embedded solutions

2.       There will be increasing regulatory scrutiny of embedded finance offerings

3.       Fintechs will focus on branding themselves as data organizations

4.       ESG-focused fintechs will have a big growth trajectory

5.       Theere will be a stronger focus on dealmaking in underdeveloped regions

6.       Unicorn status will lose some of lustre in developed markets, but remain key in emerging ones   

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