Fintech is fast transforming and impacting the financial services industry, in terms of operations, regulation, customer experience and much more. In this publication series, KPMG brings you the pulse of fintech investments across the globe, highlighting key fintech deals, issues and challenges seen around the world, as well as trends and insights in key regions, including the Americas, the US, Asia and Europe.
Following a few blockbuster deals in H1'18, H2'18 was also filled with high profile deals including Blackstone’s USD17 billion investment in Refinitiv, the USD3.5 billion acquisition of Blackhawk Network by Silver Lake and P2 Capital Partners, the USD3.4 billion buyout of VeriFone by Francisco Partners and the USD2.2 billion acquisition of iZettle by PayPal.
Included in the European numbers are funds raised by 13 Irish companies through venture capital and private equity, amounting to €36.2 million ($41 million). The report shows that Ireland saw increasing interest from companies looking to establish a European market presence. Many of these investments chose Ireland in an effort to negate Brexit-related concerns.
Commenting on the Ireland specific results in the report, Anna Scally, Partner and Fintech lead, KPMG in Ireland said: “In 2018, we’ve seen a lot of financial services companies and fintechs establish operations or grow their footprint in Ireland. Traditionally these companies may have built their businesses in the UK but are choosing Ireland because of the Brexit uncertainty. Many of these companies are working with the Central Bank of Ireland to obtain licences that will enable them to continue to deliver their products and services across the European market in the event of a hard Brexit.”
Anna continued saying that “while relatively speaking the figures raised by Irish companies are small, it is encouraging to see Irish fintechs raise capital to enable them to scale internationally. Among the Irish fintechs that raised funds in 2018 are MyWallSt which raised €3 million – MyWallSt was previously Rubicoin and helps individuals become confident and successful investors. AQMetrics, who provide risk and regulatory reporting software, raised €3 million. AQMetrics were identified by KPMG in 2016 as of the 50 “ones to watch”, so it is great to see them going from strength to strength. Irish Times Innovation Award winners in 2018, Aid:Tech, also raised €1 million, and Supply Finance, which operates in the trade finance area, and is run by Brian Norton who previously ran student loan company Future Finance, also raised €4 million.”
Besides examining key deals and other trends globally, the report also discusses a number of questions that are driving interest in the fintech market today, including:
Note: In the editions of Pulse of Fintech released in 2019, there was a change in methodology to capture additional types of private investments including, PE growth investments on top of venture capital transactions, and general M&A (which included PE buyouts), resulting in increased deal counts as well as total deal value.