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KPMG has published its Venture Pulse Q4’19 report, tracking venture capital (VC) activity around the globe, and its Pulse of Fintech biannual report, highlighting global and regional fintech investment trends.  

Key highlights include:

KPMG Venture Pulse Q4 2019

  • 185 VC deals closed in Ireland in 2019, worth $518.9 million
  • Europe attracted a record high of $37.5 billion in VC investment in 2019 compared to $28.2 billion in 2018
  • Second highest year of global VC investment ever at $257 billion
  • The Q4 2019 edition of the Venture Pulse report produced by KPMG analyses the latest global trends in venture capital investment data and provides insights from both a global and regional perspective. All figures cited are in USD; data for the report is provided by PitchBook

Overall 2019 figures

Globally, KPMG’s latest Venture Pulse report shows fourth quarter VC investments of $63.1 billion across 4,289 deals. As a whole, 2019 was a very strong and relatively stable year for VC funding, with $257 billion raised across the globe – the second highest level on record next to 2018’s over $300 billion.  Overall 2019 was a strong year in Ireland with a total of 185 VC deals completed worth $518.9 million in total. However, in the last quarter of the year, $58.28 million was raised across 14 deals – a decline compared to the same quarter in 2018, where $245.6 million was raised across 90 deals.

The top VC deals closed in Q4 2019 in Ireland were by Dublin-based cybersecurity automation start-up, Tines, which secured $15.10 million in funding; Galway headquartered Siren, a data intelligence company, which secured $10 million and Louth-based ocean data company XOCEAN, which raised $9.3 million, Dublin based voice assistance technology company Sweepr raised $9m, and network management company, Evervault, raised $3.2m.

The KPMG Pulse of Fintech report for H2 2019 shows that global fintech investment in 2019 fell just shy of 2018’s record with $135.7 billion invested across 2,693 deals.

In Ireland, fintech activity in 2019 was centred around a number of solid niche investments. The most notable include the $85 million funding round secured by financial software company Fenergo, which provides client lifecycle management, AML/KYC compliance and client data management solutions to international banks. Other standout deals were the $30 million raise by student loan provider Future Finance and $28 million raise by Immedis to fund a global expansion in their multi-country payroll and employment tax solutions.

2020 started strong with Google’s acquisition of Dublin-based retail technology firm Pointy. Other positive indicators for 2020 is the extent to which the multinational fintech community is building out presence here. Online payment processing business Stripe has continued to build out its operations here in Dublin, with a commitment to have 300 Irish based employees. Digital banking app developers Revolut also announced plans to build out their European operations in Dublin and apply for an e-money licence here.

Anna Scally, Partner and Fintech Lead at KPMG in Ireland said that “2019 finished on a quieter note for VC investment in Ireland, after three very strong quarters where 171 deals worth over $460.6 million were closed. While uncertainly around Brexit has likely impacted activity, we predict that 2020 will be another strong year for investment in Ireland, particularly in the fintech and pharma sectors.  Fintech, which is always a strong element of the overall VC activity in Ireland, was relatively soft in 2019 but was buoyed by some really stand out deals by companies like Fenergo, Immedis and Future Finance. We expect that investment will heat up in 2020 as companies that didn’t need to raise funds in 2019 look for new funding rounds.”

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