Fintech funding in Southeast Asia triples hits US$3.5 billion

Financial technology (fintech) funding in Southeast Asia soared over three times more in the first nine months of this year when weighed against full-year 2020. It hit a record-setting US$3.5 billion, a report revealed on Wednesday.

The rebound came on the heels of 167 deals including 13 mega rounds, which accounted for US$2 billion of the total funding, according to the report by United Overseas Bank, PwC Singapore and the Singapore FinTech Association (SFA).
Mega rounds is a term used to refer to rounds that raise US$100 million or more.

The greater bulk of investor interest was in late-stage fintech firms, or those in their series C funding and beyond, accounting for over 10 of the 13 mega rounds this year. Financing late-stage, established firms was one of the strategies used by investors as they sought a more risk-adverse approach during the pandemic.

The payment sector garnered the most funding due to a surge in use of digital payments. Tech and cryptocurrency firms recorded the highest growth this year, ranking second and third place respectively.

Singapore, Southeast Asia’s financial hub, accounted for almost half of the region’s deals at US$1.6 billion, including six mega rounds worth a combined US$972 million.

The next most active was Indonesia, the region’s most populous country, with US$904 million raised, followed by Vietnam at US$375 million.

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