SFF x Switch 2020

Singapore fintech investments rebounded to $371 million in Q2

Singapore is the Asia-Pacific's top-ranking fintech city. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Singapore's fintech investments rebounded in the second quarter of 2020 to US$278 million (S$371 million), 4.1 times the US$68 million recorded in the first quarter, the Singapore FinTech Association (SFA) and management consulting firm Oliver Wyman said on Wednesday (Dec 9).

Although the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in a fall in overall fintech funding in Asia - particularly in China and India - Singapore's funding landscape has been less volatile, the report said. Fintech funding in Asia dropped to US$2.4 billion in the second quarter from US$3.13 billion in the first.

Singapore is the Asia-Pacific's top-ranking fintech city, with more than 40 per cent of South-east Asia's fintech firms based in the city-state. Its government has also committed more than US$200 million to grow the fintech ecosystem.

There are more than 1,000 fintechs in the Republic as at 2020, 10 times that of the 100 fintechs recorded in 2015. The number of fintech employees has also exceeded 10,000 in 2020, compared with an estimated 1,100 staff five years ago.

SFA and Oliver Wyman also found that from 2015 to 2019, about 65 per cent of fintech funding in South-east Asia was directed to Singapore businesses, nearly four times that of the funding received by Indonesia - the next-largest market.

When it comes to sub-sectors, payments and remittances companies made up 23 per cent of fintechs in the city-state, followed closely by wealth management and capital markets fintechs (22 per cent).

SFA and Oliver Wyman continue to see fintechs investing in the areas of financial inclusion such as payments, lending and more.

Both parties surveyed more than 60 fintech firms - the majority of which are Singapore-based. It also conducted more than 30 interviews with industry participants, from investors and global technology companies to regulators and industry associations.

Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing launched the report on Tuesday (Dec 8) at the FinTech For Good 2020 event - organised as part of the Singapore Fintech Festival this year.

Another report released on Wednesday noted that of the 95 funding deals in the first three quarters of 2020, almost two-thirds of these deals went to fintech firms in Singapore. This is the largest among the six Asean economies, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The report by UOB, PwC Singapore and the Singapore FinTech Association also found that four in five fintech firms in Asean will push ahead with their expansion plans in the next two years despite disruptions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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