SINGAPORE - The financial technology sector here saw investments more than double last year to US$861 million (S$1.2 billion) from US$365 million in 2018, according to an Accenture study, the results of which were released on Thursday (Feb 20).
The number of deals closed also jumped, by 52 per cent to 108 last year from 71 in 2018.
Accenture's Asean financial services lead, Mr Divyesh Vithlani, said broad interest in the new digital banking licenses and the strong growth in fintech investments last year bode well for the future development of Singapore's fintech ecosystem.
He added that investors' focus has been on payments start-ups and their solutions, but the industry can expect a shift in investment into commercial banking as some of the new digital banks come onboard.
"We see more and more companies targeting the commercial banking space with new products and solutions for SMEs that have been underserved by traditional banks," Mr Vithlani said.
About 40 per cent of the total funds raised last year in Singapore went into payments start-ups, while insurtechs (insurance technology firms) raked in 25 per cent of investments, an Accenture spokesman said. Fintechs in the lending space accounted for 13 per cent of total pie, he added.
Notable deals included the US$100 million that cloud company Deskera closed in May, the US$90 million from credit risk analytics and lending start-up FinAccel in November, the US$90 million from insurtech Singapore Life in July and the US$80 million from financial products marketplace GoBear in May.
Mr Vithlani said: "There are huge opportunities in South-east Asia for traditional players as well as fintech start-ups, particularly in the consumer space, where there are millions of unbanked and underbanked people, so we will probably continue to see many companies using Singapore as a launch pad into other fast-growing markets in the region."
The total value of fintech investments last year placed Singapore as the fifth biggest fintech market by funds in Asia Pacific, behind India, China, Australia and South Korea, Accenture said.