International

Asian FinTech Investments Quadruple To $4.5B

As a region, Asia has seen $4.5 billion come into its financial startups from investors across a variety of stripes, which is quadruple the investment activity of a year ago, Reuters reported. That means the region is becoming a sweet spot for FinTech investment.

The global investment activity in the space stood at $19.1 billion, as measured across payment companies, Internet insurers and peer-to-peer players, and the most recent tally grew by 60 percent over 2014, Reuters reported.

But, in Asia, the funding rounds that stretched across India, China and other nations — lured by the buying power of billions of consumers tied to their mobile devices — grabbed a relatively higher pace of fund flows. In India alone, about 40 percent of the 1.3 billion people in the nation have no bank account, with only 252 million people having Internet access. That is a greenfield opportunity for linking mobile devices with financial services in the region.

In an interview with the newswire, Harish HV, a partner based in India with advisory firm Grant Thornton, said: "The rising number of people getting used to smartphones and new technologies in India will result in more funds flowing into the FinTech solutions providers, in the near term at least.” One97, a firm based in India that serves up mobile payments, was the sixth biggest deal in the FinTech space for the year.

In China alone, the investments for the year came in at $2.7 billion, with Reuters noting that activity far outran investments in Britain by roughly three times in terms of total funds committed between 2014 and 1015.

Reuters said that, in China, the lending platform Lufax, which operates online, along with Zhong An Online Property and Casualty Insurance are among the biggest FinTech plays as measured by valuation.

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