• Irish fintechs secure $900 million in transactions and investment in H1’21
  • Investment represents a nine-fold increase on average H1 figures
  • Three large deals drove the record investment level including the $600 million buyout of Fenergo; the $200 million acquisition of Taxamo; and $76 million VC raise by Wayflyer
  • Digitisation, regtech and digital banking driving Ireland’s fintech opportunity

Ireland’s fintech sector secured a record breaking $900 million* in M&A, venture capital and private equity transactions across 18 deals in the first half of 2021, according to the latest KPMG Pulse of Fintech H1’21, a bi-annual report tracking global fintech VC, PE & M&A investment trends. The investment tops the previous record of $700 million set in 2011 and eclipses the $328.6** million total investment secured in 2020. Fintech investment in Ireland has averaged just over $100 million for the same period over the last five years.

Three large deals drove investment levels including the $600 million buyout of Fenergo by PE firms Astorg and Bridgepoint, the $200 million acquisition of Taxamo by Vertex, and the $76 million VC raise by Wayflyer.

Other notable deals included a $10 million raise by global payroll technology company Payslip, which will enable the company expand and create 150 new jobs; and a $6.7 million raise by blockchain banking consortium We.trade.

Global fintech funding across M&A, PE, and VC deals also soared to a new high in H1’21, reaching $98 billion, up from $87.1 billion recorded in H2’20, and trending well to surpass the total of  $121.5 billion during all of 2020.

Accelerated digitisation

Speaking about the report findings for Ireland, Anna Scally, Partner and Fintech Lead at KPMG in Ireland said, “Digitisation in business has accelerated phenomenally with COVID-19, which in turn has offered huge opportunity for Irish fintech businesses. Take payments for example. Throughout 2020, we saw consumers give up cash almost entirely, embracing alternative payment methods. This acceleration to digital first and the opportunities it creates for fintech businesses has undoubtedly driven a lot of the interest and investment in the fintech space so far in 2021. Investor interest in regtech is also particularly strong right now, as evidenced by the Fenergo deal and it’s only expected to grow over the next few years given the changing regulations in financial services.”

Commenting on the rise of digital banking, Anna added: “Digital banks have started to gain more traction in Ireland, particularly Revolut and N26. Increased competition from challenger banks is certainly putting pressure on the pillar banks in Ireland who have responded and are investing very heavily in their own digital infrastructure. This healthy competition is good for consumers and business customers alike.”

H1’21 Global Highlights

  • Global fintech investment reached $98 billion across 2,456 deals in H1’21 – far outpacing last year’s annual total of $121.5 billion across 3,520 deals.
  • M&A deals continued at a very healthy pace, accounting for $40.7 billion across 353 deals in H1’21, compared to $74 billion across 502 deals during all of 2020.
  • Late-stage venture valuations more than doubled year-over-year, with global median pre-money valuations for late stage deals rising from $135 million in 2020 to $325 million at the end of H1’21.
  • Global investment in cybersecurity reached a new annual record at mid-year—rising from $2.2 billion in 2020 to over US$3.7 billion in H1’21.
  • Cross-border M&A deal value rose dramatically, from $10.3 billion during all of 2020 to $27.7 billion in H1’21 alone.
  • Total fintech investment in the Americas was very robust with over $51 billion in investment across 1,188 deals. 
  • The EMEA region saw $39.1 billion in fintech investment in H1’21, including a record $15.1 billion in VC funding.
  • Fintech investment in the Asia-Pacific region continued at a more moderate pace, reaching $7.5 billion across 467 deals, compared to $13.4 billion across 714 deals during all of 2020.  

Get in touch

The pace of change is challenging leaders like never before. To find out more about how KPMG perspectives and fresh thinking can help you focus on what’s next for your business or organisation, please get in touch with Anna Scally, Fintech lead. We’d be delighted to hear from you. 

** This total figure includes the $162 million acquisition of Prepaid Financial Services by Australia’s EML Payments in March 2020. Prepaid Financial Services is headquartered in London and therefore using PitchBook’s methodology is included in UK figures in the wider report. It is included in the Irish figures in this press release as the company has a front office in Ireland and was founded by Irish entrepreneurs.