What an incredible start to the year for the fintech market globally. As you’ll see from this edition of Pulse of Fintech, the rebound we saw in H2’20 continued into H1’21, with very robust investment across Value creation (VC), Private equity (PE), and venture capital. We saw growing deal sizes in a wide variety of fintech subsectors — from wealthtech and regtech to crypto and cybersecurity. If there was a word that could be used to describe H1’21, it would be: diversity.

EMEA region sets numerous records as fintech investment hits $39 billion

Total fintech investment in the EMEA region continued to surge, with over $39 billion invested in H1’21, compared to 2020’s total of $26 billion. The region also shattered its previous annual high for fintech VC investment, attracting $15 billion in H1’21, compared to $9 billion during all of 2020.

John Hallsworth


KPMG in the UK

Barpgraph - Total investment activity in fintech in EMEA

UK sees $9.7 billion in total fintech investment in H1’21 as VC funding hits new high

Both VC investment in fintech and deal volume in the UK reached new quarterly highs in Q1’21 and then climbed even further in Q2’21. Across the 2 quarters, Fintech-focused VC investment in the UK reached $6.2 billion – bolstered considerably by the massive $14.8 billion Refinitiv deal.

Most subsectors of fintech are attracting attention from investors in the UK, including payments, wealthtech, insurtech, regtech, cybersecurity, and others — in part due to changing customer behaviors, but also due to the amount of dry powder in the market and the broader range of investors.

Momentum is building in the UK around the SME lending space and the lending ecosystem in terms of KYC and customer due diligence.

The ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ space has seen exponential growth in the UK, with numerous companies sprouting up; in H1’21, Zilch raised $81 million while Butter raised $22 million. During H1’21, a government review recommended BNPL products be regulated — which could affect the space in the future.

Fintech areas to watch in the UK include revenue-based financing for SMEs and ESG solutions related to financial inclusion, carbon tracking, and offsets.


COVID-19 sparked a real race to digital in the financial services space here in the UK, which has spurred on the major banks. Many of them have diverted large swaths of their investment pots into digitisation — which is a major reason we are seeing so much corporate investment right now. The same is true for other incumbents in other financial services subsectors as well.

John Hallsworth
KPMG in the UK

Pulse of Fintech H1’21

An overview of the fintech landscape through analyses of global and regional fintech investments, and key trends and developments within fintech and financial services.

VC investments surge and cross-border M&A more than doubles all of 2020

Download this edition for:

  • Global and regional analysis with key investment data and insights
  • Top fintech trends for 2021 and beyond
  • Interview with Jason Pau, Chief of Staff, International to the Chairman and CEO, Ant Group
  • Fintech segment insights for a deeper dive into payments, insurtech, regtech, wealthtech, cybersecurity, blockchain, and cryptocurrency
  • Spotlight article, Putting big data at the heart of decision-making.

To learn more about the analysis and topics raised in this edition, or to discuss your organisation's unique fintech agenda and roadmap, please contact your local KPMG advisors or the contributors in this publication.