Irish fintechs secured a record $900 million in M&A, venture capital and private equity transactions across 18 deals in the first half of 2021, new figures show.
The record investment level was driven by three large deals: the $600 million buyout of Fenergo, which led to the company gaining unicorn status with a $1 billion-plus valuation; the $200 million acquisition of Co Kerry-based Taxamo by Vexco, and the $76 million fundraise by revenue-based financing platform Wayflyer.
The first-half numbers easily top the previous record for investment of $700 million set in 2011 and eclipses the the $328.6 million total amount secured for the same period last year. Fintech investment in the Republic has averaged just over $100 million in the first half over the past five years.
Other notable deals recorded in the first half of 2021 included a $10 million raise by Co Mayo-based global payroll tech company Payslip; and a $6.7 million raise by blockchain banking consortium We.trade, whose members includes HSBC, Santander, KBC and Deutsche Bank.
The rise in funding across M&A, private equity and VC deals is replicated globally with first-half investments hitting a record $98 billion, up from $87.1 billion for the same period last year.
"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," said Anna Scally, partner and fintech lead at KPMG in Ireland, which compiled the data.
“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 space so far in 2021,” she added.