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$185 BILLION RAISED ACROSS 12,500 TRANSACTIONS BEHIND GROWTH CAPITAL MARKETS’ 2018 BULL RUN, REVEALS HAMPLETON PARTNERS’ REPORT

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Hampleton Partners’ analysis of growth capital reveals that 2018 marked another record year for global venture capital financing, with a total disclosed value of $185 bn (€165 billion) raised across more than 12,500 transactions.

The international technology M&A and growth finance advisors reveal that total transaction volume grew five per cent per year from 2014 to 2018 across the globe, while total value raised grew by 13 per cent, suggesting that funding rounds are becoming larger.

The Asia-Pacific region registered the largest number of deals in 2018 at 6,676, followed by North America with 5,640 and Europe with 2,601.

Asia-Pacific also charted the highest growth in absolute value, propelled by the increasing prevalence of massive investment funds such as Softbank’s $100 billion Vision Fund and Tiger Global’s new $3.75 billion tech fund, both having contributed to some of the record 21 new Asian unicorns born in 2018.

Over a four-year period, Europe walked away with the highest relative growth, witnessing a 24% CAGR over three years, with the number of deals having doubled since 2016. The proliferation in Europe of early stage funding rounds and the higher value they generate are the result of favourable government programmes, thriving tech hubs from Stockholm to Berlin, and a highly active and maturing investor environment.

Supergiants and Unicorns

“Supergiant” funding rounds – venture capital rounds generating funds in excess of $100 million – are becoming commonplace. 2018 saw 515 supergiant rounds, more than 2017 and 2016 combined.  Although they accounted for only two per cent of all rounds worldwide, they secured a massive 56 per cent of the total $185bn value raised.

There was also an all-time high of 106 unicorn births during 2018, dwarfing the combined 2016 and 2017 total of 73.

Miro Parizek, founder and principal partner, Hampleton Partners, said:

“We’ve witnessed the highest level of venture capital investment on record, both in volume and value terms. This has included an unprecedented increase in the number of supergiant rounds and new unicorn births, in addition to growth in all median sizes of funding rounds. The total value of all unicorns has also inched above $1 trillion.

“This seemingly boomish growth is driven by the new wave of start-ups causing extreme disruption in traditional industries such as automotive, retail, security, and healthcare in addition to the larger start-ups continuing to fundraise from favorable private markets. While lights are bright green for the VC markets, this high growth in all metrics may also be a signal of overheating markets of increasingly cash-rich funds making increasingly risky investments.

Most active investors

Hampleton’s report identifies the most active investors in the EU and US. In the US, 500startups racked up 398 investments, followed by Y Combinator (374), Sequoia (305), Techstars (221), Plug and Play Ventures (188), Matrix (168) and Accel (163).

In Europe, Index Ventures tops the chart with 92 investments, followed by Partech (90) and High-Tech Gründerfonds (74), Kima Ventures (63), Balderton Capital (43), Octopus Investments (38) and EQT (38).

Largest transaction

The most valuable company on 2018’s unicorn list is Bytedance, a Chinese machine learning content platform. Bytedance was valued at $75bn in its October fundraise in a round led by Softbank and joined by KKR and General Atlantic.

Sector-focused funding

Fintech proved to be the most popular sector for investors, as consumer solutions aiming to revolutionise the banking and payments industry gained traction. Among the new unicorns born out of the rounds completed by Ant Financial or JD Finance in the second half of 2018 were N26, Plaid Technologies, Viva Republic and Monzo.

Autotech investment took second place with the highest number of VC investments in car-related businesses on record, totalling 355 vs. 325 in 2017, though total equity value raised was down to $13.5bn (€12bn) from a $25bn (€22bn) high in 2017, which was achieved after several mega-transactions by Softbank.

New autotech unicorn births included Aurora, Momenta, Xpeng and pony.ai.

Fintech

Klarna Opens Tech Hub in Berlin

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Photo source: fintechmagazine.com

 

Klarna, one of the world’s leading payment providers, today announced its plan to open a tech hub in Germany’s capital at the beginning of next year. This will enable Klarna to further build out its product portfolio and services, better serve its fast-growing merchant and consumer base across Europe and the US and tap into the cities’ rich talent base.

The new Berlin site will be based in the very heart of Berlin’s thriving technology scene in Berlin Mitte and offers Klarna employees space of around 7,400 square meters in a modern and functional repurposed car garage. In the future, it will house more than 500 employees focusing on product, engineering and commercial growth and will be an addition to Klarna’s German offices in Munich and Linden, each with approximately 100 employees.

Berlin is one of the most exciting tech and entrepreneurial hubs worldwide and attracts exceptional local and international talents from all over the world. We are very proud and humbled to be part of that thriving ecosystem now. This site will enable us to further scale our footprint in GermanyAustria and Switzerland and new markets, but at the same time build new products and services to solve people’s shopping pain points across Europe and the US. We are on a very exciting journey from a pure payment provider to a global shopping ecosystem and our team in Berlin will play a decisive part to reach our ambitious goals.” says Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO Klarna.

Robert Bueninck, General Manager DACH, adds: “The DACH market as a whole developed fantastically throughout the past years and we have a very strong momentum and growing brand awareness in the region. With several thousands of new merchants which went live with us this year and many millions of consumers using our services, Germany is hugely important to the company to drive volume and revenue growth. The new site in Berlin is testament to our strong track record locally and our commitment to becoming the most favorite way to buy in GermanyAustria and Switzerland.”

Klarna currently employs over 2,500 employees in StockholmLos AngelesNew York, Columbus, MadridBrusselsLondonViennaAmsterdamBerlin, Linden, MunichOsloHelsinki and Uppsala. In August 2019, the company received a 460 million US dollars funding round on a 5.5 billion US dollars post-money valuation, which currently makes Klarna the highest private FinTech company in Europe. Earlier this year, the company tapped into new business verticals by launching new products such as the Klarna Open Banking Platform and Global Authentication Platform. On the consumer side, Klarna introduced the Klarna Card and Klarna’s Instore solution in Germany as well as various new features in the Klarna app that fundamentally change the way how people shop and pay. This underpins the company’s versatility in opening up new revenue streams and ambition to become the go-to destination when it comes to online and offline shopping.

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Progressive Approach in Embracing the Digital Finance Key to Labuan IBFC’s Growth in Financial Innovation

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“Labuan International Business and Financial Centre’s (Labuan IBFC’s) digital family continues to grow in recognition of the progressive approach the centre has taken in embracing the digital revolution by being as facilitative as possible to enable innovative digital business to take root in Labuan,” said Labuan Financial Services Authority (Labuan FSA) Director-General, Danial Mah Abdullah at the inaugural Connecting Digital Ecosystems in Asia 2019 (CoDE Asia 2019) conference in Kuala Lumpur today.

Mah added: “To this extent, the centre has used legacy licences like money broker, credit token licenses to provide the regulatory umbrella for the digital business to be carried out. Now that is innovation by itself. Thus, the centre has a toolbox of solutions to meet the needs of the rapidly expanding digital industry, whether from the supply or demand side”.

He went on to add that the digital business model must be legitimate, meeting international standards of compliance, transparency and prudential requirements. Thus, prospects would need to obtain Labuan FSA’s prior approval for any proposed digital business if the activities fall within the ambit of Labuan Financial Services Securities Act 2010 or Labuan Islamic Financial Services Securities Act 2010.

Labuan IBFC’s digital journey began in 2017, with eight licenses up to 2018 and 2019 has seen an exponential growth in the number of players in the centre with more than 30 licenses approved to operate as digital entities.

“Our bespoke and curated approach is an ideal match to the demands of a fast-evolving digital marketplace,” said Farah Jaafar-Crossby, CEO of Labuan IBFC Inc, the jurisdiction’s market development agency. She added Labuan IBFC’s tax neutrality and currency agnosticism adds to the appeal as a digital hub, especially since the digital marketplace is inherently borderless in its application.

“We have seen a significant increase in interest of our digital toolbox from regional and also international entities,” she said and cited Memorandum of Understandings signed between Labuan IBFC Inc with China Construction Bank, Labuan as well as Huobi Group of China, both in relation to the advancement and development of Labuan IBFC’s digital ecosystem.

She added the fast-growing ecosystem in the jurisdiction had also prompted the establishment of an industry-led Labuan Fintech Association, which is open to any party interested in participating and contributing to Labuan IBFC’s growing “digital family”.

Labuan IBFC which will celebrate its 30th year of establishment in 2020, is home to more than 6,000 active companies which includes top-ranked financial institutions comprising 55 banks, 217 insurance companies, 61 corporate service providers, more than 300 leasing companies and 43 commodity trading companies. Labuan IBFC entities employ more than 6,000 people, making the IBFC the largest employer compared to other industries in Labuan.

The Connecting Digital Ecosystems in Asia 2019 (CoDE Asia 2019) conference was attended by more than 250 delegates and featured a lineup of regional industry players and subject matter experts, discussing topics catered towards developing a holistic digital ecosystem in the region. For more information on Labuan IBFC and its offerings, log on to www.labuanibfc.com.

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Fintech

OneConnect wins prestigious award at the 2019 Kotler Future Marketing Summit for its outstanding global marketing efforts

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OneConnect wins prestigious award at the 2019 Kotler Future Marketing Summit for its outstanding global marketing efforts

 

OneConnect Financial Technology Co., Ltd (OneConnect), an associate company of Ping An Group, won the “Kotler New Marketing Year Successful Overseas Marketing Award” at the prestigious “2019 Kotler Future Marketing Summit” held in Beijing on 12 October. OneConnect’s win is an affirmation of its outstanding global marketing efforts that successfully export Ping An’s technologies to leading financial institutions outside of China within a short span of one year or so. Philip Kotler, known as the “father of modern marketing”, graced the event at the Wangjing Hyatt Hotel in Beijing.

The yearly Kotler New Marketing Awards aim to establish industry benchmarks and recognize successful experiences, further inspiring enterprises to carry out marketing innovations and pave the future of marketing. The summit focused on two main themes: cutting-edge marketing and growth marketing.

OneConnect celebrated the opening of its Singapore Office in November 2018 to spearhead regional expansion, and in February 2019, celebrated the launch of its Indonesia Office. Within a short span, OneConnect made remarkable progress inking maiden deals with leading financial institutions in MalaysiaIndonesiaThailandCambodiathe PhilippinesJapan and Abu Dhabi.

Ms Tan Bin Ru, CEO of OneConnect Financial Technology, said: “Over the past one year or so, OneConnect has built an impressive footprint with customers in about 10 countries outside of China. More Asian banks are looking to strengthen their technological capabilities to serve the millennials and the unbanked and underserved segments. We are making an impact in enabling banks and insurers in their transformation journey.”

OneConnect has served more than 600 banks and over 80 insurance companies, and is expanding its operations. In August, OneConnect announced a strategic joint venture partnership with SBI Holdings, Inc. to enter Japan market. SBI OneConnect Japan will fully leverage SBI Neo Financial Services and other SBI companies to introduce OneConnect’s fintech services to financial institutions and businesses across Japan.

In June, OneConnect and UBX Philippines Corporation, the wholly-owned fintech subsidiary of Union Bank of the Philippines, entered a partnership to build SeekCap – the country’s first lending platform to meet the banking needs of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). SeekCap was launched by UBX within four months in November, demonstrating OneConnect’s strong tech capabilities. Today, SeekCap is a true loan marketplace with multiple lenders showcasing their loan products for borrowers to choose what best suits their business needs, and apply for loans digitally and seamlessly on a single end-to-end platform. Loans can be approved on the same day, and disbursed within three working days. This drastically shortens turnaround time as compared with traditional loan applications in the Philippines.

In Indonesia, OneConnect is the choice tech partner of Sinar Mas Financial Services Group, the financial arm of conglomerate Sinar Mas. As a key strategic partner, OneConnect is partnering with Bank Sinarmas, PT. Kredit Biro Indonesia Jaya, the country’s first private credit bureau to provide banks and micro-finance organizations with better lending decisions, and ASPARINDO, an association for retailers in Indonesia, to build a smart lending ecosystem. OneConnect is also partnering with Asuransi Sinarmas to build a smart auto claims solution, as well as Sinar Mas Multi-finance to build a smart retail lending platform for Indonesians to gain easy access to loans.

In Malaysia, OneConnect is partnering with one of the country’s top banks to build an SME lending platform. In Thailand, OneConnect counts three of the top 10 banks as its customers.

In Abu Dhabi, it is building a financial ecosystem with the Abu Dhabi Global Market to spur fintech innovations, collaborations and market opportunities. The first initiative was the launch of an innovation lab at the Fintech Abu Dhabi in October. The lab will use OneConnect’s technology to connect legacy systems of financial institutions to fintech applications through enabling the creation of APIs, System Virtual Machines, data and applications in a cost-effective and scalable manner. It will enable financial institutions to transform digitally, accelerate product development, drive innovation, as well as embrace interoperability, partnerships and collaboration within a truly inclusive financial ecosystem.

Beyond Asia, OneConnect is partnering finleap connect to offer its fintech software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology to the European market. finleap connect is a business unit of finleap, Europe’s leading fintech ecosystem, which is based in Berlin and has offices in MilanParis and Madrid.

These achievements underscore OneConnect’s mission of using technology to make finance easier, and its vision of becoming a technology partner that financial institutions trust to ride the wave of digital transformation.

 

SOURCE OneConnect

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