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Tracxn : SEA FinTech startups see 13 percent decline in funding in first quarter amid slowdown in economic activity

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The Southeast Asia (SEA) FinTech sector secured funding worth $530 million in the first quarter of 2024, a 13 percent lower than the $607 million raised in the corresponding quarter last year, Tracxn said in a a report on Tuesday.

The data intelligence platform said in a statement that the funding also showed a 44 percent fall compared with the $939 million raised in the previous quarter.

According to the statement, the drop in funding is largely due to the decline in late-stage funding, which declined 64 percent from $758 million in the fourth quarter of 2023 to $270 million in the first quarter of 2024.

This is also a 40 percent drop when compared with the $447 million raised in the first quarter of 2023.

Meanwhile, seed-stage investments in the first quarter of 2024 stood at $19.4 million, a 27 percent decrease from $26.5 million raised in the previous quarter.

This is also a 59 percent plunge from the $47.4 million raised in the first quarter of 2023.

However, a surge was observed in early-stage investments, which rose 114 percent to $240 million in the first quarter of 2024 from $112 million raised in the first quarter of 2023.

This is also a 56 percent increase from the $154 million raised through early-stage rounds in the fourth quarter of 2023.

It is noted that the first quarter of 2024 witnessed only one $100 million+ funding round, as against four and two such rounds in the fourth quarter of 2023 and the first quarter of 2023 respectively.

Singapore-based ANEXT Bank raised $148 million from Ant Group.

Further, no new unicorns emerged during the first three months of 2024.

It is also noted that the SEA fintech startup ecosystem did not witness any initial public offerings (IPOs) in the first three months of 2024, similar to both the first quarter of 2023 and the fourth quarter of 2023.

However, the number of acquisitions rose to ten in the first quarter of 2024, from six in the fourth quarter of 2023 and five in the first quarter of 2023.

Banking tech, alternative lending, and cryptocurrency were the top funded segments in this space in the first quarter of 2024.

Companies in the banking tech space witnessed $180 million in funding in the first quarter of 2024, compared with $108 million raised in the previous quarter and just $5.5 million raised in the first quarter of 2023.

Funding into the alternative lending segment stood at $126 million in the first quarter of 2024, a 76 percent plunge compared with the $531 million funding raised in the fourth quarter of 2023 and a 58 percent drop from the $302 million raised in the corresponding quarter last year.

The cryptocurrency sector attracted investments worth $91.9 million in the first quarter of 2024, a spike of 138 percent and 246 percent compared with $38.2 million and $26.3 million raised in the first quarter of 2023 and the fourth quarter of 2023 respectively.

FinTech companies based in Singapore accounted for 70 percent of the total funding in the region, raising $372 million.

This is followed by companies based in Jakarta and Taguig, which raised $103 million and $32.1 million respectively.

East Ventures, Y Combinator, and 500 Global are the all-time most active investors in the SEA fintech space.

Mirana, Bixin Ventures, and Draper Dragon were the most active seed-stage investors in the first quarter of 2024, while MassMutual Ventures, Nyca Partners and Illuminate Financial were the most active early-stage investors.

MUFG Innovation Partners was the lead investor in terms of late-stage funding in the first quarter of 2024.

According to the statement, the SEA FinTech startup ecosystem witnessed funding of more than $1 billion in each quarter, starting from the second quarter of 2021 to the second quarter of 2022.

However, investments began to decline after this period.

Though funding grew in the fourth quarter of 2023, a decrease was observed again in the first three months of 2024.

This downward trend can be attributed to multiple factors including the slowing economic activity across industries, reduced consumer spending, and a shift in investor interest toward more sustainable and profitable businesses.

“Despite the downward trend, the SEA FinTech startup ecosystem can continue to attract investor interest in the coming months, driven by the digital readiness of this region,” Tracxn said.

Source: technode.global

The post Tracxn : SEA FinTech startups see 13 percent decline in funding in first quarter amid slowdown in economic activity appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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UK challenger GB Bank lands £85m investment

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GB Bank, a specialist property finance bank based in Middlesbrough, UK, has secured an £85 million investment from new backer Hera Holdings and existing shareholder the Teesside Pension Fund.

Over the next 12 months, Hera Holdings is investing an initial £40 million into the bank, with an additional £40 million earmarked for investment throughout 2025 and 2026.

Meanwhile, the Teesside Pension Fund, which serves as the Local Government Pension Scheme for local authority employees in the Teesside region, is contributing an additional £5 million to the funding round.

Founded in 2017, GB Bank provides financing solutions for commercial and residential property developments in underserved areas of the UK.

The bank, which secured its full banking licence in the summer of 2022, claims to have approved “more than £80 million in loans to support over 100 property projects in locations from Northumberland to the south coast”, while also attracting “over £300 million in deposits from savers” for its fixed-term and instant access accounts.

GB Bank anticipates that the cash injection will drive “extensive growth” for the company, with plans to expand its customer base to include portfolio landlords, expatriates, and foreign nationals.

Specifically, the challenger bank states that the investment will enhance its lending capabilities, allowing it to offer funding of up to £10 million and up to 80% Loan To Value.

Moreover, GB Bank expects that the expansion will boost its capacity for commercial owner-occupier and investment mortgages as well as for its commercial and residential bridging solutions.

The bank projects that the new investment will allow it to increase its lending to £500 million over the next 12 months. As part of this growth, it intends to expand its team and infrastructure, with plans to double its current workforce this year.

Earlier this year, the company appointed industry veteran Mark Sismey-Durrant as its new chair.

Source: fintechfutures.com

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Teal secures $8M seed funding for groundbreaking accounting solution

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Teal has announced a significant milestone in its journey to transform SMB accounting with the closure of an $8 million seed funding round.

According to TechFundingNews, the company, which focuses on providing accounting infrastructure for Vertical SaaS businesses, aims to address the critical need for integrated financial solutions within various platforms.

Founded by industry veterans Ian Crosby and Adam Saint, Teal stands out in the FinTech landscape for its unique approach to accounting services. Leveraging their expertise from founding Bench Accounting and working at Shopify, Crosby and Saint have developed a platform that empowers Vertical SaaS businesses to offer customised accounting suites to their SMB customers.

One of the key challenges faced by SMBs is the lack of seamless accounting solutions integrated into their core business platforms. Teal aims to bridge this gap by equipping companies with the necessary APIs and tools to build their own accounting offerings. This enables SMBs to access crucial insights such as real-time cash flow, per-product profitability, and streamlined tax filing processes.

Teal’s comprehensive suite of out-of-the-box tools enables Vertical SaaS companies to launch their accounting platforms swiftly, often in as little as four weeks. These tools include fully functioning app code repositories and seamless data integrations with external sources like Plaid, enhancing the overall user experience for SMBs.

According to Ian Crosby, Co-Founder and CEO of Teal, the company’s vision is to become the “Stripe for accounting,” providing the foundational infrastructure for Vertical SaaS companies to embed accounting features seamlessly. By integrating accounting software directly into their platforms, businesses can enhance customer engagement and drive adoption of financial services features.

The significance of Teal’s innovative approach has not gone unnoticed in the investment landscape. Torch Capital, a leading investor in tools and platforms for SMBs, led the recent $8 million seed funding round. Partner Katie Reiner expressed enthusiasm for Teal’s mission to revolutionize the SMB accounting space, citing the dire need for intuitive and streamlined accounting tools.

In an era where embedded finance is gaining traction, Teal’s commitment to offering tailored accounting solutions signifies a promising step towards empowering SMBs with the financial tools they need to thrive in today’s competitive landscape.

Source: fintech.global

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Digital China’s Guo Wei Shares ‘China’s Sample’ of Global Digital Innovation with London Business School

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LONDON, May 22, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — On May 21st, at the invitation of London Business School (LBS), Guo Wei, Chairman of Digital China, participated in the esteemed “Managing the Digital Organization” lecture, engaging with a cohort of prospective business leaders. Focusing on the trending topics of ‘Artificial Intelligence’ and ‘Digital Transformation’, he imparted the digital philosophy and practices of Chinese enterprises amidst the digital civilization era.

Digital China, a prominent player in China’s digital economy, has harnessed over two decades of deep involvement in the nation’s information industry to embrace the power of digitization. This has culminated in what Guo Wei refers to as ‘China’s Vibrant Blueprint for Digital Transformation’, carving a distinctive path of digital metamorphosis. Notably, Digital China’s transformation narrative has been incorporated into LBS’s esteemed case library, underscoring its significance as a teaching instrument.

In his lecture, Guo Wei emphasized that the digital economy now constitutes the backbone of supply, with digital technology emerging as the paramount catalyst for economic expansion. The hastening pace of global digitization propels us into an epoch of digital civilization. For multinational corporations, digital strategies have escalated to the status of corporate strategy, and the amassing of data assets constitutes the pivotal lever for business innovation. Amidst this evolution, AI-fueled digital-cloud integration signifies a disruptive technological innovation, poised to invigorate the global landscape. Digital China feels honored to reprise its role in elite international business school case repositories, thereby contributing insights to academia. This recognition signifies that Chinese enterprises’ digital and AI acumen resonates globally, exemplifying world-class practices.

Professor Julian Birkinshaw, Vice Dean and Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at LBS, remarked, “As a global institution, we constantly seek out exemplary cases worldwide. Digital China was chosen not solely due to its prominence in China but also its sophisticated implementation of digital technologies, demonstrating adaptability and offering invaluable insights to our students about the contemporary business milieu. The story of Digital China encapsulates Mr. Guo Wei’s philosophy – digitization transcends being a mere process; it embodies the existential rationale for companies. This philosophy underpins our decision to feature Digital China in our case studies.”

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/2419014/Digital_China_s_Guo_Wei_Professor_Julian_Birkinshaw.jpg

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