In 2018, global fintech investment doubled as large companies doubled down on their efforts, creating several mega deals throughout the year.
The total global fintech investment increased from $50.8 billion in 2017 to a full $111.8 billion in 2018, according to KPMG’s The Pulse of Fintech, a biannual report that highlights key trends in fintech across the globe.
But despite the increase in fintech monetary investment, the number of deals actually didn’t change much, increasing only slightly. That’s because several mega deals took place throughout the year that drove the investments up significantly.
For example, Blackstone’s $17 billion investment in Refinitiv in the third quarter helped spur significant interest and activity in the fintech market, according to the report. This deal helped spur fintech investment in the U.S. to a record high in the fourth quarter of 2018.
In the U.S., the report showed mergers and acquisitions were the main driver of fintech investment, which reached $52.5 billion in 2018.
But the report showed something interesting when it comes to fintech – payments and lending continued to attract the most significant investment dollars globally.
Lending, and the mortgage market in particular, has long been known as being behind the times when it comes to technology. But in recent years that has begun to change, and in 2018 that became even more apparent.
This year’s HousingWire Tech100 winners was one of the most diverse lists yet – from company startups to tech giants and third-party vendors to lenders creating their own internal tech, it showed just how vital technology has become to the housing finance industry. And the competition was fierce to even make this year’s list.
Lenders shouldn’t view technology as something to adopt in today’s ever-changing market, but instead should see themselves as technology companies, Maria Moskver, Cloudvirga chief legal and compliance officer and 2018 HousingWire Women of Influence winner, explained in a recent interview.
“Homebuyers and owners may not be aware of industry words such as fintech and disruption, but they do know technology has finally started to make home buying, selling and financing much easier,” Moskver said. “They expect both digital simplicity and personalized human advice, and we must constantly innovate to stay ahead of these expectations. Fintech isn't just playing a role in staying ahead of customer expectations, it is the driving force uniting all finance, real estate and technology company innovation in 2019 and beyond.”
What does this mean for the future? The outlook is pretty good.
“The outlook is positive for fintech investment heading into 2019, in part due to the strong and highly diverse fintech hubs cropping up around the world, as well as growing recognition from both incumbents and scaled fintech companies that M&A is an important part of their growth strategies,” KPMG's report stated.