Throughout 2019, fintech startups globally scooped up $34.5 billion in funding, according to new data from CB Insights. Excluding Ant Financial’s unusually large $14 billion round in 2018, fintech funding was up nearly 30% year-over-year.

Global VC Backed Fintech Funding



Business Insider Intelligence


Early stage fintechs missed out on funding last year, but in concert with other key trends throughout 2019, this suggests that the industry is maturing as fintech becomes a truly global movement.

Early stage funding took a dip in 2019, while late-stage funding reached a five-year high. Last year, there were fewer deals than in 2018, down almost 7% from 2,049 to 1,913.

This decline was partly due to a drop in early stage funding, which dipped from $6.5 billion in 2018 to $5.3 billion last year, while deal numbers declined from 1,246 to 1,126. Early stage deals only accounted for 59% of all fintech deals in 2019, marking a five-year low.

This trend can be linked to fewer fintech startups launching — up until Q3 2019, for example, just three new insurtechs were launched in the year, down from 12 in 2018 and 109 in 2017. Instead, funding is increasingly pouring into established startups that are looking to scale their businesses as the industry matures.

There was a record-breaking number of mega-rounds in 2019 — and every continent saw at least one. Eighty-three fintechs secured mega-rounds last year, nearly double from 48 in 2018, and there was at least one on every continent — including Africa, for the first time.

This trend can be linked to developing countries increasingly enhancing their fintech ecosystems, with African fintechs securing $282.5 million in funding in 2019, up from $110.6 million in 2018, while South American fintech funding surged from $552.8 million to $1.4 billion. This shows that fintech has truly become a global trend and is no longer limited to specific countries like the US and the UK.

The US is still dominating the unicorn space, but other countries are also building their portfolios. The US welcomed five new unicorns last year, including insurtech Next Insurance after it raised $250 million from Munich Re and alt lender Figure after it secured $103 million in a Series C round.

Germany, Brazil, and India also gained one new fintech unicorn each — Wefox, Ebanx, and Pine Labs, respectively — giving each a total of three unicorns, the fourth-highest number per country after the US, China, and the UK, the last of which saw Rapyd emerge as a new unicorn last year. 

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