The financial technology industry remained the highest funded sector across emerging venture markets in the first half of 2022, more than tripling to almost $1.68 billion in the first half of 2022 from a year ago, a new report from Magnitt showed.
While about two-thirds of the capital deployed was raised in the first quarter of the year, there was drop in funding of 52 per cent in the second quarter and a 44 per cent slide in the number of deals, the start-up data platform said in the study.
Payment solutions was the top subsector for investors in 2022, attracting 42 per cent of all investments made into FinTech, with an annual funding growth of 152 per cent, Magnitt said.
“The influx of capital helped to boost the mean and median round size across MEAPT,” Magnitt said, referring to the Middle East, Africa, Pakistan and Turkey.
The start-up sector has grown exponentially over the past few years as entrepreneurs use innovation to address consumer needs. They are also increasingly seeking funding from global investors to accelerate their development.
The sector's growth has risen in tandem with the increase in digitalisation in key sectors such as retail, services, e-commerce and government.
Globally, the value created by start-ups was about $3 trillion in 2020, which is almost at par with the gross domestic product of a G7 economy, according to advisory firm Startup Genome. Funding for these companies broke records in 2021 when it hit $621bn, according to CB Insights.
Additionally, more than 45 unicorns — start-ups with a valuation of at least $1bn — are expected to emerge from the Mena region by 2030, led by Saudi Arabia, a recent report by Riyadh-based venture capital fund STV said.
FinTech also led the Mena region, both in terms of funding and number of deals in the first half of 2022, with the UAE the leading market for venture capital funding, Magnitt said in a report earlier this month.
Magnitt's study showed FinTech investments in Mena totalled $561m, with Nigeria the top destination, driving a third of the total. The African nation, along with the UAE, Egypt, Kenya and South Africa, accounted for three quarters of total FinTech investments.
The Mena region, meanwhile, had the highest consolidation of funding, with about 99 per cent concentrated in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, it added.
The FinTech sector also closed three mega-round deals — investments of at least $100m — in the first half of 2022, including Flutterwave ($250m) and Interswitch ($110m) in Nigeria, and Bahrain's Rain Financial ($110m).
Eight FinTech start-ups were acquired in the first half, with Pakistan recording its first in the sector with the acquisition of Tez Financial Services by Switzerland's Zoodpay.
Active international investors also rose in emerging venture markets in the first six months of 2022, mainly led by US-based investors, who accounted for 26 per cent of the deals in Mena, 39 per cent in Africa and 25 per cent in Pakistan.
The exception was Turkey, where about 60 per cent of all investors were based in the country.