Investments in Singapore's fintech sector grew 47% year-on-year to hit $3.94 billion in 2021. Blockchain and crypto raked in almost half of the funds, raising $1.48 billion across 82 deals.
The country's fintech sector registered a five-year high of 191 deals, up 37% from 2020 when 139 deals were sealed, according to KMPG's Pulse of FinTech report. Total 2021 transaction value climbed 59% across venture capital, private equity, and merger and acquisition deals, compared to $2.48 billion in 2020.
Some $2.98 billion in fintech deals were inked in the second half of 2021 alone, up from $1.04 billion the same period the year before.
In addition, the total number of deals increased 36% to 95 in the second half of last year, up from 70 deals in the same period in 2020. KPMG attributed this growth to local measures to fuel the capital market, such as efforts to establish a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) listing framework to position the country as a choice location in which fast-growing companies and unicorns can go public.
Crypto and blockchain funding also saw significant growth, after having pooled just $109.75 million in 2020, compared to the $1.48 billion the segment raised last year. It surpassed payments as Singapore's most funded fintech category.
Across Asia-Pacific, overall fintech funding increased to $27.5 billion last year, with $17.4 billion raised in the second half alone. Venture capital fundings grew to $19.6 billion, compared to $11.5 billion in 2020.
Both India and South Korea clocked record fintech investment, shoring up $7.2 billion and $3 billion, respectively, last year. Australia's fintech sector raked in $2.6 billion in investments.
Worldwide, fintech funding hit $210 billion across 5,684 deals in 2021. KPMG pointed to Singapore-based tech company Grab, which listed a SPAC deal in the US at $500 million. The move resulted in a post-money valuation of $39.6 billion, making it amongst the top four fintech investments in Asia-Pacific last year.
Payments remained the most funded sector in the global fintech market, accounting for $51.7 billion in investments, up from $29.1 billion in 2020. Growing interest services such as "buy now, pay later" and embedded banking helped drive the payments segment, KPMG said.
Blockchain and crypto drew a record $30.2 billion in investments last year, up from $5.5 billion in 2020 and more than three times the previous record of $8.2 billion in 2018.
KPMG International's Singapore-based global fintech leader Anton Ruddenklau said: "2021 has been an incredibly strong year for the fintech market globally, with the number of deals soaring to record highs across the board. We're seeing an incredible amount of interest in all manner of fintech companies, with record funding in areas like blockchain and crypto, cybersecurity, and wealthtech. While payments remain a significant driver of fintech activity, the sector is broadening every day."