While many business sectors in Ireland have seen a substantial decline in activity or revenue due to the COVID-19 crisis, that nation’s Fintech industry attracted significant investments of around $328.6 million during H1 2020. This, according to KPMG’s latest report on Fintech deals during the first half of this year in Ireland.
The Big Four auditing firm’s bi-annual Pulse of Fintech report tracks global Fintech venture capital (VC), private equity (PE), and merger and acquisition (M&A) investment deals.
Ireland’s Fintech sector secured over $300 million in capital from VCs, PE, and M&A deals during H1 2020. However, the number of deals declined when compared to the first half of 2019. There were only 14 Fintech deals finalized in Ireland during this first half of 2020, however, they still raised about twice ($328.6 million) as much funds when compared to the 26 deals from 2019 which brought in only $155.6 million.
KPMG’s report confirmed that the largest M&A deal for H1 2020 was made in Ireland. It was the $162 million acquisition of Prepaid Financial Services by Australia’s EML Payments. The deal between EML Payments and Prepaid Financial Services had been announced back in November of last year. However, it was finalized in March 2020. The Australian company acquired the Meath-headquartered Fintech company at a reduced price (due to COVID-19).
Other major Fintech deals in Ireland during the first half of 2020 include the $80 million investment round by Fenergo, a client lifecycle management firm.
Anna Scally, partner and Fintech lead at KPMG’s Ireland division, stated that the large deals finalized by Fenergo and Prepaid Financial Services were a significant boost for the country as it struggles to cope with the pandemic and resulting economic uncertainty.
“I expect interest and investment in Irish Fintech to remain hot into H2 2020, particularly as UK and global Fintechs work to ensure they are able to service their customers across Europe in the wake of Brexit. Ireland’s attractiveness as a place for global Fintechs to do business also remains strong, with Mastercard announcing plans to grow its European technology hub on a new campus site in Leopardstown earlier this year.”
“We saw earlier this year how Irish banks moved swiftly to increase the tap-and-go limit on debit and credit cards to facilitate more cashless payments in light of Covid-19. We’ve also seen how quickly new financial technologies become embedded. Despite only being in the marketplace in Ireland since 2016, Revolut has now almost become a verb to instruct the transfer of funds.”
As reported recently, the Bank of Ireland announced the launch of Google Pay for customers.
In July, Ireland’s P2P lending platform, Linked Finance, has asked the government to extend the nation’s €2 billion credit guarantee scheme to non-bank lenders. Also in July, Irish Fintech Circit secured €1.1 million in new financing.