India overtakes China in fintech funding in Jan-March quarter

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Venture capital-backed investments in India’s fintech sector outpaced those in China in the first quarter of 2020 in terms of both deal value and volume, according to data and analytics company GlobalData.

The global economic turmoil caused by covid-19 has diminished the investment appetite for fintech startups in 2020. China, in particular, has been hit hard by the pandemic.

Over the last two years, China’s fintech startup ecosystem survived as the breeding ground for VCs. However, the trend reversed with Indian fintech startups attracting more investment in the March qurater.

“In Asia, though there is an overall pullback in VC funding of fintech startups in Q1 2020, India grabbed the top spot as China was hit by the pandemic-induced economic recession” said Ayushi Tandon, fintech analyst at GlobalData.

Startups in the payments and lending sectors led the number of investments in India, whereas China’s deals were more in cross-sector fintech startups. Fintech startups in the analytics tech area represented the highest number of deals in India as well as China.

In February BharatPe, a New Delhi-based startup that is helping merchants to accept digital payments for the first time and also providing them with access to working capital, raised $75 million in a new financing round. In March, fintech startups Veritas Finance and Bengaluru-based Juspay raised $46.99 million and $21.6 million, respectively. Earlier in January, MoneyTap, a consumer lending company, raised $70.26 million in Series B funding.

Analytics, too, has been a big growth area, and will be heavily in demand as lenders want alternative credit history tools for small businesses. The upside for fintech is that India is an under-penetrated market, say experts. Half a billion people are still not quite financially included, and the other half billion have a long way to go in consuming digital products.

“I wouldn’t be worrying about competing with China on fintech — both are big markets; China much bigger, India with higher growth potential. Despite the covid-19 disruption, China remains huge, but it’s far better penetrated—their top payments platform Alipay and WeChat have nearly 900 million and 1 billion users, respectively,” said Prasanto K Roy, tech policy consultant.

This article was first published on livemint.com.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.