What the largest fintech funding rounds of 2021 say about the industry

  • The money hose isn’t going anywhere in 2022 – this year’s most lucrative pay rises can tell us where the industry is headed next.
  • The top five pay rises we covered this year were all in over 500 million dollars.
  • Insider Intelligence publishes hundreds of fintech industry insights, charts and forecasts. Learn more about becoming a customer.

Let’s recap: Of the many fintech trends we’ve been tracking this year – from the adoption of blockchain-based decentralized finance (DeFi) to using AI to underwrite insurance – there is one clear view: An unprecedented wave of funding has practically every saturated corner of the room.

Chart showing annual fintech funding worldwide

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  • In the first three quarters of 2021, fintechs globally raised $94.7 billion in funding. That’s almost double the amount raised for all of 2020 and four times what was raised in 2016.
  • In the meantime, the number of deals has largely flattened out since 2018. There were 3,549 deals in the third quarter of 2021, compared to 3,443 in 2020 and 3,510 in 2019.
  • Mega rounds dominated the world of finance. In Q3 2021, 94 $100 million deals accounted for 64% of total funds raised. This year alone there were more than 250 mega rounds.

Biggest Winners: The top five pay rises we covered this year were all over $500 million.

  1. Nydig stole the show in the eleventh hour with a whopping $1 billion raise just a week ago. Now valued at $7 billion, it’s helping institutional firms jump into the crypto hype.
  2. Trade Republic raised a similarly impressive $900 million Series C round in May. The increase pushed the trading app’s valuation to $5.4 billion and positioned it to launch its services in markets across Europe.
  3. Wefox followed shortly thereafter with a $650 million Series C raise. The company is on a growth trajectory — it doubled its revenue last year and expects to do the same this year.
  4. Compliance software company Fenergo became one of many fintechs to join the ever-growing unicorn club after a $600 million private equity sale. Pandemic-accelerated digitization has been a boon for fintechs, who help companies navigate regulations like Know Your Customer (KYC).
  5. The retail bonanza helped Wealthsimple raise a roughly $559 million funding round that valued the company at more than $3.5 billion. The fintech has also surpassed 2 million users in its Canadian home market.
  6. BONUS: Corporate credit card issuer Brex hasn’t made the top five in a single funding round, but it has raised $750 million this year between its Series D in April and a later raise in October.

What does that mean? As we predicted earlier this month, Beaucoup’s fintech fundraising era isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. We also noticed the following:

  • A range of industries are represented in the top fundraisers of 2021 – crypto players, wealth managers, insurtechs and even regtechs have all scored mega rounds. But thanks to this year’s hype, crypto players have closed five of the top 20 funding rounds we’ve covered.
  • Many of the largest fundraisers are focused on hubs in the US and across Europe, but it was not uncommon for players in emerging markets to attract significant funds as well. For example, South Korea’s Viva Republica raised $450 million, and India’s CRED raised more than $400 million through multiple raises this year. We expect this trend to continue in 2022, particularly in Latin America.
  • The biggest profits go to companies with the biggest names. Early-stage startups secured dozens of Series A rounds this year, and investors raised hefty funds to help young companies grow. But the lion’s share of the funding this year went to bigger companies and unicorns.

Honorable Mentions: Here’s a roundup of the next 15 biggest pay rises we’ve covered in 2021.

6. Better.com secures $500 million from Softbank (4/13)

7. Socure Leads Digital ID Peers With $450M in Revenue (11/12)

8. DriveWealth Raises $450M to Push the Frontiers of Retail Investing (24 Aug)

9. Plaid wins mega round months after failed acquisition (4/9)

10. Brex cancels mega round, announces new financial management feature (4/28)

11. Super fintech Viva Republica raises $410 million from its success in South Korea (6/24)

12. Gemini raised $400 million to become the financial gateway to the Metaverse (11/22)

13. Trulioo announces mega round to expand its digital ID platform (6/9)

14. BlockFi Joins Crypto Unicorn Club With Mega Round (3/15)

15. Brex raises $300 million to strengthen its position as a one-stop shop for SMEs (10/26)

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