Wellington-based accounting software firm, Xero, was the highest-ranked Australasian company in the 2015 KPMG/H2 Ventures ‘Fintech 100’ list published last week.
Xero, the only NZ company on the list, came in at number 15 of the top 50 global fintech elite named in the second annual KPMG/H2 Ventures report on the sector. However, the result saw Xero slip five places down the rankings compared to the inaugural 2014 list.
The report – a collaboration between KPMG and H2 Ventures (the financial technology investment firm that emerged out of the now-defunct AWI Ventures, a subsidiary of Australasian Wealth Investors) – ranks the leading 50 global fintech companies as well as listing the “most intriguing 50 ‘emerging stars’”.
Australasian companies comprise 10 per cent of the fintech 100 with nine Australian-based firms joining Xero on the list. The Australian fintech standouts include crowd-funder Prospa, share analysis software provider My Wall Street, and digital investment advice platform Stockspot.
Chinese online property insurer ZhongAn earned top spot on the fintech list.
Payment and transaction firms made up 25 per cent of the top 100 followed by lending companies (22 per cent), wealth companies (14 per cent), and insurance companies (7 per cent).
“The data that was discovered through the report shows an interesting spread of Fintech is the combination of technology and financial services resulting in the disruption of the finance industry and this sector has seen substantial growth over recent years,” the report says. “Global fintech financing has risen seven-fold over the past three years to an estimated US$20billion for 2015, a rise of 66% on the level of investment in 2014.”
A number of high-profile executives from old-school financial companies were also jumping on the fintech bandwagon, according to a report in the Financial Times (FT) week.
The FT list of digital converts includes: ex JP Morgan derivatives pioneer, Blyth Masters; former Citigroup chief, Vikram Pandit; and, John Mack, who headed Morgan Stanley from 2005-2010.
“In the third quarter alone, global investment into venture-backed fintech companies such as marketplace lending hit a record $4.85bn, according to CB Insights, a data provider to the venture capital industry,” the FT report says.
Goldman Sachs has estimated the emerging fintech industry could snatch more than $4.7tn in revenue and $470bn in profit from traditional financial services companies.”