According to data compiled by Buy Shares, Grab is the most well-funded private fintech startup in the market with a total of US$9.65bn.
A mobile remittances and e-wallet company originating from Singapore, Grab is spearheading the move towards a cashless economy by consolidating in-store shopping, ride-hailing, food deliveries and fund transfers all on one platform.
Furthermore, Alibaba is reportedly in talks to provide it with an additional $3bn cash injection.
Estimating that the cumulative amount generated by the top 10 fintechs sits at $20.9bn, Buy Shares’ list includes some well-known names in the sector such as:
Oscar Health ($1.49bn)
How is fintech funding changing?
Assuming the Alibaba deal goes through, Grab will have accrued more funding than the top 10’s nine other companies combined. The multi-faceted nature of its platform could account for this; the others specialise in a particular field (insurance, digital banking, accounting, etc).
However, according to recent research by McKinsey, this large investment could be an anomaly in the context of a broader issue: an overall reduction in fintech funding generally.
“In a matter of weeks, venture capital funding for fintech companies went from surplus to scarcity. After growing more than 25% a year since 2014, investment into the sector dropped by 11% globally and 30% in Europe in the first half of 2020, compared to the same period in 2019,” said the report.
As such, McKinsey advocates a more flexible approach that takes into account the changes COVID-19 has introduced to the market, namely a shift towards digitally-focused business models, adapting to risk management and increased collaboration with incumbents.
Prominent examples of these successful strategies have made headlines, including Payoneer’s partnership with 10 banks for easier cross-border transactions, Emburse’s collaboration with Mastercard and Amazon, and Samsung and Curve.
As many industries have learned, fintech will need to evolve with the times to avoid obsolescence. If Grab’s success is an anomaly and not a trend, COVID-19 could be the catalyst for equalising the playing field.
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