India extended its lead in the fintech investments in the Asia-Pacific region with $5.94 billion raised across 236 deals in 2021, a new report showed on Monday.

The country also attracted the most funding in 2020, with $1.50 billion raised across 118 deals.

According to the ‘APAC Fintech Funding Report’ published by S&P Global Market Intelligence, venture capital investments in Asia-Pacific-based fintech surged to a record high of $15.69 billion in 2021, more than double the prior year’s figure of $5.87 billion.

In India, payment companies drew in the largest sum, accounting for 45 percent of the aggregate transaction value in 2021.

Notably, India-based payment intermediaries that enable online and offline merchants to accept various payment methods were the top three fundraisers in 2021, with each firm completing multiple funding rounds during the year.

Pine Labs Pvt Ltd raised $700 million across two fundraises, Razorpay Software Pvt Ltd drew in $535 million from three investment rounds, and Resilient Innovations Pvt Ltd, which operates as BharatPe, completed two equity rounds totaling $477 million.

The 2021 figure also represented a 74 percent jump from 2019’s pre-pandemic levels.

“While large rounds of at least $100 million accounted for nearly 54 per cent of total transaction value in 2021, a spike in deal volume also contributed to the surge in aggregate amount raised,” the report showed.

Fintechs in Asia-Pacific sealed 754 deals in 2021, up 81 percent and 49 percent from 2020 and 2019, respectively.

Fintech startups in Southeast Asia netted $4.7 billion across 217 transactions, up from $1.13 billion across 118 deals in the prior year, the findings showed.

In 2022, private markets will continue to be a crucial source of financing for fintechs as looming interest rate hikes and ensuing stock market volatility cloud the outlook for IPOs, said the report.

“While we believe that venture capitalists are likely to remain invested in the fintech space, the uncertain market conditions may nudge them toward mature fintechs that have demonstrated financial discipline,” it added.

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