Last year saw the highest level of investment in FinTech start-ups on record, with a total disclosed transaction value of $30.8 billion.

This was an increase of $16bn on 2017, according to figures from the Fintech M&A Market Report from mech mergers and acquisitions advisor Hampleton Partners.

The average funding round has doubled in size compared to 2017, with the average venture round in the Asia-Pacific region reaching almost double the global average.

The FinTech M&A transaction value of $50 billion from 189 transactions achieved in the first half of 2018 was not replicated, however, as second half activity cooled, recording 160 transactions and a total disclosed transaction value of around $13 billion.

The adoption of biometrics, emerging AI tech and regional growth were cited key trends powering FinTech’s growth.

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“In the latter half of 2018, the UK continued to lead the way in FinTech in Europe, breeding a new generation of innovators with record levels of investment following the lead of new unicorns like Monzo and Revolut,” said Jonathan Simnett, director and fintech specialist at Hampleton Partners.

The UK leads the way in Europe according to the firm, but are dwarfed by America’s Stripe, Robinhood and SoFi. These, in turn, are outclassed by China’s Ant Financial, recently valued at $150 billion.

“Going forward, it is anticipated that the largest fintech firms will soon realise value through IPO in 2019.

“Meanwhile, most start-ups that have grown large enough to gain traction, attract a strong customer base and produce a profitable balance sheet, will remain small enough to be acquired by fintech and traditional incumbents leading to an ongoing process of consolidation and M&A.”