The Australian fintech market locked down a record AU$1.4 billion across 38 deals in 2019 due to an increase in the size of funding rounds, according to data from Fintech Global.

As reported by AltFi, Fintech Global’s data shows that nearly three quarters, or 72.8 percent, of investments last year were valued at over AU$100 million. The amount of investments below that threshold has remained flat since 2017, the report notes.

The funding secured in 2019 accounted for almost half of all capital raised in Australia in the fintech industry over the last four years, according to the report, with the bulk of the top investment deals happening in the last two quarters of the year.

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Within the fintech space, wealthtech and marketplace lending companies were the most popular investment areas, attracting almost 60 percent of the funding in the larger fintech space since 2015.

As fintech subcategories, wealthtech provides digital solutions to build personal wealth, and marketplace lending is an industry that uses fintech to make loans to consumers and small businesses.

Wealthtech accounted for 31.4 percent of investments in Australia between 2015 and 2019, while marketplace lending firms made up a total of 26.9 percent.

The largest deal of 2019 came about when AMP (ASX:AMP), a financial services company, completed a capital raising totalling AU$650 million.

At the time, AMP CEO Francesco De Ferrari said the money would serve the company alongside an additional AU$3 billion raised from the sale of AMP Life, the company’s life insurance division.

“The capital raising and the AMP Life sale will provide the funds to implement immediately our new transformational strategy,” De Ferrari said in a press release.

AMP will begin offering whole-of-wealth solutions to its clients as part of the shift, he said.

Another large deal came when alternative lending fintech firm Athena Home Loans secured AU$70 million as part of a Series C funding round in October from a group of leading Australian venture capital companies.

With the cash, Athena will be able to offer home loans for property purchase, according to a report from Business News Australia, helping advance the company’s existing mortgage refinancing options.

Fintech Global’s report notes that venture capital funds Reinventure and AirTree Ventures have been the most active in the Australian fintech space over the last four years.

Of the top 10 investors, seven were venture capital firms: Equity Venture Partners, Alium Capital, Square Peg Capital, AirTree Ventures, Reinventure, BridgeLane Capital and AMP New Ventures.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time news updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Danielle Edwards, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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