The unicorns have landed in China.
But these unicorns don’t have four hooves and a horn. They’re technology companies that investors value at more than USD 1 Billion — and eight of the 27 FinTech unicorns are in China. In addition to leading the world in investments, China’s FinTech industry is tops in total users and market size.
Which is not to say that the rest of the region is a bunch of slackers: according to Frost & Sullivan, the FinTech industry in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to grow at a CAGR of 72.5 percent from 2015 to 2020, reaching USD 72 Billion.
One reason for this explosive growth is the region’s demographics, where a new, younger technology- and mobile-savvy population is exerting financial and economic influence across the financial ecosystem. Many banking institutions and FinTech companies are exploring ways to enhance customer service and drive loyalty by investing in best-in-class mobile experiences. As a result, a wide range of demographics are adopting mobile money and mobile payments in Asia, from Chinese millennials with WeChat to Sri Lankan retirees receiving pensions onto their Dialog eZCash mobile money account.
According to App Annie, an app market data and insights company, total worldwide downloads for finance apps have increased by 100 percent over the past two years. In Asia-Pacific specifically, the growth of downloads in the finance category outpaces all app categories combined, with China leading this growth.
One sure sign of a maturing financial market is the amount of interest it attracts from Venture Capital (VC) firms. A WNS DecisionPointTM analysis shows that Asia’s FinTech market witnessed the largest VC-backed financing compared to other regions. North America’s FinTech market, on the other hand, saw the lowest funding from VCs. With VCs eyeing the burgeoning Asia-Pacific FinTech market, one can only conclude that the industry is poised for tremendous growth. This growth primarily hinges on a relatively young population and increasing demand for robust mobile products.
And with the region continuing to grow, can more unicorns be far behind?
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