SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Financial technology (fintech) funding in Southeast Asia jumped more than three times in the first nine months of this year compared with full-year 2020, reaching a record $3.5 billion, a report showed on Wednesday.
The rebound was driven by 167 deals including 13 mega rounds, which accounted for $2 billion of the total funding, according to the report by United Overseas Bank, PwC Singapore and the Singapore FinTech Association (SFA).
Mega rounds are those which raise $100 million or more.
Late-stage fintech firms, or those in their series C funding and beyond, garnered most interest, with involvement in 10 of 13 mega rounds this year, as investors took a more risk-adverse approach during the pandemic by backing more established firms, the report said.
The payment sector attracted most funding due to greater use of digital payments. Tech and cryptocurrency firms saw the highest growth this year, ranking second and third place respectively.
Singapore, Southeast Asia's financial hub, accounted for nearly half of the region's deals at $1.6 billion, including six mega rounds worth a combined $972 million.
The next most active was Indonesia, the region's most populous country, with $904 million raised, followed by Vietnam at $375 million.
(Reporting by Chen Lin; Editing by Martin Petty)