Summing Up the 10 Biggest Fintech Deals of 2015
How hot is fintech right now?
This one statistic sums it up: in 2015, a record amount of fintech deals were done for a total deal value of $24.6 billion. That number is higher than the last five years put together.
With everything seemingly turning up “fintech”, here is a summary and some reflection on the 10 biggest fintech deals of last year.
Summing Up the Biggest Fintech Deals of 2015
1. FIS acquires SunGard for $9.1 billion
The acquisition, financed with a mix of 45 percent cash and 55 percent stock, yields a combined company with $9.2 billion in annual revenue, 55,000 employees, and operations in more than 130 countries. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, FIS is the world’s largest global provider dedicated to banking and payments technologies. Their technology underscores $9 trillion in global transactions each year.
SunGard, which was the target of the acquisition, was previously taken over in 2005 by a consortium of private equity firms in the largest tech privatization deal ever. It was valued at $11.3 billion.
2. ICE acquires Interactive Data Corp
Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) bought Interactive Data Corporation (IDC) from private equity firms Silver Lake Group LLC and Warburg Pincus LLC. Valued at $5.2 billion, including $3.65 billion in cash and $1.55 billion in stock, the deal allows ICE to expand the markets it serves while bringing in new technology platforms and data services.
ICE owns and operates 23 exchanges and marketplaces, with the most famous of these being the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
3. McGraw-Hill Financial acquires SNL Financial
McGraw-Hill Financial, the parent of the Standard & Poor’s ratings agency, paid $2.23 billion in cash to buy SNL Financial from private equity firm New Mountain Capital.
McGraw-Hill is also known for some of its other subsidiaries, such as S&P Dow Jones Indices and Platts.
4. D+H Corporation buys Fundtech
D+H, a Canadian corporation which was historically a manufacturer of cheques, has recently shifted its focus on more technology-related endeavors. Part of this includes buying global payment services provider Fundtech for $1.25 billion in cash.
In a recent press release, D+H described the transaction as a key piece in their transition to technology: “The Fundtech acquisition significantly advanced D+H in our FinTech journey and was evidence of our commitment to continue providing clients the innovative solutions they need to grow and compete.”
5. Lufax is funded by multiple investors
Lufax, also known as the Shanghai Lujiazui International Financial Asset Exchange Co., is an online Internet finance marketplace in China. Focusing on peer-to-peer loans, Lufax connects individual investors with borrowers for loans of around $10,000 while collecting a 4% fee off each loan.
Domestic and overseas institutions participated in the most recent $1.2 billion financing in December, including the investment arm of COFCO Group and Guotai Junan (Hong Kong). The company is considered a mover and shaker in the Chinese lending space, and is now valued at $18.5 billion.
6. Lufax is funded by multiple investors
Lufax was also responsible for the sixth biggest deal of 2015, as it did an earlier raise in March 2015 for $488 million from a group of investors at a valuation of nearly $10 billion.
Markit, which recently announced a merger with IHS to create a data heavyweight, was also very active last year.
In 2015, it initiated a secondary public offering of its common shares to investors worth $350 million.
8. Learnvest acquired by Northwestern Mutual
Northwestern Mutual went all-in on personalized financial planning by buying New York-based startup LearnVest for over $250 million.
9. Neustar acquires TNS
Real-time information services provider Neustar bought caller authentication assets from Transaction Network Services (TNS), an affiliate of Siris Capital Group, for $220 million in cash.
10. Markit buys CoreOne
Earlier in 2015, market data company Markit bought CoreOne Technologies, a global leading provider of regulatory reporting for $200 million.
Original graphic by: Raconteur
How Decentralized Finance Could Make Investing More Accessible
Under the current global financial system, billions of people do not have access to quality assets. Here’s how decentralized finance is changing that.
Infographic: How Decentralized Finance Could Make Investing More Accessible
Did you know that a majority of the global population doesn’t have access to quality financial assets?
In advanced economies, we are lucky to have simple options to grow and protect our wealth. Banks are all over the place, markets are robust, and we can invest our money into assets like stocks or bonds at the drop of a hat.
In the United States, roughly 52% of people are invested in the stock market – but in a place like India, for example, this portion drops to a paltry 2%. How can we make it possible for people on the “outside” of the financial system to gain access?
Breaking Down Barriers
Today’s infographic comes to us from Abra, and it shows how decentralized finance could make investing a more universal phenomenon, especially for those that don’t have access to the modern financial system.
It lays out four key obstacles that prevent people in developing markets from investing in quality financial assets in the first place:
- The Geographic Lottery
Where you live plays a massive role in determining your ability to build wealth. In advanced Western economies, the average person is much more likely to be invested in financial markets that can help compound wealth.
- Financial Literacy and Complexity
Roughly 3.5 billion adults globally lack an understanding of basic financial concepts, which creates an impenetrable barrier to investing.
- Local Market Turmoil
Even if a person is mentally prepared to invest, local market turmoil (hyperinflation, political crises, closed borders, etc.) can make it difficult to get access to stable assets.
- The Cost of Investing in Foreign Markets
Foreign assets can be pricey. One share of Amazon is $1,800, which is realistically more money than many people around the world can afford.
In other words, there are billions of people globally that can’t take advantage of some of the most effective wealth-building tactics.
This is just one flaw in the current financial system, a paradigm that has created massive amounts of wealth but only for a specific and well-connected group of people.
Enter Decentralized Finance
Could decentralized finance be the alternative to open up access to financial markets?
By combining apps with blockchain technology – specifically through public blockchains such as Bitcoin or Ethereum – decentralized finance makes it possible to get around some of the barriers that are created by more traditional systems.
Here are some of the innovations that are making this possible:
Smart contracts could automate transactions and remove intermediaries, making investing cheaper, faster, and more accessible.
Fractional investing could allow partial or shared ownership of financial assets by using tokenization. This would make expensive stocks like Amazon ($1,800 per share) available to a much wider segment of the population.
Location independent investing is possible through smartphones. This would make it possible for people in remote parts of the developing world to invest, even without access to nearby financial institutions or local markets.
Like the internet with knowledge, decentralized finance could reshape the world by making financial access universal. Who’s ready?
How Much Data is Generated Each Day?
By 2020, there will be 40x more bytes of data than there are stars in the observable universe. See how much data gets added to the mix each and every day.
How Much Data is Generated Each Day?
View the full-size version of the infographic by clicking here
You’ve probably heard of kilobytes, megabytes, gigabytes, or even terabytes.
These data units are common everyday amounts that the average person may run into. Units this size may be big enough to quantify the amount of data sent in an email attachment, or the data stored on a hard drive, for example.
In the coming years, however, these common units will begin to seem more quaint – that’s because the entire digital universe is expected to reach 44 zettabytes by 2020.
If this number is correct, it will mean there are 40 times more bytes than there are stars in the observable universe.
A Crash Course in Data
Today’s infographic comes to us from Raconteur, and it gives us a picture of this new data reality.
Before we get to how much data is created each day – both now, and in the future – it’s worth getting acquainted with how data scales in terms of units.
|Abbreviation||Unit||Value||Size (in bytes)|
|b||bit||0 or 1||1/8 of a byte|
|B||bytes||8 bits||1 byte|
|KB||kilobytes||1,000 bytes||1,000 bytes|
|MB||megabyte||1,000² bytes||1,000,000 bytes|
|GB||gigabyte||1,000³ bytes||1,000,000,000 bytes|
|TB||terabyte||1,000⁴ bytes||1,000,000,000,000 bytes|
|PB||petabyte||1,000⁵ bytes||1,000,000,000,000,000 bytes|
|EB||exabyte||1,000⁶ bytes||1,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes|
|ZB||zettabyte||1,000⁷ bytes||1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes|
|YB||yottabyte||1,000⁸ bytes||1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes|
There’s no doubt that data literacy will only become more important in the future, so make sure you know your zettabytes from your yottabytes!
A Day of Data
How much data is generated in a day – and what could this look like as we enter an even more data-driven future?
Here are some key daily statistics highlighted in the infographic:
- 500 million tweets are sent
- 294 billion emails are sent
- 4 petabytes of data are created on Facebook
- 4 terabytes of data are created from each connected car
- 65 billion messages are sent on WhatsApp
- 5 billion searches are made
By 2025, it’s estimated that 463 exabytes of data will be created each day globally – that’s the equivalent of 212,765,957 DVDs per day!
If you think the above information is fascinating, see what happens in an internet minute.
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