MANAMA: Leading global fintech players are seen establishing their presence in Bahrain in the short term with some game-changing partnerships emerging, a local expert with a top advisory firm has said.

According to Manav Prakash, advisory partner at KPMG in Bahrain, increased momentum is seen in the fintech space in Bahrain with leading players evaluating Bahrain as their regional hub and scouting for partnerships in the local market with traditional players.

Providing local context as the Pulse of Fintech H2-2021 – a biannual report published by KPMG highlighting global fintech investment trends was released, he said: “Payments, specifically is an area where we see a lot of emerging interest and use cases. Our view is that we are going to see a lot more innovative players establishing their presence in Bahrain in the short term and some game-changing partnerships emerging.”

Global fintech funding across mergers and acquisitions (M&A), private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) reached $210 billion across a record 5,684 deals in 2021, the report found.

Fintech funding in H2-2021 accounted for $101 billion of this total – down slightly next to H1-2021’s $109bn.

“2021 has been an incredibly strong year for the fintech market globally, with the number of deals soaring to record highs across the board,” said Anton Ruddenklau, global fintech leader, KPMG International.

“We’re seeing an incredible amount of interest in all manner of fintech companies, with record funding in areas like blockchain and crypto, cybersecurity, and wealthtech. While payments remain a significant driver of fintech activity, the sector is broadening every day.”

Payments continued to attract the most funding among fintech subsectors, accounting for $51.7bn in investment globally in 2021 – up from $29.1bn in 2020.


A continued surge in interest in areas like ‘buy now, pay later’, embedded banking, and open banking aligned solutions has helped keep the payments space very robust.

Blockchain and crypto was also a very hot sector, attracting a record $30.2 billion in investment – up from $5.5bn in 2020 and more than three times the previous record of $8.2bn seen in 2018.

Cybersecurity ($4.85bn) and wealthtech ($1.62bn) also saw record-levels of investment.

Heading into 2022, fintech investment is expected to remain very robust, with activity growing in less developed fintech markets, including Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America.

M&A activity is also expected to rise, with deal values growing as both corporates and fintechs look to grow and build scale. There is also expected to be growing interest in fintech-focused ESG solutions and banking replacements able to address the need for modernization of core banking platforms. There will also be an increasing number of fintechs looking brand themselves as data companies rather

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