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Global Fintech Fundraising Fell in First Half of 2019, with Decline in China Offsetting Gains in the US and Europe, Accenture Analysis Finds

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Value of deals falls 29% after record Ant Financial round in 2018; Fundraising soars in the US and the UK, with strong gains also in Germany, Sweden and France

HONG KONG & NEW YORK & LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Global investment in financial technology (fintech) ventures fell sharply in the first half of 2019, as fundraising and deal activity in China that had soared a year earlier ground to a halt, partially offsetting strong gains in the U.S., U.K. and several other European countries, according to Accenture (NYSE: ACN) analysis of data from CB Insights, a global venture-finance data and analytics firm.

The total value of fintech deals globally in the six months ended June 30 was US$22 billion, compared with US$31.2 billion in the same period of 2018, a decline of 29%. The drop was due mostly to the lack of a giant deal like Ant Financial’s record US$14 billion fundraising in May 2018. Discounting that transaction, global fintech investments would have climbed 28% in the first half of 2019 over the same period last year.

The value of deals in the U.S. in the first half of 2019 jumped 60%, to US$12.7 billion, even though the number of transactions was virtually unchanged from the first half of 2018 (564 vs. 563), signaling a trend of larger deals in the world’s biggest and most active fintech market. The largest portion of funding, 29%, went to lending startups, followed by those in payments, with 25% of the total. The largest deal was the US$1 billion that consumer finance fintech Figure Technologies Inc secured from a credit facility in May.

Fintech investment in the U.K. nearly doubled, to approximately US$2.6 billion, and the number of deals jumped 25%, to 263, as challenger banks and payments companies continued to draw investors’ interest. For example, Monzo raised US$144 million in June; Starling Bank raised US$211 million from two separate transactions in February; money-transfer startup TransferWise closed a US$292 million deal in May; and WorldRemit raised US$175 million in June.

“There’s been a lot of interest and demand from consumers for new fintech propositions, particularly in the U.K. and elsewhere in Europe, which helps explain the big jump in investments there,” said Julian Skan, a senior managing director in Accenture’s Financial Services practice. “Fundraising is also moving to support the scaling up of challenger and collaborative fintech, which will cause lumpiness in some rounds as we get to the business end of the investment cycle where investors look for returns based on a sustainable bottom line, rather than another buyer. However, the question is: How long can that last? Fundraising is likely to reach a plateau soon and will most likely dip going forward.”

Other European markets also made big strides, with investments in German fintechs more than doubling in the first half of 2019, to US$829 million from US$406 million in the same period last year, led by the US$300 million that challenger bank N26 raised in January and the US$125 million investment in insurtech Wefox Group in March. Fundraising in Sweden more than quadrupled, to US$573 million, while fintechs in France raised US$423 million in the first half of 2019, 48% more than a year earlier.

There were also large fundraising gains in Asia Pacific, with the value of deals in Singapore nearly quadrupling, to US$453 million, and the value of deals in Australia more than tripling, to US$401 million.

Investments into payments startups and those in lending took the bulk of global fintech fundraising, accounting for 28% and 25% of the total, respectively, while insurtechs raked in 14%.

The number of fintech deals globally rose about 2% from the first half of 2018, to 1,561, but activity was mixed in the world’s largest markets. While the number of deals was flat in the U.S. and rose sharply in the U.K., China and India experienced volume declines of 49% and 21%, respectively. But these were offset by higher volume elsewhere, including other parts of Asia — with Singapore and Japan seeing the number of deals increasing 55% and 33%, respectively — and in Europe, with the number of deals doubling in Sweden, to 40, and rising 27% in Germany, to 56.

“Increased activity in many markets is a good indicator of the level of confidence many investors have in the fintech industry,” said Piyush Singh, a managing director at Accenture who leads its Financial Services practice in Asia-Pacific and Africa. “Startups and the solutions they offer are maturing, which bodes well for traditional institutions partnering with fintechs and for innovation in the financial services industry as a whole.”

Methodology

Accenture analyzed fintech investment data from CB Insights, a global venture-finance data and analytics firm. The analysis included global financing activity from venture-capital and private-equity firms, corporations and corporate venture-capital divisions, hedge funds, accelerators, and government-backed funds. The investment data ranged from 2010 through the first half of 2019 and included equity and non-equity financing. Fintech companies are defined as those that offer technologies for banking and corporate finance, capital markets, financial data analytics, insurance, payments and personal financial management.

About Accenture

Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions — underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network — Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With 482,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.

Contacts

Elzio Barreto

Accenture

+852 9509 3236

elzio.barreto@accenture.com

Natalie de Freitas

Accenture

+44 7988165382

natalie.de.freitas@accenture.com

Melissa Volin

Accenture

+1 267 216 1815

melissa.volin@accenture.com

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Business Wire

Shortages of Low-Skill, Middle-Skill, and High-Skill Workers Causing Revenue Declines and Other Headaches for Employers, TrueBlue’s Latest Study Finds

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TACOMA, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–While there has been a lot of discourse around the shortage of high-skill workers in the U.S., a new study by staffing giant TrueBlue shows a significant percentage of employers are also struggling with deficits in low-skill and middle-skill workers – and dealing with a host of business challenges as a result.

According to TrueBlue’s nationwide survey, which included nearly 1,500 managers (HR, operational, and business), skills shortages are widening across skills categories:

  • 32% of managers can’t find workers to fill low-skill positions (generally classified as those that may or may not require a high school diploma and require little to no experience)
  • 46% can’t find workers for middle-skill jobs (typically require some experience and continuing education such as college courses, an apprenticeship or certification, but don’t necessarily require a four-year college degree)
  • 35% can’t find workers for high-skill jobs (typically require a four-year degree or higher and specialized experience)

Low unemployment coupled with globalization, accelerated technology advancement, and evolving work models are creating talent deficits across all skill levels within organizations,” said Patrick Beharelle, CEO of TrueBlue. “The skills supply is not keeping up with demand, which is fueling a greater intensity in an already competitive labor market and adversely impacting productivity, service quality, and revenue growth for businesses.”

Impact of Talent Shortages on Businesses

The top three business challenges managers are experiencing due to prolonged job vacancies within their organizations include:

  • Quality – More than a third of managers (35%) reported that extended job vacancies have caused lower product or service quality.
  • Turnover – 25% have seen higher employee turnover.
  • Revenue – 23% said their companies experienced a decline in revenue.

To address talent shortages and minimize associated business impact, 2 in 5 companies (41 percent) reported that they plan to raise compensation for entry-level workers and nearly half (46 percent) plan to train and hire the long-term unemployed in the coming year.

Survey Methodology

This SurveyMonkey survey was conducted online in the U.S. by TrueBlue between September 23 and October 15, 2019. It included 1,499 managers (HR, operations and general). The survey was across regions, industries, and company sizes.

About TrueBlue

TrueBlue (NYSE: TBI) is a global leader in specialized workforce solutions that help clients achieve business growth and improve productivity. In 2018, the company connected approximately 730,000 people with work. TrueBlue’s PeopleReady segment offers on-demand industrial staffing services, PeopleManagement offers contingent and productivity-based, on-site industrial staffing and driver staffing services, and PeopleScout offers recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) and managed service provider (MSP) solutions to a wide variety of industries. Learn more at www.trueblue.com.

Contacts

Jennifer Grasz

Vice President, Corporate Communications

jgrasz@trueblue.com
(312) 840-6327

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Business Wire

Law Firm of Estey & Bomberger Reports: Uber Says Nearly 6,000 Rapes, Sexual Assaults Occurred in Two-year Period

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SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The law firm of Estey & Bomberger reported today that Uber’s long-awaited sexual assault report was released Dec. 5, with the ride-hailing company admitting that 5,981* passengers and drivers were raped or sexually assaulted between 2017-2018.

“I applaud Uber for releasing the data that acknowledges there is a problem with sexual assaults occurring in rideshare. While we believe these assaults were preventable, Uber’s report represents a tremendous step for ride-hailing safety,” said Estey & Bomberger attorney Mike Bomberger. “I think there are many positive measures Uber is taking. However, Uber still has an obligation to help the victims who have been raped and assaulted and facing a lifetime of emotional pain. They will need ongoing therapy.”

Estey & Bomberger represents more than 100 ride-hailing sexual assault victims.

“It’s important to remember when reading this report that only one in three women report their sexual assault,” Bomberger said. “Therefore, the number of women who have been sexually assaulted is certainly much higher than reported here.”

Bomberger reiterated his call for all ride-hailing trips to be digitally recorded.

“We’re pleased that Uber is now testing cameras in Texas. That’s the real solution to this problem – if drivers know they’re being recorded they won’t rape and assault,” Bomberger said.

Estey & Bomberger is asking Lyft and Uber sexual assault victims, along with former employees of the ride-sharing firms, to contact its office by calling 866-964-1708 or emailing info@lyftsexualassaultlawyers.com.

*statistic courtesy NPR “Uber Received Nearly 6,000 U.S. Sexual Assault Claims in Past 2 Years,” Dec. 5, 2019.

Contacts

for Estey & Bomberger

Ed Vasquez, 408-420-6558

ed@ejvcommunications.com

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Business Wire

Best’s Market Segment Report: AM Best Maintains Global Reinsurance Market Outlook at Stable

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OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AM Best has maintained a market segment outlook of stable on the global reinsurance industry for 2020, citing a stabilized pricing environment — albeit at levels below long-term adequacy — the continuing alignment between traditional and third-party capital and ongoing stability in the global life reinsurance segment.

A new Best’s Market Segment Report, titled, “Market Segment Outlook: Global Reinsurance,” states that although rates in the non-life reinsurance market have improved modestly, pricing has not kept adequate pace with the changing risk dynamics, as illustrated by loss development from events such as hurricanes Irma and Maria and Typhoon Jebi, and potential losses from more-recent events (e.g., Hurricane Dorian). Property catastrophe pricing still is being driven by the availability of third-party capital; however, the increasing interdependence between traditional capacity and third-party capital through joint ventures, retrocession and direct ownership should serve to more closely align return objectives for the market overall. Third-party capital also represents a benefit in the form of stabilized earnings of rated balance sheets, due to tail risk being assumed by this capital.

Overall market conditions are improving, but AM Best remains concerned about insufficient rate adequacy relating to certain U.S. casualty lines, a steady decline in the benefit of favorable reserve releases and the pervasive low interest rate environment. The collective effect of these factors requires underwriting discipline, and failure to react to these pressures could adversely affect the segment.

The report outlines other factors that are driving the stable market segment outlook, including:

  • AM Best believes alternative third-party capital will hold the line on future return expectations following the recent heavy catastrophe loss years;
  • A decline in capital consumption and earnings volatility, due in part to the increased utilization of third-party capital in retrocessionaire programs;
  • Greater emphasis on underwriting discipline due to pressure on interest rates and potential slower economic growth globally;
  • Improving pricing momentum driven by higher loss costs, coupled with lower loss reserve redundancies;
  • Increased demand for non-life reinsurance due to primary companies’ recent loss experience, as well as new risk transfer opportunities and mergers and acquisitions;
  • Stable operating performance among life reinsurers, which continue to maintain defensible market positions and offer services beyond risk transfer that create hurdles for new entrants.

To access the full copy of the overall global reinsurance briefing, please visit http://www3.ambest.com/bestweek/purchase.asp?record_code=292334.

Separate briefings on the non-life and life reinsurance segments can be viewed at:

To view a video with AM Best Associate Director Scott Mangan about the global reinsurance market segment outlook, please visit http://www.ambest.com/v.asp?v=globalreoutlook1219.

AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data provider specializing in the insurance industry. The company does business in more than 100 countries. Headquartered in Oldwick, NJ, AM Best has offices in cities around the world, including London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

Copyright © 2019 by A.M. Best Company, Inc. and/or its affiliates.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Contacts

Robert DeRose
Senior Director
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5435
robert.derose@ambest.com

Greg Carter
Managing Director
+44 20 7397 0288
greg.carter@ambest.com

Michael Porcelli, FSA
Director
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5548
michael.porcelli@ambest.com

Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com

Jim Peavy
Director, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644
james.peavy@ambest.com

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