Fintech has emerged as a disruptor for financial services. Technology maturity in key factors including cloud computing, big -data, artificial intelligence, blockchain and smartphones have culminated in meteoric successes among fintech startups, and the emergence of fintech unicorns —privately -held startups with a valuation exceeding USD $1 billion. The successes among fintech unicorns have sent shockwaves throughout the financial services sector. We discuss the implications of this to the current and future roles of key market players including regulators, incumbent finance, technology and dedicated fintech firms, as well as new entrants. Our insights are underpinned by an analysis of initial public offerings of unicorns in China, as a performance indicator for tech startups, allowing for richer discussion on the components of a successful fintech business model.
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