When analysts predicted what would happen in the fintech sector after the pandemic hit last year, one of the top forecasts was that the industry would consolidate. That is, companies that had an adaptable business model and were fierce enough to fight would get bigger, while other companies would seek exits or sometimes fold altogether.
The economic crunch from the pandemic isn’t the only thing boosting M&A activity. We’ve seen a rising popularity of using a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) instead of an IPO to go public. With these two forces boosting deal flow, we saw seven mergers and acquisitions announced last month:
This is quite a boost compared to last January when we saw only four M&A deals. In the next couple of months before the summer slowdown occurs, we can expect to see more M&A deals in the headlines. Keep an eye out specifically for two types of deals. First, SPACs are becoming a more legitimate option for a company to make a public debut. Second, digital bank acquisitions will increase as last year’s explosion of players in the digital banking space begins to deflate to a more sustainable level.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Visa’s attempted acquisition of Plaid. Visa formally announced its intentions to take over Plaid for $5.3 billion. The acquisition fell through, however, after the U.S. Department of Justice filed a civil antitrust lawsuit to block the deal.