Over the past several years, we believe that there has been a significant rise in the level of interconnectivity between sophisticated, innovative technology and the financial services sector. As a result, we anticipate that most distinctions between traditional financial services and fintech will disappear over time, as we believe that it has become nearly impossible for businesses to operate in the financial services sector without significant dependence on new technologies.
According to Financial Technology Partners, the total global investment in fintech has risen substantially over the past several years, with over $50 billion in financing volume in 2018, over twice the volume for the prior year. In addition, over half of such volume has been outside of North America, with increases in particular in the Asian, African and Middle Eastern markets. Complementing such increased financing activity, there was over $124 billion in mergers and acquisitions volume in 2018, nearly a third of which was due to cross-border transactions, far surpassing the approximately $88 billion volume for the prior year and coming second in volume only to 2015 in recent years.