You can receive and send money from and to any part of the globe thanks to fintech (financial technology) companies. You also do not have to carry hard cash because with a stable internet connection and bank entails, you can transact wherever you are. Such are the benefits of fintech companies, and with demand for financial services changing and technology becoming more advanced, you can be sure that the future of fintech companies is bright. Experts even predict that by 2023, the online payments market will have grown to $3 trillion; thus, it is no wonder fintech is experiencing a record number of $100m rounds. Let's take a look at a few examples as we tell you why there is a rush to invest in the fintech industry.
In October 2019, Rapyd became yet another company offering fintech as a service to raise $100 million in a round of funding. The company had raised $40 million in February 2019, bringing the total amount to $160 million. With the $100 million round financing, Rapyd's valuation increased significantly to almost hit the $1 billion mark, thus living up to its name "rapid." The decision to invest in the fintech industry heavily is because of the growing market because more than half of transactions worldwide are facilitated by bank transfers. Rapyd has seen an opportunity in the challenges experienced by local merchants who have to overcome the obstacles of processing cross-border sales and paying through local payment methods. Thus Rapyd steps in to save the day with over 500 payment types that include not only bank transfers but also e-wallets and cash. Stripe, another fintech giant, has been consistently supporting the funding rounds for Rapyd but not as anything more than a financial investor, possibly because it sees the potential. Stripe backed Rapyd in the last two rounds.
Albert, a Los Angeles-based personal finance company, has not been left behind in the rush to take up a piece of the fintech industry pie. In January 2021, it raised $100 million in Series C funding. According to Medium, the company explained that they were building a new financial service whose objective was to change people's manner of managing, investing, saving, and thinking about money. With the round of funding, the total amount raised reached $173 million, and the money was aimed at expanding the team and product. Albert has grown its users to 5 million since its founding in 2016. The pandemic has facilitated its growth as more people adopted online financial services, and with Albert's personalized financial services, it became an obvious choice. It wants people to be financially literate and uses its experts to educate users on what they can afford to pay and, if they chose to borrow money, on how best to repay it.
While other companies wait for the second and third round of funding to invest $100 million in the fintech industry, Capital raised $100 million in the first round, according to PYMNTS.com, Capital is a startup that launched on October 30, 2019, with a $100m fund to invest in middle-stage companies. It is involved in the fintech industry indirectly because it is aimed at providing investment findings to companies. Those who accept the financing terms access Capital's dashboard, which shows developing business developing trends and provides more capital with time.
Vestigo Ventures boasts of being Boston's first fintech venture capital company and, as such, wanted to also go down the path of the rest by aiming for $100 million in its second round of funding. According to News Break, the general partner, Mark Casady, revealed that they were hoping to raise $100 million. However, they say when you aim for the stars, you must be prepared to land at the moon, and that is what happened to the venture capital firm. In January 2021, Vestigo Ventures raised $83.45 million from 66 investors whose minimum investment was $50,000. Since they did not hit the mark, they compensated in another way by bringing in new talent, Kelly Shaw, in March 2021. Casady explained that a venture capital firm's success correlated to the quality of management; thus, Shaw was hired as the company's first principal to enable it to attain its vision.
Why are More Companies backing up Fintech Companies?
High Barriers to Entry
No one likes to invest in something that will soon flood the market and lose value. Therefore, the fintech industry possessing high barriers to entry thanks to the technology required to run and knowledge of financial services, so not everyone will find it as a right fit. As a result, operating fintech companies is limited to the few with the skill set making the companies valuable, and venture capitalists want to be sure their investment is in the right place.
Although technology advancements provide more opportunities for any firm in the tech industry, the future is only bright for those willing to adapt. Luckily fintech companies are ready to take on the challenge, especially with the growing demand for online financial transactions. The COVID-19 pandemic may have had its adverse effects, but it has enabled many businesses to realize the potential that lies in the financial services industry, especially since it integrates well with other industries. As FinExtra explains, fintech has improved productivity due to the synergy potential it provides.
Competitors to companies operating in the fintech industry have very deep pockets, which means there is more than enough cash to invest. Most competitors are banks that need to have fintech services to leverage their operations in the ever-changing consumer market. Others come in the form of online payment services like VISA and, as explained, Stripe, which of course, want to have a share in the fintech industry. With their eyes out for the growing opportunities, such firms with deep pockets are likely not just to fund fintech companies but also to offer a chance for mergers and acquisitions.
Written by Allen Lee
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