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Fintech funding slows to the lowest level since 2017

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When it comes to funding, the fintech sector didn’t have a very good start to the year.

Fintech funding slid by 16% quarter-over-quarter during the three-month period, according to CB Insights’ Q1 2024 State of Venture Report. But even more troubling than the double-digit dip was the fact that the $7.3 billion raised globally by fintech startups in the three-month period marked the lowest level the sector has seen since early 2017, according to the report.

Notably, CB Insights counted Flexport’s $260 million convertible note as a fintech deal because the company “offers trade finance and cargo insurance.” Some might argue that Flexport is not a true fintech company because many companies offer some sort of finance, payments or insurance as part of their offering. Removing that round from this count, funding was just over $7 billion.

On the plus side, there was a 15% uptick in equity deal making last quarter, which “means investors continue to show interest in fintech solutions — particularly payments tech,” according to a CB Insights spokesperson. However, average deal size was smaller. Unsurprisingly, larger deals in the first quarter went to companies working on broader AI solutions.

During the three-month period, 904 investments were made into fintech startups. Monzo’s $430 million financing marked the largest raise of the quarter. And Bilt Rewards $200 million Series C ranked third. Companies based in the United States were the biggest recipients of capital, collectively raising $3.3 billion across 393 deals in the quarter. Europe was not far behind, with startups there raising $2.2 billion across 203 deals for the same period. The drastically smaller number of deals in Europe signals larger round sizes overall in that region, compared to the U.S.

By contrast, in the first quarter of 2023, $16 billion of funding went into 1,271 fintech startups. So this year’s funding total is down 54.3% compared to the same period last year. Even more markedly, $32.9 billion was poured into 2,026 fintech startups in the first quarter of 2022. Dollars raised and deal count is also down compared to the fourth quarter of 2023, when 786 fintech startups raised $8.7 billion.

Just six new fintech unicorns were minted in the first three months of the year.

Overall, venture funding climbed 11% quarter-over-quarter to $58.4 billion while deals dropped for an eighth-straight quarter, down 7% to 6,238.



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