Financial technology — or FinTech — is booming, with money flooding into the sector on both sides of the Atlantic.
In the UK, London’s TransferWise was valued at $US1 billion (£637 million) earlier this year in a $US58 million funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz. Peer-to-peer lender Funding Circle also recently raised $US150 million, reportedly at a similar valuation.
There just two examples from an industry that spans everything from online payment processing to bitcoin.
CB Insights, a data provider to the venture capital industry, hosted a webinar on FinTech this week and two slides from its presentation underline just how hot the FinTech scene is right now.
The first shows more and more money is flowing into the sector via more and more deals:
The blue bars represent total funding. They show that funding is growing at a rate of 45% a year, with $US13.7 billion invested into the sector last year alone.
The orange line represents the total number of FinTech funding deals each quarter and that too is rising, at a rate of 16% per year.
CB Insights say the biggest areas of FinTech investment for top VCs since 2007 are the following: payments, personal finance management, lending and bitcoin.
The second important slide shows that more and more people are looking to invest in the sector:
The number of investors in financial technology has exploded over the last five years, with four times more backers today than there were in 2010.
Big investment banks who used to simply buy in technology are now investing in emerging players to make sure they aren’t left behind in the fast changing industry.
JPMorgan has invested in companies including peer-to-peer lender Prosper and mobile credit card processor Square, while Goldman Sachs has backed bitcoin business Circle and online broker Motif Investing.
On this side of the Atlantic, Santander last year launched a $US100 million FinTech investment fund and Barclays sponsors a Tech Star’s ‘accelerator’ programme for FinTech firms so it can keep an eye on what’s going on.