Home Crypto News VC Funding for Fintechs is Down: Will COVID-19 Kill Startup Innovation?

VC Funding for Fintechs is Down: Will COVID-19 Kill Startup Innovation?

20 min read


The results of the coronavirus pandemic on the fintech business have been many and diversified.

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In the short-term, many firms have seen huge waves of latest signups as folks search new monetary instruments to help them of their each day lives and develop their investments; in some instances, the brand new signups have precipitated these firms to soar–in others, firms have struggled beneath the burden of so many new recruits.


Many younger firms and startups have additionally immediately discovered themselves in a little bit of a pickle on account of the coronavirus, notably in relation to securing funds: for instance, in its State of Fintech Q1’20 report, CB Insights discovered that this quarter was one of many worst for VC-backed fintech in a number of years. Presumably, the financial affect of COVID-19 might have curtailed traders’ pursuits in fintech.


Perhaps the obvious consequence of this discount in startup funding is merely the truth that firms will likely be compelled to both discover inventive strategies of securing funds or be compelled to close down. However, there is one other, extra refined consequence that will solely absolutely ‘play out’ within the longer-term: a discount in innovation.


Indeed, Spiros Margaris, fintech influencer and founding father of Margaris Ventures, informed Finance Magnates in an interview a number of weeks in the past that the last word consequence of the decline in startup funding is that “[the amount of innovation will go down, because if there’s less competition out there, there isn’t a need to innovate as much.”

Spiros Margaris, fintech influencer and founding father of Margaris Ventures.



In different phrases, the large might get greater and the small might disappear in relation to fintech companies.


Still, it’s potential that younger firms who can act shortly and suppose creatively might forge a brand new path ahead for themselves. Can these younger fintech firms stroll the road between staying afloat and sinking in a quarantined world? How? And will the long-term results of corona considerably decelerate innovation?


VC funding for fintech startups

The reply to this final query appears to be sure–and no. Let’s begin with the yesses.


Yes, as a result of the decline in VC funding for fintech startups is prone to proceed. In a report by enterprise intelligence agency Adkit entitled ‘Fintech in the day after Corona: An extraordinary opportunity for growth’, Adkit director and head of monetary providers Nadav Pasandi defined that funding is prone to proceed to lower.


Yes, as a result of (because the report defined), “in our estimate, the downturn trend is expected to continue, but at a more moderate rate than what we saw in the past few months due to the gradual thawing of the markets, especially in the U.S. and Europe and the need by companies to continue the funding rounds that were suspended,” the report learn.


Manish Mistry, chief technical officer and vice chairman of Internet of Things (IoT) options at Infostretch.

Yes, as a result of–citing analysis by Netherlands-based VC agency Finch Capital–the report additionally stated that the fintech funding disaster is anticipated to final not less than till Q3 of 2020.


Additionally, Manish Mistry, chief technical officer and vice chairman of Internet of Things (IoT) options at Infostretch, a Silicon Valley-based digital engineering skilled providers firm, agreed that older, bigger companies have a critical benefit within the post-COVID-19 panorama.


“Whether we are talking about big banks or fintech startups, the companies that will prosper in the face of increased customer demand and expectations are the ones that already have a foothold in the market and that can adapt to continuous change and uncertainty while building a sustainable business model around it,” Mistry defined to Finance Magnates.


In his view, this is as a result of “the current dynamics of the market favor firms that can focus on delivering more personalized, stable and secure services.”


Therefore, sure–small fintech firms are going to have a troublesome time securing funding for many of the remainder of this 12 months, and even perhaps additional into the long run. This might result in a decline in innovation, as most of the firms that might have been bringing new concepts into the market merely received’t exist.


If small fintech firms can’t survive, bigger firms might turn out to be the primary drivers of innovation and adoption

Now for the nos: will the long-term results of corona considerably decelerate innovation?


No, as a result of regardless of this decline in funding, innovation is nonetheless taking place and can proceed to occur.


No, as a result of it could be that that fintech innovation is taking place at a extra fast tempo and on a big scale than ever earlier than–particularly due to the coronavirus outbreak.


This is evidenced partially by the truth that the United States authorities quickly appointed a number of fintech companies–Intuit, PayPal and Lendio–have been all granted approval to take part within the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the U.S. authorities’s emergency lending program for small companies.


Therefore, the query might not be if innovation will decelerate; fairly, the query could also be who, precisely, is doing the innovating.


Indeed, Emre Tekisalp, Head of Business Development at O(1) Labs, the workforce behind Coda Protocol, informed Finance Magnates that “we think the coronavirus is accelerating fintech adoption.”


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“Like in many digital-first industries, the types of transformations that normally take ten years are being accelerated to happening in a matter of months,” Tekisalp informed Finance Magnates.


Emre Tekisalp, Director of Business Development at O(1) Labs.

”The coronavirus has helped [the fintech industry] with banking prospects.”

Of course (for now), the facilitation of (and the income from) this sort of fast adoption appears to be relegated to solely the most important and oldest fintech companies; in any case, PayPal was based all the way in which again in 1998; Intuit has been round since 1983. Lendio appeared on the scene in 2011.


However, the truth that these fintech firms have made their approach into the mainstream rails of the American monetary system signifies that as soon as the pandemic disaster is over, the door could also be open to many extra firms who’ve many, many extra new applied sciences.


Indeed, citing an evaluation from Bain & Company, Tekisalp stated that there additionally could also be “a ten percentage-point increase in digital payments estimates for the year 2025. As such, despite potential cash flow challenges today, the whole market has become a lot larger for fintech startups.”


In different phrases, whereas an absence of VC funding might delay the creation of latest startups (and new applied sciences) within the brief time period, the accelerated adoption of fintech in mainstream monetary programs within the United States and past might result in extra fast and widespread innovation within the longer-term.


Indeed, Tom Gavin, chief government of hashish business fintech agency CannaTrac, informed Finance Magnates that “in our estimation, the coronavirus has helped [the fintech industry] with banking prospects.”


“More banks have had to deploy new technology to ensure the safety of their employees and customers. Not to mention, new processes to gather documentation, signatures, or identity validation which used to be done in-person for smaller banks.”

Tom Gavin, chief government of hashish business fintech agency CannaTrac.

Fintech and banking may finally turn out to be one business

The elevated function of fintech within the conventional monetary establishments of the world may change the connection between the fintech and banking industries additional time. At the second, fintech firms are seen (to a big extent) as competitors for banks.


However, over the elevated utilization of fintech in banks may lead to a kind of marriage of the 2 industries–a union that has the potential to be helpful for each events.


“If there is one thing that Coronavirus is making increasingly apparent, it is the need for rapid digital evolution,” Manish Mistry informed Finance Magnates.


Indeed, on account of COVID-19, “proper digital infrastructure is becoming vital to the continuity of their business operations,” Mistry defined. “In the banking sector, nearly 60% of transactions still need to be completed in person or offline. That seems crazy in the current COVID-19 climate. It also aligns poorly with consumer attitudes to personal banking.”


Therefore, fintech firms trying to develop their companies may contemplate becoming a member of forces with massive banks. For instance, Manish Mistry informed Finance Magnates that Infostretch (which was based in 2004) “recently helped the nation’s largest financial services provider accelerate its path to digital banking.”


“We assisted in the roll-out of new web and mobile solution quickly, [which] enabled them to stay ahead of potential competitive offerings and maintain its position as the #1 rated banking app on the market,” he stated.


However, over time, this might result in a kind of centralized takeover of the fintech business–one that will make competitors extremely stiff for fintech startups.


“When big banks become serious about leveraging fintech and continuous innovation, especially in an uncertain economic and political climate, they propel themselves into competitive differentiation,” Manish Mistry informed Finance Magnates.


“With the depth of customer knowledge that their systems house, coupled with reach and scale, big banks can switch from disrupted to disruptor. They can play fintech startups at their own game, and with their unique advantages of perspective, experience, and data, they can win.”


In the meantime…

However, though the coronavirus has propelled fintech adoption ahead, it would nonetheless possible be a while earlier than the fintech and banking industries actually turn out to be one.


So, for smaller fintech firms who could also be struggling to outlive within the brief time period–how can they handle to maintain afloat till VC funding picks again up, or till there are different dependable technique of securing funding?


When it involves very early-stage firms, the most effective answer could also be to easily wait.


In April, Paul Murphy, a accomplice at Northzone, informed Sifted that firms of their very early levels might fare higher in the event that they delay launching for just a few months: “they can put off starting for three months — their only cost is themselves,” Murphy stated.


In the meantime, these firms can use the subsequent few months to hone their pitch deck. Natacha Rousseau, strategic communications and investor relations specialist Diplomatiq, informed Finance Magnates in April that “startups need to work and develop their business models and pitch decks to reflect the current economic situation and reflect their ability to adapt.”


Natacha Rousseau, strategic communications and investor relations specialist Diplomatiq.

This contains “practic[ing] investor pitches and [developing] a 30-page pitch deck and a 10-page pitch deck;” moreover, “[applying] to accelerators and incubators,” in addition to “network[ing] and strik[ing] partnerships.”


“Founders need to deeply research potential investors, and take the time to perfect or develop their tech solutions during this quiet period. Focusing on crossing their ‘Ts and dotting their I’s’ to ensure they are absolutely ready to pitch or present to investors when the time is right.”


What do you consider the way forward for fintech post-corona? Let us know within the feedback beneath.

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