Fintech has been in the dumps for a while now, and with companies like Brex once again cutting staff as they try to rein in costs, you’d be forgiven for assuming that the market for financial technology products is struggling.
Well, not really.
Brex might not be having a good couple of quarters, but there’s sufficient positive news from the world of fintech to offset all the negativity around the sector. Bilt Rewards’ new massive round is a good example of the other side of the coin: The rewards-focused startup just raised nine figures at a significantly higher unicorn valuation.
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Elsewhere, BNPL giant Klarna has been busy retooling its business for more profit and continued growth. So, yeah, while there has been a stark lack of fintech companies going public recently, capital is flowing into the sector because venture investors are still cautiously optimistic about it.
So, which startups are drawing the most praise from investors? We can answer that question relatively easily today thanks to a new list compiled by GGV US that highlights 50 fintech startups venture capitalists think are hot stuff. We also spoke to GGV managing partner Hans Tung about what he’s seeing in the sector today.
We’ll dig into the subsectors shortly, but if you want to cut to the chase: Lending, treasury management, and the CFO stack are pieces of the fintech puzzle well worth researching.
The problem with (2021) fintech
Before we dig into the good news, let’s talk narratives. Why does fintech look like it’s stuck in first gear today? A good portion of the current angst likely arises from a number of generally strong startups that raised too much at very high valuations several years ago. Those massive fundraises often led to overhiring and equity prices that don’t align with today’s norms.