NCFAs innovation and funding ecosystem

Fintech Frenzy: Hype or Reality? A Closer Look at 6 Key Sectors

Fortune | Matt Harris | Aug 8, 2018

Fintech sectors - Fintech Frenzy: Hype or Reality? A Closer Look at 6 Key SectorsMatt Harris is a managing director at Bain Capital Ventures. He is consistently ranked as one of the top investors in fintech, having participated in the space since 2000.

I’ve been proven wrong once again.

For eight years running, I’ve predicted that fintech investment is going to plateau. Based on the start of 2018, it hasn’t yet. In fact, we saw more than $5.4 billion invested in fintech during the first quarter of the year, with no signs of slowing momentum. For perspective, fintech investment for all of 2014 was just under $4 billion, so that’s “5x” growth in four years. In 2001, per data from Venture Scanner, it was something like $300 million.

With that said, this whole “fintech” thing is kind of a charade. As I shared with attendees last month during our annual Fintech CEO Summit, co-hosted together with Nyca Partners, the CEOs in our portfolios don’t actually run “fintech businesses.” They run a payments business or a lending business, or they build investing technologies, or they sell to banks or insurance or real estate companies.

Regardless of what VCs tell limited partners, or how media cover the industry, these businesses don’t necessarily have much to do with each other (besides the obvious of moving money around).

So while the investment numbers are up in aggregate, each sub-sector has a very different story. And it’s worth diving in more deeply to understand what’s really going on.

Wealth/Investing: Race to the bank

Wealth tech companies get a steady 10% of fintech investment year after year. There’s a durable view that they show real opportunity for disruption. One of the more interesting trends right now is that all the wealth and investment companies that have achieved scale—like SoFi, Acorns, and Wealthfront (another disclosure: my team has backed Acorns)—are doing the same thing: They’re adding a checking account. You could paint with a broad brush and say they are all trying to become banks. Not necessarily licensed banks, but rather, leveraging third parties and new technologies to try to become a consumer’s primary financial partner.

See:  Lifehacks for When a Robot Wants Your Job

This is really fascinating to me and raises a key question for our industry, and our society: Will consumers bail on traditional banks? Will they go to their employer with a new direct deposit authorization form and say “send my money to Betterment, to Acorns, to SoFi”? This is truly a new phenomenon. If it works, there’s a whole new era of fintech coming, where the banks go from the “Empire Strikes Back” phase that they’re in right now—and they start to worry again. It doesn’t mean wealth tech is toast if it doesn’t work, but it’s striking that all these companies had the same ideas at the same time.

Venture investment: $1.2 billion in 2017 (Source: CB Insights)
Startup energy: Steady as she goes

Insurance: Fast growth leads to full stack

Insurance startups are really at a pivot right now. Companies like Oscar or ZhongAn have scaled from nothing to billions a year in funding, and in the process, they’ve decided to be full stack. Historically, insurance startups Insureon and Zenefits were simply brokers or managing general agents, but increasingly there’s a take that startups need to be(come) carriers. I certainly understand that instinct—if you don’t control the product, someone else controls the capital. So, I get it. But return on equity for carriers tends to be around 9%. It doesn’t make sense for a VC to invest in a carrier. Not at all.

Moving forward, the insurance tech players need to figure this out. It will be the difference between insurance getting really transformed or having a bunch of brokers with fancy apps. And that second future is not going to create a lot of equity value.

Venture investment: $1.4 billion in 2017 (Source: CB Insights)
Startup energy: Awkward teenage years

Real Estate: Disruption in full effect

Real estate and crypto are the two areas where we see the most growth. In real estate, five of the venture world’s 10 most recent unicorns—Compass, OpenDoor, WeWork, Airbnb and UCommune—are real estate companies, whether you think of them that way or not. OpenDoor, for instance, invented a true “prop” brokerage, where they don’t broker a sale for 6%, but instead buy the property, find another buyer and make money on the spread. Zillow now says they’re doing the same thing, and there have been a bunch of fast followers. This incredibly stodgy industry—which hasn’t changed in a hundred years—is getting re-made.

See:  Real estate crowdfunding in Canada: portal insights for 2017/18

Venture investment: $1.2 billion in 2017 (Source: PitchBook)
Startup energy: First-movers moving fast

Cryptocurrency/Blockchain: Time to get serious

What can we say about crypto? Last year at our Fintech CEO Summit, we talked about how people were going to go to jail for initial coin offerings (ICOs). No one has gone to jail yet, but it’s tricky. ICO volume is still frothy, with a peak of $4.1 billion raised in March but otherwise running at roughly $1.5 billion a month. Plus, the noise out of government is getting louder and clearer that this is not some sort of safe harbor.

Beyond ICOs, we think about the crypto space in three parts: the crypto investing ecosystem, enterprise blockchain, and distributed applications.

For the first, a key question is: Will crypto be an asset class? Provisionally, I believe the answer is “yes.” The investing ecosystem is now maturing nicely, and several pioneers like Basis and Compound (last disclosure: both are portfolio companies), are filling in key elements of market structure, assuming people want to trade crypto at scale more in the future.

Regarding enterprise blockchain, is it actually a standalone business? The market is thriving if you count press releases, but not if you look for revenue outside of proof-of-concept. We provisionally said “no” to this question in the early days, but we have great entrepreneurs working on it—and I’m sure they’ll prove us wrong.

See:  ‘This Is Not a Passing Fad’: CFA Exam Adds Crypto, Blockchain Topics

Finally, distributed applications are the big prize. It’s clearly early days, but this is where the talent is heading. Will the Airbnb, Uber, and Amazon Web Services of the future simply be open source protocols powered by tokens that change the way we store our files, book our houses, book our travel, and manage our transportation? I don’t know when, but I believe we’ll get there. Someday.

Venture investment: $716 million in 2017 (Source: CB Insights)
Startup energy: Wild, wild west (and east and north and south)

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Fintech Frenzy: Hype or Reality? A Closer Look at 6 Key SectorsThe National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, STO, and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: ncfacanada.org

Latest news - Fintech Frenzy: Hype or Reality? A Closer Look at 6 Key SectorsFF Logo 400 v3 - Fintech Frenzy: Hype or Reality? A Closer Look at 6 Key Sectorscommunity social impact - Fintech Frenzy: Hype or Reality? A Closer Look at 6 Key Sectors

IMF Blog | Tobias Adrian and Rhoda Weeks-Brown | Jul 26, 2021 New digital forms of money have the potential to provide cheaper and faster payments, enhance financial inclusion, improve resilience and competition among payment providers, and facilitate cross-border transfers. But doing so is not straightforward. It requires significant investment as well as difficult policy choices, such as clarifying the role of the public and private sectors in providing and regulating digital forms of money. Some countries may be tempted by a shortcut: adopting cryptoassets as national currencies. Many are indeed secure, easy to access, and cheap to transact. We believe, however, that in most cases risks and costs outweigh potential benefits. Cryptoassets are privately issued tokens based on cryptographic techniques and denominated in their own unit of account. Their value can be extremely volatile. Bitcoin, for instance, reached a peak of $65,000 in April and crashed to less than half that value two months later. See:  Ripple Pilots a Private Ledger for Central Banks Launching CBDCs And yet, Bitcoin lives on. For some, it is an opportunity to transact anonymously—for good or bad. For others, it is a means to diversify portfolios and hold a speculative asset that can bring ...
Read More
cryptoassets - Fintech Frenzy: Hype or Reality? A Closer Look at 6 Key Sectors
Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | Jul 26, 2021 Recently, a report was published regarding the European Commission distributing European (ESIF) funds through European crowdfunding platforms. Obviously, if this occurs it will be a boon for both platforms and issuers. The report was written by Karsten Wenzlaff, Ana Odorovic and Ronald Kleverlaan, along with consulting firm PwC. The authors are well known in the European Fintech and crowdfunding sectors. Crowdfund Insider connected with the authors of the report. Wenzlaff told CI: “The Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) are the main instrument for the European Union to create long-term growth and cohesion and achieve the policy objectives – it is a huge budget which has increased again for the next budget period 2021-2027. The way it works is that each country gets a certain amount and then the so-called Managing Authorities (MAs) are in charge of distributing the funds according to guidelines by the European Commission. These Managing Authorities are often Ministries for Infrastructure or Development Agency. The vast amount of funds is distributed through grants.” Wenzlaff explained that the breakthrough of this report is because, for the first time, the European Commission has created templates for the collaboration between the MAs ...
Read More
European government funding - Fintech Frenzy: Hype or Reality? A Closer Look at 6 Key Sectors
Financial Post | Amy ter Haar | Jul 29, 2021 The London Hard Fork represents a big step toward an overarching upgrade of the network known as Ethereum 2.0 The Ethereum network is one of the most established and probably the most used blockchains today. Its toolkit of functions has enabled it to become the home for multiple stablecoins, countless NFTs (non-fungible tokens), dapps (decentralized applications) and DeFi projects (decentralized finance projects). Moreover, its native digital asset, ETH (Ether), holds the position of second-largest cryptocurrency value by market cap. However, Ethereum’s explosive growth over the past six years has resulted in an energy intensive, expensive and inefficient blockchain that must now overcome some of these pain points. Enter, the London Hard Fork. On Aug. 4 at block 12,965,000, the London Hard Fork will go live on the Ethereum main network when a series of five protocol updates called EIPs (Ethereum Improvement Proposals) are deployed. See:  Ethereum cryptocurrency to slash carbon emissions The series of EIP upgrades require miners and nodes to update their software in order to keep interacting with Ethereum’s blockchain. Since the upgrade is not backward-compatible, it is known as a ‘hard fork’ — if a node doesn’t ...
Read More
Aug 3 Ethereum London hard fork - Fintech Frenzy: Hype or Reality? A Closer Look at 6 Key Sectors
Guest Post | Jul 29, 2021 Sticking to manual lease accounting processes and compliance with relevant standards can be a huge nightmare. The solution? Use Trullion, a dependable software that uses AI to automate and simplify your lease accounting workflows and compliance processes. In this review, we’ll look into how Trullion can help you establish seamless lease accounting processes and make complying with the required standards more efficient. What is Trullion? Trullion is an Artificial Intelligence or AI-powered Software as a Service (SaaS) platform that automates lease accounting workflows for auditors, Chief Financial Officers (CFOs), and accountants. The platform combines the structured and unstructured aspects of accounting by reading Excel and PDF files and turning them into financial workflows,   revenue recognition and lease accounting. Trullion is designed to provide a solution to accounting process silos most Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and accounting firms often fail to address. See:  Top 12 AI Use Cases: Artificial Intelligence in FinTech It can give you a 360° real-time view of your financial data, extract information from source documents and connect them to your audit trail, and speed up your ASC 842, IFRS 16, GASB 87 compliance process. Main features and functionalities Essentially, Trullion ...
Read More
Trullion home - Fintech Frenzy: Hype or Reality? A Closer Look at 6 Key Sectors
Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | Jul 28, 2021 LendingClub (NYSE:LC), a Fintech that started as a peer-to-peer lender and now operating as a digital bank, has posted strong 2nd quarter results that easily topped expectations. LendingClub finally turned the corner on profitability shredding guidance that had expected a loss. Shares moved considerably higher in after-hours trading during a crowded earnings announcement day. At the start of 2021, LendingClub completed the acquisition of Radius Bank thus entering the red hot digital banking sector. This quarter is the first earnings round as a nationally chartered digital bank. According to LendingClub sequential revenue increased by 93%, driven by growth in marketplace lending revenue and increased net interest income from the retained portfolio of consumer loans. Total revenue was $204.4 million, almost double the previous quarter, with net income jumping to $9.4 million – in stark contrast to the $47.1 million loss delivered in Q1. See:  Why LendingClub’s Acquisition Of Radius Bank Is A Smart Deal The fact that LendingClub will now be able to hold deposits as a bank means a lower cost of funding for its online lending segment. LendingClub CEO Scott Sanborn, issued the following statement: “Our first full quarter ...
Read More
lending club rebound - Fintech Frenzy: Hype or Reality? A Closer Look at 6 Key Sectors
Wired | Bhaskar Chakravorti | Jul 27, 2021 A handful of companies have outsize influence on the world’s artificial intelligence. Policymakers must act now to stem the rise of powerful monopolies. Without intervention, AI could also help undermine democracy–through amplifying misinformation or enabling mass surveillance. The past year and a half has also underscored the impact of algorithmically powered social media, not just on the health of democracy, but on health care itself. The overall direction and net impact of AI sits on a knife's edge, unless AI R&D and applications are appropriately channeled with wider societal and economic benefits in mind. How can we ensure that? A handful of US tech companies, including Amazon, Alibaba, Alphabet, Facebook, and Netflix, along with Chinese mega-players such as Baidu, are responsible for $2 of every $3 spent globally on AI. They’re also among the top AI patent holders. Not only do their outsize budgets for AI dwarf others’, including the federal government’s, they also emphasize building internally rather than buying AI. Even though they buy comparatively little, they’ve still cornered the AI startup acquisition market. See:  Nobel-winning Psychologist: ‘Clearly AI is going to win. How people are going to adjust is a ...
Read More
AI - Fintech Frenzy: Hype or Reality? A Closer Look at 6 Key Sectors
CSA | Jul 28, 2021 Vancouver – The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) is proposing to introduce a new prospectus exemption for issuers listed on a Canadian stock exchange that is expected to provide a more efficient way for them to raise capital. “We’ve heard from market participants that the time and cost to prepare a short form prospectus is a barrier to capital raising for many smaller issuers,” said Louis Morisset, CSA Chair and President and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers. “The proposal would reduce regulatory burden, while maintaining robust investor protection.” The proposed Listed Issuer Financing Exemption is expected to reduce costs for issuers raising smaller amounts of capital through the public markets. It would also allow smaller issuers greater access to retail investors and provide retail investors with a broader choice of investments. The prospectus exemption would not be available to issuers that have been a reporting issuer for less than 12 months, nor to issuers that have not filed all continuous disclosure documents required under Canadian securities legislation. Eligible issuers would file a short offering document and the securities they issue would be freely tradeable. Under the proposed exemption, issuers could raise up to the greater ...
Read More
Raising capital burden reduction - Fintech Frenzy: Hype or Reality? A Closer Look at 6 Key Sectors
Guest Post | Jul 28, 2021 Image:  Pixabay When buying a home, there are plenty of important factors a lender will consider when deciding whether or not to give you a mortgage. They will think about your income, your down payment, your other debts, and of course, your credit score. Your credit score is essentially a snapshot of your history as a borrower. The higher the score, the less risky you are to lend money to, in most cases. While most with an average credit score or above average will be fine, those who are below might experience a bit more trouble. But thankfully, you aren’t doomed to have a bad credit score forever. Read on as we go over some of the best ways to quickly raise your score to buy a home. Remove Negative Items on Your Credit Report Perhaps the fastest and most affordable way to raise your credit score is to remove negative items from your credit report. These generally include collections and inquiries. While each one might only hurt your credit a bit, if they pile up, it can have a major impact. Be sure to go through your report and ensure you do all ...
Read More
digital bank - Fintech Frenzy: Hype or Reality? A Closer Look at 6 Key Sectors
Guest Post | Jul 28, 2021 Over 80% of enterprises fail due to cash flow problems. The figure is a dead giveaway of why you need to minimize your expenses. After all, reducing your business costs has a direct impact on your cash flow. Not only does it help you pocket more money, but it also bolsters your business financially. If you’re looking for tried and tested tips to reduce your business costs, consider following the tips below. 1. Invest in preventive measures Risks are inevitable for businesses, and when they happen, they often eat up a considerable chunk of your profits. To avoid experiencing the financial nightmare that comes from unforeseen threats, you must set preventive and protective measures to mitigate risks. For instance, if you invested in creating an app for your business, you need to ensure your critical business codes are protected against system failure or cybercriminals. An effective way of doing this is to back up your codes regularly. To avoid spending countless hours running your backups, which increases your business cost, run automatic DevOps backups. That way, your backups are done with very little to no workforce hours needed, and you know your code is ...
Read More
Reducing business costs - Fintech Frenzy: Hype or Reality? A Closer Look at 6 Key Sectors
Bitcoin.com  | Sergio Goschenko | Jul 27, 2021 Goldman Sachs, one of the biggest banking institutions in the world, has filed an application to offer an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) linked to the performance of decentralized finance (defi) companies. The instrument, if approved, would help institutions and retail investors gain exposure to defi assets with the help of a regulated bank like Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs Proposes Defi ETF Goldman Sachs, one of leading commercial banks in the world, has introduced an application to the SEC to offer a defi-linked ETF. The defined ETF is called “Goldman Sachs Innovate Defi and Blockchain Equity ETF,” and it would seek to provide exposure to these technologies for regulated institutions. The performance of the fund would be linked to the Solactive Blockchain Technology Performance-Index. See:  10 Highlights From Goldman Sachs’ June 2021 Digital Asset Thought Piece This index follows a portfolio of tech industries that are invested in blockchain technologies. The index includes companies like Nokia, Alphabet, IBM, Microsoft, and Overstock. This would be the first ETF that aims to capitalize on the popularity that the defi sector has experienced this year. As Bitcoin.com News reported in June, Goldman Sachs has been courting ...
Read More
Goldman Sachs  - Fintech Frenzy: Hype or Reality? A Closer Look at 6 Key Sectors