Dancing with Unicorns: Top VCs ramp up fintech investment activity

Dancing with Unicorns: Top VCs ramp up fintech investment activity

Fintech deal activity by the world's biggest venture capital firms has grown 61% from 2010 to 2013, according to data from CB Insights.

The study tracks the investment activity of the top 12 VC firms ranging from Sequoia Capital to Andreessen Horowitz over the past five years. It shows total fintech deals by the 12 firms in 2013 grew 61% compared to 2010 and a notable 309% compared to 2009. The smart money accounts for both new investments as well as follow-on bets to established startups ranging from Stripe to Wonga to Betterment to Level Money.

Previous research from CB Insights showed fintech investments reached nearly $3B in 2013 from under $930M in 2008, and the latest datapoints from tracking of the top 12 VCs shows no let-up in 2014.

Delving deeper into the data, the biggest VC firms appear to be particularly bullish in four markets, including lending, personal financial management, payments technology and Bitcoin.

Startups which feature investment from multiple investors include Square (backed by Sequoia and Kleiner Perkins), Boku (Benchmark, NEA, A16Z), Stripe (Sequoia, Redpoint, A16Z), Coinbase (A16Z, Union Square Ventures) and Funding Circle (Accel, Union Square Ventures).

Says CB Insights: "Financial services institutions increasingly begin to monitor the changing landscape before them, following the smart money is perhaps one of the best ways to understand the trends they should stay ahead of and the companies they may want to watch from a competitive, acquisition, partnership or procurement perspective."

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