Most fintech startups don’t survive.
The landscape of payments, lending, artificial intelligence might seem bustling thanks to all the industry hoopla around it, but the success rate for a startup to make it in these fields — or for that matter any of 15-plus fintech segments — is slim.
How slim? Well, according to a new Medici report released today, only one out of 10 fintech startups survive. The main reason for this boils down to — surprise — money.
According the Medici report titled “Democratization of Startup Financing,” seed/angel funding per startup among fintechs has drastically fallen over the past seven years. In fact, between 2010 and 2017, that amount dropped 57%. The average funding for seed-stage fintechs in 2017 was $3 million, in 2010 it was $6.84 million. In 2017, the total funding for seed-stage companies was $851 million, based on the report.
Eric Kryski, the Co-founder of Bidali and Founder & CEO of Bullish Ventures, said in the Medici report:
Startups should not be looked at as some get-rich-quick scheme! Most fail miserably. Furthermore, nearly all of the successful ones that you have heard of were grinding for 2–3 years before you even knew about them. Even if you happen to be part of the minority that succeeds, you will most likely be running your business for 7 years before you see a large return. There is a lot more to the startup dream when you actually crunch the numbers.
On the brighter side, funding for more established fintechs is on the rise across the world. According to the report, the average funding for late-stage VC rounds in 2017 increased to $1.56 billion from $26.64 million in 2010. In 2017, the total funding of early-stage startups was at $7.1 billion and late-stage was at $6.9 billion. In 2010, those numbers were at $316.33 million and at $156 million respectively.
The trend shows that increasingly, investors prefer pouring money into startups that have already crossed the seed-stage. The report categorizes the various stages of funding as seed, early and VC round. these are stages leading up to Series A. These investors would rather get involved at these stages because such startups have already passed the most important hurdle in establishing financial sustainability.
The report highlights that with technology companies and service providers like Quickbooks, Plaid, Mambu, and others, setting up a business is no longer a big feat. The most important aspect, which is also the most difficult, is proving to investors that the business model is not just sustainable but also capable of reaping returns.
And even after crossing these phases, the battle continues. In fact, by Series A, the survival rate of U.S. startups is about 40%, Series B is about 25% by Series B, and for Series D it’s 5%, based on the report.
And while today the financing options for startups has moved beyond the traditional institutional investors to options like crowdfunding, for B2B lending companies such as BlueVine, the battle for survival remains a hard one.