The Real Gatekeepers of FinTech are Financial Institutions

As groundbreaking and disruptive proprietary solutions may seem to their creators, their success in the market is rarely attributed solely to a solution itself – especially when it comes to financial technology. The surrounding ecosystem and critical industry stakeholders are the ones playing the biggest role in enabling growth and development of the startup community.

In the financial services industry, those stakeholders include watchdogs, financial institutions, FinTech-focused venture funds and the targeted consumer market among other members of the ecosystem. Altogether, they led to the 30 largest FinTech funding rounds during the first half of 2016 exceeding $4.6 billion in aggregate funding.

Although the funding is vital for startups at various points in their lifecycle, there are other ways the ecosystem supports entrepreneurs and facilitates innovation adoption.

The strongest financial support is provided by banks

Aside from being open to building beautiful friendships with FinTech startups, financial institutions are quite passionate about financially supporting the entrepreneurial community. Banks continue to be very active in discovering talent and supporting innovative solutions – over the last five quarters, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Banco Santander or their venture arms have invested in 25 VC-backed FinTech companies. Moreover, three of the largest FinTech investors are international financial institutions – Citi Ventures by Citi, followed by Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.

From the year 2000, Citi Ventures invested over $1.39 billion across 48 deals, while JPMorgan dedicates ~$3 billion each year in technology with a large portion of that funding going towards FinTechs. Another industry leader, Bank of America, was reported to be setting aside $3 billion from its annual budget for i ...

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