Signs of a Chill in Fintech Funding?

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / kvkirillovFintech funding is booming. The first quarter of 2016 may have seen no IPOs, but it saw more funding than ever — $5.3 billion, 67% more than the same period last year, according to Accenture.

But there are signs a chill may be in the air.

At the Empire Startups Fintech Conference this week in New York, Matt Harris, managing partner at Bain Capital Ventures, battled paint fumes and a largely uncaffeinated crowd to deliver good news, but also a warning: While overall fintech funding is increasing, smaller fundings are on the decline.

Overall funding for 2015 hit $9.1 billion, according to data from Bain Capital. That’s triple the $2.7 billion raised in 2013, and the average deal size has tripled in that period as well. But there is one area where 2013 is superior to 2015 — more smaller fundings. A detail from a Bain Capital slide illustrating this is below.

bcv_mh“Smaller fundings are the seed corn of the industry,” Harris said, noting that when these begin to dry up, it is a sign that the rest could follow. In other words, we could be seeing fintech start to reverse itself — but it hasn’t yet.

But market watchers should not ignore Harris’s warning. Yes, the mega fundings are great, but not as good as a sign for the future of fintech as a large number of smaller deals.

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