Transportation Blows Past Fintech in VC Funding

canstockphoto10039749When it comes to venture funding, the grass is (sometimes) greener in the other sector.

The transportation sector enjoyed VC spotlight throughout 2016, while the fintech sector was left in the shadow, according to Global Innovation Investment Report release by Crunchbase.

Overall, global VC grew 19% year over year, reaching a five-year-high of $176 billion. In the U.S., however, the amount was down 11%, to $76 billion.

“It’s been life in the fast lane for transportation investors in 2016,” the report said, with investments reaching $16 billion for transportation-related companies. That’s a whooping 75% increase compared to 2015. The hike is largely credited to several big-ticket acquisitions, most notably Didi Chuxing’s $7 billion purchase of Uber China, and General Motors’ $1 billion deal with Cruise Automation.

Venture and growth investing in transport-related companies were “fueled by momentum in the logistics, autonomous driving, automotive e-commerce, and ride-hailing sectors, as well as the prospect of big M&A exits,” according to the report. The top five investors driving the investment growth were Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners, Expansion Venture Capital, 500 Startups, and Fontinalis Partners.

Fintech went through a rocky year (didn’t we all?). The headwinds created by the marketplace lending sector cast an overall shadow on fintech, freezing M&A and IPO activities, according to the report. While investments were down in P2P and bitcoin, robo-advisors (such as Betterment and SigFig) and payment processor firms saw a slight uptick.

Among notable U.S. raises was  cross-border payments platform Payoneer ($180 million), and Stripe ($150 million). The IPO freeze, according to the report, will gain momentum across the spectrum in 2017. (Check out our fintech IPO candidates here.) Active investors in the sector were 500 Startups, Digital Currency Group, Ribbit Capital, Sequoia Capital, and RRE Ventures.

Among other notable sectors were artificial intelligence and virtual reality. Check out the full report here.

To learn more about investment trends in the space, join us at Bank Innovation 2017 in San Jose. Please request your invitation here.

 

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