Will software for CFOs create a bright spot in a battered fintech market?
The comedown from the venture capital boom of 2021 has shaken up much of the startup world, but the dearth of capital has shown up sharply in one particular niche: fintech.
CB Insights data indicates that after reaching a peak in 2021, funding to fintech startups across the world dropped a drastic 46% to $75.2 billion from $139.8 billion a year ago. Early 2023 data is still trickling in, but we’ve yet to hear from anyone that venture funding to fintech will rebound. Yes, Stripe’s $6.5 billion raise might skew tallies somewhat, but let’s not forget that it’s also a down round.
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But fintech is broad, encompassing everything from Chime and Alpaca to Brex. In fact, it’s nearly too broad a group to be of much use. You have to dig deeper and be more specific to get a clearer picture of its evolving trends.
This brings us to CFOs, everyone’s favorite person in a company’s executive team: The naysayer, the demander of receipts, the fussbudget of budgets.
Call them what you will, CFOs are a critical part of a startup’s evolution. We don’t pay enough attention to CxOs here at TechCrunch, as we’re a bit more focused on founders, but last year, CFOs managed to breathe their way to our attention: TechCrunch reported about a wave of CFO turnovers at companies that had been on the IPO track before the market blocked that path or took the business down a peg.
That’s the bad news for CFOs: changing valuations in many startup categories took IPOs off the table, and they are now tasked with stretching cash as far as it can go in a market where capital dried up faster than a puddle in Death Valley.
But there’s good news as well: lots of fintech startups are building tools for CFOs and their larger office, often called “the CFO stack.”