Last year, global fintech funding soared to $34 billion.
In spite of a global pandemic, fintech startups have continued to raise millions in early-stage funding.
This doesn’t mean, however, that securing fintech startup funding is a walk in the park. Fintech accelerators, incubators and venture capital firms alike, look for something special with each startup they invest in. Likewise, each fintech startup that has already secured funding has stood out from the crowd in terms of their fintech solution and industry expertise.
With this in mind, we’ve taken a look at four fintech startups who’ve recently secured early-stage funding to show you what fintech investors are looking for right now.
On May 28, Denver, Colorado-based fintech startup Curu secured $3 million in seed funding for its innovative approach towards strengthening the “bridge between lenders and borrowers.”
With the pre-seed funding it took home last year, Curu “successfully repositioned its direct-to-consumer application to an integrated SaaS product offering for banks, lenders, and credit unions,” in just a matter of nine months, according to a press release.
In this move to provide interoperability and connectivity between different financial entities, Curu looked to the Software as a Service (SaaS) industry to strengthen its fintech services.
As a result, Curu went live with its first enterprise partner, Bank Novo, in March, and launched with its second partner, LendKey in May.
In this seed round, adopting a SaaS solution, providing connectivity, and gaining partnerships were all factors that fintech investment funds found favorable.
Every region has unique market opportunities. Colombia-based Minka found its market opportunity in Latin America.
On May 13th, Minka raised $3 million in seed funding for not only identifying the need to develop a fintech infrastructure in Latin America, but a clear plan for doing so as well.
Following in the footsteps of Curu, Minka is also looking to roll out a SaaS-based platform for its users, but what really attracted investors like FinTech Collective in this seed round was Minka’s potential role in ushering-in a “Fintech Revolution” in Latin America.
FinTech Collective Director Sean Lippel stated that in order for the fintech revolution to occur there has to be an “adequate infrastructure to move money”, which Minka is providing a solution to.
While Minka may offer similar solutions as other fintech startups, it’s meeting a demand in a region where these types of solutions are scarce.
Solving a specific problem like financial exclusion with a specific fintech solution for a specific market like Latin America was a major contributor to Minka’s success with investors.
Solutions For Multiple Verticals
Having secured an additional seed round of $2.9 million on May 7, London, UK-based fintech startup Banked has raised nearly $6.6 million in seed funding to date.
Offering real-time payments while looking to upgrade an archaic payments system used by credit card companies that was designed over 40 years ago, Banked went above and beyond in making its services available across multiple verticals.
“The team at Banked have identified product-market fit across a number of verticals including e-commerce, B2B payments and big money industries such as gaming, trading and retail,” said Force Over Mass partner Filip Coen, in a statement.
“We have been watching open banking payments closely, waiting for the right time, team, product and vision to invest in, and we see all of these within Banked and their approach,” he added.
The ability to expand and identify product-market fit across so many different verticals is how Banked was able to stand above the rest in London’s extremely competitive fintech market.
Appealing to Millennials
Mumbai, India-based fintech startup HomeCapital has raised at least $1 million in seed funding for its solutions towards facilitating affordable housing.
As Millennials come of age and enter the homebuying market, fintechs like HomeCapital are there to support them, and appealing to the Millennial market was one of the major reasons investors like Varanium NextGen Fund decided to get on board.
“HomeCapital’s product addresses an important challenge for the millennial home buyers and the real estate market,” said Varanium partner Aparajit Bhandarkar, in a statement.
“The team has a strong track record of execution, both from a technology and business perspective at frugal costs,” he added.
And just as Minka was there to provide a solution particular to a geographic region, HomeCapital is addressing a specific Indian problem with its services.
According to the Economic Times of India, “Housing Affordability and low savings for down payment are some of the biggest problems for first time home buyers in India. The problems have become more acute in large cities due to rapid urbanisation and relatively young workforce population with no savings.”
With a demographic and geographic focus, HomeCapital continues to attract investors in the face of a global pandemic.
The Role of Fintech PR in Funding
In the competitive fintech startup landscape, just getting noticed by investors can be a daunting challenge.
Generating positive PR for your fintech product has never been more important. Fintech influencers, be they social media personalities, bloggers or journalists, are the gatekeepers to the industry and wider public.
Publicize’s all-encompassing fintech PR strategies include:
- Connections with top fintech influencers
- Top tier media coverage
- SEO and content marketing
- Fintech white paper writing
- Industry press and publications
- Fintech communications
- And a whole lot more!
No matter what stage your business is at, a comprehensive fintech PR campaign will build the exposure you need; from winning the battle for hearts and minds with consumers, to increasing awareness within the investor community.