The Great Fintech Slowdown: US and UK's Funding Struggle in 2023

by Damian Chmiel
  • US fintech funding falls 36% to $18.2 Billion in 2023, while the UK sees 63% drop to $4.2 Billion.
  • Economic challenges lead to those significant downturns in the biggest fintech economies.
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Fintech startups in the United States and the United Kingdom saw funding decline significantly in 2023 compared to the previous year, according to the newest report by Tracxn. The total funding into US fintech startups fell 36% to $18.2 billion in 2023 while in the UK market, the slump was even more visible; local companies raised $4.2 billion, representing a plunge of 63% from the $11.2 billion secured in 2022.

US Fintech Funding Slumps amid Economic Headwinds

In 2023, the US fintech industry, despite being the most funded globally, experienced a significant downturn in investment. The sector's total funding plummeted to $18.2 billion, a decline of 36% from the previous year's $28.5 billion. This trend was emphasized by a strong decrease in the number of large funding rounds, with only 19 rounds exceeding $100 million, compared to 70 in 2022.

“With inflation, increased interest rates, geopolitical issues, and other macroeconomic conditions, activity across industries has been slow, making it challenging for the investment market,” the report commented.

Amidst these challenges, the US market still saw the emergence of four new unicorns and a total of 172 acquisitions, albeit a decrease from previous years. San Francisco remained the epicenter of fintech funding, leading in city-wise investments. Notably, the payments , investment technology, and finance & accounting technology segments emerged as the top performers despite the overall funding slump.

The UK Fintech Sector Faces Second Year of Declining Investments

Following the US, the UK fintech sector witnessed a downturn, ranking second globally in fintech funding for 2023. The total investment dropped to $4.2 billion, a significant fall from $11.2 billion in the preceding year. This reduction reflects broader macroeconomic challenges impacting investor confidence, such as rising interest rates and inflation.

Source: Tracxn
Source: Tracxn

The declines in the two largest economies regarding fintech startups continue the unfavorable trend observed a year earlier. At the beginning of 2023, Finance Magnates reported that global fintech funding had shrunk 30% in 2022 to $95 billion. Fintech companies fared significantly worse during this period than financial or technology firms.

“The drop in funding is primarily due to a downward move in late-stage and early-stage funding. The sector attracted late-stage investments worth $2.7 billion in 2023, 60% lower than the $6.8 billion raised in 2022,” the report added.

Source: Tracxn
Source: Tracxn

The UK's fintech landscape, particularly in London, remains vibrant, albeit with reduced funding. Moreover, the UK fintech ecosystem introduced two new unicorns, and London continued to dominate the country's fintech investment scene.

Bucking the adverse trends, the British payment startup SumUp managed to raise $306 million in a financing round finalized in November. As a result, the company is currently valued at nearly $9 billion. This high valuation was achieved when the EMEA region's fintech sector recorded a decline of 50%.

Fintech Industry Outlook

The investment trends in both the US and UK fintech sectors highlight the impact of global economic pressures. While the US fintech sector's decline was less steep than the UK's, both markets experienced a significant contraction in funding activities. The emergence of new unicorns and sustained interest in specific segments like payment technologies indicate resilience and potential areas for growth.

These trends suggest a cautious outlook for fintech investments in 2024, with potential shifts in investor focus towards segments demonstrating resilience and innovation amidst economic challenges. Government initiatives, particularly in the UK, aim to bolster the fintech ecosystem, indicating a proactive approach to supporting this key industry in turbulent times.

“In 2023, quarterly funding for the UK fintech startup ecosystem experienced a steady decline from Q1 to Q3, reaching its lowest point in Q3 at $410 million, marking the least funded quarter since 2019,” the report concluded.

Fintech startups in the United States and the United Kingdom saw funding decline significantly in 2023 compared to the previous year, according to the newest report by Tracxn. The total funding into US fintech startups fell 36% to $18.2 billion in 2023 while in the UK market, the slump was even more visible; local companies raised $4.2 billion, representing a plunge of 63% from the $11.2 billion secured in 2022.

US Fintech Funding Slumps amid Economic Headwinds

In 2023, the US fintech industry, despite being the most funded globally, experienced a significant downturn in investment. The sector's total funding plummeted to $18.2 billion, a decline of 36% from the previous year's $28.5 billion. This trend was emphasized by a strong decrease in the number of large funding rounds, with only 19 rounds exceeding $100 million, compared to 70 in 2022.

“With inflation, increased interest rates, geopolitical issues, and other macroeconomic conditions, activity across industries has been slow, making it challenging for the investment market,” the report commented.

Amidst these challenges, the US market still saw the emergence of four new unicorns and a total of 172 acquisitions, albeit a decrease from previous years. San Francisco remained the epicenter of fintech funding, leading in city-wise investments. Notably, the payments , investment technology, and finance & accounting technology segments emerged as the top performers despite the overall funding slump.

The UK Fintech Sector Faces Second Year of Declining Investments

Following the US, the UK fintech sector witnessed a downturn, ranking second globally in fintech funding for 2023. The total investment dropped to $4.2 billion, a significant fall from $11.2 billion in the preceding year. This reduction reflects broader macroeconomic challenges impacting investor confidence, such as rising interest rates and inflation.

Source: Tracxn
Source: Tracxn

The declines in the two largest economies regarding fintech startups continue the unfavorable trend observed a year earlier. At the beginning of 2023, Finance Magnates reported that global fintech funding had shrunk 30% in 2022 to $95 billion. Fintech companies fared significantly worse during this period than financial or technology firms.

“The drop in funding is primarily due to a downward move in late-stage and early-stage funding. The sector attracted late-stage investments worth $2.7 billion in 2023, 60% lower than the $6.8 billion raised in 2022,” the report added.

Source: Tracxn
Source: Tracxn

The UK's fintech landscape, particularly in London, remains vibrant, albeit with reduced funding. Moreover, the UK fintech ecosystem introduced two new unicorns, and London continued to dominate the country's fintech investment scene.

Bucking the adverse trends, the British payment startup SumUp managed to raise $306 million in a financing round finalized in November. As a result, the company is currently valued at nearly $9 billion. This high valuation was achieved when the EMEA region's fintech sector recorded a decline of 50%.

Fintech Industry Outlook

The investment trends in both the US and UK fintech sectors highlight the impact of global economic pressures. While the US fintech sector's decline was less steep than the UK's, both markets experienced a significant contraction in funding activities. The emergence of new unicorns and sustained interest in specific segments like payment technologies indicate resilience and potential areas for growth.

These trends suggest a cautious outlook for fintech investments in 2024, with potential shifts in investor focus towards segments demonstrating resilience and innovation amidst economic challenges. Government initiatives, particularly in the UK, aim to bolster the fintech ecosystem, indicating a proactive approach to supporting this key industry in turbulent times.

“In 2023, quarterly funding for the UK fintech startup ecosystem experienced a steady decline from Q1 to Q3, reaching its lowest point in Q3 at $410 million, marking the least funded quarter since 2019,” the report concluded.

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