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Is fintech overhyped or understated?

Photos: Unsplash/Umberto and Pedro Lopes. Design: Quartz/Alicia Gearty.
By Dasia Moore
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

In the first three quarters of 2019, fintech startups received $24.6 billion in funding. The sector’s unicorns—58 companies including the likes of China’s Ant Financial, the US’s Stripe, and Germany’s N26—are valued at a combined $213.5 billion. Fintech went from being virtually unheard of a decade ago to capturing the interest of both venture capitalists and the public.

Quartz’s latest presentation walks you through the fintech boom: the hype surrounding these new financial services platforms and the evidence that they are disrupting traditional banking.

Many fintech startups’ valuations have ballooned in the past two years. Multi-billion-dollar fundraising rounds in 2018 and 2019 meant that several fintech startups saw their valuations jump by more than 100% in a matter of months.

At the same time that valuations seem to have become untethered from startups’ financial reality, demand for financial services platforms seems greater than ever. Indonesia leads Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) countries with the sharpest rise in card and e-money payments: 112% growth in from 2017 to 2018.

Fintech startups in emerging economies have found success by focusing on financial inclusion–offering basic services to unbanked and underbanked consumers.

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