Greater Boston FinTech Funding – 2016 in Review

Greater Boston, by my definition, runs from Portland to Providence and as far west as Worcester. By my calculations, 21 FinTech startups in the greater Boston area raised north of $248 million from investors in 2016. This is up substantially in dollar volume from both 2015 and 2014, which both clocked in at approximately $190 million apiece. Funding sources were quite diverse, but .406 Ventures and newcomer Vestigo Ventures each did two deals in the region during the year.

Blockchain payments startup Circle led fundraising in greater Boston for the second year in a row, with $60 million raised in June of 2016 on top of $50 million raised in April of 2015. I believe they trail only BlueSnap, another local global payments firm, in total money raised.

COMPANY                                                            CAPITAL

Circle

 $60,000,000

Toast

 $30,000,000

Vestmark

 $30,000,000

Maxwell Health

 $26,400,000

Quantopian

 $25,000,000

EverQuote

 $23,000,000

Goji

 $19,000,000

FirstBlood

   $5,500,000

Bison

   $5,088,225

LevelUp

   $5,000,000

Centage

   $4,000,000

Quilt

   $3,250,000

Paymentworks

   $2,500,000

Jisto

   $2,450,000

Clearsurance

   $2,000,000

Insurify

   $2,000,000

Finomial

   $1,620,000

Indico

   $1,200,000

ValChoice

      $120,000

LearnLux

        $40,000

LifeYield

          ?

On the exit front, both student loan paydown startup Gradifi and renewable energy project modelers Evervest were acquired.

Pivots are to be expected from early stage firms, but the most jarring change of direction last year came not from a fledgling operating on a shoe-string but from a subsidiary of MassMutual providing personal finance education for millennials. It’s called Society of Grownups, and I am on record as liking the idea. But, oddly, after pledging to invest $100 million, MassMutual (the company, not its venture arm) abruptly pulled the plug on the bricks and mortar strategy.  In retrospect, that $100 million announcement seems very odd. Perhaps this is an instance of an idea that would have been better off executed outside the firm by entrepreneurs with venture backing.

I am certain to have missed some funding events and to be unaware of some stealthy startups. My sources of data include, in order of authority: Edgar, reputable publications, CrunchBase, disreputable publications, rumor, speculation, fake news, and Google+. Please be in touch if you are aware of any startups that I missed.

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