2017 was a big year for Boston FinTech. September saw the first edition of Boston FinTech Week, a series of mostly sold out events bringing together members of the Boston financial services and FinTech ecosystems for a deep dive into the most compelling, transformational opportunities.
Area FinTech startups made a strong showing on the fundraising front last year. By my count, 24 firms raised more than $329 million. I say “more than” because Upserve (the restaurant management platform formerly known as Swipley) and Cignifi (offering alternative risk scoring technology) raised undisclosed amounts. The dollars raised are far in excess of those for any previous year. The total number of startups funded also exceeds that for any prior year. I’m tracking roughly 120 active FinTech startup in greater Boston, so roughly 20% found funding in 2017.
Restaurant POS provider Toast raised the most ($101 million) followed by LevelUp and Kensho ($50 million each). (There is obviously a cluster of startups serving the restaurant industry in the area.) Sources of funding were very diverse – only Accomplice appears to have made more than one 2017 investment in greater Boston FinTech. (Greater Boston, by my definition, runs from Portland to Providence and as far west as Worcester.)
Here are the financing events I’ve identified:
|CargoMetrics Technologies||$ 10,000,000|
|Saylent Technologies||$ 5,000,000|
|Cambridge Blockchain||$ 2,000,000|
|Commonwealth Crypto||$ 1,500,000|
2017 saw multiple exits in the region, led by a $1.05 billion acquisition of Cayan by TSYS. Cashstar was acquired for $175 million in cash by publicly traded Blackhawk. CLO startup Linkable Networks was bought by Collison Group of the UK, Nutonian was bought by DataRobot, and RAGE Framework is now owned by Genpact. Terms of these deals were not disclosed.
It’s often hard to know exactly when a startup has shut down, but it appears that at least two notable area startups gave up the ghost in 2017. These are Co-Patient (a concept I liked) and Merchant Customer Exchange (which always appeared doomed).
I am certain to have missed some funding events and exits 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, Russian trolls, and Google+. Please be in touch if you are aware of any startups, funding events, or exits that I may have missed.
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Here’s a late-breaking addition. At the very end of 2017, BISON closed a $7,588,224 round begun in 2016. FINTOP Capital led.