Greater Boston FinTech Funding – 2015 in Review

There are about 100 FinTech firms that I am aware of in Greater Boston, which by my definition runs from Portland to Providence and as far west as Worcester.

Twenty two found funding in 2015. Fifteen last raised capital in 2014 and 12 in 2013. Five last raised money before that. For the remaining 45, I find no public record of outside financing. They may be bootstrapped, or wildly profitable, or lifestyle businesses. Some are just getting started and may have money from friends and family. Others may be zombies.

By my count, Boston FinTech startups raised $190 million in 2015 from nearly 30 different investors (including strategic investors, who seemed more active in 2015; but not counting individual angels). That’s a decline in capital raised from 2014, but still substantially ahead of the amount raised in 2013.

The largest round – $50 million – went to bitcoin payments firm Circle; followed by $30 million for AcadiaSoft, which develops software for institutional investors; $23 million for BitSight, which provides security ratings for cyber insurance; $22 million for Flywire, which manages tuition payments for international students; and $15 million for CashStar, which is in digital gifts and incentives.

The year saw two big exits by local mobile payments startups: LoopPay, which had raised $10 million, was purchased by Samsung for $250 million and Paydiant, which had raised $35 million, was acquired by PayPal for $280 million. In addition, Covestor, which had raised nearly $24 million, was sold to Interactive Brokers for an undisclosed amount.

I am certain to have missed some funding events and to be unaware of some stealthy startups. It is also not always obvious when a firm has shut down. My sources of data include, in order of authority: Edgar, reputable publications, CrunchBase, disreputable publications, rumor, speculation, innuendo, and Google+. If you are a great new FinTech startup, and I may not know about you, please raise your hand.

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