Tech & Science We talked to 4 VC investors about the hottest trends in payments and the biggest innovations to keep an eye on
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- We spoke to investors at Andreessen Horowitz, Bain Capital Ventures, Citi Ventures, and Insight Partners to learn where they see the next innovations and opportunities in payments tech.
- Mostly, they're looking out for ways that payments companies can do more than just process transactions. That may be through add-on services, or even machine-initiated payments.
- Payments is interwoven into nearly every segment of the fintech landscape, from credit-card processing to online sales, to analytics around consumer behaviour.
- Some unicorns making waves in payments include AvidXchange, Brex, , Stripe, and
The fintech world is big, and funding is flooding into startups like robo-advisors, neobanks, and alternative lenders.
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In the third quarter this year, total fintech funding topped $US8.9 billion, a record when adjusted for Alibaba's fintech Ant Financial's $US14 billion last year,. Globally, there are now 58 fintech unicorns (startups valued at more than $US1 billion).
Payments is interwoven into nearly every segment of the fintech landscape, from credit card processing to online sales to analytics around consumer behaviour. Some unicorns that have made big waves in payments include AvidXchange, Brex,, Stripe, and
While some say incumbents should fear competition from fintechs, many existing companies are partnering with startups. Marqeta, which provides card issuing, and Plaid, which helps startups link into consumers' bank accounts, have inked partnerships with legacy players likeand .
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Incumbents themselves have made bold moves to stay current, like, or . They're also making investments through their venture arms. Amex Ventures has backed Plaid and Stripe; Visa has invested in Marqeta and Finix.
And payments companies are also snapping up ways to expand their services. Earlier this week,said it a startup that makes browser shopping add-ons for its customers, for $US4 billion, which would be PayPal's biggest buy ever.
We spoke to four investors at leading VC firms about where they see the next opportunities when it comes to payments.
Anish Acharya, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz
Anish Acharya, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, sees innovations coming not just from payments companies, but from unexpected players into the fintech space.
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The Silicon Valley venture-capital firm is known for its early investments in companies like Facebook and Lyft. In the payments space, it has backed startups including Dwolla, payments giant, and fast-growing cross-border player .
Matt Harris, partner at Bain Capital Ventures
Matt Harris is a partner at Bain Capital Ventures, and has helped lead investments in fintechs like micro-investing startup Acorns; AvidXchange, which helps companies pay bills electronically; and payments platform Flywire.
He thinks payments companies need to do more to keep market share, and but that it's still hard to imagine a world where payments come free.
Ramneek Gupta, managing director & co-head of venture investing at Citi Ventures
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Ramneek Gupta is the co-head of venture investing at Citi Ventures, the VC arm of Citibank. He joined Citi in 2011, and has led investments in companies like payments processor Square, electronic-signature startup DocuSign, and ride-hailing company Grab.
Gupta has his eye on machine-initiated payments, and thinks companies will have to find creative ways to use payments data to make money amid pressures on revenues of simply processing transactions.
Byron Lichtenstein, principal at Insight Partners
Byron Lichtenstein, a principal at Insight Partners, says opportunities are not just about moving money from point A to point B, but also in the using the data found in and around payments.
Insight Partners focuses mainly on growth-stage software companies across verticals from education to social media to fintech, and it has invested in German neobank, business expense management startup , and payment fraud monitoring startup .
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