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Canada’s fintech startups thrive, funding in U.S. sector slows

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Staff Writer | January 4, 2017
Venture capital-backed investment in Canadian financial technology companies hit its highest level in almost two decades last year.
Canada’s fintech
New businesses   Fintech is revitalizing the startup scene
The flow of funds into major fintech markets like the United States declined.

Fintechs, or companies that use innovative technology to revamp everything from banking to fraud security, globally draw billions in investment annually.

In Canada, fintech is revitalizing the startup scene and has attracted a new crop of Canadian venture capital funds looking to invest specifically in young fintech companies.

According to PitchBook, used by the U.S.-based National Venture Capital Association, venture capital financing in Canadian fintech was $137.7 million in 2016, up more than 35 percent on the year. Five years ago, it was $21.8 million and in 2000 it was $7.3 million.

Figures compiled by Thomson Reuters show a rise of nearly 74 percent from 2015 to 2016, to C$264.8 million ($197.41 million), its highest level since 2000, when venture capital investment in Canadian financial technology firms reached C$317.9 million.

The figures pale in comparison to the United States, where investments reached $4.27 billion in 2016. But the trend in Canada is on the rise, compared with a decline in the U.S. and Britain.

Investments declined at least 30 percent in the U.S. in 2016, while in the UK they fell nearly 25 percent and Singaporean fintech investment sank 65 percent.

Weaker activity in the U.S. and UK was partly due to market uncertainty around the U.S. election and the Brexit vote in the UK to leave the European Union, as well as smaller deal sizes, according to data provider CBInsights and KPMG.