The comedown from the venture capital boom of 2021 has shaken up much of the startup world, but the dearth of capital has shown up sharply in one particular niche: fintech.

CB Insights data indicates that after reaching a peak in 2021, funding to fintech startups across the world dropped a drastic 46% to $75.2 billion from $139.8 billion a year ago. Early 2023 data is still trickling in, but we’ve yet to hear from anyone that venture funding to fintech will rebound. Yes, Stripe’s $6.5 billion raise might skew tallies somewhat, but let’s not forget that it’s also a down round.

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But fintech is broad, encompassing everything from Chime and Alpaca to Brex. In fact, it’s nearly too broad a group to be of much use. You have to dig deeper and be more specific to get a clearer picture of its evolving trends.

This brings us to CFOs, everyone’s favorite person in a company’s executive team: The naysayer, the demander of receipts, the fussbudget of budgets.

Call them what you will, CFOs are a critical part of a startup’s evolution. We don’t pay enough attention to CxOs here at TechCrunch, as we’re a bit more focused on founders, but last year, CFOs managed to breathe their way to our attention: TechCrunch reported about a wave of CFO turnovers at companies that had been on the IPO track before the market blocked that path or took the business down a peg.

That’s the bad news for CFOs: changing valuations in many startup categories took IPOs off the table, and they are now tasked with stretching cash as far as it can go in a market where capital dried up faster than a puddle in Death Valley.

But there’s good news as well: lots of fintech startups are building tools for CFOs and their larger office, often called “the CFO stack.”


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