Its timing and San Francisco backdrop provided an added dimension to last week’s Finovate Spring conference. A procession of seven-minute demos from 52 fintech innovators remained the main attraction at the event’s annual West Coast edition.
At the same time, the market’s recent downturn—which has hit technology stocks particularly hard and cut into the soaring valuations of fintech startups, several of them funded by Silicon Valley investors in the audience—weighed heavily on many attendees’ minds.
During an “Investor All-Stars” panel, Mercedes Bent, a partner at Lightspeed Ventures, observed that while venture funding for early “seed” stage startups continues as normal, “the growth markets are virtually closed” for later stage (and typically larger-sized) Series A and B investments.
“If you have to raise money this year, it’s going to be really hard,” she added.
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