Fintech funding exploded in 2021 as private markets investors piled into hot names whose growth was fueled by the pandemic. Global fintech funding hit a record $132 billion, more than double the $49 billion the sector attracted in 2020, according to CB Insights' 2021 "State of Fintech" report released Tuesday.
Meanwhile, U.S. fintech funding reached a record $63 billion, up 171% from $23.2 billion in 2020. The funding was chasing a hot M&A market, as the sector saw a record 906 exits.
Online lending stood out with $20.5 billion in funding in 2021, up 220% from $6.4 billion in 2020, making it the highest-growth sector within fintech.
Crypto also was a major factor in fintech funding; the largest Series A deals in the fourth quarter of 2021 included crypto-related startups such as MoonPay, Gemini and CoinList.
It remains to be seen whether the funding and valuations will hold up in 2022 as the market faces new headwinds, from a general pullback in private-company valuations to looming inflation.
The top fintech investors by deal volume were Tiger Global with 37 deals, followed by Global Founders Capital, Accel, Andreessen Horowitz and Jump Capital. In another sign of the massive growth of crypto, the top corporate venture investors were Coinbase Ventures with 13 deals, followed by Huobi Ventures.