Who will survive the fintech bloodbath?

The annual Sibos conference is the Davos of the payments industry. The latest opus in Amsterdam, attended by 10,000 delegates from October 10th to 13th, seemed stuck between the future and the past. Sessions on the metaverse and the digital euro drew crowds. But so did a barber stall and arcade games lit by 1980s-style neon lights. Next to an exhibitor displaying a “net-zero” countdown to 2050, measured in milliseconds, financial plumbers mulled decade-old issues, from clunky trade finance to costly cross-border payments. Virtual-reality headsets and, later, vodka cocktails made heads a little heavier, even as they lightened the mood.

That there was a whiff of escapism was no surprise, for the here-and-now of fintech is bleak. Spooked by rising interest rates, investors have tightened their pursestrings. As a result, fintech funding has collapsed (see chart). The average deal has fallen from $32m in 2021 to $20m in 2022. Between July and September a mere six firms graduated to…

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This article was written by and originally published on www.economist.com