There are many Accelerators but Y Combinator seems to lead the pack.
So when one of their Fintech graduates moves into the big time, it is big news in the
little corner of the world that we call Fintech. No strike that, Fintech is pretty big and getting bigger. Financial Services is up there with Healthcare in share of GDP and Financial Services is totally vulnerable to digital disruption, so Fintech is both big and “hot”.
However Fintech rarely hits the Techmeme headlines.
So, the headline about “Bitcoin Company Coinbase Raising New Investment at $400 Million Valuation” caught my eye. I had already speculated that Coinbase was one of two companies that could win the race to a Bitcoin API. This news indicates that they could be on track for that (I say “could”, because raising lots of money at high valuation is only one indicator of possible future success).
The Accelerator game is based on tiny number of big winners making up for a lot of losers. So if all the other Y Combinator batch that Coinbase emerged from went to the deadpool, that batch could still be a good result for Y Combinator.
So, I sifted through that batch, looking for signs of another Unicorn and evidence of ventures that had gone to the deadpool. I am indebted to the Netbanker blog for the hard work of listing all the 40 Fintech Y Combinator alumni by year. The 2012 batch that spawned Coinbase also had:
Consumer Lending (Payday Lending)
Personal Financial Management
Note: Netbanker has a “big tent” interpretation of Fintech, which I share (because “bits don’t stop at artificial category borders” and acquirers often look for adjacent spaces). So I am happy to see adjacent to Fintech companies like ZenPayroll, Airbrite and Eligible in here.
None yet in the deadpool, despite the fact that “lemons ripen early” and the fail fast mantra is taught in accelerators. 2012 is of course not that long ago.
Netbanker shows Airbrite as exited, but I cannot see any news on that. There was a $2m raise in March.
Sifting through the rest, I don’t see any deadpool or Unicorn potential. Tomorrow I will look at the other Y Combinator Fintech batches.