YC batch shows founders remain optimistic about fintech

Well, this was not what we anticipated

You can’t stop fintech startups. After raising staggering sums of capital through 2021, the financial technology startup industry ran into a valuations wall this year as public markets retreated and many formerly high-flying fintech giants took lumps. Late-stage fintech startups got caught up in the wave of revaluations.

Smaller fintech startups are proving to be similarly vulnerable, data from the seed market recently showed. And yet, taking another look at the recent cohort of startups that went through the American accelerator Y Combinator, you wouldn’t really be able to tell that fintech had lost much of its founder favor.

Of the 223 companies that participated in the latest Y Combinator batch — not counting the companies taking part while operating under the radar — 79 had a fintech theme of sufficient heft to put them into the category, according to a Demo Day page sorted by the accelerator. That’s a sizable portion.

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There’s no shame in contra-market optimism; one could argue that startups by definition need at least some of it to get off the ground. But we were a bit surprised to see not only so very many fintech startups generally in the group but also new names in categories that have long felt over-full, or perhaps even passé, to our eyes. Again, contra-market optimism is no transgression — it’s a wager.