LFP229 – Key Themes in US Fintech, Past, Present & Future w/Michael Fanfant Runa Capital

The next in our geographic coverage series on global Fintech past present and future with a special bonus of a taste of Fintech in Asia as Michael, a former Fintech founder himself turned VC at Runa Capital had just returned from a three week trip all around the region.

Like all regions the US has its peculiarities – not least of which the structure of State and Federal regulation which depending on your vertical can be – as it were – more federal or more confederal in flavour. As in many circs the US can also be a country of extremes on the one hand gestating the likes of Paypal one of the very earliest of Fintechs yet on the other being one of the longest holdouts in the western world for the widespread use of cheques.

So in this episode we look at some key themes past, present and future for Fintech and given the US’ outsize role in the global ecosystem there are also some generic topics such as the evolution and possible future or not of key Fintech “inventions” such as P2P and Crypto.

Topics discussed include:

  • three weeks in Asia and places visited to explore local markets in Fintech in several countries
  • at one extreme a sitrep of Fintech and the market circs in Indonesia
  • at the other FIntech themes/issues in Japan
  • MIchael’s career journey from founder through to VC and what he has learned from many different angles on Financial Services
  • Michael’s perspective on Fintech and its long term history in the US from transatlantic cables onwards
  • key early Fintechs in the US
  • idiosyncrasies and challenges of doing Fintech across the US
  • the federal-“confederal” axis as affecting different verticals within Fintech
  • on the other hand pretty consistent consumer behaviour across States
  • which is easier getting regulatory federal licenses or state licences?
  • Paypal and Plaid as examples of “having to grow fast” to avoid regulatory challenges
  • Fintech and geography within the US – changes in this pattern in recent years
  • P2P trends in the UK and US compared
  • a deep dive into the many reasons for P2P’s success and eventual running into the sand compared to expectations of potential competitiveness versus banks
  • key points the P2P model was missing and need fixing if a huge P2P is ever to emerge
  • the crypto journey in the US and challenges with its business model that need solving to take it to the next level
  • general overview
  • huge success and potential of “Fintech as a tool for services or vertical SAAS businesses”
  • “there are still a ton of markets and verticals that are incredibly inefficient done using paper… poor matching of buyers and sellers”
  • attaching payments to such products is more defensible, more efficient and keep clients for longer based on many types of transaction
  • comparison of this – Fintech moving into unexploited areas by banks as opposed to the P2P/crypto attempt to use a battering ram to knock through the main castle gate for banking which has been fortified over centuries
  • greater success of the Fintechs vertical SAAS B2B+ businesses
  • going forward the huge uncertainties within FS per se and how this affects a VC’s approach to investment within Fintech
  • historic precedents for VC investments in difficult times and patterns learned
  • “it’s no longer growth at all costs”
  • 6-18mts as the period of great uncertainty
  • shoutouts for Runa Capital who are early stage investors across different geographies and verticals

And much much more 🙂

Share and enjoy!