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Investors poured more than $5.4 billion into fintech startups -- in the first three months of 2018.
That's not just a lot of money; it's a trend. Fintech investment jumped nearly five times higher in the past seven years, topping out at $27.5 billion in 2017.
At the current pace, it could surpass that number this year. The $64,000 question for startups is: May we have more, please?
Of course, no one knows where all the investor money will go. But you know they want it all back, and that's a big clue to the next big thing in fintech. Follow the money.
Following the trends, Forbes reported on a recent investor presentation: "What's the Next Billion-Dollar Opportunity in Fintech?"
General Catalyst's Matt Brennan and Patricia Kemp, with venture capital firm Oak HC/FT, said artificial intelligence, real estate, and insurance products are trending.
Kemp said some fintech -- such as mobile wallets -- are not as hot as they were. Even bitcoin is down from its all-time high.
Making a Comeback
However, Kemp said, payment systems are making a comeback. About 60 to 70 percent of B2B payments are still done by check, she said.
"As technologies change, there are new opportunities," she said.
Brennan said unstructured data is a problem that fintech can help solve. When his firm invests, he said, they look for growth-stage companies.
"When investors support and guide entrepreneurs with awareness of patterns and nuances of each company, everyone wins," Brennan says.