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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Massive venture rounds into fintech companies have ballooned this year, pushing up total dollars invested — in just the first three quarters of 2021 — to nearly double the amount in all of 2020, per new PitchBook data.

Why it matters: The maturing of fintech startups means a growing number of companies are able to raise huge later-stage funding rounds as investors look to lock-in their bets.

The big picture: A number of companies, from digital banks to cryptocurrency exchanges, have raised mega-rounds this year.

Be smart: Tech-driven companies taking on Wall Street and banks are no longer just upstarts that won’t make any serious dents in the sectors they're tackling. They’re now attracting hefty dollars, catching incumbents' attention as potential acquisition targets, building products that are viable alternatives to traditional ones, and getting regulator scrutiny.

By the numbers:

  • Total dollars invested so far in 2021: $39.2 billion, up from $20.4 billion in all of 2020.
  • Deals so far in 2021: 1,280, up from 1,078 in 2020.
  • Average deal size in 2021: $36.3 million, versus $22 million in 2020 (media deal size grew to $7 million, up from $$4.2 million in 2020).

Between the lines: We're also seeing a number of exits in fintech, further underscoring the maturity of the sector.

The bottom line: Expect even more eye-popping numbers for the full year.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Dec 6, 2021 - Economy & Business

SPAC blitz

Expand chart
Data: Dealogic; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

SPACs are outpacing traditional IPOs in 2021.

Driving the news: 562 SPACs (special purpose acquisition vehicles) went public on U.S. exchanges between January and November, compared to 373 regular companies, according to data from Dealogic.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Dec 6, 2021 - Economy & Business

SPACs are beating out traditional IPOs in 2021

Expand chart
Data: Dealogic; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

SPACs are outpacing traditional IPOs in 2021, according to data from Dealogic.

By the numbers: 562 SPACs went public on U.S. exchanges between January and November, compared to 373 regular companies. SPACs raised $151 billion in their IPOs, while traditional issuers raised $148 billion.

Australia joins U.S. in diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Photo: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Australia is joining the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games in protest of human rights abuses committed by China's government, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Wednesday.

Driving the news: After the Biden administration's announcement that U.S. officials won't attend the Games due to the ongoing genocide of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region of China, Morrison said at a Sydney briefing that Australia would follow suit as "it's the right thing to do."