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Fintech exit activity continued to fall in 2023

Jan 29, 2024
Data: Pitchbook; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Pitchbook; Chart: Axios Visuals

The value of fintech exits has fallen to its lowest levels in years — but it could be poised for a rebound, according to PitchBook data.

Why it matters: A pickup in M&A activity in the final months of 2023 signals more consolidation to come, and a rally by public fintechs could portend a thawing of the IPO market.

By the numbers: PitchBook reports the number of fintech exits declined 22.2%, to 185, in 2023, while VC exit value fell 76.1%, to $5.9 billion, during the year.

  • Exit value in the sector fell to its lowest level since 2016, and the number of deals completed is at its lowest count since 2020.
  • Fintech M&A activity declined for the second straight year. The number of deals dropped 12%, to 407, and the aggregate value of acquisitions fell over 33%, to $47.1 billion.

Yes, but: "[E]xit activity looks primed for a rebound," the report notes. "We have seen an inflection point with some companies such as Yieldstreet and Webull announcing acquisitions in Q4 and other companies like Klarna and Apex Fintech Solutions gearing up for an IPO."

Zoom out: After a disastrous couple of years following the IPO boom of 2021, fintech stocks generally rallied during 2023.

  • PitchBook's neobanks, brokers and crypto group saw a median return of 110.3% in 2023.
  • Meanwhile, its high-growth fintech cohort delivered a median return of 46.7% for the year.
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