#FinTech / A $2B Goldman Sachs venture fund could be very good news for fintechs

… Goldman Sachs’s pace of investing in startups has increased dramatically over the last couple of years. In fact, the company invested in a record-high 23 startups in the fourth quarter of 2019… a total of 32 venture investments this year so far. That’s only slightly below the 38 investments it made in the first three quarters of 2019…

Overall, in 2019, Goldman Sachs backed 61 companies, according to Crunchbase data. For context, that’s sharply higher than (and nearly double) the 31 companies Goldman put money into just five years prior (in 2014). It’s also significantly higher than the 10 it invested in a decade prior (2009).

Over the years, Goldman has backed some of the biggest players in the fintech world today, including two that went on to big exits: Plaid (which Visa announced earlier this year it would acquire for $5.3 billion) and Square (which went public at a $2.9 billion valuation in 2015).

Its pace of investing in financial services venture-backed companies has skyrocketed since 2017 – tripling from just 3 that year to 9 in 2018. In 2019, Goldman invested in 15 fintech-related startups. In the first half of 2020, it backed 7 companies in the space, according to Crunchbase data.

Some of Goldman’s recent fintech-related deals include investing in Bond Financial Technologies [“the first” enterprise-grade, compliance-focused technology platform to connect digital brands with sponsor banks] … and online mortgage lender Better.com.

Goldman Sachs launched programs with a number of brand partners including Apple (Apple Card) and JetBlue (MarcusPay), so it has “learned a lot about launching with new brand partners at scale”…

In February, Goldman Sachs led a $120 million Series E round for Flywire, a Boston-based payments company that has also built software to help process payments (which makes it both a SaaS operator and a transactions platform.) Flywire’s focus is on the education, health care and travel industry verticals.

Other fintechs in Goldman Sachs’ portfolio include Carta, Even and nanopay, according to its website. (In June 2019, a number of investing groups across the firm – Goldman Sachs Growth Equity, Principal Strategic Investments, and Private Capital Investing – combined to form the GS Growth team.)

If Goldman does raise $2 billion to invest primarily in tech startups… we should expect to see more fintech deals like the ones mentioned above…