June 16, 2020 (Boston, MA) – MassChallenge, a global network of zero-equity startup accelerators, last week celebrated the close of its 2020 FinTech program with a Virtual Finale that drew over 400 attendees from across the fintech community.
MassChallenge FinTech launched its second annual program in January 2020 with 34 startups tackling a variety of challenges in financial services, from enabling families to raise kids with better financial habits to on-device anti-phishing prevention technology.
Due to COVID-19, MassChallenge FinTech (MCFT) moved the program entirely online in March, with startups and partners collaborating solely via digital channels.
Despite these challenges, however, MCFT saw promising results. At the start of the program, partners delivered 46 offers to engage with 34 fintech startups from across the globe. Now, more than 60% of startups are on track to launch a proof of concept or pilot with at least one enterprise partner by the end of 2020. One startup, Inkit, completed a pilot with its banking partner in under two weeks, setting an MCFT record.
Additionally, startups and partners responded directly to address the impact of COVID-19 in a variety of ways. Toronto-based Boss Insights, for one, launched a platform to help lenders manage the unprecedented demand generated by the CARES/PPP Act, and partner Eastern Bank worked with 2019 alum Pinkaloo to serve as founding donors and administrators of the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund.
“We have been incredibly impressed and inspired by how both our partners and startups have responded to the COVID-19 environment,” said Devon Sherman, Managing Director of MassChallenge FinTech. “Whether through financial contributions to support COVID-19 relief or by tweaking their solutions to meet newfound needs, their agility and problem-solving really speaks to the power of innovation in tough times.”
Several startups also announced raises during the program. In May, data fabric startup Cinchy announced its $10M Series A, with Manulife Investment Management, part of MCFT partner John Hancock parent company Manulife, participating in the round. Earlier this year, Alkymi secured a $5M Seed round to help propel the first-ever data inbox for enterprises, and 2019 alum ForwardLane announced in January that MCFT partner SEI Ventures had made a strategic investment in the startup.
“Clearly, collaboration in fintech and financial services can achieve real results. It can transform access to financial resources and knowledge, ability to build savings and wealth, and more – and this is just the beginning,” Managing Director Devon Sherman said. “There’s so much more to tackle. As we look towards the future, we call on everyone in this community to do what they can to further propel innovation and harness the power of financial services for good.”
Applications for the 2021 MassChallenge FinTech program will open in September 2020. To learn more about upcoming opportunities to partner or engage with MassChallenge FinTech, please visit: https://masschallenge.org/programs-fintech.
MassChallenge FinTech Founding Partners
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Fidelity Investments, Putnam Investments, John Hancock, Citizens Bank, and Massachusetts Competitive Partnership (MACP)
MassChallenge FinTech Challenge Partners
Eastern Bank, AARP, Columbia Threadneedle Investments, Walmart, City of Boston, and Boston Private
MassChallenge FinTech Gold Partners
Brandeis International Business School, Radius Bank, KPMG, Goodwin, Commonwealth, and SEI Ventures
MassChallenge FinTech Strategic Partners
FinTech Sandbox, The Financial Revolutionist, and Stack
MassChallenge is a global network of zero-equity startup accelerators. Headquartered in the United States with locations in Boston, Israel, Mexico, Rhode Island, Switzerland, and Texas, MassChallenge is committed to strengthening the global innovation ecosystem by supporting high-potential startups across all industries, from anywhere in the world. To date, more than 2,400 MassChallenge alumni have raised more than $6.2B in funding, generated more than $3B in revenue, and created more than 157,000 total jobs. Learn more about MassChallenge at masschallenge.org.