Happy Last Friday of 2017!

While many publications are spending time right now offering predictions for the coming year, I thought it would be interesting to revisit some predictions for 2017 and see how things turned out. After all, why listen to anything that the “experts” predict if they aren’t consistently correct on items even just covering the next 12 months.

Here are the 2017 predictions I covered this time last year. Updates are below sorted by topic.


Pascal Bouvier, Venture Partner at Santander, saw opportunity in micropayments and small business payments in 2017. While I can’t say we saw significant progress in micropayments, the last half of the year ended pretty strong for small business payments. Chase did the heavy lifting by acquiring WePay and leading a $100MM investment into (and partnering with) Bill.com. Chase could end up being the canary that signals much more activity in this space in the coming year.
FICO predicted there would still be no clear winner in mobile payments – I think they nailed that one.

Blockchain and Bitcoin

I know, they aren’t the same thing, but close enough for our predictions. DailyFintech had predicted that Bitcoin would reach new highs (above $1,250) but settle below $1,000 for the remainder of the year. This one was only off by about $15,000 šŸ™‚ (I do have to give them some credit – they predicted Uber would do a down round, which was just announced yesterday).
David Horton, Head of Innovation at Synechron, predicted that while blockchain applications will continue to be experimented with (CryptoKitties, anyone?), it will not impact the banking industry in a major way in 2017. I’ll give him an A for this one.

Marketplace Lending

The easy prediction here, made by many, was that marketplace lenders would continue to try to partner more with banks. I would agree this happened, as well as more startups being created to help banks rather than compete with banks. Among other predictions were that consolidation would continue (correct – a handful of well-known online lenders went under or were acquired), that banks would start buying marketplace lenders (did not happen), and that online lenders would become banks (did not happen, but Square seems to be getting the closest).


“Experts” were mixed on this sector for 2017. Spiros Margaris felt that 2017 would be a great year for insurtech companies as analytics and digital delivery combined to make significant inroads in the industry to cause incumbents to take notice. Others felt there would be a slow down in funding as this new crop of companies had to prove some traction with customers to raise Series B and Series C rounds. I’ll give the nod to Spiros, as market leaders Lemonade raised a $120MM Series C round and Trov raised a $45MM Series D round this year.


DailyFintech had also predicted that analysts would start blaming fintech disruption when a mega bank experiences a major drop in profits. This did not come anywhere close to happening – if anything, banks like Chase and Goldman Sachs have been having the most success in accelerating their innovation/fintech efforts.