Charting the COVID Effect on Fintech

Fintech has been a gradual force of change in financial services over the past decade. But the emergence of COVID-19 suddenly catapulted the digitization of finance into overdrive.

To examine what exactly has changed in the world of finance—as well as weird and noteworthy patterns of consumer behavior, more broadly—we partnered with Glimpse, a software company that culls millions of online signals to identify surging trends. At a16z, we’re accustomed to closely tracking engagement, retention, and financial metrics to measure growth; in this post, we analyze growth potential through another lens: public online activity. People click, review, discuss, comment, like, search, tag, download, share, and purchase. Looking at these actions across all keywords allows us to understand the rise of a trend.

The resulting data uncovered a trove of insights across liquidity and lending, trading, small business impact, and consumer banking, all of which we delve into below. Plus: from the spike in RV loans and pool financing to the budding market for used golf balls (you read that right), it’s clear that our collective boredom is driving a slew of new consumer behaviors.

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