General

Farewell: Fintech Nexus is shutting down

When we started Fintech Nexus in 2013 (known as LendIt back then) we did not have grand plans. The idea was simply to gather the brain trust in the newly-emerging online lending industry so we could learn from each other, network, and do business. We figured we would work on a small event a few months a year and work on our other businesses the rest of the year.

It wasn’t long before the community started rallying to our side, and our events were filled with thousands of people. We took on the US, UK and Europe, then China and Latin America. This business proved to be an incredibly satisfying and engaging adventure. Between 2013 and 2023, we executed 31 large-scale events around the world, gathering tens of thousands of professionals to advance the fintech industry through high-value content and interactions.

Along the way, some external challenges, including the pandemic, caused us to take on additional financing — both debt and equity — and then in 2023 we suffered from the fintech downturn and had a financially very disappointing outcome to our big USA event. This led to the sale of our events business last June.

For the past year, we have been focused on our digital media business, which began in earnest during the pandemic. We wanted to see if we could make it a sustainable business without the events business to support it. Unfortunately, we have not been able to make this business profitable.

You may have seen the for-sale announcement we posted back in April. Even if we could not create a sustainable digital media business, we thought somebody else might want to take over. That did not pan out either, and so we have made the difficult decision to close the business down and file for bankruptcy.

While this is certainly not a happy outcome, we have had a fantastic ride and I know it has been the most stimulating and enjoyable decade of my career by far.

So, rather than dwell on the loss, we want to share some of the highlights from our journey.

Here is a farewell video, my partner and co-founder, Bo Brustkern and I recorded recently.

The Fintech Nexus retrospective

2013: A new event called LendIt, focused on online lending, in New York City was launched with 350 people.

2014: Moved the event to San Francisco where we hosted almost 1,000 people. Launched the first UK event with 500 people.

2015: Back to New York with Larry Summers as the big-name keynote: 2,500 people. Launched in China.

2016: The San Francisco event had 3,600 people and was our last U.S. event in a hotel. Launched the daily newsletter.

2017: Moved to the Javits Center in New York City with 5,000 people. Launched the LendIt Industry Awards.

2018: San Francisco at the Moscone Center with Michael Lewis as the keynote speaker. Moved beyond lending to other areas of fintech.

2019: Back to Moscone Center in San Francisco. Canceled the China event, started LatAm event in Miami.

2020: Pandemic. Yikes! Had to cancel the Javits Center event. Held USA, UK and LatAm events virtually.

2021: Another year of virtual events but in December we had a hybrid in-person/virtual event for LatAm in Miami.

2022: Back to in-person events! So exciting to be back in New York, London and Miami. Rebranded to Fintech Nexus.

2023: The 11th annual Fintech Nexus USA event in New York City would be our last. We sold the events business to Fintech Meetup.

2024: Fintech Nexus shuts down after an 11-year run.

It has been a privilege to be at the helm of LendIt / Fintech Nexus. So many incredible highlights as we look back. But what was always most gratifying was when I would talk with people who said they first met at LendIt and they have a thriving partnership. I have heard that story hundreds of times over the past decade.

We could not have achieved everything we did without the support of the fintech community. We have taken this seriously from day one.

I would like to thank the tens of thousands of people who have attended our events, both in-person and digital, over the years, including the thousands of speakers. Your learnings and new business connections helped drive the industry forward.

I already miss the excitement of walking on stage on the opening morning of an event, full of adrenaline.

The podcast will continue

My favorite part of what I do right now is producing my podcast, Fintech One-on-One. The podcast predates Fintech Nexus and will continue as normal, with a new episode coming out every Thursday afternoon. I am about to cross episode 500, and I intend to keep doing this for the foreseeable future. The podcast now has a new home on its own website, and it will continue to appear in your podcast feed as usual.

The Website

The website will also remain online for at least the next few months, subject to the judgment of the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee. We know it is a great resource for tens of thousands of fintech enthusiasts. But the daily newsletter that we have produced since 2016 will end with today’s issue.

The Webinars

There will be no more Fintech Nexus webinars, although our YouTube channel should continue to live on for many years with thousands of hours of great content.

The next chapter

What happens now? Well, a bankruptcy trustee will be taking over and looking to sell our assets.

The Fintech Nexus team are all free agents now.

I have started to take on a couple of new fintech projects. In the coming months, you will see me at a handful of events (I love a good fintech conference). After a couple of summer trips, I will have the bandwidth to take on more projects.

If you are interested in reaching out to me or others on the Fintech Nexus team, we can be reached here:

  • Renton & Co – Peter Renton
  • Banquo Labs – Bo Brustkern
  • LinkedIn – Joy Schwartz
  • LinkedIn – Chris Tedrick

The fintech industry will continue to thrive

We would like to think we have played a meaningful role in establishing a thriving fintech industry. For us, this has always been a labor of love. The fintech space is doing such interesting and important work, and it has been the opportunity of a lifetime to be near the center of it all.

We have matured as an industry and collectively we are now a driving force in financial services. Let’s all continue the good fight.

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