‘Best of’ lists are always easy to conceive but harder to do well. Whatever criteria you use is bound to bias the results in some way, triggering both false positive and negative readings.
Instead, consider the following a list of fintech firms at vastly different stages of maturity that deserve to be on your radar screen next year. It’s a list compiled from our view of what’s happening in the market and who, once you’ve cut through the eye candy and the hype, is on to something big. Who knows if they’ll succeed in their missions, but most of these visions are damn grand enough to be worth tracking.
The firms are listed in alphabetical order. The information about the companies is taken from public sources, the data about fundraising is taken from from Crunchbase.
A few of these firms — namely, Fast Pay, Personetics, Proov — were either Tradestreaming Award winners or sponsoring partners of our 2016 Tradestreaming Money Conference held November 14 in New York City.
If you’re interested in following these firms, check out this Twitter list we compiled of the 36 fintech firms to watch in 2017.
Chinese ecommerce giant, Alibaba’s financial arm Ant Financial runs Alipay, Ant Fortune, Ant Financial Cloud and other financial services. Overseas, Ant’s model is to provide smooth payments to the 120 million Chinese tourists who will venture off the mainland this year.
- Processed nearly $18 billion in sales on a single day, November 11, 2016 (Singles Day)
- Has 450 million users
- Raised $4.5 billion in equity
The average bank manages 90 different products, but the digital onboarding process is typically so poor that signups are still pushed to tellers at the branches. Avoka provides financial institutions with digital customer acquisition software that helps improve customer experience and boost conversions.
- Founded in Australia in 2002
- Digitized over 100 million transactions
- Raised $12 million
- Named top 10 fintech company by KPMG
The company has pioneered behavioral biometrics that can continuously authenticate clients of financial institutions repeatedly throughout their digital sessions. The Israel-founded technology firm measures 500 metrics, like how a user moves a mouse or how hard he presses keys, to make sure the user is who he claims to be.
- Winner of Red Herring 100 award for North America
- Monitors over 1 billion transactions per month
- Raised over $11 million
- Recently launched a trial with NatWest
The traditional credit score is still really relevant for people who need access to credit. Credit Karma provides tools to monitor and improve consumer credit scores, delivered over the web and via an app. The firm gets paid when its users take up an offer recommended to them.
- Over 60 million members
- Received a 2015 Edison Awards gold medal
- Raised over $350 million
An FDIC insured commercial bank, Cross River provides the banking rails to the fintech industry. It works with Affirm, Stripe, and Transferwise, providing the legal, regulatory, and technology infrastructure to originate loans and move money.
- Raised $28 million in 2016 from Andreesen Horowitz, Battery, and Ribbit
- Has solutions for marketplace lending, ACH, and flash disbursement
- Fintech offerings include omnibus accounts, fiat transactions in cryptocurrency, and mobile universal banking
Digit checks your spending habits and moves a few dollars from your checking account (if you can afford it) into a savings account.
- Has helped users save $230 million over the past 18 months
- Raised over $36 million
The Des Moines-based firm helps developers build applications that facilitate bank transfers, manage customers, and instantly verify bank accounts. Dwolla recently pivoted away from marketing its own apps to become an API platform.
- Announced a pilot for companies to make same-day payments over the ACH network
- Raised over $35 million
- Read: Dwolla is moving the industry closer to real time payments
Earnest helps people refinance student loans using data that other lenders don’t. The company also has a consumer loan product.
- Clients have saved an average $17,936 after refinancing
- Based in San Francisco
- Raised $300 million in equity and debt financing
The company bills itself as the global standard for blockchain intelligence, identifying illicit activity on the Bitcoin blockchain. The company provides this information to financial firms and law enforcement.
- Based in London
- Named to KPMG Fintech 100
- Raised $7 million
Envestnet | Yodlee aggregates and analyzes data for digital financial services. 12 of the 20 largest U.S. banks use the firm’s technology to power personalized financial apps and services for millions of consumers.
- Company launched 17 years ago
- Aggregates financial data from over 15,000 global sources
- Financial services software firm, Envestnet, bought Yodlee in 2015 for $590 million
Ethereum helps developer build and publish next-generation distributed applications.
- RBS, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and JPMorgan are all running projects on Ethereum
- Read WTF is Ethereum?
Founded in 2009, FastPay allows publishers, agencies, and adtech firms to finance their media receivables in as little as 24 hours.
- Originated $1.5 billion in loans for more than 3000 advertisers
- Raised $70 million in debt and equity
- Recently launched ‘FastPay for Enterprise’ for media firms in partnership with Hitachi Capital
Previously called peerTransfer, the company processes international payments with a focus on tuition and hospital bills.
- Works at 1100 educational institutions across six continents
- Processed over $3 billion in tuition payments
- Raised $42 million
The quadrumiverate of technology leaders all have their eyes set on the financial service prize. 2017 should be a year that we see these tech titans move deeper into providing consumer and SMB finance through their lending and payments efforts.
Founded in 2006, the firm makes it easy and paperless for companies to offer credit to their customers.
- Raised $350 million
- Facilitated about $2 billion of loans in 2015
Based in Stockholm, Klarna gives ecommerce merchants a streamlined payment process that removes friction and improves conversions from the shopping cart.
- Serves 45 million consumers via 65,000 merchants
- Raised $300 million
- Has 10% ecommerce market share in Northern Europe
The early stage fintech company’s mission is to solve inefficiencies in the traditional credit score system using technology, with an eye on giving consumers more control over their credit worthiness.
- The company counts John Sculley, and former CEO of Morgan Stanley, John Mack as advisors
The insurer created a new model of pay-by-the-mile insurance that saves people hundreds of dollars every year.
- Based in San Francisco, the company has raised over $200 million
- Recently acquired Mosaic Insurance that includes Mosaic’s licenses in 50 states
The San Mateo-based startup provides a modern way for business owners to manage their business credit and get streamlined access to financing.
- Partnered with Experian in September 2016 to provide SMBs with access to their qualified financing options based on their credit profile
- Raised $41 million
The company is a new type of hedge fund built on a network of data scientists. The company provides an encrypted stock market data set for users to build trading algorithms along with monetary prizes for tournament performance. The firm uses AI to invest in a synthesis of the algorithms on its platform.
- Raised $1.5 million led by Howard Morgan, a founder of Renaissance Technologies
Paid’s APIs automate accounts receivables, from invoicing through payments and reconciliation.
- Raised $2.8 million
Payoneer offers SMBs and freelancers multiple ways to get paid by international clients and global marketplaces.
- Works with marketplaces like Airbnb and fiverr
- Supports 150 currencies and has 3 million users
- Acquired Armor Payments to provide secure online escrow
- Raised $270 million
The early fintech payments pioneer is completing its first full year post a spinout from Ebay. As the payments space continues to heat up, the firm is rising to the occasion, growing Venmo’s userbase and searching for an elusive revenue model.
Personetics provides predictive analytics to financial institutions to help give customers relevant product and service recommendations.
- Named a Cool Vendor by Gartner
- Recently launched an AI-powered savings guidance bot
- Raised $18 million
The fintech firm provides an API library to connect bank accounts with financial applications. Firms like Robinhood and Venmo use Plaid to aggregate transaction data and authenticate ACH.
- Analyzed over 10 billion transactions
- Raised $60 million from firms like Google Ventures and Goldman Sachs
As an alternative to traditional home equity loans and HELOCs, Point enables homeowners to sell a fraction of their properties without monthly payments.
- Real estate is an $18 trillion industry
- Raised $15.4 million in debt and equity from top venture firms and angel investors
The firm provides B2C tools to identify the most appropriate insurance policies with a comparison engine and guidance to help.
- Reached 800,000 users by the end of 2015
- Recently launched a health insurance app to help consumers with Open Enrollment
- Raised $21 million led by Steve Case’s Revolution Ventures
Leading financial institutions want to collaborate with more technology providers but launching proof of concept projects are slow and laborious. Proov’s Pilot-as-a-Service platform easily runs multiple PoCs at once on secure cloud-based testing environments.
- Works with companies like AIG and GE
- Raised $7 million
Quantopian crowdsources investment strategies. Algorithm authors can create and license their algorithms for capital allocations and compensation on Quantopian.
- In July, Point72’s Steve Cohen committed up to $250 million into Quantopian strategies.
- Has 90,000 members from 180 countries
- Raised $50 million
Ripple’s distributed financial technology enables banks to send real-time international payments across networks.
- 15 of the top 50 banks in the world work with Ripple
- 87% coverage of FX crosses
- Raised over $90 million
The firm’s software, data, and calculators provide simple, easy-to-understand answers to complex consumer financial questions.
- The firm’s tools for publishers now reach 40 million readers per month via deals with CNN and AOL.
- Raised $23 million
The startup provides AP automation that caters to restaurants and accountants. Restaurants use common scanners to upload invoices or receipts and email them to Sourcery, which extracts the data and organizes it.
- Raised $11 million
The firm’s fractional brokerage makes gifting small dollar amounts of stock quick and easy.
- Stockpile’s gift cards for individual stocks appear in Toys R Us, Safeway, and Office Depot.
- Over 1000 stocks available to purchase via gift card
- Raised $15 million
The California-based tech firm is the first on-demand insurance for things. trōv’s app makes it easy to catalogue items and with a swipe on and off, users can insure items for specific periods of time.
- Available in UK and Australia — US launch planned in 2017.
- Raised over $45 million
Truelink built an investment advisor for retirees, offering a range of money management, investment, and insurance products.
- $7 trillion market opportunity
- Raised $7 million
Launched in 2007, Xero is online accounting software for small businesses.
- Almost 900,000 subscribers
- NZ$1 trillion recorded in Xero during 2015
- Raised $355 million, publicly traded in Australia