“Fintech is not only an enabler but the driving engine,” said Pierre Gramegna, the Minister of Finance of Luxembourg. FinTech is an amalgamation of finance and technology, and is fast paving a new way for the future of the financial world. It is only a matter of time when everything around us will have FinTech as its focal point. Here is a look at the top ten fintech companies from around the world (in no specific order).
China-based Ant Financial is a spin-off from the Alibaba Group (BABA). Officially founded in 2014, it has originated from Alipay – the world’s leading third-party payment platform founded in 2004. Today, Ant Financial runs Alipay, Ant Fortune, Ant Financial Cloud and other financial services. Together, Ant Financial and its affiliates cover wealth management, credit reporting, private bank, payments and cloud computing. Its business value was estimated at a whopping $75 billion in 2016. Ant Financial tops the list of the most anticipated IPOs.
Founded in 2006, Adyen provides businesses with a single platform to accept payments through any sales channel anywhere in the world. Netherlands based Adyen serves more than 4,500 businesses to process payments through mobile, online mode, or in-store. Adyen continues to grow at a fast pace and has an impressive roster of customers, including, Facebook, Uber, Netflix, Spotify, L’Oréal, Burberry, Symantec and Microsoft. Its 2016 revenue surpassed $700 million, up from $365 million in 2015. During 2016, $90 billion in transactions were processed by Adyen, an increase of 80% year-on-year.
Founded in 2014, Qudian is a China-based Fintech firm belonging to the category of ‘lending.’ Qudian broadly operates as a student micro-loan site, an installment payment and investment management platform. While in the Western countries, many purchases are made through credit cards which allow payback in installments, the consumers in Chinese markets do not currently use much of that mechanism and this created scope for platforms such as Qudian. The company has formed partnerships with several e-commerce, digital services and financial services in a bid to attract consumers. Qudian which is likely to go public soon and expects to raise $800 million to $1 billion. Approximately 33 billion yuan in loans was facilitated, the figure is projected to more than double to 80 billion yuan in 2017.
Xero, one of the fastest growing ‘software as a service’ company was founded in 2006 in New Zealand. The company develops easy-to-use online accounting software for small businesses and has more than 1 million subscribers. Its product lineup includes a full accrual accounting system with a cashbook, automated daily bank feeds, invoicing, debtors, creditors, sales tax and reporting. Xero recorded over NZ$1.4 trillion transactions last year. It was recognized as the World’s Most Innovative Growth company in 2014 and 2015 by Forbes.
SoFi calls itself, “a new kind of finance company” which is taking a non-traditional approach to lending and now wealth management. The company is based in San Francisco and was created in 2011 by four students who met at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. The company now offers, student loan refinancing, mortgage loans, personal loans, wealth management and life insurance. SoFi has since grown to become a multi-billion-dollar company with over $19 billion of loans funded to date and more than 300,000 members.
Founded in 2011 and headquartered in Shanghai, Lufax is largely a peer-to-peer lender and financing company, owned by Ping An Group with a strong presence in China. Ping An Group’s 2016 annual report mentions that, “The strategic deployment of the internet business is constantly improving, and its value is gradually becoming more apparent. Lufax Holding completed its B-round financing of $1,200 million, which brought its valuation to $18,500 million.”
Founded in 2012, Avant is a U.S.-based online lending platform lowering the costs and barriers of borrowing for consumers. Avant is a tech company that is dedicated to creating innovative and practical financial products for all consumers. The company has empowered more than 500,000 customers and has a loan portfolio worth $3.5 billion.
ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance Co., Ltd. is a Shanghai headquartered company that offers e-commerce, mobile payment, and financing guarantee for Internet businesses and users. The company was founded in 2013 by Alibaba Executive Chairman Jack Ma, Tencent Chairman Pony Ma and Ping An Insurance Group Co of China Ltd Chairman Ma Mingzhe. The Shanghai, China headquartered aims to raise at least $1 billion in Hong Kong IPO.
Klarna is a Swedish company which began its journey in 2005. With its focus to make online shopping easy and hassle-free and thus facilitating both buying and selling. Klarna works with a merchant base of over 65,000 with some well-known names such as Spotify, Disney, Samsung, Wish and ASOS as its clients. It caters over 45 million end customers with its employee base of 1500 across 18 markets. It has an estimated value of 42.25 billion. (Related reading, see: Klarna)
Oscar is a prominent insurtech start-up founded in 2013 in the United States. By brining insurance and technology together, Oscar has worked on ways to improve the healthcare system and customer experience. It is doing so by providing a transparent and faster medical claim process, all at minimal costs. Oscar is making healthcare system simple, efficient and cost effective for customers. Prominent names such as Fidelity, Google Capital and Khosla Ventures, among others are on its list of investors. Khosla ventures defines OSCAR as, “a new kind of health insurance company that is using technology to make insurance simple, intuitive and human.”