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Top Fintech Startups
Fintech is a term that you've probably heard before. But what exactly does it mean and why is it important?
Fintech refers to the use of technology in providing financial services to consumers. Fintech enables companies to improve their delivery and product offerings to their clients.
In areas like banking, fintech has played a key role in enhancing safety and security as compared to traditional banking.
Evolution of Fintech
The history of fintech can be traced back to the 1990s, when the internet was first introduced to the public.
Today, fintech is being used by large corporations as well as small businesses. Application of fintech spans across so many industries, some of which include e-commerce, mobile banking, cryptocurrency, insurance, budgeting apps, among many others.
In 2021, fintech performed exceptionally well in the market and as a result, there were multiple entries of large billion dollar corporations such as Coinbase, Robinhood, dLocal and Lemonade whose major activities are supported by fintech.
2022 is set to also be a big year for fintech companies. It is anticipated that a new record will be set this year with at least $300 billion in fintech liquidity. Now more than ever, early stage fintech startups have a chance at achieving a high success rate as many consumers have adapted the use of technology in commerce.
Within the fintech industry, here are some top fintech companies that are breaking glass ceilings.
Sora Finance is a platform that brings debt optimization to the financial advisory and wealth management industry. The product continuously scans and monitors US lenders in the background to find the best rates for your new or existing liabilities, such as home, auto, and lines of credit.
Sora selects the ideal loan option for you and helps you to seamlessly execute the loan. With its “set it and forget it” capability, Sora automatically optimizes your interest rates, freeing up more capital to invest.
Sora also helps advisors close new clients by delivering additional value, improve retention by embedding further in client financials, and increase AUM by unlocking excess interest payments.
So far, Sora has raised $2.5M in pre-seed funding and is set to launch the beta version of its product in Q2 of 2022 with a select group of advisors.
Betterment is a financial advisory company that provides digital investment and cash management services. Based in New York, the company is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It is also a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
How it works is that Betterment helps users grow their money by simplifying the process of saving and investing. Users of the platform are able to set their goals, invest in a tailored portfolio and earn rewards.
Among the services offered by the company include:
- Automated investing
- Crypto investing
- Retirement planning
By the end of 2021, Betterment had more than $33 billion of assets under management and over 700,000 customer accounts.
Coinbase is a cryptocurrency exchange platform that was founded in 2012. It acts both as a platform where users can transact with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, as well as a digital wallet where users can store their cryptocurrency.
The company aims at bringing more innovation and efficiency in the cryptocurrency world in order to ensure that digital currency is approachable and accessible to everyone.
The company stocks are now listed on the Nasdaq stock market under the ticker COIN. Coinbase has over 56 million users across 100+ countries globally.
So far the platform has traded over $150 billion of digital assets and is now a publicly-traded company on the Nasdaq stock exchange.
EnrichHER is a Black-owned fintech company that was founded by Dr. Roshawnna Novellus in 2017. The aim of the company was to help connect pre-qualified companies led by women and founders of color to capital, coaching, and community so they can scale their businesses.
Having worked in a tax and accounting firm, Dr. Roshawnna had watched countless women of color struggle to get the financing that they needed to grow their businesses. Banks and other financial institutions turned them away, despite a proven track record of success and their companies generating significant revenue. EnrichHER came in to fill that gap and the company continues to fund and offer financial solutions to companies in order to fast track the success of women founders and founders of color.
So far, the company has deployed $14M+ in capital to businesses owned by people in color, from 47 states.
A Certified B Corporation, the company's vision is to use its platform to support 100,000 businesses led by women and people of color across the U.S. EnrichHER has been recognized in Forbes, Fortune, Black Enterprise, Bloomberg, Fox Business, Yahoo! Finance, Business Insider, The Tech Panda and more media outlets.
Klarna is a fintech company that offers its customers a variety of payment options when shopping on their site. Using their app, shoppers are able to get shopping tips tailor made for them, exclusive deals and the freedom to shop from anywhere and make payment using the method that they prefer.
Among the payment options that they offer include:
- Direct payments
- Pay after delivery
- Installments plans including their flagship Pay In 4 program
Regardless of the method of payment that the customer chooses, they ensure that the process is seamless.
Paydiant, Inc. is a fintech company that is owned by PayPal. The company is based in Auburndale, Massachusetts and was incorporated in 2010.
Paydiant provides cloud-based services for merchants, banks, point-of-sale and ATM providers.
The company provides a white label mobile wallet platform that includes mobile payments, loyalty, offers, ATM cash access and related commerce services. The cloud-based services provided enable merchants and banks to offer their customers a secure mobile wallet solution under their own brand, in their own app.
Robinhood Markets, Inc. is an American financial services company headquartered in Menlo Park, California. It is known as being among the financial institutions that pioneered commission-free trades of stocks, exchange-traded funds and cryptocurrencies via a mobile app in 2015.
As a broker-dealer, the company is regulated by FINRA and is also a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation.
The company is of the belief that the financial system should be built to work for everyone. They have created products that allow people to start investing on their own terms.
SoFi is a fintech company with a mission to assist people attain financial independence and realize their ambitions. They believe that attaining financial independence isn't just having money and being rich, rather it's getting to a point where the money that you have works for you and helps you live the life that you desire.
Based in San Francisco, the company provides its users with a variety of financial products, some of which include:
- Student loan refinancing
- Medical professional refinancing
- Personal loans
- Credit card consolidation loans
- Home improvement loans
- Family planning loans
Users are able to access these services using their mobile app and desktop interfaces.
Square was launched in 2009 and the company works to help sellers manage inventory, sell online, engage loyal buyers as well as hire and pay staff. With the changes in the commerce world, Square has been keen to keep up by embedding financial tools at the point of sale so that merchants can have access to business loans and manage their cash flow in one place.
Square supports sellers across Australia, Canada, Ireland, Japan and across all 50 states in the U.S.
They partner with small, medium and large enterprises in order to provide them with an easier way to take credit cards.
Stripe is a financial infrastructure platform that enables businesses, both small and Fortune 500 companies to accept payments and send payouts using credit cards, digital wallets and other forms of payment methods. This is done using Stripe's software and APIs.
How Stripe works is that the platform provides a payment processor in the form of a software such that customers are able to pay for products or services using a debit card, credit card, mobile wallet, and buy now, pay later services.
Stripe also supports payments in a variety of currencies.
Headquartered in San Francisco and Dublin, Stripe is out to increase the GDP of the internet and accelerate new business opportunities by helping them manage their operations online.
Among the services that they offer include:
- Online payments
- Subscription management
Stripe brings together all components required to build a website and apps that send out and accept payments all over the world.
Pros & Cons of Fintech
Variety of services. With the integration of finance and technology, it has become easier for companies to segment their offerings and provide their clients with multiple services. This helps increase efficiency and revenue within the business.
Reduction of cost. Compared to traditional financial institutions, fintech companies offer lower commission rates thus making it easier for users to transact.
Greater accessibility. Fintech has made it easier for users to access financial services. This has led to an increase in the number of the banked population as users are able to access services online.
Time saving. With the ability to make online transactions, users have found themselves visiting physical branches less frequently.
Regulation. Fintech is not a regulated industry in the United States, which means there are no set standards for how the industry operates. Absence of such regulations may lead to increased cases of fraud.
Lack of inclusivity. To access services provided by fintech companies, users need an electronic device and the internet. The fact of the matter is that a large population of people globally don't have access to these resources and so they remain excluded from accessing such services.
Lack of physical branches. This may prove to be a challenge as every issue must be dealt with over the internet, which in some instances can be quite cumbersome.
Fintech is here to stay and it has simplified how business is done in a lot of industries. If you're running a small business and/ or a fintech startup, it is important that you keep up with the ever changing trends in the fintech industry in order to ensure that you stay on top of the game.
Bay Street Capital Holdings
Bay Street Capital Holdings is an independent investment advisory, wealth management, and financial planning firm headquartered in Palo Alto, CA. They manage portfolios with the goal of maintaining and increasing total assets and income with a high priority on managing total risk and volatility. Although many advisors may focus on maximizing returns, they place a higher priority on managing total risk and volatility.
Our founder, William Huston founded Bay Street after 13 years of supporting the United States' largest retirement plan ($650B) Thrift Savings Plan. He is recognized as Investopedia’s Top 100 Financial Advisors for 2021. In California, only two black-owned firms out of nineteen firms received this recognition. In Scottsdale Arizona, Ekenna Anya-Gafu CFP, AAMS is recognized among the Best Financial Advisors for his responsiveness, friendliness, helpfulness, and detail. Bay Street was founded to advocate for diverse and emerging fund managers and entrepreneurs. In 2021, Bay Street was selected as a finalist out of over 900 firms across the US in the category of Asset Manager for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Are you looking to invest in the fintech industry? Get in touch with us today and we'll help you come up with a strategy that best suits your financial needs.