Financial technology startups have been exploding in recent years, and this year may be the biggest for fintech. There are dozens of fintech companies nearing the coveted unicorn status of a $1 billion valuation. While startups are making the lives of consumers and businesses easier, many established fintech companies have been doing the same for years.
What is Fintech?
Fintech is a term that means financial technology. This is an industry that provides innovative financial services with cloud and software. Fintech has business and consumer applications that range from the forex trading system realm to health services systems to mobile payments. Fintech companies in the U.S. have garnered funding totaling to $12.4 billion.
With both business-to-client and business-to-business applications, financial technology has altered the banking industry, servicing people who do not have bank accounts. Also, fintech has applications in emerging technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence.
With the rise of fintech companies in human resources, investing spaces, cryptocurrency, and insurance, many consumers are likely to use one or two of these applications to manage finances. The following are the 8 fintech companies to watch in 2019 and beyond:
For crypto enthusiasts, Coinbase is popular for trading cryptocurrencies such as ethereum, litecoin, and bitcoin among others. Founded in 2012 by Fred Ehrsam and Brian Armstrong, this crypto exchange has a value of $8 billion. Coinbase allows bitcoin users to pay in bitcoin in order to connect with experts, after acquiring Earn.com. This fintech company is friendly to crypto trading beginners.
Credit Karma has exploded in growth since its inception in 2007. The company is currently worth $4 billion and was founded by Nichole Mustard, Kenneth Lin, and Ryan Graciano. This fintech company provides credit recommendations and scores to consumers at no charge. Most consumers prefer Credit Karma as they do not have to register for credit cards on the site. Included in their services are a whopping 85 million educative resources for their consumers.
Robinhood is an investment application that joined the robo-advisor industry in 2013 after its founding by Vladimir Tenev and Baiju Bhatt. This application boasts a valuation of $5.6 and helps users trade EFTs and stocks free, as well as cryptocurrencies and low minimums. Robinhood has an estimated 6 million users.
Circle joined the crypto exchange space after acquiring Poloniex. This company was founded as a peer-to-peer payments company in 2013 and is now worth $3 billion. Its founders Sean Neville and Jeremy Allaire have partnered with a fellow fintech company, Coinbase for creation of an ethereum based blockchain USDC stable coin. Circle not only allows users to send money but also trade different cryptocurrencies.
With an estimated value of $860 million, Acorns is a fast-growing investment application that provides its 4.5 million users with easy ways to invest their spare change into the market. This application allows investors to set their investment preferences automatically. Acorns was founded in 2012 by Walter Wemple Cruttenden III and Jeffrey James Cruttenden.
Founded by Zach Perret and William Hockey in 2013, Plaid permits different applications such as payment apps to connect to a consumer’s bank account and assist in speeding up the authentication. This fintech company has grown rapidly and helps connect applications like Venmo and Betterment to users’ accounts. Valued at $2.7 billion, Plaid is working with around 10,000 banks. The company acquired Quovo, a data aggregation company for investments, in January this year for an estimated $200 million.
Zenefits is disrupting the human resources industry by providing human capital management services on the cloud with different technology and applications for businesses. Founded by Laks Srini and Parker Conrad, this HR fintech company is worth $2 billion. Zenefits seeks to increase efficiency and reduce paperwork with an array of tools that assist businesses to track benefits, payroll and other employee operations.
Avant seeks to improve the lending space by helping consumers to acquire loans ranging from $2,000 to $35,000. Established in 2012 by Al Goldstein, John Sun and Paul Zhang, this fintech company is worth $2 billion. This online financing company has more than 600,000 consumers and caters to people with low credit scores and those who have a hard time getting financing. With Avant, consumers get instant online loans.