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Global Top 10 Fintech Unicorns

Fintech Startup

The fintech sector has witnessed an enormous increase in its level of activities in recent years. The massive growth and development of the industry has caused an adoption of tech and AI systems by various startups, to aid and improve traditional financial services. Topping the charts of the fintech industry (in funding terms) are Asia and the United States. A research carried out on the top unicorns of the global fintech industry reveals the following startups. 

Ant Group Co., Ltd.

Ant Group is a big-time player in the fintech industry. Having pioneered digital payments in China, the unicorn is known to be one of the leaders of fintech in Asia and the world. Ant Group aims to provide a platform and framework to support the digital transformation of the financial service industry. Although formally established in 2014, the origins of the startup go as far back as 2004 when Alipay was established. The group believes their cutting-edge tech as well as their blockchain solution (AntChain) will strengthen and improve the foundation of trust in the digital era.

Highlights

Founder: Lucy Peng

Date of Incorporation: October 2014

Headquarters: Zhejiang, China, APAC Region

Funding Amount: US $22 billion

Number of Investors: 15

Funding Status: Series C

Social Finance, Inc.

Sofi is a finance company that provides a range of wealth management and lending services. The startup unicorn deals primarily with early-stage professionals and offers a variety of services including MBA loans, mortgage refinancing, and more. Sofi provides a platform to help people save, borrow, spend, invest and protect their money better with the aid of modern financial products and services. This ultimately leads to financial independence and realization of goals and ambitions among users, from paying off student loans to owning a home, saving for retirement and so on.

Highlights

Founders: Daniel Macklin, Ian Brady, James Finnigan, Michael Cagney

Date of Incorporation: August 1, 2011

Headquarters: San Francisco Bay Area, California, West Coast, Western US

Funding Amount: US $2.9 billion

Number of Investors: 36

Funding Status: Series Unknown

Robinhood Financial, LLC

Robinhood is a stock brokerage that allows users buy and sell stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies and options with zero commission. The fintech unicorn provides a stock brokerage framework that grants free and easy access to financial markets. Robinhood offers a variety of fintech services including options trading, equity, cryptocurrency and cash management accounts. The startup’s mission is to ensure absolute convenience in storing money and trading stocks for customers using their applications. 

Highlights

Founders: Baiju Bhatt, Vlad Tenev

Date of Incorporation: 2013

Headquarters: San Francisco Bay Area, California, Silicon Valley, West Coast

Funding Amount: US $2.2 billion

Number of Investors: 49

Funding Status: Series G

Klarna Bank, AB

Klarna is an e-Commerce payment solutions platform for shoppers and merchants. The unicorn gives users the benefit of choosing when and how to pay. The startup is a regulated bank popularly known for its “buy now, pay later” system that offers customers interest-free financing on retail purchases over a period of installments. Klarna also offers services such as direct payments, installment plans and pay after delivery options. 

Highlights

Founders: Niklas Adalberth, Sebastian Siemiatkowski, Victor Jacobsson

Date of Incorporation: February 2005

Headquarters: Stockholm, Sweden, European Union, Nordic Countries

Funding Amount: US $2.1 billion

Number of Investors: 42

Funding Status: Corporate Round

Stripe, Inc

Stripe is a global tech startup that builds economic infrastructure for the internet. Businesses of every size from public companies to new startups use the company’s software in accepting online payments and running complex global operations. The unicorn combines economic infrastructure with various applications for new business models like analytics, crowdfunding and marketplaces, fraud prevention and many more. Stripe is a close partner of various internet leaders including Google, Alipay, Apple, Twitter, Facebook, Tencent and more. The company aims to help new startups develop and thrive in an effort to ultimately grow the GDP of the internet. 

Highlights

Founders: John Collison, Patrick Collison

Date of Incorporation: 2010

Headquarters: San Francisco Bay Area, California, West Coast, Western US

Funding Amount: US $1.6 billion

Number of Investors: 30

Funding Status: Secondary Market

Avant, LLC

Avant is a fintech unicorn operating an online marketplace that offers users a variety of financial services. Some of the services include personal loans to consolidate debt, pay for family vacations and settle unexpected medical expenses. The finance unicorn utilizes big data and machine learning algorithms in providing a customized platform for streamlining credit options. Their customer base lies majorly in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Highlights

Founders: Al Goldstein, John Sun, Paul Zhang

Date of Incorporation: November 1, 2012

Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois, Great Lakes, Midwestern US

Funding Amount: US $1.6 billion

Number of Investors: 15

Funding Status: Series E

Landbay Partners Limited

Landbay is a mortgage lender utilizing peer-to-peer technology to fund its loans. The unicorn facilitates retail, local governments and institutional investments into UK residential mortgages. Landbay matches funding to diversified portfolios through their platform, thereby supporting the development of quality private rental accommodations throughout England and Wales. The company is fully registered and authorized by the FCA and has a network of strategic partners one of which is Zoopla Property Group. 

Highlights

Founders: Gray Stern, John Goodall

Date of Incorporation: July 1, 2013

Headquarters: England, United Kingdom

Funding Amount: US $1.6 billion

Number of Investors: 7

Funding Status: Equity Crowdfunding

Chime Financial, Inc

Chime is a fintech startup that aids its customers in saving money instantaneously, avoiding bank charges and gaining financial independence. The US-based unicorn provides a mobile, connected and modern approach to banking, ultimately giving members complete control of their finances. Customers of this startup are given a spending account, a savings account, a powerful mobile app and a Chime debit card in an effort to grant them absolute control. The company’s mobile app for iPhone and Android devices was featured as one of the best money management apps in the App Store.

Highlights

Founders: Chris Britt, Ryan King

Date of Incorporation: 2013

Headquarters: San Francisco Bay Area, California, West Coast, Western US

Funding Amount: US $1.5 billion

Number of Investors: 24

Funding Status: Series F

TransferWise Ltd

Transferwise is a fintech startup that provides a core money transfer platform. The unicorn allows private individuals and businesses to send money abroad without hidden charges. They also offer a borderless account holding over £2 billion in current deposits for their audience of freelancers, expats and travelers.

Highlights

Founders: Kristo Kaarmann, Taavet Hinrikus

Date of Incorporation: 2011

Headquarters: England, United Kingdom

Funding Amount: US $1.1 billion

Number of Investors: 35

Funding Status: Secondary Market

N26 GmbH

N26 is a mobile banking startup unicorn operating in over 25 markets. The company offers mobile banking solutions to customers in the European Union through its subsidiary. N26 provides a wide range of mobile banking services such as establishing and managing fixed accounts, current accounts and other banking services. They also developed an application that grants customers a free and easy access to their banking details. N26 seeks to improve the speed and efficiency of their many services like overdrafts, cash withdrawals, deposits at stores and international money transfers.

Highlights

Founders: Maximilian Tayenthal, Valentin Stalf

Date of Incorporation: February 2013

Headquarters: Berlin, Germany, European Union

Funding Amount: US $782.8 million

Number of Investors: 16

Funding Status: Series D

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