Financial technology, or fintech, is transforming how we live, spend, and earn. Such technology was once solely in the hands of Wall Street giants and multi-billion-dollar hedge funds, but nowadays there’s a new generation of upstarts which are making waves on their own.
A complete understanding of what is fintech is absolutely necessary for anyone wishing to get involved in the revolution that is currently reshaping the world and becoming one of the most dynamic areas of the economy. Fintech is a broad church, and the number of small and large companies involves is staggered. If you want to get a grasp of the financial shifts that are currently underway, check out our list of the top fintech startups you need to be watching in 2020.
Banking app Monzo was founded back in 2015 and undoubtedly got off to a quiet start. However, after raising a staggering $145 million in funding earlier this year, which helped brings its valuation up to over $2 billion, people started paying attention. This London-based company is one of the world’s first mobile-only banks, where users can set up an account and access full banking services completely via an app. If Monzo’s rise continues, the face of banking may change forever.
This Paris-based fintech startup uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to help insurance companies detect fraud. Their industry-changing success rates have helped them bag over $100 million in seed funding this year alone, with 70 major insurers worldwide now using their services. Despite only having been on the scene for a couple of years, they now have offices in Boston, Shanghai, Tokyo, Singapore, London, and Hong Kong.
This London-based startup, formed in 2018, aims to help workers around the world make it to payday by using their service to ‘draw down’ a percentage of their monthly salary and access it early for a flat fee of £1.75 ($2.25) a month. The company quickly won the backing of Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos, who helped them secure $51 million in Series A funding this year. The goal is to roll out their services to employees across the world, helping everyone’s paychecks go further.
TrueLayer has the grand mission of making finance open to companies of all shapes and sizes. Taking advantage of recent Open Banking Initiatives, the company allows third parties such as retailers to access APIs and consumer information from banks, so that they can do business armed with the right data. Chinese venture capital giant Tencent took notice this year, providing $35 million in a single funding round to allow the company to expand into Asia.
The goal of Baobab is to provide essential banking services to those who are described as ‘unbanked’, or do not have access to normal finances resources. This plucky startup provides mobile banking and business loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries, giving them access to the vital funding they need to thrive in the modern world. They have already given out over $1 billion in small loans to entrepreneurs around the world, securing $150 million in funding in the process.
As you can see, the future of finance is smart, digital, and without barriers. These are the companies to watch in 2020 if you want to see where the world is heading.