Fintech: Forbes - FinTech 50


Forbes named their FinTech 50:

  1. ACORNS – App links to debit and credit cards, rounds up each purchase to nearest dollar, investing extra pennies in a portfolio of ETFs.
  2. ADDEPAR – Cloud software lets advisors analyze and manage all of a client’s assets, including hedge funds and private equity, on desktop and mobile.
  3. AFFIRM – Finances purchases with instant loans at interest rates of 0% to 30%.
  4. ALGOMI (London) – Its Honeycomb bond-trading information system helps buyers see which banks hold inventory of bonds they want to buy–information that, surprisingly, isn’t now readily available.
  5. ALPHASENSE – Smart search engine for investment pros spares them irrelevant Google search results.
  6. ADYEN (Amsterdam) – Payment platform bypasses rickety old infrastructure to power global e-commerce across six continents for companies such as Facebook, Uber, Airbnb, Netflix and Spotify.
  7. AVANT – Makes instant online loans of $1,000 to $35,000 to average Joes, at 10% to 36% interest for two to five years.
  8. BETTERMENT – Robo-advisor with more than 118,000 individual customers, now branching into 401(k) management.
  9. BRAINTREE – Online payments processor powers one-click payments for consumer apps; acquired peer-to-peer payments app Venmo in 2012. Powers payments for Airbnb and Uber.
  10. C2FO – Uses bid system and algorithms to match retailers sitting on extra cash with suppliers ready to accept discounts for payment within 48 hours.
  11. CHAIN.COM – Builds tools to exploit “blockchain” technology underlying Bitcoin.
  12. CIRCLEUP – Crowdfunding site connects creators of new consumer products with investors and potential distribution partners, including P&G, General Mills and eBay.
  13. CREDIT KARMA – Provides truly free credit scores and credit monitoring to consumers.
  14. DIGIT – Monitors cash flow in your checking account, diverting small amounts into savings. Users can save more (or less) via text message.
  15. EARNEST – Crunches up to 100,000 data points about prospective borrowers, including transactions in their bank accounts and 401(k)s, to make personal loans and refinance student debt for young borrowers with scanty credit records.
  16. EQUITYZEN – Connects employees at pre-IPO companies looking to sell stock with prospective buyers.
  17. ESTIMIZE – Proves old concept–wisdom of the crowd–by crowdsourcing corporate-earnings estimates from general public.
  18. FUNDBOX – Uses new software to solve an old problem for small businesses: They have to wait too long to be paid. By synching with Quickbooks and other accounting software Fundbox offers a small-business owner advances on outstanding invoices; he picks which one he wants to borrow against, and advances are made to his bank account, with repayments later debited automatically.
  19. FUNDERA – Small-business loan marketplace allows borrowers to compare terms from 28 lenders.
  20. FUNDRISE – Real estate crowdfunding site whose backers vet and buy the deals themselves, before reselling to accredited investors.
  21. HELLOWALLET – Sold as employee benefit, links all a worker’s bank, credit,savings and investing accounts, and sends him individual nudges and advice viaemail, apps and text messages.
  22. IEX – Stock exchange designed to blunt predatory high-frequency traders’ edge.
  23. KENSHO – Combines latest big data and 
machine-learningtechniques to analyze 
how real-world events affect markets.
  24. LEVEL MONEY – Mobile budgeting app, with over 1 million downloads.
  25. LEARNVEST – Connects average folks with financial plans and planners on the Web and in the workplace.
  26. MONEY.NET – Provides real-time financial market data, news, messaging and analytics for $95 a month per user.
  27. MOTIF INVESTING – Enables investors to design, share and buy themed ETF-likeportfolios (Motifs) of up to 30 stocks for $9.95 a transaction.
  28. NAV – Gives small-business owners access to their business and personal credit scores, help comparing rates from 36 lenders.
  29. PERSONAL CAPITAL – Offers free dashboard to track and analyze all your finances, using it to find clients for its hybrid robo and human financial advisory service.
  30. PLAID – Provides tools for other fintech startups to link bank and credit accounts and process transactions.
  31. PREMISE DATA – Employs army of Android-wielding locals in 30 countries to collect on-the-ground data that shed light on economic trends in real time.
  32. PROSPER – Peer-to-peer lending site connects borrowers and lenders for unsecured loans of $2,000 to $35,000 at fixed rates ranging from 5.99% to 36%.
  33. QUANTOPIAN – Crowdsources hedge fund by offering quants free platform for back-testing their algorithms. If hedge fund uses an algorithm, creator gets up to 10% of profits.
  34. R3CEV – Has signed up 30 banks to jointly develop projects using technology that underlies Bitcoin.
  35. RIPPLE – Allows banks to transfer funds in any currency in real time.
  36. RISKALYZE –  Its software helps financial advisors quantify clients’ risk tolerance and build suitable portfolios.
  37. ROBINHOOD – Commission-free stock trading app.
  38. SIMPLE – Online bank offering no-fee checking and personal finance tools, such as automatic daily saving.
  39. SOFI – Offers student loan refinancing, personal loans and mortgages toyoung borrowers with high-end jobs and degrees.
  40. STRIPE – Online and in-app payment platform with easy-to-use customer interface.
  41. TRANSFERWISE – Chops the high fees individuals and small businesses pay for international money transfers by (invisibly to customers) matching buyers and sellers of each currency.
  42. TRUEACCORD – Brings debt collection into the 21st century by using machine learning programs to analyze individual debtor’s responses and customize contacts.
  43. TRUEEX – Electronic interest rate swaps exchange allows big players to make trades anonymously
  44. VOUCH – New social network variant on the old concept of loan cosigners enables borrowers with credit scores as low as 600 to get a lower rate or larger loan online by having multiple friends and relatives guarantee or “vouch” for small parts of the loan–an average of $110 per voucher.
  45. WEALTHFRONT – Robo-advisor with nearly $3 billion under management.
  46. WORLDREMIT – Phone app for money transfers to Third World, typically charging 2% to 3% on a $200 transfer, compared with 8% current average.
  47. XAPO – Stores Bitcoin for wealthy investors on encrypted servers scattered across the globe and offers digital wallets used by consumers from developing countries to shop online.
  48. XIGNITE – Supplies financial market data to more than 1,000 financial companies for their apps and websites.
  49. ZENEFITS – Free cloud-based software to help small businesses automate payroll and benefits. Makes money off commissions on health insurance.
  50. ZESTFINANCE – Uses unconventional metrics to underwrite loans to those with low credit scores or thin credit histories. Example: Borrowers who enter their name in all caps in the online application are poorer risks.



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Ken Margolis | Managing Partner Castle Placement, LLC
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