Fintech otherwise known as financial technology in the last decade has been one of the world’s most promising sectors for changing the way finances are conducted with mobile banking, investing, and blockchain apps.
According to data provider CB Insights, fintech companies in the USA raised $12.8 billion in the first quarter of 2021, a 220% increase over the same period in 2020.
Another research carried out by Modern Knowledge World says, the centerpiece of the financial technology trend is the United States where there are over 1,491 companies and with more than $58,5 billion invested in the sector.
Digital financial access is embedded in entire markets, including digital loans and mobile stock systems, e-commerce payment networks, and digital currency exchanges.
Evolution of Fintech in the USA
Fintech has been longer than most people believe. Today with a mobile app, Fintech’s current version allows you to pay for a coffee cup, but the history of financial infrastructure goes way back to the first credit cards accepted by the public at the end of the 1950s.
Fintech has developed and implemented many significant innovations in the mass market after the credit card, such as ATMs, Electronic Shares, Mainframe Bank computers, and internet stock exchanges. Modern technologies improved the financial system that most people used, but had to think seldom about every day.
Today, solutions from the Fintech industry challenge existing traditional banking infrastructure, for example by using a payment app on the mobile wallet, rather than the carriage of physical credit cards in a physical wallet.
Fintech has been revolutionized in various markets, particularly in the financial, commercial, insurance, and risk management industries. Fintech firms include startups, technology companies, and existing financial institutions leveraging digital innovations such as big data and artificial intelligence to enhance financial services usability and performance, blockchain, and edge computing.
TOP 10 FINTECH COMPANIES IN THE USA
1. Stripe ($95 billion)
Stripe was founded in 2009 by Irish brothers Patrick and John Collison in San Francisco, California, it helps to process online payments for small businesses and also big tech companies like Microsoft and Zoom. It is still the most valuable fintech in the U.S. with a valuation of $95 billion, up from $35 billion two years. Stripe is also the second-most valuable startup in the world.
2. Klarna ($45.6 billion)
Founded by Sebastian Siemiatkowski happens to be one of the biggest and most popular fintech companies at the moment which is worth over $31 billion. As consumers increasingly opt for debit over credit, “buy now, pay later” Klarna through their website and application has catapulted to riches. The 16-year-old fintech company powers financing for customers shopping at stores like IKEA, H&M, and Etsy. On the heels of the pandemic’s e-commerce boom, its valuation tripled in March 2021. Although Klarna is based in Sweden, it still qualifies for our top 10 list because it has a significant U.S. presence.
3. Chime ($25 billion)
Chime is an American fintech company founded by Chris Britt. Chime happens to be the largest digital quasi bank in the U.S., Chime offers no-fee checking accounts, a debit card, and overdraft protection. The chime platform allows users to access mobile banking systems through the Chime website and app, the company makes the majority of its money from collecting interchange and its annualized revenue is more than $600 million last year when it launched a starter credit card and offered early access to federal stimulus checks.
4. Kraken ($20 billion)
Kraken was founded in San Francisco in 2011 by Jesse Powell and it’s the largest cryptocurrency exchange by transaction volume in Europe, and the second-largest in the U.S., after Coinbase. Kraken provides a platform where users can trade in cryptocurrencies, the service currently supports 72 different cryptos. Kraken operates in 176 different countries and around 48 states in America.
5. Robinhood ($16.5 billion)
Robinhood was founded by Baiju Bhatt and Vladimir Tenev. Robinhood is a financial services company which have over 13 million users that have signed up for its mobile application. Robinhood pioneered commission-free trades of stocks (including fractional shares), cryptocurrencies, ETFs, and options. More than tripled year-over-year revenue for the first three months of 2021 to $331 million.
6. Plaid ($13.4 billion)
Plaid was founded in 2012 by Zach Perret and William Hockey, it allows fellow fintech—including big brands like Robinhood, Coinbase, Square Cash, Acorns, American Express, Betterment, and Venmo—to connect to their customers’ bank accounts. Plaid offers a simple front-end module that streamlines the onboarding experience and can be implemented with 2-3 lines of coding, plaid nearly doubled customer count to 4,500 in 2020. Plaid is already acquired by Visa in January 2020.
7. Wise ($11 billion)
Wise was formally known as “Transferwise” and was founded by Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus in 2011. Wise allows users to perform online international money transfers at a fee averaging 0.7%, compared with 3-4% from U.S. banks. Wise revenue has grown by 70% last two years to $420 million, and the company reports 10 million customers, up from seven million in early 2020. Wise is based in London, but it has a significant U.S. operation.
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8. Brex ($7.4 billion)
Brex is an expense reporting company based in San Francisco, the company was founded in 2012 by Henrique Dubugras and Pedro Franceschi. Brex sells products designed for other startups, including Airbnb, Carta, and over 15,000 other customers. Brex offers a corporate credit card with travel rewards, corporate cash management accounts, and expense-tracking software.
9. Carta ($7.4 billion)
Carta is a Fintech company based in San Francisco, the company was founded in 2012 by Henry Ward and Manu Kumar under the name eShares. Carta tracks capital tables on the cloud for private companies, investors, and employees and also helps them to manage their equity. Recently launched a secondary marketplace called CartaX that allows unicorn startup workers to sell their shares to investors which are done through the digitalization of paper stock certificates.
10. Gemini ($5 billion)
Founded in 2014 by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, Gemini was among the earliest cryptocurrency exchanges to launch and the first to be licensed in Zcash exchange. Gemini is based in New York City and now processes about $30 billion in transactions each year, and recently purchased NFT exchange Nifty Gateway to expand into the wild west of digital art auctions. It offers users to trade, buy and sell cryptocurrency and digital assets, the platform supports more than 40 different cryptocurrencies.