May 11, 2018
There is a lot of buzz surrounding Fintech. KPMG reports global investment in the space exceeded $8 billion in Q4 of 2017. Fintech, short for financial technology, serves as a catch-all for companies looking to make improvements in banking and financial services through technology.
Although most people choose to bank or conduct financial transactions online, the processes largely remain the same as when they were carried out on paper. Only now, most financial services are presented in a digital wrapper. Some of the problems fintech firms aim to solve include efficiency, costs and inclusiveness. Business Insider recently published a list of 27 proclaimed fintech “unicorns” to watch in 2018. A unicorn in finance is defined as a privately held startup valued at over $1 billion. Some companies that made the list are already household names, while others are still in startup mode.
What’s interesting to note about the Business Insider list is the area in which these companies provide solutions. The majority seem to tackle lending, advising or business finances. Cryptocurrency is also making a splash. While others focus on areas some may not directly associate with fintech such as payroll or health insurance. Here are some of the interesting fintech companies to note from the list:
Coinbase earned their claim to fame during the Bitcoin boom in late 2017. This San Francisco based cryptocurrency company serves as an easy to use online platform for buying and storing four major types of cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash. Business Insider highlights Coinbase’s ambitions to become the “Google of crypto”. The company is currently valued at an estimated $1.5 Billion.
Zenefits provides cloud-based computing software for managing HR, payroll and health care. The company primarily caters to small and medium sized businesses. While the HR cloud management stage remains crowded, Zenefits is hailed as one of the fastest growing software- as- a- service (SaaS) companies in history.
Of all the companies listed by Business Insider, SoFi probably garners the most recognition mostly due to their advertising efforts. SoFi helps customers with loan refinancing from student loans to consumer debt. They primarily focus on tackling student loan debt, a national problem worth over $1 trillion.