revolut: fintech startup

Top 60 Fintech Startups to Focus On (in 2021)

This is a list of 60 noteworthy fintech companies for 2021.

In this post, I’m going to do a deep dive into global fintech movements.

Now:

Fintech innovators are doing an excellent job of disrupting the rigid financial services industry and changing finance for the better.

What are fintech challengers actually?

They are financial technology pioneers.

Let me explain:

To clarify this, let's first explain the difference between Fintech companies and an old-school financial institution.

A bank is a TechFin firm: they see technology as something to apply to existing financial market structures and procedures (for example: stock market, online lending, life insurance, wealth manager, real estate...).

A start-up is a FinTech firm: they take tech and work out how to use it with financial structures, markets and challenges. This makes them efficient financial solution providers.

The worst part?

With funding circle being limited, most of those fastest growing, new generation fintech startups seams to be operating according to the hit-or-miss principle.

As a result, certain number of Fintech companies cannot survive their first years.

The truth is that not all fintech startups have business models that are capable of overcoming sudden global challenges.

Like for example those imposed by the worlds largest Corona outbreak in 2020.

On the other hand, some of them will certainly grow much bigger and faster due to the same.

In fact, I used the services of some of these exact fintechs to save a massive amount of time, fees, and commissions on all my international money transfers.

Let’s dive right in.

 

Table of Contents

B2C - DEBIT Fintech Startups

Business to consumer (B2C) fintech companies are usually offering an account and a debit card, Visa, or MasterCard.

Underbanked / Unbanked

Fintech companies providing financial inclusion for the underbanked or unbanked consumers.

More than 2 billion people in the world are entirely unbanked. Also, in the US, in cities like Detroit or Miami, at least 20% of households are unbanked.

  • Revolut - European fintech company offering a prepaid Visa debit card, peer-to-peer payments, currency exchange service, free international money transfers and global fee-free travel withdrawals. Revolut is coming into the U.S.
  • Neon - The first Swiss bank account and a fee-free Mastercard debit card that works worldwide without exchange rate spreads.
  • N26 - The German fintech offering flexible banking from your phone, a free bank account and a contactless Mastercard.
  • Varo - A US-based, all-mobile fintech firm that offers checking, savings accounts and Visa debit cards. No overdraft fees, no monthly fees, no minimum balance.
  • Neat - A Hong Kong-based fintech startup offering a mobile current account and a Mastercard debit card for individuals, startups & SMEs.
  • Monzo - The UK-based virtual bank with over 4 million customers, offering an online bank account and Mastercard debit. Monzo is launching in the US soon.
  • Uala - Argentina-based fintech offering a mobile banking app and Mastercard prepaid card, with no issuing, renewal, maintenance or closing fees.
  • Glint - the U.K.-based fintech that allows users to trade gold currency through a mobile app and to spend or withdraw their gold using Mastercard debit card. 
  • Morning - After 3 years, French fintech is shutting down its services.
  • Koho - Toronto-based FinTech is offering a savings tool for Canadians with a free chequing account and no-fee reloadable Visa card.
  • Xinja - An Australian FinTech company, digital neobank for Australians. Account holders are provided with a Mastercard debit card. 
  • Starling bank - A digital, mobile-only challenger bank based in the UK, offering personal, joint, euro & business banking. Account holders are provided with a Mastercard debit.
  • Pockit - A British financial technology company that offers current accounts, remittances and MasterCard debit cards with no credit checks.
  • Capital - A New York-based FinTech startup Capital, an alternative financing company for startups, offering its automated investing solution - The Capital Machine.

Blockchain

BitwalaA bank account with integrated cryptocurrency trading
NexoInstant Crypto-Backed Loans with automatic approvals and no Credit Checks. Customers can deposit crypto assets to their Nexo wallet and earn interest up to 8% APY.


Students

  • Loot (in administration) This Fintech startup did not survive and is shutting down.

Freelancers

  • Monese - A UK fintech company that offers money transfer services and multi-currency current accounts. Monese is focused on migrant communities and internationals who often struggle to set up a new bank account upon relocating to a new country.

Millennials and Gen Zs

  • Chime - A US fintech company that provides no-fees consumer banking (mobile and online banking), fee-free overdraft.
  • Lunar way - A Denmark fintech startup delivers digital banking for the millennial generation with a mobile banking app that helps them control personal finances.
  • Lydia - A French mobile payments start-up is offering peer to peer payments and a virtual debit Mastercard.

Youth and Kids

  • Greenlight - The Atlanta-based Fintech startup provides a smart Mastercard debit card for kids that parents manage from their phone app.
  • GoHenry - A UK-based digital banking firm offering a Visa debit card and app with unique parental controls for young people.
  • Current - A US fintech company offering a mobile banking app and Visa debit card with online checking accounts. Their product, Teen Banking is a smart debit card and app for parents.
  • Spriggy - A Sydney-based pocket money management firm offering a Visa prepaid debit card for 8-18 year olds with a mobile banking app that parents and kids use
  • Gimmi - Stockholm founded company that offers fintech products for young people and their supporters. Societies are becoming cashless, and Gimmi is offering alternative money management solutions for young people, including a prepaid debit Mastercard (included with premium service).
  • Osper - A UK fintech, offering MasterCard prepaid debit card with a simple mobile banking app with separate logins for youngsters and their parents.

B2B - DEBIT Fintech Startups

Business to business (B2B) fintech companies offering an account, a debit card (Visa or MasterCard) and some basic invoicing and accounting services.

Freelancers

  • Shine - French-based fintech startup, a mobile bank that provides financial, administrative management, and invoicing platform for freelancers.
  • Seed - US Fintech is offering an online bank account for freelance workers and business owners. Account-holders are required to be US residents with a Social Security number. Serving US businesses operating in the US only. Seed runs on iPhones with iOS 9.0 or higher, with no Android support. All the essentials included: A mobile business bank account, A Visa® Business Debit Card, Mobile check deposits, Bill Pay (electronic or paper check with a bank routing number).
  • Coconut - Fintech is offering UK account number and sort code, plus a Mastercard® debit card for freelance workers, self-employed people and small business owners. Coconut also takes care of your accounting and tax.
  • Kontist - Combined Banking & Accounting for Freelancers & the Self-Employed. A bank account that calculates your taxes in real-time.

Tech Startups

  • Novo - Offers a current account and Visa debit for start-ups.
  • NorthOne - An innovative digital bank for for small businesses, startups, and freelancers. Offering a bank account combined with Mastercard debit card.
  • Hutsy - Toronto-based fintech company offering peer-to-peer online lending money to individuals.
  • Open - Asia's Neobanking platform for SMBs & Startups. Offering a business banking service that combines everything from banking to invoicing and automated bookkeeping in one place.

Expense Management

  • Divvy - Business payment and expense management platform Divvy Pay Inc., a fintech that offers both plastic and virtual Mastercard debit cards.
  • Pleo - Pleo is a Danish FinTech company, that aims to simplify company spending and tracking of expenses. Offers both virtual and plastic Mastercard company debit cards that automate expense reports.
  • Teampay - A New York-based startup offering software solution for finance and purchasing teams that requests, approves, and tracks company spending in real-time. Integrates existing commercial cards, including American Express, MasterCard and most Visa cards.
  • Soldo - A London-based fintech start-up, offering its multi-user spending account with a prepaid MasterCard.
  • Bento - A Singapore-based B2B2C SAAS digital wealth solutions provider offering its sophisticated robotic investment advisor software.

SMB/SMEs

  • Aprilia - Digital API-bank focused on small and mid-sized enterprises through employing technology and data-driven credit risk management.
  • Qonto - Paris-based challenger neobank for SMEs and freelancers, offering a fully featured business account with debit Mastercard.
  • Joust - A US-based banking app for entrepreneurs and freelancers, offering a FDIC-insured bank account, a merchant account to accept all forms of payments and a Visa debit card.
  • Tide - A UK fintech startup that offers banking services for small and mid-sized enterprises. Businesses can get a current account, mastercard debit, including automated invoicing and bookkeeping.
  • Bunq - Amsterdam FinTech startup, internationall neobank offers various personal and business bank accounts and services, including Mastercard credit card.
  • Penta - The Berlin-based banking challenger is an online business bank account and Visa business card for German SMEs and startups.
  • Margo bank - A French fintech startup commercial bank for European Small & Medium-sized Businesses.
  • Counting up - the UK's #1 banking & accounting app U.K. fintech that provides a business bank account with Mastercard business and combined bookkeeping.
  • Finmatex - Fintech Intelligence Platform for financial organizations to create and manage their own branded mobile banking apps with AI-based client’s assistance.

CREDIT Fintech Startups

Fintech companies are offering some form of credit or loan (online lending), usually bundled with a credit card. Most of the Fintechs operating in this area are tackling the complicated and lengthy credit approval process.

Students

  • Deserve - A US fintech offering credit cards for non-traditional consumers, students, and those lacking credit histories.

Homeowners

  • CivilisedBank - CivilisedBank became "Allica bank" as a result of a UK banking license lapse and is now SME-focused.
  • Tandem - Tandem Bank is a fully regulated UK digital bank with nearly 1m customers. Using a mobile app tandem offers effortless access to savings accounts and Mastercard credit cards.
  • Aion - Subscription-only digital banking powered by Artificial Intelligence, offering a wide range of services to individual and business customers. Aion operates under a Belgian banking license and offers fast and convenient ways to optimize savings and expenses in real-time as well as personalized advice through an app.

Tech Startups

  • Brex - Mastercard credit card with instant approvals and higher limits. Tech, large eCommerce, and life sciences companies are not required a personal guarantee.

SMB/SMEs

  • Capital Ontap - Overdrafts and business credit cards, up to £50,000.

Underbanked / Unbanked

  • NU bank - The largest fintech in Latin America, which operates in Brazil, Argentina and Mexico and has over 15 million clients. Nu bank offers digital savings accounts and personal loans, combined with annuity-free credit card.
  • Petal - The New York-based fintech company offers its Visa rewards card to people with little to no credit history. Much like PayPal, Stripe and Square, Petal uses data instead of a FICO score to analyze applicants’ creditworthiness.
  • Credit Stacks - A financial service company that offers a premium US-based Mastercard credit card for relocating professionals. High credit line even without US credit history or SSN.
  • Zero JAJA - Instant credit (consumer landing) combinaed with the next generation Visa credit card.

In short:

There is a lot of movement in the fintech industry. Companies competing in this space come and go very fast. They either succeed, fail, or get acquired by some bigger "fish".

That is why I’ll keep updating the post each quarter. If there is some new, noteworthy fintech missing, please let me know by email at drashco[at]mobeecash.com

This article was updated on June 30, 2021

Drashco

I'm a financial technology professional with 15+ years of experience in payment cards, banking, eCommerce, transaction processing and switching.
As you can see, I'm also passionate about blogging.
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