40 Soaring Fintech Startups in 2021

by Josh Howarth - July 29, 2021

The financial technology sector is disrupting the way traditional financial institutions operate.

In fact, 88% of these institutions believe they will lose a part of their business to standalone fintech companies over the next 5 years.

With that, here's our list of 40 rapidly growing fintech startups to keep an eye on.

1. plum fintech limited

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5-year search growth: 170%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2016

Location: London, United Kingdom

Funding: $23.5M (Series Unknown)

What they do: Plum Fintech is a mobile application for personal savings and investments. The platform offers customized investment recommendations. Currently, the startup offers a free plan and three paid plans ranging from £1 to £4.99 per month. Founder Victor Trokoudes claims Plum Fintech has over 650,000 registered users.

2. fundall

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5-year search growth: 125%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2019

Location: Lagos, Nigeria

Funding: $150k (Pre-Seed round)

What they do: Fundall is a fintech platform providing individuals and businesses with investment tools. The app offers spending analytics to inform users of their financial habits. There are over 10,000 active beta users currently using Fundall.

3. sporttrade

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5-year search growth: 1200%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2018

Location: Camden, New Jersey

Funding: $36M (Series Unknown)

What they do: SportTrade is a sports betting and trading exchange where sports bets are traded like stocks. The platform is an unconventional take on sports betting modeled after the financial market. The company is currently backed by nine investors.

4. treasuryspring

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5-year search growth: 99X+

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2016

Location: London, United Kingdom

Funding: $14.5M (Series A)

What they do: TreasurySpring operates in the wholesale money markets world. Specifically, the software is designed to minimize risk while maximizing return using fixed-term funds (FTFs). The startup currently offers sovereign, financial, and corporate FTFs.

5. figure

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5-year search growth: 1166%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2018

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $1.5B (Series D)

What they do: Figure is a financial service powered by blockchain for both personal and business use. The startup offers financial products related to mortgages, home equity, and personal loans for individuals. They also have features to help with asset management, cap table management, and marketplace services for institutions.

6. Stockal

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5-year search growth: 780%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2015

Location: New York, New York

Funding: $2.8M (Seed round)

What they do: Stockal began as a stock advisory firm to provide research to investors. The startup initially struggled to monetize. But in 2018, they shifted to a digital infrastructure company. The new goal was designed to help retail investors abroad put their money into international markets, like the US. The company currently serves India with plans to expand into the Middle East and Southeast Asia soon.

7. Gohenry

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5-year search growth: 1550%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2007

Location: London, UK

Funding: $66.2M (Series Unknown)

What they do: Gohenry is a money management platform that teaches young people how to handle their finances. Children can physically handle their finances with debit cards that are prepaid and controlled by parents. The company reports there are over 1,000,000 paying customers using Gohenry.

8. Chime

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5-year search growth: 7700%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2013

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $1.5B (Series F)

What they do: Chime is a neobank that provides users with zero fee mobile banking solutions. The company is FDIC insured with a growing customer base of over 12 million.

9. Bluesheets

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5-year search growth: 500%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2020

Location: Singapore

Funding: $200K (Pre-Seed)

What they do: Bluesheets is bookkeeping automation software that uses human-assisted AI to extract data, update financial ledgers, and generate reports and analytics. The goal is to eliminate accounting errors and reduce time spent on bookkeeping for in-house teams.

10. Robinhood

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5-year search growth: 1000%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2013

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $5.6B (Convertible note)

What they do: Robinhood is a stock brokerage company that gives retail investors the ability to trade stocks, options, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies. The platform does not charge commissions on trades. They plan to IPO on the NASDAQ in late 2021.

11. Trueaccord

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5-year search growth: 2400%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2013

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $47.1M (Series B)

What they do: Trueaccord is a machine learning solution to debt collection. Specifically, their "HeartBeat" algorithm is engineered to improve debt collection success rates automatically. 

12. Stripe

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5-year search growth: 57%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2010

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $2.55B (Series H)

What they do: Stripe has quickly become one of the fastest-growing fintech startups on the planet. The payment processor is now used on 1.9 million different websites, ranging from small startups to large enterprise brands.

13. Klarna

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5-year search growth: 345%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2005

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Funding: $3.1B (Series unknown)

What they do: Klarna is a payment solution for eCommerce merchants and shoppers. Like many "BNPL" solutions, Klarna offers consumers the option to checkout with an installment payments plan (typically without charging any interest or fees).  Klarna has over 15 million customers and serves over 90 million shoppers with its payment solution.

14. BharatPe

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5-year search growth: 99x+

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2018

Location: New Delhi, India

Funding: $283.5M (Series D)

What they do: BharatPe is an integrative payment processing platform for merchants.  They also offer POS systems and business loans. They now have over 6 million customers at a $900 million valuation.

15. Transferwise (Now Wise)

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5-year search growth: 200%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2011

Location: London, UK

Funding: $1.1B (Secondary market)

What they do: TransferWise initially started as a money transfer service. They allowed users to send money abroad without the hassle of hidden charges or high currency exchange rates. They have grown to make borderless banking become cheaper and faster. Most recently, they rebranded to the new name Wise to emphasize their broader platform.

16. RecargaPay

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5-year search growth: 7%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2010

Location: São Paulo, Brazil

Funding: $134.6 (Series C)

What they do: RecargaPay is a seamless mobile payment wallet based on Brazil. Users without a bank account can use the app to top off their prepaid phones, pay bills, transfer money, purchase gift cards, and more. 

17. Rapyd

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5-year search growth: 4600%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2016

Location: London, UK

Funding: $470M (Series D)

What they do: Rapyd is a payment gateway focused on international payments. In other words, it allows easy localization for ecommerce sites. Well-known customers include HotMart and Ikea. 

18. Creditas

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5-year search growth: 4800%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2012

Location: São Paulo, Brazil

Funding: $569M (Series E)

What they do: Creditas is a Brazilian digital consumer loan platform. . Their credit score system uses homes and automobiles as collateral against loans. The company was originally called BankFacil before rebranding to Creditas.

19. Chipper Cash

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5-year search growth: 5300%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2017

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $52.2M (Series B)

What they do: Chipper Cash is a cash-transfer app. They allow users to send personal payments for free (similar to Cash App and Venmo.) They primarily operate in African countries including Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria.

20. Nubank

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5-year search growth: 1057%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2013

Location: São Paulo, Brazil

Funding: $1.5B (Series G)

What they do: Nubank is a neobank. They offer consumers credit cards, cashback rewards, digital bank accounts, and personal loans. They currently serve over 34 million customers in Brazil.

21. Vivid Money

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5-year search growth: 1075%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2020

Location: Berlin, Germany

Funding: $18M (Series A)

What they do: Vivid Money is a financial and mobile banking application solution. Their platform includes high-interest savings accounts, multi-currency access, and reporting features. Most recently, they expanded the platform to include brokerage capabilities to let users buy or sell stocks and ETFs. They also offer lucrative cashback options to spend and store money within their platform.

22. Monzo

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5-year search growth: 671%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2015

Location: London, UK

Funding: $601.5M (Series G)

What they do: Monzo is a digital bank based in the UK. Besides offering a variety of bank account and loan products, Monzo's app includes a number of features to help with budgeting and spend tracking.

23. Razorpay

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5-year search growth: 371%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2014

Location: Bengaluru, India

Funding: $206.6M (Series D)

What they do: Razorpay is a payment gateway suite. Their dozens of products include checkout page tools, automated vendor payment solutions, virtual accounts, and more. At a $1B valuation, Razorpay is one of a rare breed of fintech unicorns.

24. Revolut

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5-year search growth: 2175%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2014

Location: London, UK

Funding: $905.5M (Series D)

What they do: London-based Revolut has quickly emerged as one of the most valuable fintech startups on the planet. The company reports that they have 15 million personal customers across 35 different countries. And they've recently expanded into the US.

25. GoCardless

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5-year search growth: 187%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2011

Location: London, UK

Funding: $217.2M (Series F)

What they do: GoCardless is a payment gateway with a focus on recurring transactions. Unlike some of their competitors, they allow recurring payments via ACH and debit cards. Prominent customers include Deloitte, DocuSign and SurveyMonkey. 

26. Varo Money

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5-year search growth: 266%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2015

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $482.4 (Corporate round)

What they do: Varo aims to become an extremely user-friendly neobank. Besides the typical perks you'd expect from a neobank (like no overdraft fees or credit checks) they also offer saving account interest rates that are significantly higher than most traditional banks.

27. Brex

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5-year search growth: 363%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2017

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $732.1M (Series C)

What they do: Brex's online banking platform focused almost 100% on the B2B market. Specifically, high-growth startups. Products they offer include corporate credit cards, cash management accounts, and built-in analytics tools.

28. PayMongo

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5-year search growth: 1200%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2019

Location: Taguig, Philippines

Funding: $14.7M (Series A)

What they do: PayMongo is a payment processing company serving The Philippines. The company's revenue grew by 60% in 2020.

29. N26

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5-year search growth: 3350%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2013

Location: Berlin, Germany

Funding: $819M (Series unknown)

What they do: N26 is a popular mobile banking solution that's currently offered in 25 different markets. Services that N26 offers include international transfers, investments, and cash withdrawal/deposit at stores. N26 announced they currently serve over 7 million customers.

30. Pitchbook

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5-year search growth: 133%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2007

Location: Seattle, Washington

Funding: $13.8M (Series B)

What they do: Pitchbook is a platform that aggregates and collects data for VCs. Specifically, they have data on 3 million companies, including funding rounds.

31. Dana

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5-year search growth: 99x+

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2017

Location: Jakarta, Indonesia

Funding: N/A

What they do: Dana, a subsidiary of Emtek, is a digital wallet serving the Indonesian market. The company provides an e-wallet for customers to do three main tasks: send money, pay bills,  and shop online. They saw an increase of 100% last year in total transactions.

32. Ivalua

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5-year search growth: 223%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2000

Location: Orsay, France

Funding: $134.4M (Private equity)

What they do: Ivalua is an online procurement management platform. The cloud-based software offers a wide range of solutions, from risk tracking to invoice automation. They continue to expand their financial products with a new array of solutions launched last year.

33. Toast

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5-year search growth: 700%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2011

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Funding: $902M (Series F)

What they do: Toast helps restaurants manage their finances. Toast's financial product offerings include point-of-sale systems, email marketing software and payroll management tools. Toast is preparing for an IPO in the coming months at a $20 billion valuation.

34. Coinbase

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5-year search growth: 5400%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2012

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $547.3M (Series E)

What they do: Coinbase is a digital currency wallet and exchange. The platform also has expanded into businesses with Coinbase Commerce. This allows businesses to accept cryptos as payment. Coinbase is another surging fintech company planning an IPO in 2021.

35. WorldRemit

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5-year search growth: 143%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2010

Location: London, UK

Funding: $407.7M (Series D)

What they do: WorldRemit is a service for transferring money internationally (and specifically sending and receiving different currencies). In other words, it’s a direct competitor to TransferWise/Wise. The startup also has a well-reviewed iPhone and Android mobile app.

36. Moneyland.ch

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5-year search growth: 5600%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2013

Location: Zurich, Switzerland

Funding: Undisclosed Amount (Accelerator/Incubator)

What they do: Moneyland.ch is designed to help people find and compare insurance policies and loan terms. Additionally, the platform also lets people request a quote from banks, insurance companies or telecom companies. Last year, the company joined Swiss Finance Startups.

37. Apurata

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5-year search growth: 4700%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2016

Location: Lima, Peru

Funding: $260K (Pre-Seed)

What they do: Apurata allows users to apply for loans online. The company specifically targets the Latin American market. Apurata claims that it can issue loans up to $1,000 in just 29 minutes.

38. M1 Finance

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5-year search growth: 2400%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2015

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Funding: $179.27M (Series D)

What they do: M1 Finance is an app-based money management app. Its users can invest in ETF and custom stock portfolios. It also lets people borrow low-cost of line credit and go complete banking services, digitally. The app generates around $25M per year in revenue and has over 35,000 5-star reviews on Google Play and App Store.

39. Uphold

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5-year search growth: 583%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2013

Location: London, United Kingdom

Funding: $68M (Series C)

What they do: Uphold is a digital wallet and trading platform. It helps users trade cryptocurrencies, precious metals, national currencies, and U.S. stocks. The platform has created licensed relationships with banks and other financial institutions and uses these relationships to offer users additional financial services, such as sending and receiving remittances and flexible payments. Uphold has mediated over $4 billion in transactions to date.

40. AlphaPoint

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5-year search growth: -35%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2013

Location: New York, New York

Funding: $23.9M (Debt - PPP)

What they do: AlphaPoint is a distributed ledger platform. The platform offers companies and individuals easy tokenization of their assets. Additionally, AlphaPoint also provides a full stack exchange technology that can be used to launch and operate digital asset exchanges. The company has grown their year-over-year revenue by more than 45%. This growth has helped the company rank 34th on Inc 5000’s list of the fastest growing companies in 2021.

Conclusion

We have reached the end of our fintech startups list to watch for in 2021.

If there is one thing we learned from the pandemic in technology, it was the importance of touchless payments and banking.

As you can see, many startups on this list are building new banking and payment alternatives to make things easier for customers.

Another common trend was the number of startups with easier B2B payment solutions for merchants. With eCommerce having its largest year of growth ever, it's no surprise to see these companies cashing in. We expect this trend to continue as shoppers continue to migrate online for purchases.

Written By
Josh Howarth
Co-founder of Exploding Topics.
548 Market St. Suite 95149
San Francisco, California
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