To call 2019 a turbulent year would be an understatement. Yet, despite the many challenges the world faced in 2019, the fintech sector continued its rapid expansion. To help you stay up to date with the latest developments in this fast-growing field, we would like to present you with the Fintech50 2019 — a list that reveals the ultimate set of companies to watch in the near future.
2019: a Year of Challenges
In many ways, global trends from 2018 carried on into 2019, with some new themes added to the mix.
The Trade War
First and foremost, the world continued to worry over the trade relationship between the United States and China. As the two most powerful economies globally, these two countries determine the overall tone in global trade.
What seemed like a very intense trade war in 2018 appears to be winding down. The two countries slapped each other with tariffs on various goods, including agricultural products and raw materials. This harmed the global economy because it was up to businesses to cover those extra fees.
Moreover, the United States further agitated China by blacklisting many prominent Chinese companies, especially from the tech sector. For instance, Huawei, a leading producer of smartphones and 5G network equipment, was at the heart of the conflict. The company stood accused of gathering intelligence for the Chinese government and lost important business contracts.
Nevertheless, in 2019 President Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping managed to reach a consensus. The two leaders agreed on a new trade deal. As a result, Trump’s cabinet lowered some of the tariffs imposed in 2018 (though it did not remove them altogether). In turn, China agreed to increase imports from the United States to help alleviate the trade deficit between the two countries.
Though the phase-one deal doesn’t fully resolve the problem, for now, at least it seems that the US-China trade war is coming to an end.
Europe had its own drama to resolve in 2019. It took almost three years since the 2016 referendum for the United Kingdom and the European Union to agree on a Brexit deal.
The two blocs had to set the ground rules for a new relationship once the UK formally separates from the European Union in January 2020. However, there were so many points of contention between the two that kept us on their toes. Not reaching a deal seemed a possibility at several points in the year.
In fact, the inability of the UK and the EU to compromise forced an early change of government in the United Kingdom. The more moderate PM Theresa May resigned in favor of Boris Johnson, an avid Brexit supporter, who promised to ‘get it done.’ Johnson’s cabinet also missed multiple deadlines to reach an agreement before eventually, he clinched a deal last-minute.
The consequences from the Brexit withdrawal agreement remain to be seen in 2020.
Financial Services Firms Thrived in 2019
Despite the political tension defining 2019, the financial technology sector continued growing. With a total fintech investment volume of $135.7 billion, 2019 was better than the previous year. Nevertheless, the gap between 2018 and 2019 is not as wide as the jump in investment from 2017 to 2018. Is this a sign that the fintech space is getting too crowded? It might be too early to say.
What we can see, however, is that the demand for more digital financial services remained strong in 2019. This, in turn, led to more and more businesses and start-ups joining the fray to offer creative solutions and make our lives easier.
The Fintech50 in 2019
A team of dedicated fintech experts gathered to look back on 2019 and once again choose the most noteworthy fintech companies of the year. Their task was by no means easy, considering how diverse fintech is getting.
The sector’s entrepreneurs continue to bring innovation and improve customers’ access to affordable insurance, digital banks offering quick loans and savings accounts, or other smart business solutions. Inclusive Fintech was one of the hottest keywords for venture capital enthusiasts in 2019.
Still, after careful consideration, they managed to short-list 50 companies that show the most promise for the future. They had financial inclusion in mind and looked especially at firms that offer banking services in emerging markets or the Asia-Pacific region. Still, those are not all regions where the awarded financial institutions and startups are from.
Without further adieu, here is the Fintech50 for 2019 list you’ve all been waiting for.
Note that this list is in alphabetical order.
- Acorns – an investment platform dedicated to micro-investing and robo-investing
- Alan – a digital health insurance platform offering insurance services
- Azimo – a regulated financial institution offering money transfers
- Bitfury – a bitcoin mining server designed for small, medium, or enterprise-level investments
- Bolt – a cloud-based platform for payments and fraud protection
- Calastone – a global fund-transaction network
- Chainalysis – a tech solution helping governments, consumers and businesses embrace cryptocurrency
- Chime – an American company offering mobile banking services free of charge
- ClauseMatch – a platform that helps regulated organizations run their businesses safely and meet legal compliances
- ClearBank – a UK clearing and embedded banking platform
- Clearmatics – a blockchain company based in London
- ClearScore – a company offering advisory services to consumers
- CloudMargin – cloud-based collateral and risk management technology platform
- Coinbase – a secure platform for trading and storing digital currency
- ComplyAdvantage – an anti-money laundering platform helping regulated organizations manage risks obligations
- Cuvva – a start-up company offering car insurance services
- Cytora – a platform providing insurance services
- Eigen Technologies – an AI platform that helps organizations organize, categorize and analyze data
- Enigma – a data science company providing intelligence about businesses
- Everledger – a digital company providing solutions and promoting transparency in global supply chains
- Farewill – a private company providing will-writing and cremation services in the UK
- Featurespace – a real-time machine-learning product providing anti-fraud services
- Gardenia Technologies – an AI Carbon Management platform providing real-time gas emissions data
- Gemini – regulated cryptocurrency exchange and wallet
- Globechain – a B2B reuse marketplace with the goal of reducing waste
- Habito – an online mortgage broker providing innovative lending services
- HQLAx – a company that simplifies the ownership transfers of assets for a wide range of financial institutions
- IDnow – an AI machine learning technology that verifies documents
- Minna Technologies – a technology offering subscription management solutions
- Modulr – an online platform providing easy and faster payment services
- Monese – an alternative solution to traditional banking, offering current accounts and payment services
- Monzo – one of the first online banks based in the UK
- Mosaic Smart Data – a planning platform providing real-time data analysis
- Neufund – a blockchain-based platform focusing on investment and fundraising
- Nivaura – a blockchain company facilitating the interaction between external and internal users
- Nova Credit – a cross-border credit bureau providing financial services
- Onfido – a company that detects fraud by helping organizations verify their customers’ identities
- Pension Bee – an online pension planner, transferring and managing pensions in one place
- Railsbank – a platform that builds APIs for banking, credit products, and other kinds of businesses
- Raisin – a marketplace dedicated to savings and investments where banks connect with retail customers
- Revolut – a financial company offering online banking services
- Simudyne – a simulation software for financial organizations to simulate potential scenarios and decrease risks
- Solarisbank – a platform with a German banking license offering banking services
- Sonect – a network of virtual ATMs that converts a shop into an ATM
- Starling Bank – a digital bank based in the UK
- Stripe – provides APIs for payment processes that can be integrated into a website or mobile app
- Tessian – a cloud email security platform that prevents data loss and phishing attacks
- Tokeny – a blockchain company that allows organizations to manage digital assets easier and quicker
- TransferWise (Wise) – an online account for sending or receiving payments in other currencies
- Zego – a commercial motor insurance provider
These are the top Fintech50 choices for 2019 but who are the hottest of all? Find out in our Fintech Hot 10 2019 List.
In case you feel extra curious, check out our other fintech lists below:
- The FinTech50 2016 List
- The FinTech50 2016 Part 2
- The FinTech50 2017 List
- The FinTech50 2018 List
- The FinTech Top 10 2020 List
- The FinTech50 List
Financial trading poses a risk to your capital. The information presented in this article cannot be considered investment advice. Always familiarise yourself with the risks and any local restrictions that may apply to trading.