Thirteen crypto and/or blockchain-related companies are on the list of the best and the most promising financial technology (finthech) companies in 2019.
A fintech venture capital (VC) firm H2 Ventures and “big four” accounting firm KPMG published their Fintech100 annual report recently, which examines the fintech space globally to form a ‘Top 50’ and an ‘Emerging 50’ lists. They searched for the companies “that are taking advantage of technology and driving disruption within the financial services industry,” choosing the best based on a number of different data, as well as the core five factors:
- Average annual capital raised
- Rate of recent capital raising
- Geographic diversity
- Sectoral diversity
- X-factor: degree of product, service and business model innovation (a subjective measure applied only to companies on the Emerging list).
The report found that, overall, fewer payments and lending companies made the Fintech100, their place being taken by wealth, insurance and multi-sector companies. There’s also a significant increase in venture capital backing of fintech companies, with the listed companies raising over USD 18 billion of capital in the past 12 months and over USD 70 billion in venture capital, a 35% increase from last year’s figure. In terms of geography, the most companies this year are Asia Pacific-based, with 8 out of the 11 companies that have raised over USD 1 billion in the past 3 years coming from the Asia Pacific serving customers in China, India, as well as “rapidly emerging markets in South East Asia such as Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand,” the report says, adding: “The smart money is rapidly flowing to fintechs focused on this region.”
Importantly for the Cryptoworld: the report highlights 13 crypto / blockchain related companies;
- 7 are from the Top 50 and 6 from the Emerging 50;
- 1 is on the top 10 companies list for 2019: JD Digits from China;
- 5 in the Top 50 have fell lower on the list, compared to last year;
- 1 (Coinbase) ranks higher compared to last year, and 1 (Bankera) got on the Top 50 from last year’s Emerging 50;
- of the 12, 2 are based in the United States, 2 in China, and the rest in the UK, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Lithuania, Malta, France, Luxembourg, and the United Arab Emirates.
Let’s check out the crypto-related companies included in the Fintech 100 for 2019 and how the report describes them (or rather, praises them).
Within the leading 50
Rank: 3 in 2019, 2 in 2018
Based in: China
Key people: Shengqiang Chen, CEO
Notable investors: CICC, BOCGI, China Securities, CITIC Capital, Sequoia Capital China, China Harvest Investments, China Taiping Insurance
Originally part of JD.com, a major Chinese e-commerce company, JD Digits (formerly JD Finance) became an independently operated technology company in 2013, dedicated to connecting financial and physical industries with digital technology. With its cutting-edge technologies and expertise in big data, AI (artificial intelligence), IoT (Internet of Things) and blockchain, the company builds core digital risk management capability, user operation capability, industry know-how capability and corporate service capability based on the B2B2C model.
Rank: 14 in 2019, 8 in 2018
Based in: United States
Key people: Baiju Bhatt, Co-Founder; Vladimir Tenev, Co-Founder; Nate Rodland, COO
Notable investors: DST Global, Sequoia Capital, Iconiq Capital, Index Ventures, Tim Draper, Andreessen Horowitz, Snoop Dogg
Founded in 2013, Robinhood is a zero fee stock trading app that offers ETFs (exchange-traded funds), options and cryptocurrency trading, while enabling users with a zero commission model to transact U.S. stocks and ETFs. Users can easily access the financial markets by slimming down the investment process and removing excessive brokerage costs.
Rank: 18 in 2019, 11 in 2018
Based in: China
Key people: Ye Wangchun, Chairman & CEO
Notable investors: IDG Ventures, SBI Group
OneConnect Financial Technology, founded in 2015, has built four service platforms based on Big Data, Blockchain, Financial Cloud, Intelligent Finance and other new technologies, these being: Direct Bank Cloud, Financial Cloud for small and micro enterprises, Interbank Asset Transaction and Personal Credit Investigation. These are meant to provide solutions for small and medium-sized banks, increase revenue, reduce cost and risk and boost competitiveness. As of June 30, 2019, OneConnect had served over 600 banks and 80 insurance companies.
Rank: 26 in 2019, 13 in 2018
Based in: United Kingdom
Key people: Nik Storonsky, CEO & Co-Founder; Vlad Yatsenko, CTO & Co-Founder
Notable investors: Index Ventures, Ribbit Capital, Balderton Capital, DST Global
When it was launched in July 2015 by former Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank investment bankers, Nik Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko, as a digital alternative to the big banks, Revolut drew in customers by allowing them to spend and transfer money abroad with the interbank exchange rate. Since then, the company has since attracted over 6 million customers in Europe with its spending overviews, budgeting controls, savings features, donations, commission-free trading and cryptocurrency exchange.
Rank: 34 in 2019, 48 in 2018
Based in: United States
Key people: Brian Armstrong, CEO & Co-Founder; Fred Ehrsam, Co-Founder
Notable investors: Y Combinator, FundersClub, SV Angel, Union Square Ventures, Digital Currency Group, Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, Reinventure Group
Via its online platform launched in 2012, Coinbase enables digital currency transactions between traders, consumers and merchants, with a mission to create “a globally accessible, open financial system.” By allowing individual Bitcoin (BTC) wallets and enabling connected bank accounts, it “ensures an improved buying and selling experience,” and it also offers a range of payment processing options that can manage high traffic levels on the internet.
Liquid by Quoine
Rank: 38 in 2019, 29 in 2018
Based in: Japan
Key people: Mike Kayamori, Co-Founder & CEO; Mario Gomez-Lozada, Co-Founder, President & CTO
Notable investors: Jafco Asia, 8 Decimal Capital
Quoine, founded in 2014, provides trading, exchange, and next-generation financial services powered by blockchain technology, currently processing annual transactions worth over USD 50 billion. It was the first global cryptocurrency exchange to be officially licensed by the Japan Financial Service Authority, while its existing trading platforms, Qryptos and Quoinex, are among the most advanced in the world. By launching Liquid, a cryptocurrency one-stop trading portal, they allow users to access a worldwide network of cryptocurrency exchanges. Liquid allows users to match trades across multiple transactions and cryptocurrencies.
Rank: 42 in 2019, on the emerging list in 2018
Based in: Lithuania
Key people: Vytautas Karalevičius, Co-Founder & CEO
Notable investors: Blockshine
Launched in 2017, Bankera is developing a bank to act as the bridge between the traditional world and the blockchain technology, and will offer three core services: payments, loans and deposits and investment solutions such as exchange-traded funds, crypto-funds as well as robo-advisory solutions for wealth management. Its goal is to become a blockchain-based bank, with its high-skilled team, innovative solutions and a strong foundation – SpectroCoin, a cryptocurrency exchange and blockchain wallet.
Companies to watch in the coming years
Based in: Malta
Key people: Changpeng Zhao, Founder & CEO
Notable investors: Vertex Ventures, Plutus21, Black Hole Capital, Funcity Capital, Sequoia Capital, Limitless Crypto Investments
Binance is a cryptocurrency exchange platform that combines digital technology and finance. It provides access to exchange digital currency pairs on the market, while maintaining security and liquidity, and enabling a safe and efficient exchange with anyone, anytime and anywhere.
Based in: France
Key people: Hamid Benyahia, Co-Founder; Mehdi Amari, Co-Founder
Notable investors: /
Dether is the peer-to-peer Ethereum (ETH) network, which enables anyone in the world to buy and sell ETH using cash, and spend it at physical stores. Dether creates a worldwide ecosystem of ETH buyers, sellers and physical stores willing to trade ETH for fiat and accept it as a means of payment. No bank account is needed to buy/sell ETH, and no credit/debit card is needed to spend ETH at physical stores.
Based in: United Arab Emirates
Key people: Çağla Gül Şenkardeş, CEO; Tolga Odoğlu, General Manager; Tuna Orbay, CTO
Notable investors: Boğaziçi Ventures, Aslanoba Capital
MenaPay platform replaces cash and traditional banking tools used for transactions, with a goal of building one of the biggest cashless societies in the world and supporting digital transformation of the MENA (the Middle East and North Africa) region blockchain-based payment gateway. MenaPay platform offers a non-bank, top-up possibility and user-friendly mobile payment experience, digitalizing cash for the 80% of the unbanked adult population in the MENA region.
Based in: Korea
Key people: Ilseok Suh, Founder & CEO
Notable investors: BA Partners, Capstone Partners, Honest Ventures, Strong Ventures
To solve problems of the current global remittance market, Moin has developed a money transfer solution based on blockchain. Eliminating the need for SWIFT network or intermediary banks, Moin directly connects senders and receivers to make the wire process simpler, safer, faster, and more convenient with affordable rates.
Based in: Singapore
Key people: Andy Li, Founder & CEO; Bryan Sun, Co-Founder & CT; Villence Yu, Co-Founder & COO
Notable investors: Krungsri Finnovate, Sumitomo Corporation, SBI Investment, Arbor Ventures, Eight Roads Ventures, ZhenFund
With an aim to create new standards of banking platform that empowers banks or financial institutions to launch innovative financial products for the mass market, Silot taps on AI and blockchain to provide next generation efficiency, capability and security by connecting bank’s functionalities and data silos.
Based in: Luxembourg
Key people: Luc Falempin, Co-Founder & CEO; Daniel Coheur Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer; Philippe Van Hecke, COO
Notable investors: Euronext
Tokeny Solutions enables mid-cap companies, investment banks, funds, asset managers and distributors to dematerialize assets on the blockchain, in order to reach a global audience, enforce compliance obligations, enable automation, and increase operational efficiency. The company delivers an institutional grade, modular end-to-end platform, allowing for the issuance, transfer and servicing management of tradable digital assets/security tokens. Tokeny Solutions has issued multiple tokenized offerings across five continents with more security offerings to come.