Fintech is undoubtedly one of the fastest growing industries in the world, and it offers great opportunities to both startups and established players
For the fintech industry, the year 2016 was full of uncertainties, layoffs, and scandals. Many established players struggled to keep the momentum going while a voluminous number of startups aiming to make it large in fintech vanished from the market.
Those which survived this tough 12-month period were the ones that had got their basics right and ideas executed effectively. Since the market has improved a lot lately, these handful of fintech startups are ready to pull off. Here are five such fintech startups that are likely to make it large this year.
Cadre is a leading fintech platform connecting qualified institutions and individuals to fully compelling, vetted real estate investment opportunities. According to its official website, Cadre investment team brings over US$45 billion of real estate transaction experience from top notch institutions. Cadre had been in existence for some time before coming into the limelight in 2016 with blockbuster rounds of US$75 million to compass and US$210 million to OpenDoor.
Cadre’s 28-year-old CEO Ryan Williams is a Harvard graduate serial entrepreneur and knows how to turn a startup into a brand. The company has closed more than US$500 million in inventory in a short span of time and is likely to double this figure in the coming months. The year 2017 is going to be a deal-breaker or deal-maker for Cadre.
Facebook has been pushing digital payments on its platform for some time. This has given confidence to many new-age startups to explore digital payment field and come up with a unique solution that can help both buyers and sellers. Singapore-based Fastacash is a leading name in this field. It makes APIs for online payment transactions taking place on Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, etc. Fastacash raised US$15 million in Series B funding round in July of 2015 and is set for faster growth this year. Keep watching this space for updates about Fastacash in the coming months.
After struggling for initial four years of operations to keep up with the market pace, the San Francisco-based MetroMile, an auto insurance based fintech startup, raised US$192 million in a series of investment rounds in September 2016. MetroMile’s core USP is ‘Pay-Per-Mile Auto Insurance’, which has gained a lot of attention recently. It charges US$35 per month apart from 5 cents per mile from drivers, giving them the freedom to save a lot of money which wasn’t possible earlier. MetroMile has also teamed up with world’s largest startup, Uber, in an attempt to provide a specialized plan including both commercial and personal cover to drivers.
If you follow fintech industry closely, then MetroMile’s growth in the coming months of 2017 is something you wouldn’t want to miss out. Stay tuned for more updates on MetroMile.
The growth of Paytm, a leading India-based digital payment solution provider, in last 15 months or so is remarkable. It is backed by the likes of Ratan Tata, Alibaba and Soft Bank with a total valuation nearing US$5.9 billion. Paytm registered a whopping growth in digital transactions after November 8, 2016, when government demonetized Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes overnight. Now since the economy has stabilized and digital transactions have become a part of everyday life in India, Paytm is all set to touch newer heights in the coming months.
At a time when there are more budget smartphones in the market than ever, startups don’t want to leave any stone unturned to use this opportunity for their benefit. Stash is doing this job pretty well. Immediately after starting operations in 2016, the New York-based firm managed to register a whopping growth by acquiring over 300,000 users.
Stash managed to secure a Series B funding of US$25 million recently. According to Andrew McCormack, Partner at Valar Ventures, the firm that led this funding round, “Stash’s growth has been the fastest among all the mobile-focussed startups this year. Their story is a true example for those who believe email newsletter don’t work anymore.”
Stash allows its users to invest as little as $5 and track this investment using their smartphones. Since the smartphone marketing is one of the hottest topics at this moment, this startup is all set to make it large in 2017.
Cross River Bank
At a time when many other financial institutions were starving for deposits, Cross River Bank made highlights by securing a staggering VC funding of $25 million last fall. The Silicon Valley-based bank offers old-fashioned banking serves such as originate loans and depositing/withdrawing money to clients like Google Wallet, Affirm, Rocket Loans etc. Even though the government made some changes in fintech regulations in December 2016, the senior management of Cross River Bank hopes that its growth regime will remain intact in the coming months. Only time will tell whether it can keep up with customers’ expectations and maintain profitability in 2017 just like it did in the last year or not.
The founding team of Tilt calls it a ‘social network built around money’ and believes that there is no other college campus-based mobile app which has registered faster growth than Tilt lately. According to many industry experts, it’s undoubtedly the best app in this particular niche and has a bright future ahead. Talking about how Tilt works, one of the founding team members said that from fundraiser campaigns to pizza party during weekends, Tilt can take care of almost every activity on college campuses that involves peer-to-peer payment. According to James Beshara, Co-Founder & CEO – Tilt, “It’s the easiest way to fundraise, collect money or sell items to your community members.”
So far, Tilt has raised more than US$62 million in various rounds of funding. The founding team, as well as most experts closely following fintech industry, are confident about its growth in the coming months.
Fintech is undoubtedly one of the fastest growing industries in the world. Regardless of geographical location and market, the industry offers great opportunities to both startups and established players. Although there are many companies doing well in fintech industry, the names listed here are all set to stand in good stead in 2017.
Comment below and let me know if you think there are more companies that should be on this list.
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