Top fintech unicorn leaders 2017

12 December 2017

As venture capital firms and private investors are rushing heavily in fintech startup business, funneling their hard earned money into the sector, the value of some major fintech players is increasingly growing well above the unicorn level. Unicorn is a term used to denote a startup, the value whereof exceeds $1 billion, and we are here to talk about those startups, which are currently holding top positions by their value and the ones, which has just recently crossed the $1 billion benchmark.

Ant Financial

Ant FinancialAnt Financial Services Group, a Chinese company, affiliate of Alibaba Group, formerly known as Alipay, is considered as the world’s most valuable fintech business. As of February 2017 Ant Financial’s post money value was at the mark of $60 billion. Over the year since beginning of 2016, Ant Financial successfully held several fund raising rounds with $4.5 billion invested into Ant Financial in April 2016.

Since last September Ant Financial has closed several takeover deals with major acquisitions including EyeVerify, MoneyGram (for $1.2 billion) and helloPay. In the third quarter 2017 Ant Financial was the lead investor in funding rounds held for DeePhi Tech, a company providing deep learning technologies, Megvii, an enterprise focused on artificial intelligence development, and Hellobike, a developer of smart-sharing bikes for short distance travelers in China.

Stripe

StripeA San Francisco-based fintech startup, founded in 2010 by Patrick and John Collison, Stripe is a promising company with operations in more than 25 countries around the globe, providing solutions for businesses and individual customers enabling them to accept online payments. The company was valued at $9.2 billion last November.

This July the company acquired Payable, a US company allowing faster payments and compliance with 1099 for businesses. 1099 is a tax form adopted by the US Internal Revenue Service for reporting income other than wages, salaries, and tips. In November 2017 Stripe participated in Series D funding round for Monzo. In 2017 Stripe was ranked as number one company in the list of 100 cloud computing businesses, Forbes Cloud.

ZhongAn

ZhongAnThis Shanghai-based insuretech was founded 2013 with the support of Tencent and Ant Financial, being the first in China to offer online digital insurance services to customers. ZhongAn sells all of its products and processes all claims online only. It is the first and to date the only company holding license for Internet insurance services issued by the China Insurance Regulatory Commission. In late September this year ZhongAn held an IPO session, whereupon the startup was valued at $11 billion.

SoFi

SoFiSocial Finance, Inc, or SoFi for short, is a San Francisco-based fintech startup incepted in 2011 by four former students of Stanford Graduate School of Business, Mike Cagney, Dan Macklin, James Finnigan, and Ian Brady. So Fin provides online personal finance and wealth management services, refinancing loans for students, and offering mortgages and personal loans.

In February 2017 the company was valued at $4.7 billion during the funding round, which ended with $500 million raised from investors, including Silver Lake Partners as a lead investor. On February 1, 2017 SoFi acquired Zenbanx, a US fintech startup providing cross-border multi-currency services, for $100 million.

GreenSky

GreenSkyGreenSky LLC, an Atlanta-based fintech startup founded in 2006, provides technology solutions for banks and merchants enabling them to offer loans to their consumers for the purpose of acquiring furniture and other items required for home improvement. As of September 2016 GreenSky was valued at $3.6 billion. To date the company has successfully raised $350 million in the course of 2 funding rounds held since late October 2014.

Credit Karma

Credit KarmaCredit Karma, another San Francisco-based fintech company, founded in March 2007 by Kenneth Lin, Ryan Graciano and Nichole Mustard. The company provides free credit scores and advisory services related to credit cards and loans. The revenue is generated from target advertisements of financial services and products, and the profit reportedly offsets the costs of the company’s free services. The company was valued at $3.5 billion as of June 2015. Since that period the company has completed three acquisitions with the latest takeover made this may, the deal was closed with Claimdog, a company helping consumers to claim their hard-earned money from the government. To date Credit Karm has completed 6 funding rounds with total of $368 million raised.

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