The second installment of our ‘fintechs to watch’ series looks at the exciting world of newcomer fintechs since 2015.
These are the companies we’ve come across (and spoken to!) who we think have a fantastic product and proposition as well as the right people and passion to guide them to success in 2018 and beyond.
The three founders Renaud Million, Alberto Chierici and Alberto Pasqualotto as well as the whole team of Spixiifiers are a classic tale of insurtech disruption backed by Allianz. The three founders became disenfranchised with the traditional insurance landscape and the confusion of quotes along the underwriting supply chain. Many insurtechs have popped up in recent years and it is certainly a subsection of the industry that is ripe for innovation and disruption.
The company, named after a sub-species of parrot - talkative and intelligent - looks to bring AI chatbots to the world of insurance building and the customer journey. We’re particularly keen on their frontend B2B proposition to use their chatbot technology and AI planning algorithms to segment and understand insurers’ customers.
Founded: First production launch, 2017.
Category: Global Payments & Correspondent Banking
The most eagle eyed among you will notice that Ripple appears in our ‘8 blockchain companies to watch’ list. We came to the conclusion that the San Francisco based company simply can’t be left off this ‘hot prospects’ list. With initial product launch in May 2017 and partnerships with Santander, Amex, Standard Chartered and Nordea, we’re confident that list will continue to grow as banks first test, and then fully adopt the Ripple network for correspondent banking services.
Ripple use blockchain technology to improve payment speed, fee transparency and bank liquidity across borders. Find out how exactly they are doing this here.
Category: Retail banking
There should be no surprises that Monzo makes the cut. Still relatively young but already pushing (or dragging) the banking industry to innovation. Along with a variety of other digital-only banks, Monzo is pioneering the digital UX in retail banking. With smart apps and a bright coral card, Monzo are looking to conquer a section of the millennial market who favour ease of use and visibility of finances (and emoji customer support) over their traditional banks.
Whilst it is yet to be seen what sort of hand PSD2 and Open Banking will deal to Monzo, they have the right people and focus to keep the legacy banks plowing away at innovation. As Tom Blomfield, CEO of Monzo, told bobsguide in our exclusive interview “if we do our job right, we will make some of the high street banks extinct” - it is a gutsy objective, with a do or die approach from the London based bank.
Founded: 2016 (Initial launch to be confirmed)
Category: loans for the self-employed gig economy
Based: Republic of Ireland
With the emergence of the gig economy and the rise of the freelancer, it was almost an inevitability that someone would look to innovate this space. Our sister site, PaymentEye, spoke to Garrett Cassidy, Co-Founder, about the young company and its idea.
“After speaking to freelancers, people working in the gig economy and general self-employed people, the primary issue we uncovered was a real underlying issue around dealing with uncertain or variable income”
“The scale of the growth in the sector is accelerating. It’s projected that self-employment will overtake normal employment in the next ten years. It’s grown over 25% in the last ten years and this is very likely to increase” Read the full story here.
Founded: 2015 (Alpha launch 2016)
Category: Aggregator platform
As Alan Walsh, Head of Partnerships at Bud, told bobsguide in an interview with iwoca “Bud is a financial marketplace and the first regulated open banking platform. We’ve built a core technology stack that delivers aggregation, intelligence and a marketplace of third party products”
Certainly, with the running slogan “We’re not a bank”, this financial technology provider can approach the financial services differently, driven by data and the digital experience.
And Alan Walsh and Bud’s partnership team have certainly been kept busy with 70 marketplace partners onboarding with Bud over 18 months. With a recent partnership with HSBC, Bud goes into 2018 with high hopes.
Category: Fraud prevention
Those familiar with Sharpe and fortifications will instantly recognise Ravelin’s saliency to PSD2 and the enterprises it serves (substitute wooden walkway for API). As Open Banking ushers in a new era of exciting fintechs, it also brings in added headaches, including customer identity authentication and, by proxy, the risk of fraud rises tenfold. Ravelin adopts machine learning to provide a constantly improving holistic overview of fraud. Check out how the CEO of Ravelin will look to tackle PSD2.
An invaluable defence in front of any risk officer’s castle proper.
Founded: (Conceived 2013, launched 2017)
"The UK's first new clearing bank in 250 years", ClearBank provides secure access to core banking solutions, payment schemes and systems, operated within a liquidity managed Account. ClearBank is an innovative solution to legacy infrastructure restraints and is the first ever clearing bank to design and build a brand new technology platform specifically for clearing and settlement services.
After winning Industry Contributor of The Year (2017) at the Emerging Payments Awards, CEO of ClearBank, Nick Ogden already has 30 years industry experience under his belt as well as an excellent grounding in nurturing new business - he founded WorldPay in 1997 until it was acquired by RBS in 2002. Experienced and innovative, we're confident ClearBank can cause healthy disruption in the settlements space.
Another digital only bank to ride the opportunities of the fintech revolution and Open Banking philosophy. Revolut focuses on an efficient backend to offer excellent cross border payments for its Account holders with zero fees. The Zero Fee club, most notably the trading platform RobinHood, is a business model that is gaining traction. With the cryptorush in Q3 & Q4 of 2017, Revolut took the initiative to offer easy trading in Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ether.