The Fintech 100: Ant Financial Takes Top Spot, Payments & Transfers Dominate the List

The annual Fintech100 report has recently been released quantifying the diverse universe of Fintechs that are leading in the various sectors of digital finance. The report has been published since 2014 in partnership with KPMG and H2 Ventures.

Some names remain consistent year over year, moving up or down, while others have just recently captured traction as innovation in financial services is just beginning to hit its stride.

According to the authors, the names on the list were derived after being qualified by five different factors:

  • Average annual capital raised
  • Rate of recent capital raised
  • Geographic diversity
  • Sectorial diversity
  • and the “X-factor” a subjective evaluation on product etc.

The various Fintechs have been subdivided into Payments & Transactions, Wealth & Brokerage (Weatlhtech), Insurance (Insurtech), Online Lending, Banking and “Multis” – Fintechs that cross various boundaries offering different services. Perhaps these Multis are the true future of Fintech? In the end, its all on your smartphone.

So who came out on top, according to H2 & KPMG?

Ant Financial nailed the top spot – something that should come as no surprise. Alibaba’s financial services branch has, in many respects, helped to define the future of finance. A diversified Fintech that facilitates all sorts of services for an enormous population. This is what Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon dream about accomplishing. If Congress could just help out a bit and remove the parochial political barriers.

Rounding out the Top Ten:

  1. Ant Financial (Multi) – Offshoot of Alibaba
  2. Grab (Multi) – Southeast Asia’s largest mobile tech company
  3. JD Digits (Multi) – formerly JD Finance and part of JD.com. Into big data, blockchain, AI and more
  4. GoJek (Payments) – an Indonesia based company that began as a motorcycle ride-hailing  call center
  5. Paytm (Payments) – the largest payment operator in India
  6. Du Xiaoman Financial (Lending) – born out of big tech firm Baidu, this company provides short term loans and investment services
  7. Compass (Payments) – a US-based real estate platform that supports the buying and selling of property
  8. Ola (Multi) – a payments and credit platform based in India
  9. Opendoor (Payments) – another real estate platform that mitigates risk in property purchases
  10. OakNorth (Lending) – an SME lender based in the UK

While OakNorth is listed as a lending Fintech it is more of a digital bank as it also offers deposits. There are multiple other digital banks on the list with the next one being N26 at #13 but they are pretty much all there.

The top online capital formation platform that focuses on early-stage firms is OurCrowd at #46. OurCrowd has established a highly effective method of crowdfunding by enabling access to high-quality deals for smaller investors. The number of exits by the platform is well into the double digits.

Overall, the payments & transactions dominate the list with 26 companies in total. This is following by wealth & brokerage, insurance (Insurtech) and online lending/credit.

The list breaks out as follows:

  • 27 Payments & transactions
  • 19 – Wealth & brokerage
  • 17 – Insurance (Insurtech)
  • 15 – Lending & credit
  • 13 – “Multi”
  • 9 – Neo-banks or digital banks

The most interesting category is multi as it may be a sign of ongoing disaggregation of traditional financial services repackaged as digital choice – perhaps aided by Open Banking initiatives. As the saying goes, we need bank-like services but we really do not need banks. Also, in many ways Asia is leading the entire sector – something policymakers in North America and Europe should better understand and seek to facilitate by advocating on behalf of more innovation within their jurisdictions.

The Fintech100 report may be downloaded here.

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