40 Inspiring Bay Area Fintech Companies to Watch in 2020
While New York and Chicago are often thought of as the main U.S. financial hubs, many of the newest and most innovative financial technology organizations, otherwise known as fintechs, are popping up in and around Silicon Valley.
For a better idea of what the fintech space looks like in the Bay Area heading into a new decade, check out these 40 fintech companies and startups that are transforming the industry.
Addepar is the financial operating system that brings common sense and data-driven investing to our financial world. Addepar gives asset owners and financial advisors a clearer financial picture at every level, all in one place. It handles all types of assets denominated in any currency. With customizable reporting, financial advisors can visualize and communicate relevant information to anyone who needs it. Secure, scalable and fast, Addepar is purpose-built to power the global financial system. Hundreds of single and multi-family offices, wealth advisors, large financial institutions, endowments and foundations manage over $1 trillion of assets on the Addepar platform.
Affirm was founded with a goal to create honest financial products and services that empower consumers and improve lives. Their goal is to revolutionize the banking industry to be more accountable and accessible to consumers. Today, Affirm provides millions of shoppers an alternative to traditional credit cards at the point of sale, giving them the flexibility to buy now and make simple monthly payments for their purchases. Unlike payment options that have compounding interest and unexpected costs, Affirm shows customers upfront exactly what they’ll pay each month — with no hidden fees and no surprises. Affirm partners with over 2,000 merchants to give shoppers the option to pay with Affirm checkout including well-known brands across retail including home furnishings, travel, personal fitness, electronics, apparel, beauty and more.
Blend is a Silicon Valley technology company propelling the more than $40 trillion consumer lending industry into the digital age through partnerships with banks, lenders and other technology providers. Blend’s cloud-based technology, currently powers home lending and deposit accounts products, delivers speed and efficiency to lenders so they can serve the modern borrower amid rising competition and changing regulations.
Founded in 2016 by Ryan Breslow and Eric Feldman, Bolt is the world’s most intelligent online payments solution. Bolt’s premium “all-in-one” solution streamlines checkout, increases order approvals, removes fraud and chargeback liability and ends the need for manual order review. Bolt brings a simple and seamless, Amazon-like checkout experience to the internet as a whole.
Brex is transforming B2B payments by creating corporate cards, rewards and travel programs that are tailored to specific industries. In 2018 Brex launched the first corporate card and rewards program specifically designed for startups. By rebuilding the credit card tech stack from the ground up, Brex is able to reimagine every aspect of corporate cards, including underwriting, transparency and approvals, to create a radically better experience for customers. Brex is backed by Y Combinator Continuity, Peter Thiel, Max Levchin and more, and has raised $315M in equity and $100M in debt capital. The company’s headquarters are in San Francisco with an additional office in the Salt Lake Valley.
Carta (formerly eShares) is a software platform for founders, investors and employees to manage equity and ownership. Carta helps companies and investors manage their cap tables, valuations, portfolio investments and equity plans. Carta’s mission is to map and expand the global ownership network in order to increase liquidity and transparency between shareholders.
Carta manages billions of dollars in equity at more than 10,000 private companies, public companies and investors including Slack, Coinbase, Flexport and August Capital. Founded in 2012, Carta has raised $67 million from Union Square Ventures, Spark Capital, Menlo Ventures and Social Capital and is an SEC-registered transfer agent.
Coinbase was founded in 2012 with a mission to create an open financial system for the world. From inception, Coinbase has sought to operate transparently under regulation and is viewed as the leader in the legitimization and maturation of the crypto economy. Through Coinbase’s strategy of operating the most trusted and easiest to use on-ramp to crypto in the world, the company has recruited and nurtured best-in-class leaders who specialize in digital currencies from many disciplines, including the legal and policy communities.
Founded in 2007 by Ken Lin, Credit Karma is a consumer technology company with more than 100 million members in the U.K., United States and Canada, including almost half of all U.S. millennials. While best known for pioneering free credit scores, the company’s members turn to Credit Karma for everything related to their financial goals, including helping them with free tax preparation, identity monitoring, applying for credit cards, shopping for loans (car, home and personal) and now high-yield savings accounts – all for free.
Deserve uses machine learning and alternative data to provide millennials and Gen Z’s fair access to credit products and the tools to achieve financial independence. Deserve partners with universities, associations, financial institutions, fintechs and modern consumer brands to develop, rapidly deploy and power white label and co-branded credit card programs for any audience. Deserve is a venture-backed fintech company whose investors include Accel, Pelion Venture Partners, Aspect Ventures, Mission Holdings, Alumni Venture Group, Sparklabs Ventures, Fenway Summer Ventures and GDP Venture.
Earnin’s mission is to build a financial system that works for people. Earnin seeks to eliminate late and overdraft fees and put money back into workers’ hands. Earnin is an app that lets people get paid as soon as they leave work, with no fees, interest, or hidden costs. App users can receive their money in their bank account instantly at little or no cost — as they operate on a pay what you choose model. All users need is a bank account and a job that provides direct deposit or uses electronic timesheets.
Founded in 2015, Even Financial is a B2B2C fintech company that is transforming the way financial institutions find and connect with consumers. By seamlessly connecting financial institutions (including American Express, Goldman Sachs and SoFi) and channel partners (such as TransUnion, The Smart Wallet and The Penny Hoarder) via its industry-leading API, Even turns any consumer touchpoint into an ROI-driven, programmatic acquisition source with full compliance and security across loans, savings, credit cards and more. Even is backed by leading VCs and financial services firms including American Express Ventures, Citi Ventures, F-Prime Capital (Fidelity), Goldman Sachs, LendingClub and MassMutual Ventures.
Flint is a mobile payment service for small businesses that makes it easy to accept credit cards and increase customer engagement. Designed for businesses that operate outside of traditional retail stores, Flint’s iOS and Android apps allow users to take credit cards without a card reader – by scanning instead of swiping – or via online invoice payments. To facilitate customer loyalty and referrals, the all-in-one platform also offers digital coupons, customized e-receipts and a merchant portal for payment tracking, invoice management and more. As a secure Payment Service Provider, Flint also provides instant setup without a merchant account and low transaction fees. Founded in 2011 and based in Redwood City, California, Flint is backed by top-tier Silicon Valley investors and mobile operators.
Forge is a premier trading, settlement and custody partner for a wide range of investors in the private markets. Established in 2014 as Equidate Inc., the company protects the innovator’s vision and the innovation economy by creating liquidity in the private markets. Forge has completed nearly $2 billion in transaction volume since inception. Forge was founded by Y Combinator alumni and backed by top investors including Tim Draper, Peter Thiel, FT Partners and Munich Re. Forge’s platform allows employees and investors in privately held innovation firms to liquidate a portion of their shares and provides private and institutional investors access to top companies like Spotify, Lyft and 23andMe before their IPO.
Giftly is revolutionizing the way people give and receive gifts. They are a San Francisco-based startup upending the $100B-a-year gift card market by making gift cards more personal, customizable, beautiful and fun than ever before. Founded in 2010, Giftly has raised $3 million from tier-one VCs and advisors and has assembled a team of talents spanning industries and backgrounds, all working with one purpose: to help users connect with the people they care about through gifts.
Guideline is the only 401(k) provider that doesn’t charge participants any fees on investments, regardless of the value of their assets or retirement account balance. And for employers, Guideline charges a low, flat rate fee per participant, in contrast to the asset-based fee model predominant in the industry. By offering a full-stack solution that automates plan administration and compliance, the Guideline team is combatting what’s unfortunately become the retirement industry status quo – legacy providers have put profit over the interests of employees, abandoning the goal of the program in the first place: to give employees the opportunity to save as much as possible for retirement.
Launched in 2012 as ZenPayroll, Gusto serves more than 100,000 businesses nationwide. Each year they process tens of billions of dollars of payroll and provide employee benefits—like health insurance and 401(k) accounts—while helping companies create incredible work places. Through one refreshingly easy, integrated platform, Gusto automates and simplifies payroll, benefits and HR, all while providing expert support.
Juntos is a financial conversation platform that serves as a bridge from financial access to true financial inclusion for the world’s newly-banked. Juntos partners with financial service providers worldwide to deliver high-touch engaging conversations via SMS to build trust, comfort and confidence with customers so they can effectively use newly-available financial products, increase their participation in the financial system and feel empowered in their financial lives.
LendUp is a fintech company redefining financial services for the emerging middle class — the half of Americans shut out of, or mistreated by, mainstream banking. By building proprietary software and using machine learning, LendUp looks beyond traditional credit scores to offer credit and financial education products to more than 130 million Americans who are rebuilding their credit or just starting out.
LendingClub was founded to transform the banking system to make credit more affordable and investing more rewarding. Today, LendingClub’s online credit marketplace connects borrowers and investors to deliver more efficient and affordable access to credit. Through its technology platform, LendingClub is able to create cost efficiencies and passes those savings on to borrowers in the form of lower rates and to investors in the form of potentially higher risk-adjusted returns. All loans are made by federally regulated issuing bank partners.
Marqeta has re-engineered how payment cards, virtual cards and mobile authorization products should be developed and deployed. The Marqeta Platform, built from the ground up with no legacy infrastructure, provides the world’s first fully documented, open API issuer processor platform. Companies can build, issue and deploy innovative payment, finance and commerce solutions with enormous control over what, where and how purchases are authorized. Adopters of The Marqeta Platform include leading financial services, e-commerce, retail and social media brands. The Marqeta Platform integrates with Visa, MasterCard and Discover and makes it easier than ever to make payments, receive payments, reward customers and create more efficient business processes.
NerdWallet is focused on helping people lead better lives through financial education and empowerment. When it comes to credit cards, insurance, loans or expenses like hospital costs, consumers make almost all their decisions in the dark. NerdWallet is changing that by building accessible online tools and providing research.
Nok Nok Labs, Inc., based in San Jose, CA, was founded to transform online authentication for modern computing. Nok Nok is backed by a team of security industry veterans from PGP, Netscape, PayPal & Phoenix and have a deep experience in building Internet scale security protocols and products. The company’s products transform authentication by enabling end-to-end trust across the web using authentication methods that are natural to end-users and provide strong proof of identity.
Award-winning fintech Nova Credit helps newcomers and other global citizens apply for financial services using their international credit history from countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Mexico, South Korea and the UK. Nova Credit translates international credit data into a U.S.-equivalent score and a report in a format familiar to American underwriters, who can use it to evaluate their applications for credit products. Founded by immigrants, the firm has a diverse team from around the globe who are creating a world beyond borders to help newcomers arrive and thrive.
Personal Capital gives clients a whole new way to see, understand and manage their money so they can live confidently and retire well. Their free online tools allow users to view all of their accounts in one place. A powerful dashboard provides deep insights so users can understand their entire financial picture. Investment clients have a dedicated fiduciary advisor that will leverage these tools to provide personalized wealth management advice that users can trust and understand. Users tailored plans dynamically evolves with their changing life, with an emphasis on holistic planning, risk management and after-tax returns.
Plaid is focused on democratizing financial services through technology. They build beautiful consumer experiences, developer-friendly infrastructure and intelligent tools that give everyone the ability to create amazing products that solve big problems. Plaid started out by building the technical infrastructure APIs that connect consumers, traditional financial institutions and developers. Today, they add key insights to the data access they provide with their suite of analytics products.
Poynt is a revolutionary open commerce platform empowering merchants with software and services to transform their business. Founded in 2013, Poynt reimagined the ubiquitous payment terminal into a connected, multi-purpose device that runs third-party apps. As smart terminals become mainstream, Poynt OS is an open operating system that can power any smart payment terminal worldwide, creating a new app economy for merchants and allowing developers to write once and distribute everywhere.
Ripple provides one frictionless experience to send money globally using the power of blockchain. By joining Ripple’s growing, global network (RippleNet), financial institutions can process their customers’ payments anywhere in the world instantly, reliably and cost-effectively. Banks and payment providers can use the digital asset XRP to further reduce their costs and access new markets.
Robinhood is a financial services platform making America’s financial system open to everyone. Robinhood’s easy-to-use platform lets users invest in U.S. stocks and ETFs, commission-free and Robinhood Gold, its paid service for active investors, supports margin and extended hours trading.
Signifyd, the world’s largest provider of guaranteed fraud protection, enables online retailers to provide a friction-free buying experience for their customers. Signifyd leverages big data, machine learning and domain expertise to provide a 100 percent financial guarantee against fraud on approved orders that later turn out to be fraudulent. This effectively shifts the liability for fraud away from retailers, allowing them to increase sales and open new markets while reducing risk.
SoFi is a values-driven company on a mission to help their members get their money right. SoFi creates modern financial products and services that help people borrow, save, spend, invest and protect their money better, so that they can achieve financial independence and realize their ambitions—from owning a home to saving for retirement, paying off their student loans and more.
Square revolutionized payments in 2009 with Square Reader, making it possible for anyone to accept card payments using a smartphone or tablet. Today, Square builds tools to empower businesses and individuals to participate in the economy. Sellers use Square to reach buyers online and in-person, manage their business and access financing. And individuals use Cash App to spend, send, store and invest money. Square has offices in the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, Ireland and the UK.
Stripe is a technology company that builds economic infrastructure for the internet. Businesses of every size—from new startups to public companies—use the company’s software to accept online payments and run technically sophisticated financial operations in more than 100 countries. Stripe helps companies get started and grow their revenues and also helps established businesses accelerate into new markets and launch new business models. Over the long term, Stripe aims to increase the GDP of the internet.
Symphony AyasdiAI, part of the SymphonyAI Group, is the world’s most advanced AI software company for a new generation of high-value solutions. Symphony AyasdiAI helps banks, financial institutions and other organizations discover new and valuable insights in enterprise data, with unprecedented accuracy, transparency and speed.
Tipalti is the only payables automation solution to streamline all phases of the global accounts payable workflow in one holistic cloud platform. Tipalti makes it painless for finance departments to manage their entire AP and supplier payments operation. Leading companies use Tipalti to eliminate up to 80% of their supplier payments workload, helping them scale their business efficiently with global growth, while strengthening financial and tax compliance controls. Hundreds of companies trust Tipalti to transform their supplier payment operations including Roku, Zumba, Twitter, GoDaddy, Zola, Twitch, GoPro, Foursquare and Vimeo.
Tradeshift drives supply chain innovation for the digitally connected economy. As the leader in supply chain payments and marketplaces, the company helps buyers and suppliers digitize all their trade transactions, collaborate on every process and connect with any supply chain app. More than 1.5 million companies across 190 countries trust Tradeshift to process over half a trillion USD in transaction value, making it the largest global business network for buying and selling.
Created in 2013 by Silicon Valley tech veterans, TrueAccord is an automated debt recovery platform that bridges the gap between the creditor and those in debt. TrueAccord works with small and large businesses to recover the billions of dollars in lost revenue and works with those in debt to create flexible payment solutions. TrueAccord’s machine learning platform adapts to consumer behavior with personalized and empathetic communications to deliver the right payment option at the right time and on the right channel. By focusing on great user experiences, TrueAccord provides businesses with superior debt collection results.
Truebill develops a mobile app that helps consumers take control of their financial lives. Truebill leverages AI to analyze users’ spending habits, identify inefficiencies and take action to ultimately improve their financial health. The app allows people to optimize their spending, manage subscriptions, lower their bills, even set aside money to reach their savings goals. They are founded by successful veteran entrepreneurs and are backed by YCombinator, Social Capital and other great investors.
Very Good Security (VGS) is the easiest, most secure and most compliant way to collect, protect and exchange sensitive data of all types to help users lower their liability, increase their security posture and achieve compliances in record time. It allows the enterprise to operate on sensitive data without actually possessing users sensitive data by de-scoping their applications from touching sensitive data without any code changes. It integrates seamlessly to any CI/CD workflow as part of a modern DevOps and SecOps and stops the spread of “compliance sprawl” that typically hinders business agility in the modern enterprise.
WePay, a Chase company, helps online platforms increase revenue through integrated payments processing under their own name. The company has uniquely enabled more than 1,000 platforms including Constant Contact, GoFundMe and Meetup to incorporate payments without compromising on their user experience or taking on risk and regulatory exposure. In a mobile world, WePay’s integrations with Apple Pay and Android Pay for the Web help ensure high transaction conversions, while the company’s mobile point of sale (mPOS) solution allows platforms to seamlessly handle in-person payments in addition to online payments. WePay also offers a wide range of add-ons to support platforms’ specific needs.
Yapstone is a provider of online and mobile payment solutions for global marketplaces, software and large vertical markets, powering electronic payments for sharing economy platforms, such as HomeAway® and VRBO®, software companies, such as Kigo® and thousands of apartment and vacation rental companies, homeowners’ associations, self-storage companies and many other markets.
If you’re a fintech company interested in learning how UPRAISE can lift your profile contact us today. We’ve helped our fintech clients get media coverage TechCrunch, PYMNTS and Forbes and have secured clients speaking slots at conferences like Money20/20.
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