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FinTech has become one of the hottest topics in the tech startup scene and BNP Paribas is already ahead of the game. They're offering startups the opportunity to work together to improve the way people handle their money. This summer they are throwing their second International Hackathon, with the theme ‘Making Customer Journeys Effortless’. The hackathon in Berlin is, of course, hosted by yours truly.
In order to gain a better overview on the current innovations in FinTech, we selected our top seven FinTech startups to watch this year.
Azimo’s vision is to provide fast, easy and affordable international money transfers to everyone. Based in London, the FinTech startup was created in 2014 out of frustration at the unnecessary expense associated with sending money overseas. Azimo offers transfers from the UK to more than 190 countries through a simple three-step transfer process: It allows you to send funds to any bank account in the world, to more than 200,000 cash pickup locations, to mobile wallets, for home delivery and more. As Azimo works online and on mobiles, it has fewer overheads to contend with and can pass those savings on to its customers in the form of better exchange rates and minimal fees. It is currently causing a huge threat to Western Union as it’s services are a third of the price.
This FinTech startup is offering an artificial intelligence and natural language processing solution for banks to help employees and customers get their questions answered and requests processed immediately regardless of their complexity. Crunchable calls it the “Siri for Banks” which is understandable as the company has created an advanced artificial customer relations system, which is able understand and deal with a complicated range of questions without human input. Currently, FinGenius are already working with BMW and Panasonic, and are promising some extremely impressive software.
The 11-month-old startup lets vacationers spend money abroad on card without running up FX fees. Since launching last July, Revolut has signed up 180,000 customers. It currently supports spending and ATM withdrawals in 90 currencies and sending in 23 currencies directly from the mobile app. CEO Nikolay Stronosky has dubbed it as ‘the fastest growing FinTech startup in Europe’. Revolut is currently raising £10 million (€12 million) and signing an astonishing 1,500 new customers a day: incredible for such a young startup and the youngest on our list.
A different kind of FinTech startup, for those who have been labelled as having thin credit-files because of no past borrowing history, and therefore no credit score. Aire believe that everyone should have access to finance no matter who they are. Their customers range from migrants to young adults and even military personnel returning home. They call it "credit scoring for humanity” and have already raised €1.2M in 3 Rounds from 9 Investors, in less than 2 years since they were founded.
Irish startup Deposify was founded in 2014 with the aim of bringing trust to the landlord and tenant relationship. Its payment platform allows landlords and tenants to manage and control how and when rental deposits are paid, and to resolve deposit related disputes quickly. Deposify is built to provide three main services: banking, dispute resolution, and compliance. About two months ago, the fintech company succeeded in raising €1.1m to fund their US expansion, impressive considering their age.
Lithuanian FinTech startup DEBIFO offers a new invoice finance solution for small and medium sized businesses in Lithuania. Their platform enables these businesses to free up frozen working capital by providing funds based on outstanding invoices. Founded in 2015, DEBIFO invoice finance platform promises to reduce receivable payment terms from as many as 120 days to just a few days. In less than a year, the company has financed more than €1.8 million of invoices.
Croatian-based FinTech Oradian develops cloud-based software for micro finance providers in developing markets such as West Africa and more specifically, countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, and Liberia. Founded in 2012 it is the oldest of our list of startups. That doesn’t make it the least interesting, though. The company’s aim is to fill the gap created by banks. Many microfinance institutions in developing countries are struggling with data and have to rely on spreadsheets or even handwritten hard copies. Oradian’s core product Instafin is designed to help MFI providers manage their core banking and reporting activity much more efficiently.