Volatility is an all too common feature of the financial services sector. Mainstream banking services have suffered a loss of market share to blockchain tech in the form of cryptocurrency services, and disruptive FinTech operations.
While crypto was an impact player in 2017, it capsized in 2018 and failed to have a lasting effect on traditional payments-related networks. According to Accenture, funding for global payments companies increased to $12 billion in 2018, up from $8 billion in 2017.
FinTech companies have cut a swathe across the market, eating up chunks of the erstwhile banking domain. Part of the reason why disruptive payments services are gaining ground in a fiercely competitive arena is the failure of the traditional financial system to adapt, especially in times of economic turmoil.
The 2008 global crisis was a catalyst in the meteoric growth of alternative FinTech payment start-ups, sometimes referred to as contrarian payment systems.
Here are 5 impressive FinTech payment start-ups to watch in 2019.
#5 – Stripe
Stripe was founded by John and Patrick Collison. It operates in a congested field, and its chief competitor is PayPal. This Irish company is operational across dozens of countries, allowing businesses and private individuals to accept online payments.
In November 2016, Stripe raised an impressive $150 million, spearheaded by CapitalG and General Catalyst Partners. At the time, they valued Stripe at $9.2 billion. Several companies and venture capitalists are backing Stripe, notably Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, Andreessen Horowitz, and Sequoia Capital.
This technology company is invested in Internet infrastructure, particularly for SMEs and public companies. According to Stripe, only 3% of global commercial operations take place online owing to the complexity of the financial system.
Stripe is currently headquartered in San Francisco, California, and features offices in cities like Tokyo, Singapore, London, Paris, and Dublin. Launched in 2011, and now boasting 1,500+ employees, this disruptive payment company claims to have millions of registered users.
Stripe is PCI compliant, licensed in multiple authorities, guaranteed secure with loss liability, reduced fraud, KYC/AML policy, and operational in 25 countries. Back in 2015, the online payment platform Stripe received the prestigious EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
The ingenuity of this company is perhaps best summarized by the vision of its founders: ‘…building a long-term, sustainable business while maintaining the energy of a start-up.’
#4 – Rapyd
Rapyd is an impressive FinTech payments start-up company which assist customers and businesses with all manner of payments transfers.
Their payment infrastructure is easily integrated with a variety of local banking methods, e-wallets and cash. The company was founded in 2015, and is the trading name for CashDash UK Limited.
It is fully licensed and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to offer payment services to UK clients. Aril Shtilman is the CEO and co-founder of Rapyd.
In February 2019, Rapyd raised $40 million in Series B financing, led by Stripe and General Catalyst, with participation from strategic payments and FinTech companies, including Target Global, and IGNIA.
This means that the total funding achieved by this FinTech payment start-up is now $60 million. Shtilman is focused on integrating financial services via APIs. Rapyd creates a veritable network of networksfor people who do not use debit cards, credit cards, or traditional banking systems.
Rapyd currently features 170 payout currencies and 65 holding currencies. CashDash UK Limited, or Rapyd Limited, is a cordless mobile payment network. It is engaged in white label management, fund disbursements, foreign exchange, integration services, et al.
It was incorporated on May 31, 2016 and is registered as a private limited company in London, England.
#3 – Plaid
Plaid was co-founded by William Hockey, and Zach Perrett. The company raised $44 million during its early stage venture process with Series B funding.
The announcement was made on June 19, 2016. The lead investors include Goldman Sachs Investment Partners, Spark Capital, New Enterprise Associates, GV, and BoxGroup.
The company also managed to raise $250 million from Series C funding sources including Andreessen Horowitz, Spark Capital, and Mary Meeker. At the time, the funds were raised the company was valued at $2.65 billion.
The company is focused on using technology to liberalize financial services. It creates a user-friendly infrastructure with a set of intelligent tools to enhance a customer-centric experience.
Plaid focuses on building efficient technical infrastructure APIs to connect developers, consumers and financial institutions.
To date, Plaid boasts a workforce of 300 team members across 3 offices around the world. The company has also analyzed an estimated 10 billion transactions.
Among the many financial services offered by this company include personal finance, lending, business finance, banking and brokerage services, and consumer payments.
The APIs are geared towards building financial products with quick and easy understanding of income, verification of assets, real-time account balances, user IDs, and authentication of electronic funds transfers and ACH payments.
#2 – Papaya Global
Papaya Global is a technology-driven company. As a disruptive force in the payments industry, Papaya focuses on engagement with global suppliers, transparency, standardization, and efficiency to manage financial operations.
As a global workforce management platform, Papaya is a leading force in international payroll services. Their platform was designed to ensure compliance, enhance transparency, and dramatically reduce costs for companies managing a global payroll.
It does this by way of automated technology. Papaya Global boasts an international presence in Singapore, Hong Kong, Israel, and the United States
The services provided by their system are evident in its value-added features such as benefits information on insurance, disability, pension, and customary benefits.
The complex global employment marketplace and the frameworks within which businesses operate requires 100% compliance with statutory requirements. The salary payments provided by Papaya Global are its core operation, known as its payroll services.
Papaya Global’s automated payroll system ensures a company’s compliance with local employment laws and benefit regulations.
Papaya Global was awarded best payroll management start-up by Calcalist in 2018, and is considered a pioneer in the field of global payroll thanks to the leadership of its CEO Eynat Guez.
The company raised $3 million led by New Era Ventures, with additional participation by Sir Ronald Cohen. Pitchbook data confirms that Papaya Global has so far raised a total of $4.5 million which is currently being used for sales and development purposes.
The company was founded in 2016 and its base of operations is in Tel Aviv. It boasts 150+ global clients, chief among them General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, and Facebook.
#1 – Braintree
Braintree, like other payment services is an offshoot of PayPal. It was founded by Brian Johnson in 2007 and currently boasts 500+ employees.
This company is a Chicago-based operation which focuses on web-based payment systems and mobile payment systems for e-commerce operations. Back in 2013, this payment company was acquired by PayPal in a cash deal worth $800 million.
The technology used by Braintree is operational at 3,000+ e-commerce sites, including leading companies, Uber, Airbnb, Angry Birds, and LivingSocial.
According to Crunchbase, Braintree raised a total of $69 million over 2 rounds of funding. The last round of funding – Series B round – was in September 2012.
The company announced its Series A Funding on June 29, 2011 with 1 investor, and its Series B funding was announced on September 17, 2012 with 4 investors. Series A funding was exclusively provided by Accel.
Series B funding investors included Greycroft, RRE Ventures, Accel, and New Enterprise Associates. This PayPal subsidiary has substantial backing for its FinTech payments operations and is well positioned for growth in this sector.
Disclaimer: This is a contributed article and should not be taken as investment advice.