The fintech industry continues to make major strides in disrupting traditional financial markets. Fintech startups like PayPal, Stripe, and Venmo all started by bootstrapping their ideas and turning themselves into significant players in the global economy. These startup companies that have grown to over $1 billion in valuation are known as unicorns because they are rare and unique companies that have made it big in their respective industries.
Today, there continues to be an influx of fintech companies that have recently attained unicorn status. These companies continue to raise the bar and progress the fintech industry in new and exciting ways. Here are some of the latest entrants to the fintech unicorn club.
Best-known for its cryptocurrency hardware wallets, Ledger is part of the growing digital asset industry. Ledger recently raised $380 million at a $1.5 billion valuation, bringing it squarely into unicorn territory. The company has various hardware wallet options that allow cryptocurrency users to store and access their digital assets securely. Cryptocurrencies continue to be a primary focus of the fintech industry due to their increasing ability to create a more balanced and fair global financial system. Ledger is already on its way to becoming the main cog in the wheel of digital assets through its product offerings.
Ledger CEO Pascal Gauthier noted Ledger’s expansion from its hardware wallet business into crypto trading directly. “Our goal is to empower users to buy, sell, swap, borrow, and lend digital assets through the Ledger Live platform, which—when combined with our hardware—offers best-in-class security and a seamless user experience. The results of our Series C round bring us one step closer to this vision.”
After landing $180 million in a funding round led by Chinese giant Tencent, Scalable Capital has joined the unicorn ranks. Currently valued at $1.4 billion, the Germany-based company acts as a digital wealth manager, helping consumers manage their assets in an easy-to-use platform. This has led Scalable Capital to garner over 250,000 users and $5 billion in assets on its platform.
The company’s co-CEO and co-founder Florian Prucker sees the demand for retail investment as on the rise. “We see huge demand to invest money in the capital markets instead of leaving it in bank accounts. This comes against a backdrop of record-low interest rates, growing inflation, and a widening pension gap”, says Prucker. “Our clients can access fully managed globally diversified ETF portfolios and—in the same app—self-directed trading in shares, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, and funds. We also provide a market-leading offering of ETF, stocks, and crypto monthly savings plans. We are planning to launch derivatives trading next. We will continue on our mission to make everyone an investor”.
Bought By Many
Pet insurance is no laughing matter. Bought By Many has turned this industry on its head after its $350 million Series D funding round, which put its valuation above $2 billion. The company, which was started in London in 2012, didn’t shift into its current market until 2017, when it recognized the need for better pet insurance solutions. Now, it covers more than 500,000 pets around the world through its digital insurance offerings.
Bought By Many’s CEO Steven Mendel recently noted, “Our mission is to make the world a better place for pet parents. By creating unique policies, dramatically improving customer experience, and working closely with vets, we have made it possible for pets to be healthier and for them to enjoy longer, happier lives with their owners. We have hit several exciting milestones over the last four years, including our expansion into Sweden and the US, but most importantly we have gained the trust of hundreds of thousands of happy customers.”
As the restaurant and retail industries continue to grow, so too do their technology needs. As a point-of-sale (POS) provider, SpotOn makes it easy for retailers to manage all their payments and transactions. Venture capitalists believe in the company’s business model so much that it led to a $125 million venture-backed round led by the well-known a16z. This puts the company firmly in the unicorn realm, with a new valuation of $1.875 billion.
SpotOn co-founder Doron Friedman knows that restaurants and retailers need these solutions to better connect with their customers. “A POS is a restaurant’s connection with their customers, it drives the business growth, but it has to be completely integrated into everything a restaurant does to create a better experience for guests and a better business overall,” Friedman says.
Another German unicorn on our list is Trade Republic. The mobile and commission-free broker provides its customers with a simple and easy way to start investing. It’s an excellent solution for anyone, regardless of financial knowledge or experience, which is why many see it as the most significant rival to the popular stock trading app Robinhood.
And in its biggest round of funding yet, the company raised $900 million at a $5 billion valuation, making it the most valuable company on our list. The company’s co-founder Christian Hecker believes that fintech users still need to trust their apps, which is why Trade Republic has made itself completely compliant with banking laws. “If you want to be the home screen app for wealth, it feels like you should not put your money into somebody who is not a bank…Being a regulated bank, there’s a lot of trust. We’re regulated in the same way as any other bank in Europe. On top of that, we’re independent,” says Hecker.