Our 10 Favorite Financial Startups
Posted on Mar 2, 2015 by Donovan
In order to celebrate our recent expansion into the Philippines and India, our team here at Regalii has decided to compile a list of our favorite start-ups- which are paving the future of the finance industry. We assure you that, though our list may not be all-inclusive, the companies we’ve selected are based on innovation and sought to describe what these businesses bring to the table that rival finance norms.
First on our list is Transferwise, which is aiming at drastically changing the costs incurred in sending money internationally. Rather than a typical fee of 4.5% of the total money sent (lost to wires and FX), Transferwise offers its services for only 0.5%.
Based out of London for the last four years, Transferwise currently supports 17 currencies with six more operating on a ‘send only’ basis. They have grown quickly and have even surpassed sending $1 billion annually; this clearly has excited investors who have rewarded them with a $1 billion valuation in a recent round of financing.
Our second pick is Dwolla, a Des Moines-based e-commerce company that allows any business or person to send, request, and accept money through its online and mobile payment network. This company envisions a world where people don’t get gauged by excessive credit card fees. Along with money transfer, Dwolla also offers Dwolla Credit, which rivals credit card company standard fees of 2% to 3% by charging only 25 cents per transaction.
Dwolla started in Des Moines in 2011 and has grown rapidly since the launching of Dwolla Credit, while processing $3 million a day in transactions- even offering Bitcoin transaction services until 2013. Dwolla continues to expand and we have a close eye on them as one of the most innovative financial start-ups.
Betterment is an online-investment adviser which makes it simple to invest in index funds at different risk tolerance levels. Started in 2010, Betterment raised $50 million in just its first two years and currently boasts an increase to customer assets under management at 500% per year. Betterment provides investment advice and diversified, fully automated investment management to customers for less than the typical cost of a traditional financial adviser or wealth manager.
Coinbase is the world’s most popular bitcoin wallet and probably the best suited company to benefit from the bitcoin boom. Since its inception in 2012, Coinbase has raised over $106 million in funding and has expanded to offer a brokerage service for bitcoin. Before Coinbase and other similar companies, bitcoin existed on the shadowy side of the web and was not a commonly transacted currency. Bitcoin is quickly becoming a respectable global currency and coinbase has made it extremely easy for merchants to accept all types of bitcoin transactions online.
Stripe made our list for making it easy for websites everywhere to accept credit card transactions. Previously, gaining capability to accept credit cards on a website required many hurdles involved with setting up a merchant account, such as: setup fees, monthly fees, minimum charges, validation fees, card storage fees, or charges for failed payments.
Stripe has become so popular that it seems that all other startups that were striving to persue the same agenda have pivotted to other ideas. They are currently valued at $3.5 billion, having raised over $190 million in total funding and being utilized by over 17 thousand websites.
Juntos Finanzas makes it easy to save money. They do this by analyzing your weekly transactions and helping you to find different ways to minimize your expenditures. They may, for example, suggest that based upon your spending patterns, you change up your phone or credit card plans to better suit your lifestyle. Juntos began in 2010 led by student Ben Knelman, and since then, the company has gained global recognition and Knelman was named one of The World Economic Forum’s “Global Shapers” under 30.
Square makes it easy to process credit card transactions in person. Currently valued at $6 billion, Square has made it extremely easy to turn any phone into a point of sale terminal. With an eye for clean UI and a clever credit card accepting user experience, merchants very quickly started to prefer using Square to whatever point of sale software they were previously using - even Starbucks made the change!
WorldRemit makes it easy to send money internationally. Occupying a space with heavy competition (such as remitly.com, westernunion,com, ria.com, transferwise.com, etc.) WorldRemit is able to connect to its users due to the vision of its founder. While at university in the UK, Ismail Ahmed realized just how complicated sending money to his family in Africa was and was determined to start WorldRemit, whose goal is to continually improve money transfers. WorldRemit just raised an additional $100 million in financing, giving it over a $500 million valuation.
Wealthfront takes the guess work out of investing in the stock market. Deciding which stocks to invest in is a highly demanding task and can be a real headache - both in terms of determining how much money you want to invest and finding the time to track these investments in an efficient and profitable way. Wealthfront removes this headache by pairing a user technology talent to manage your investments for you. Wealthfront currently has more than $1.7 billion of assets under management and continues to grow at an exponential rate.
We would be ashamed not to say that we are one of our own favorite companies!
In case you were not aware, Regalii provides the most complete platform to pay bills between borders in the world. Prior to Regalii, there wasn’t really a transparent way to send money internationally since a sender couldn’t really know if the money they were sending was being spent as they intended. Regalii is currently growing at an incredible pace and has raised capital from some of the best investors in the world including YCombinator, Andreessen Horowitz, and Winklevoss Capital.
Did we miss somebody on the list? Please tweet us your favorite startup in the financial sector!