Fastcompany has selected the most innovative Finance companies for 2018:
Redwood City, CA – based company encourages its customers to experiment with life scenarios (retiring early, paying for college, buying a home) on an ongoing basis using its interactive online tools.
As of January 2018, the company had attracted $9.5 billion in assets under management, putting it in the same league as rival Betterment.
LenddoEFL (formerly EFL Global) emerged out of research on psychometric credit scoring at the Entrepreneurial Finance Lab within the Harvard Center for International Development.
The organization has now helped lend $1.5 billion to over 1 million entrepreneurs in 15 countries around the world. Using LenddoEFL’s psychometric scores, which take into account knowledge, abilities, attitudes, and personality traits, bank partners report that they have lowered default rates by 40% while increasing loan volume.
Ladder, which has developed a mobile-first user experience and an underwriting system capable of approving customers within minutes. In addition, Ladder makes it possible for its term-life customers to adjust their coverage over time, as their circumstances change.
eThe company launched in California, in January 2017, and is now available in over 40 states. It raised $30 million in Series B funding to fund further growth in January 2018.
LendUp, founded in 2011 by stepbrothers CEO Sasha Orloff and CTO Jake Rosenberg, aims to help those Americans build better credit by offering credit products that reward good behavior and encouraging education. The company provides short-term loans of up to $250 and credit cards with minimal fees.
TransferWise is a cheap and reliable way to send money internationally. In recent months, TransferWise has started laying the groundwork for a multi-currency current account geared toward international freelancers. It also makes its core transfer service available via API in Facebook Messenger.
The company raised $280 million in Series E funding in November 2017.
Cadre, a New York-based startup, has set out to make alternative assets more investor-friendly by building a platform that streamlines deal sourcing, due diligence, and reporting.
In June 2017, the company raised $65 million in Series C funding, with Andreessen Horowitz leading the round.
4. Kakao Bank
KakaoBank is an internet bank launched by Kakao. The banking services was launched in 2016 with integration with KakaoTalk and KakaoPay to let users connect with people in their contact list and make financial transactions with them.
Kakao Bank, Kakao Talk’s sister app, attracted more than 300,000 customers in its first 24 hours. After just four days, the mobile-first bank had lent out KRW 260 billion ($232 million) and accepted KRW 275 billion ($245 million) in deposits.
Stripe is the best way to accept payments online and in mobile apps. We handle billions of dollars every year for forward-thinking businesses around the world.
The company is also increasingly active overseas, with operations in most of Europe and a growing portion of Asia, including Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore.
The firm, an early backer of companies including Slack and Yammer, uses sophisticated data techniques to evaluate investments and coach portfolio companies on growth. Its current portfolio is diverse, spanning consumer, education, enterprise, healthcare, and frontier technologies.
Starting in 2017, Palihapitiya began laying the groundwork for Social Capital to be able to invest in companies at any stage–pre-launch, early venture, growth, or public. He also began building an automated investment tool, named Capital-as-a-Service, designed to remove bias from the investment decision process.
Square, founded in 2009, is a payments company dedicated to serving micro-entrepreneurs and growing small businesses.
Square has become a major force in payments worth around $16 billion. In addition to its signature card reader, Square now offers an iPad point-of-sale system and a larger register that retails for $999. The company also operates Square Capital, which provides loans to its merchants, and a consumer-facing mobile wallet, Cash App.
The 2017 List can be found here.