Forbes Releases Fintech 50 List
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Forbes has released its latest financial technology (AKA Fintech) 50 list.
Many of the companies on Forbes' sixth Fintech 50 list were major pandemic winners, as Americans accelerated their shift to online purchasing and banking, and some of those stranded at home rushed into online stock and cryptocurrency trading. Simultaneously, low interest rates and the need for more work-from-home space fueled a mortgage rush—and a windfall for companies like Blend, which offers cloud-based software to several of the nation's largest mortgage lenders. Our 2021 list includes 20 first-timers; the creators of five additional newcomers—involved in everything from cyber risk insurance to financial inclusion—are featured below.
To be eligible for the Fintech 50, companies must have either their headquarters or significant activities in the United States and be privately held as of the date of publication. A total of seven awardees on the 2020 list "graduated" by becoming public. Most notably, Coinbase, a list member since 2016, launched on NASDAQ this past April in the biggest direct listing ever.
Meanwhile, the values of several of the other companies on the list have risen (#1 Stripe is now valued at $95 billion, up from $35 billion last year), and many are expected to go public shortly, either via IPOs or SPAC transactions. Marqeta, a specialized debit card processor on the 2021 list, is scheduled to start trading on the NASDAQ this week, kicking off the next wave of departures. With unprecedented levels of money pouring into fintech companies this year, there will be plenty of qualified contenders to take its place next year.