A common question in fintech circles is which fintech is the biggest in the world. It’s no wonder, as the fintech space is one of the most cut-throat spaces in the business world.
Although this might be a pissing contest between the rich and sort of famous, it’s an excellent way to show the world how much value fintech can bring to the world in these trying times when everyone needs to adapt at an unbelievable pace.
Without further ado, here are the 19 biggest private and public fintech companies in the world based on market capitalization and private funding valuations and four to keep an eye on.
1. Square ($110-130 billion)
Square is a well-known mobile payments and merchant services aggregator company based in San Francisco and founded by Buzz Andersen, Jack Dorsey, and Jim McKelvey in 2009.
Square had a $6 billion valuation indicated in a private fundraising round in 2014 when the company raised $150 million. When they went public in 2015, they raised $243 million at a valuation of around $2.9 billion. The stock price at that time was only $9 per share.
Fast forward to 20/21, and Square share has seen its ups and downs, going as low as $38 in March 2020 to its all-time high of $289 in August 2021. That means its market capitalization is around $120 billion and will arguably be considerably higher this time next year.
2. Stripe ($95 billion)
Stripe is an online payments processor that serves some of the biggest companies in the world. But, if you open an e-commerce store today, you could also use their services.
It doesn’t shy away from small businesses, and that’s why it had become a household name since 2011 when the fintech company was founded by Irish brothers Patrick (CEO) and John Collison (president).
It’s valued at $95 billion, and therefore it’s just shy of first place on our list of the largest fintech companies in the world as the largest private fintech company. The $95B valuation means that the company nearly tripled its last reported valuation of $36 billion from April 2020!
The thing is, there’s no stopping Stripe now as its growth is boundless and largely tied to the extension of online shopping, which is surging from year to year. It’s also eyeing an IPO in 2022, which should be very exciting.
3. Ant Group ($78 billion)
Ant Group, also known as Ant Financial or Alipay, is a fintech giant from China and an affiliate company of the Alibaba Group. The company had a tumultuous 2020 when it was supposed to go public in the world’s largest IPO, which gave the fintech a whopping $313 billion valuation.
On the verge of the IPO, it was stopped in its tracks by the Chinese government and ordered to restructure in 2021. Its valuation started snowballing from there as it was valued at $144 billion by Fidelity Investments on February 21 and even less than that in September when Fidelity slashed it to $78B.
How much is it actually worth at this point? No one knows for certain until its position gets fleshed out in the Chinese establishment.
4. Coinbase ($60-90 billion)
Coinbase is the most well-known crypto exchange platform that went public in April 2021 via a direct listing. At the time of going public, the company set a price of $250 per share, giving it a valuation of $65.3 billion.
The COIN share reached its highest point on April 16, 21, when it hit $342, which gave the fintech a valuation of almost $90B. At the time of writing this piece, the share was at $232 and a valuation of $60B.
To put these figures into perspective, the company’s final private price was $8 billion in 2018. What a difference!
Will the company ever reach $100B? Only time will tell.
5. Klarna ($46 billion)
Klarna Bank AB is a Swedish fintech founded in 2005 that offers financial services such as direct payments, pay after delivery options, and installment plans. It’s less known that Klarna is now one of Europe’s biggest banks with 250k+ merchants and 90+ million end-customers.
Klarna is currently valued at $45.6 billion since it raised more than $600 million in June this year. That makes its total funding amount a staggering $3.7 billion. Its current valuation is a rise of 47% since its last valuation of $31B only a couple of months ago.
This Swedish giant fintech is now the highest-valued private fintech in Europe, and its CEO and founder, Sebastian Siemiatkowski, said the company has seen explosive growth in the US and will continue growing there and globally.
6. Revolut ($33 billion)
Revolut is a challenger bank based in London that makes most of its money in the UK but has expanded worldwide in recent years, including the US.
Revolut was founded in 2015 by Nikolay Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko and now has more than 16 million personal customers and 500k+ businesses. It’s one of the biggest privately owned startups in the world and the most valuable fintech in the UK.
The company raised $800 million in July 2021, giving it a valuation of $33 billion. That’s a 6x valuation since their last funding round in 2020.
Digital banking is huge right now, and you’ll see more challenger banks on this list as their valuations have skyrocketed in recent years thanks to IPOs and fundraising from venture capital.
RELATED: 10 Biggest Digital Banks in 2021
7. Robinhood ($32+ billion)
Robinhood, known for pioneering commission-free stock trades, had a hell of a ride during the pandemic when most of the world was glued to the couch in lockdown after lockdown.
It just goes to show that even bad press can be good for a company nowadays, and, oh boy, did RH get bad press in 2021. It didn’t deter them, though, to add hundreds of thousands if not millions of new customers during the biggest turmoil.
Before going public in July 2021, the private markets valued RH at $11.7 billion. At the time of IPO, the HOOD stocks were going for $38 per share, giving the fintech a valuation of $32 billion. At the time of writing this overview, the HOOD stocks were trading at nearly 45 USD!
RELATED: Acorns vs Robinhood
8. Nubank ($30 billion)
The Brazil-based challenger bank is the largest private fintech in Latin America. The company was founded in 2013 by David Velez (CEO), Edward Wible, and Cristina Junqueira.
David Velez and Nubank single-handedly transformed the Brazilian banking system and acquired more than 40 million customers, making it the biggest digital bank in the world by the number of customers.
Nubank’s valuation reached $30 billion in 2021 after a $750 million extension to its Series G in June 2021. The biggest investor in the South American neobank was Berkshire Hathaway, investing $500 million.
Not bad for a company that started as a fintech that provided fee-free credit cards with a line of credit of 10 USD!
9. Toast ($20-33 billion)
Toast is a restaurant management platform founded in 2012 and headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. Its founders are Steve Fredette, Aman Narang, and Jonathan Grimm.
Their platform is used in thousands of cafes and restaurants across the US. The fintech company was valued at $4.9B in February 2021 after raising $400 million. That’s despite laying off half of its employees in April 2020 due to the pandemic.
Fast forward to now, and the company went public in September 2021, at what time they offered shares at $40, valuing it at $20B – one of the biggest IPOs this year. The stock opened at $65, giving Toast a valuation of $33 billion. At the end of September, the TOST stock is hovering around $55.
10. Chime ($25 billion)
Chime is a challenger bank from San Francisco that was founded by Chris Britt and Ryan King in 2013. It’s notable for fee-free online banking services and for growing considerably during the pandemic.
It now has more than 13 million customers who are around 30% more than last year which makes it the number one challenger bank in the US.
The neobank also made great headway in terms of market valuation. It’s valued at $25 billion, having raised $750 million in August 21. That latest funding round made the company worth $10 billion more than in October 2020, less than a year ago.
11. Kraken ($10-20 billion)
Kraken is another US-based crypto exchange that was founded more than 10 years ago and is headquartered in San Francisco.
The fintech company is currently worth $10 to $20 billion, depending on who you ask, and is preparing for an IPO in 2022, which could see a considerably higher valuation closer to that of Coinbase.
Coinbase is the referent point at this time for all other crypto exchanges looking to go public in the near future.
12. Marqeta ($14-17 billion)
Marqeta is a card issuer processor platform that helps huge companies such as Square and DoorDash issue cards and process payments. The fintech company was founded in 2010 and is based in Oakland, California.
Fueled by the pandemic, Marqeta’s total processing volume soared by 177% to $60 billion in 2020.
The company went public in June 2021 having its valuation soar to $17 billion. Since then, the stock price has seen its ups and downs and is trading around $30 at the time of writing.
13. SoFi ($8.7-22 billion)
Although some think that SoFi is closer to a traditional bank than a fintech company, it’s still an American online personal finance company. It was founded more than 10 years ago by Mike Cagney, Dan Macklin, James Finnigan, and Ian Brady. Its headquarters are in San Francisco, California.
The company went public in 2021 at a valuation of $8.7B but has since seen its stock soar to almost $28 giving it a market cap valuation of $22 billion. At the time of writing this, the stock is hovering around $17 and has a valuation of $13.5 billion.
14. Wise ($16+ billion)
Wise is a well-known fintech based in London that was founded in 2011 by Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann. It specializes in international money transfers and banking services.
It revolutionized the money transfer market with its low fees and seamless service. In July 2021, the company went public by a direct listing on the London Stock Exchange. At that point, the company was valued at $11 billion with its shares floating around 800 pence (around $10).
At the time of writing, the stock is at 1,140 GBX (around $15), an all-time high for the company bringing the valuation close to $17 billion.
15. Plaid ($13.4 billion)
Plaid is a financial services company based in San Francisco, California that was founded in 2013 by Zach Perret and William Hockey. Its tech links bank accounts to fintech apps like Coinbase, Robinhood, and many others.
The company has seen huge growth during the pandemic, as have many other fintech companies that rely on online services. Plaid is currently valued at $13.4B as they’ve raised $425 million in April 2021.
After a failed Visa-Plaid deal, where Visa was looking to acquire Plaid for $5.3B, the company has soared in value and is far better off going solo than under another giant brand.
16. Credit Karma ($8.1 billion)
Credit Karma is a 14-year-old fintech startup with more than 110 million members that offers financial products— including credit card and loan comparison tools along with checking and savings accounts.
The company gives you access to your credit scores but also analyzes your credit profile to give you product recommendations enabling you to save money.
17. Brex ($7.4 billion)
Brex is another fintech that’s coming out of San Francisco and that was founded as recently as 2017. Still, its business bank accounts and credit card business have helped the challenger bank to grow at an unbelievable pace.
In fact, as of April 2021, the fintech company is valued at $7.4B having completed a $425 million funding round led by Tiger Global.
Although the digital bank only acquired around 10,000 customers, it’s enough for investors to see amazing potential, apparently. And Brex isn’t sleeping on laurels. It incorporated FDIC insurance, instant payouts, and a software platform for businesses to manage their finances and credit lines.
18. Carta ($7.4 billion)
Carta is a Palo Alto-based fintech that was founded in 2012 by Henry Ward and Manu Kumar. The company was formerly known as eShares and specializes in capitalization table management and valuation software. It helps employees, companies, and investors manage their equity while creating a real-time picture of company ownership.
In January this year, Carta launched a stock exchange, CartaX, where shareholders can sell their shares before IPO or acquisition. And, it used its own exchange to sell $100 million of its own stock.
The San Francisco-based fintech raised $500 million in August 21 in its eighth round of funding which gave it a $7.4 billion valuation.
19. Figure Technologies 3.2B
Figure is a multi-faceted fintech founded in 2018 by Mike Cagney, former CEO and co-founder of SoFi, and his wife, June Ou who is the company’s COO.
The San Francisco-based company is leveraging blockchain technology to offer people and businesses a faster and simpler way to find a loan that’s right for them. It recently introduced Figure Pay, a platform that enables payments, money transfers, rewards, and buy now, pay later loans. It also lets merchants accept payments from customers.
In a little bit more than three years, Figure has managed to get a $3.2B valuation by raising $200 million in May 2021 that will help the company “ further fuel our mission of leveraging blockchain to reinvent the financial services industry.”
Keep an eye on
Binance is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world that reached $2 trillion in total trading volume in 2020 and its Binance Coin was the third-biggest cryptocurrency.
The company is extremely undervalued at the moment, compared to Coinbase, even though Binance had four times the profit of the American-based exchange. The real valuation of Binance is a staggering $200 billion. If not more.
Grab is a fintech from Singapore that operates a mobile platform that connects drivers to customers, much like Uber. The company was founded in 2012 by Anthony Tan and Tan Hooi Ling and now operates, not only in Singapore, but also in Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Myanmar.
The company was set to go public this year in a $40 billion deal with SPAC Altimeter Growth Corp. Grab had the largest valuation so far in the SPAC space and could raise about $4.5 billion.
AvidXchange is the industry leader in automating invoice and payment processes for mid-market businesses. The Charlotte-based fintech was founded in 2000 by Chris Tinsley and Michael Praeger.
The company is prepping for an IPO that could give them a valuation between $7 and $10 billion.
Paytm is a digital payments start-up based in Noida, India that was founded in 2010 and is owned by One97 Communications, one of India’s mobile-internet companies.
The payments giant has many well-known backers, such as Berkshire Hathaway, Ant Financial, SoftBank, and Alibaba Group, and is now targeting a $2.2 billion IPO in India at a valuation of a whopping $25 billion.
Paytm moved beyond the soaring digital payments space and is now offering bank deposits, remittances, cash management, insurance, gold sales, and even tickets to entertainment.
The bottom line
There you have it, the largest fintech firms in the world right now. How long will this list hold up? Probably not too long as the fintech space is soaring and companies are raising money left and right giving them higher valuations and more money to expand their business and acquire more companies.
Stock markets also can’t be held back by apparently anything, meaning that the market cap will continue to rise for fintech companies as well.
Adrian Volenik is a fintech enthusiast who loves testing and reviewing digital banking apps and financial products in general. How many digital banking accounts can one man have? Not enough, if you ask Adrian. As his wallet will soon explode if he doesn’t cut back on the number of cards.