This year almost all of our finance honorees are serving other businesses, rather than consumers. While consumer-facing finance feels increasingly commoditized, from banking to trading, B2B finance is thriving as it transforms legacy systems, use case by use case. We expect to see more exits like Plaid’s blockbuster $5.3 billion sale to Visa in the year ahead.
For rewarding startups with a credit card tailored to their needs
Brex extends credit to startups by looking at their venture funding and real-time sales revenue—not at the personal credit scores of their founders. Like Stripe before it, Brex is betting on growing as its startup customers grow and scale.
Read more about why Brex is one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies of 2020.
For facilitating the rise of private markets
Managing share ownership gets complicated as startups add employees and defer IPOs. Enter Carta, which offers founders, investors, and—perhaps most importantly—employees tools for tracking the value of their equity. The result: public markets-style transparency for anyone betting their future on a Silicon Valley unicorn.
Read more about why Carta is one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies of 2020.
For opening access to alternative investments, from cars to rare books
Through Rally’s mobile app, luxury aficionados on modest budgets can diversify their investment portfolios by buying shares of rare collectibles.
Read more about why Rally is one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies of 2020.
4. Kin Insurance
For applying precision data to insuring homes vulnerable to the effects of climate change
Traditional insurers typically evaluate risk using zip code-based actuarial tables. Kin goes a step further, allowing it to better price the risk of homes in states such as California and Florida, where climate change-related disasters are on the rise.
For helping housing stock get a face-lift via its home-flipper-friendly mortgages
A 30-year mortgage makes no sense for an HGTV-style home-flipper. LendingHome targets this underserved group of professional buyers, who account for 7% of home sales. So far, the company has funded the purchase and flip of over 20,000 properties.
For solving the biggest problem that institutions face in crypto investing
Thanks to its hybrid security system, designed for storing cryptocurrency, Anchorage allows institutional investors with stringent compliance guidelines to get off the sidelines and make bets on digital assets. Since launching in 2019, Anchorage already holds hundreds of millions of dollars of assets in custody.
For making small-dollar loans affordable and bilingual
California-based Oportun went public in 2019 after over a decade serving lower-income consumers considered “invisible” by credit rating agencies (average Oportun customer income: $41,000). The company, a Community Development Financial Institution founded in 2005, has helped 760,000 customers without a credit score begin to establish one, all while disbursing over $7 billion in loans.
For turning affluent women into strategic investors so they can back ideas that deserve funding
Women make the majority of a household’s purchasing decisions, but 90% of the investors deciding which new products and services deserve venture dollars are men. Portfolia is changing that dynamic by encouraging women with the means to write $10,000 checks to use their wallets to find their voice.
9. Citadel Securities
For delivering on the promise of direct listings
Direct listings allow startups to save on IPO expenses, but they create a potential for the kind of volatility that can threaten employees’ nest eggs and private investors’ returns. Citadel Securities showed how to successfully manage those risks as market maker for the direct listings of Slack and Spotify.
For customizing impact investing, at scale, letting financial advisers create tailored portfolios for clients
OpenInvest capitalizes on two of the biggest trends in investing: index funds and socially responsible investing. With its Optimus tool, consumers saving for retirement can align their nest eggs with the values most important to them, from avoiding tobacco to endorsing green energy.
Read more about Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies: