Top 25 Hottest Financial Services Start-Ups

To identify the most promising companies Informilo editor-in-chief Jennifer L. Schenker asked some of the most active investors in the  sector to nominate and evaluate 15 companies outside their own portfolios. The ten companies on the Early Stage Ones To Watch List are the finalists in a SWIFT Innotribe competition. (Informilo was one of the contest’s media sponsors). The ten early stage companies have been invited to present at Sibos, an annual banking industry conference, in Toronto, Sept. 19-23. Two winners will walk away with $50,000 each.

Square (www.square.com)

San Francisco, California

What it does: mobile payments

Why it’s hot:The company was created by Jack Dorsey, a co-founder of Twitter;it raised $100 million last June in a financing round led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; its board members include Lawrence Summers, Mary Meeker and Vinod Khosla.

Quid (www.quid.com)

San Francisco, California

What it does: Software that captures data, structures it, and enable clients such as banks, funds and corporations to visualize and interact with the information.

Why itis hot:  It counts some of the world’s largest technology companies as clients, and it investors include PayPal‘s Peter Thiel and Atomico, the venture fund founded by Niklas Zennstrom, a co-founder of Skype.

EToro (www.etoro.com)

Tortola, British Virgin Islands

What it does: Social trading platform

Why it’s hot: Etoro’s community powered network enables every investor to see, folow and automatically copy the actions of other investors in real time. It has over 1.75 million uers in over 140 countries.

CreditSesame.com (www.creditsesame.com)

Sunnyvale, California

What it does: A free online service that helps people take control of their finances by monitoring – all in one place their credit scores, loans and debt.

Why it’s hot: The company, which raised $6.5 million iIn a series B funding round earlier this year, is helping consumers manage nearly half a billion dollars in loans.

Covestor(www.covestor.com)

London, England

What it does: peer to peer equity investing for the ‘mass affluent’ ($100,000-$1 million in investable assets) who have too little money to engage a private banker, but don’t like the mutual fund industry.

Why it’s hot: Empowers everyday people to experience investment returns comparable to those of proven investors.

Fnz (www.fnz.com)

London, England

What it does: enterprise cloud computing and services for the wealth management sector

Why it’s hot: Since 2004 it has evolved from a New Zealand startup to a global company that administers over £17 billion of assets on behalf of over more than 300,000 end-customers in the UK, Australia and NZ.

StockTwits (www.stocktwits.com)

San Diego, California

What it does: a social microblogging service that allows users to see which stocks are trending.

Why itis hot: It has a cult following among market-watchers, the service can now be accessed on the CNNMoney site and the recent gyrations on Wall Street have sent its traffic soaring 200%.

Klarna (www.klarna.se)

Stockholm, Sweden

What it does: Payment solutions that

increase sales for the e-commerce sector.

Why it’s hot: Klarna is positioning itself

as a key player in the $40 billion global

payments market.

TxVia (www.txvia.com)

New York City

What it does: Enables electronic payments wioth a fully customizable platform-as-a-service delivery model.

Why it’s hot: Its clients include some of the world’s largest payments companies.

Wonga (www.wonga.com)

London, England

What it does: Provides quick access

to small, short-term loans via the Web

and mobile phone.

Why itis hot: Itis one of the fastestgrowing

Web businesses in Europe.

 

Retailo (www.retailo.de)

Cologne, Germany

What it does: distribution network for gift cards in Western Europe.

Why it’s hot: Three years after its launch, the company already offers prepaid and gift cards from more than 30 well-known brands in more than 22,000 outlets in four European countries.

 

Lending Club (www.lendingclub.com)

San Francisco, California

What it does: Peer-to-peer online loans marketplace, that acts as a financiallyattractive alternative to banks for borrowers and investors.

Why it’s hot: it has earned numerous awards, including a nomination as a 2012 World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer and raised $25 million in a series D round in August.

 

Hub Culture (www.hubculture.com)

London, England

What it does: Social collaboration around a virtual currency called Ven.

Why it’s hot: Its virtual currency is growing fast and going mainstream: Thomson Reuters is expected to announce that, beginning in October, it will include the Ven along with other currencies on its terminals.

Betterment (www.betterment.com)

New York City

What it does: Private investment accounts that replace regular savings accounts.

Why it’s hot: The service, which does not require any special knowledge of the market and financial products, is designed to earn more money for its users than a standard savings account while offering more flexibility than higher yield accounts.

On Deck Capital (www.ondeckcapital.com)

New York City

What it does: Helps businesses get small business loan financing when traditional bank loans are not an option.

Why it’s hot: It has provided over $150 million in loans to date.

 

Early Stage Companies to Watch

 

BillShrink (www.billshrink.com)

Redwood City, California

What it does: Cost-cutting search engine

Why it’s hot: Its recommendations on how consumers can save the most money on services such as wireless plans and credit cards have been integrated into ConsumerReports.org, Walmart.com and T-Mobile’s services.
Cellfony (www.cellfony.com)

Versailles, France

What it does: Offers an anti-malware mobile payment and card reader solution.

Why it’s hot: It makes a mobile payment wallet and UMV card reader as simple and secure as a chip and PIN.

 

ChangeIt Canada (www.changitcanada.com)

Ontario, Canada

What it does: automates online charitable giving by offering donors a simple and secure way to donate small change to  causes with every debit and credit transaction.

Why it’s hot: It is helping make charitable giving a part of people’s everyday transactions.

 

Duo Security (www.duosecurity.com)

Ann Arbor, Michigan

What it does: Offers authentication as a service to thwart account and data breaches and theft.

Why it’s hot: Its two-factor authentication, which aims to frustrate the bad guys, not the users, has won the company industry acclaim.

 

FaceCash (www.facecash.com)

Palo Alto, California

What it does:  Replaces plastic payment cards, letting you pay with your phone and sign with your face.

Why it’s hot: It has already convinced localbusinesses, including Subway restaurants, to accept its unique online payments system.

 

GuardTime (www.guardtime.com)

Singapore

What it does: Softwaregenerated keyless signatures provide proof of signing authority, signing time, and integrity for data stored on disk, residing in the cloud, or in transit across networks.

Why it’s hot:The signature never expires and its verification is based solely on mathematics, eliminating the need for secrets or keys.

miiCard (www.miiCard.com)

Edinburgh, Scotland

What it does:  User-centric federated identity solution.

Why it’s hot: Miicard is short for My Internet Identity card. Its a digital passport that proves “you are who you say you are” so you can apply for financial  products and buy and sell securely.

 

SynerScope (www.SynerScope.com)

Eindhoven, The Netherlands

What it does: Visualizes relationships in Big Data event records including web traffic, payment transactions, mobile call records and IRC logs.

Why it’s hot:SynerScope allows a user to look at millions of transactions simultaneously and at any moment have instant drill-down capability to individual, detailed data records.

 

TransferWise (www.transferwise.com)

London, England

What it does: an online currency exchange service that allows people to exchange currency using mid-market rates for a flat fee.

Why it’s hot: Users avoid banks and brokers and save the 5% commission they usually collect for exchanging currency.

 

Wave Accounting (www.waveaccounting.com)

Toronto, Canada

What it does: Offers easy online accounting for small businesses.

Why it’s hot: Its software lets the numbers crunch themselves and it’s free.

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