The year 2021 will be all about personalization, integrations and connections. Customers want to experience, not just use digital products and they want a broader spectrum of services. That’s why FinTech companies are joining forces with firms offering added value. Finally, people expect connection with other people. Companies who will create communities around their products will win people’s minds and wallets. Recently, we wrote about FinTech trends for 2021, now let’s talk about top FinTech companies to watch in 2021.

To make things more transparent and easy to navigate, we have broken down the industry into sectors.

Disclaimer: there are many noteworthy companies and many of them have very interesting backgrounds, profiles, success stories and user bases. Some of them are here, but we have decided to focus on those who fit our profile for 2021.

Top FinTech startups in 2021: InsurTech

  1. Zego
    Zego is an innovative company that builds upon the gig economy. It offers vehicle insurance, both for private and company fleet use. Zego utilizes granular data streams to evaluate pricing levels and ensure acceptable rates.
  2. Lemonade
    Lemonade is a business with a mission. The firm reverses the classic insurance model: it takes the flat fee, pays claims and if something is left, gives back to social causes chosen by the community. It will definitely be one of the top FinTech companies in 2021. Don’t take our word for it. In less than three years, Lemonade has taken the US market by storm and is only gaining more traction.
  3. Laka
    Laka is a FinTech from London with a community-based model for bicycle insurance. The startup doesn’t have a fixed price. Instead, the team calculates monthly subscription based on the overall sum of claims. The less claims in a month, the lower the charge for the next one. It creates an interesting mentality model, in which customers are encouraged to think collectively. Plus, there’s the 80%—20% rule: the latter sum goes to Laka, 80% to the users.
  4. Nimbla
    Nimbla is a platform for small and medium-sized businesses. It helps them assess the financial risk of outstanding invoices and shields them from bad debt. It uses invoice insurance against non-payments. With custom software development solutions, Nimbla transforms the way businesses around the corner operate.
  5. Spot
    Spot lowers medical bills to a magical zero. With a monthly subscription, customers can avoid costly visits in the hospital. And it’s possible for them to eventually land there, since the company targets individuals who prefer an active and adventurous lifestyle.

Top FinTech startups in 2021: Open banking

  1. 7aweshly
    A company dedicated to the Egyptian youth. The founders want to convince young adults to save small sums of money each month. In the long-term, the savings build up to a substantial amount. It’s both about promoting healthy spending habits and real profits as well. What’s more, the app enables saving in gold.
  2. Kopo Kopo
    Kopo Kopo has a cash advance system that helps African SMEs finance the purchase of business-critical equipment. By staying close to the local community, the company fuels its business model with a deep understanding of everyday problems in Kenya. Kopo Kopo not only provides funds to buy a computer or a phone, but it does much more—by giving small companies a chance to turn into sustainable businesses.
  3. Robinhood
    Yes, one word instead of two. And we have an appropriate one-word comment: great! The product enables easy investments in stocks, crypto assets, gold and more. It’s also totally commission-free, which is one of the most valued features by Robinhood customers.
  4. Sustainably
    Sustainably redirects our attention towards what really matters. The COVID-19 pandemic has convinced many of us that the world is ready for change. With the bigger picture in mind, Sustainably has launched a service dedicated to charity donations. Users can either transfer money from time to time or set up a monthly donation to their favorite organization.
  5. Currensea
    With Currensea, you can pay abroad without any hidden costs and charges. And it’s so much more than a PayTech with a smart name—it’s a smart way for making overseas purchases. Plus, every $100 spent with the app gives the planet three new trees.

Top FinTech startups in 2021: Payments processing

  1. Due
    Due brings to the table more than mere payments. It offers time-tracking and project management features. To make things even more convenient, Due also has options for customised online invoicing in over 100 currencies, tax systems and languages.
  2. Square
    Square is a comprehensive solution that turns mobile devices into payment processors. With extra features for business operations and employee management, you get access to integrated timecards, employee permissions system and scheduling. And yes, it also processes payments. Doesn’t make coffee, though.
  3. Payline
    Payline enables you to pay (or take a loan) anywhere, anytime, for anything. The company has tailored offers for medical, nonprofit and other specialised organizations. Apart from gateway payment processing, Payline’s customers gain access to solutions for chargeback prevention and fraud protection mechanisms.
  4. Go-Jek
    The name Go-Jek sounds like a calling for a Jack Russel dog. Guess what: it’s actually a fair comparison. Jack Russel is fast, full of character and charm—just like Go-Jek! This Indonesian-based company is actually a platform. Its financial arm GoPay is used in almost 400 cities in Indonesia. However, just like other superapps in Asia, Go-Jek offers a lot more: payments, video streaming access, investment opportunities, even food order service. But… you guessed it… it still doesn’t make coffee.
  5. Boku
    Boku handles payments. Simple as that. The company offers direct payments without a Master Card, Visa or PayPal account. There’s even no need for a credit card terminal, since every purchase is charged and added to the monthly mobile network operator bill. Currently, Boku is processing payments in more than 60 markets worldwide.

Top FinTech startups in 2021: Peer-to-peer lending

  1. Investree
    Investree is an Indonesian peer-to-peer lending company that bets on Southeast Asia expansion. With $23.5 million secured for growth from the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, the firm believes it can support small and mid-sized companies in the country. Local businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic could definitely use a lender with reasonable fees.
  2. Kiakia
    Kiakia is a Nigerian-based platform lending money through credit scoring and risk assessment algorithms. The marketplace is dedicated for individuals that can’t meet the eligibility criteria imposed by traditional financial institutions and expect something more than loans. With Kiakia, customers can borrow money and invest at the same time.
  3. Pezesha
    Pezesha is a very interesting juggernaut that came through Kenya and Ghana, winning awards for the best startup (e.g. Best Catapulter Award). Operating as a peer-to-peer micro-lending marketplace, it connects lenders with low-income borrowers, like local shops or local community service points.
  4. Branch
    Branch has an original take on credit scoring. It’s basically a tool that verifies the credit score of Africans. It uses a machine learning algorithm that analyses data from smartphones. Along with the financial data from traditional banks, things like calls and contact lists, text logs and geolocation data are used to assess risk and creditworthiness.
  5. Blend
    Blend uses low-touch pre-approval processes and verification tools to simplify and speed up the lending process. Consumers can borrow money in several product categories—from personal loans, through vehicles, to mortgages. Blend cooperates with giants like Wells Fargo or US Bank to provide accurate consumer data.

Cooperation, cooperation, cooperation

What we are seeing right now on the market is a strong focus on listening. The most successful FinTech companies listen to their clients and create custom services, especially those in open banking and InsurTech sectors. Because they are dealing with sensitive information and personal needs, they rely on constant feedback from their users. Creating communities around products and services is also a thing. Companies cooperate with customers, with each other, and sometimes even with high street banks. It’s a clear direction for the next year and beyond. Top FinTech companies in 2021 will win thanks to a deep understanding of the market.