Top 10 in Tech: London's most valuable FinTech startups

Josh Peachey's picture

Over the coming weeks, Prolific London will be taking a closer look at the vibrant startup scene in the capital. 

Making use of Tech Nation’s powerful Data Commons database, we’ve been ranking the leading startups in a range of sectors. Last week, we ranked London’s most successful EdTech startups that have been helping people learn, train and grow.

This week, we’re turning our eye to the most valuable FinTech companies coming out of the city. FinTech or Financial Technology companies make use of software and modern tech to provide financial services, and currently, a lot of them compete directly with banks.

Let’s take a look at London’s top 10 FinTech startups, ranked by valuation on Tech Nation’s rankings for June 2019. 

1. TransferWise

Founded by Kristo Kaarmann, a former manager at Deloitte, and Taavet Hinrikus, an angel investor and former Strategy Director at Skype, Transferwise allows users to send money abroad with exchange rates eight times cheaper than some banks. Covering 71 countries, the site allows users to send money easily, cheaply, safely, and quickly. The company now moves over £4 billion every month globally.

Founded: 2011
Value: At least £2.7 billion ($3.5bn)

2. OakNorth

OakNorth is redefining lending to small-to-medium sized businesses using its next-generation credit platform. Earlier this year, the Japanese Softbank Vision Fund invested $440m into OakNorth, which, according to CEO Rishi Khosla, will go towards expanding in the US and strengthening existing technology. They’ve licensed the platform to banks in other countries across Europe, Asia and the US to replicate their successful business lending in other markets.

Founded: 2015
Value: At least £2.2 billion ($2.8bn)

3. Monzo

Earlier this week, Monzo closed a fresh round of investor funding and jumped from seventh in this list, past rival Revolut, and up to a podium postition. The company started out as a pre-paid card allowing users to avoid charges on payments abroad but has since grown to allow users to have their own current accounts and overdrafts. The mobile app helps people, a third of whom are aged 21-35, keep an eye on their spending by setting budgets, sending notifications and creating saving pots.

Founded: 2015
Value: £2 billion

4. Checkout.com

Checkout.com partners with smart businesses of all sizes to help them optimise their payments, increase revenues, and meet the dynamic needs of their customers. The company’s clients include Samsung, TransferWise, Hopper, Adidas and Virgin. After launching in 2012, they’ve since grown to a team of more than 300 employees in eight offices, expanding into the UAE in 2013, and the US in 2017. Checkout.com was ranked 2nd place in Deloitte’s 2018 UK Technology Fast 50. Last month, the company raised $230 million in Series A funding. 

Founded: 2012
Value: At least £1.5bn ($2bn)

5. Funding Circle

Funding Circle is one of the UK’s big three peer-to-peer lenders, along with Zopa and Ratesetter Circle, and is the first to go public. Funding Circle says that they’ve helped 49,000 UK businesses finance their goals by borrowing a total of £5bn through the platform. Sami Desai launched the startup with two university friends, James Meekings and Andrew Mullinger, allowing investors to lend directly to businesses so that they could grow.  

Founded: 2010
Value: £1.5bn

6. Revolut

Not even five years old, Revolut has over 650 employees. The FinTech offers a pre-paid debit card, currency exchange, peer-to-peer payments and even cryptocurrency exchange. One interesting feature of the mobile app is the ability to round up payments and save the difference. It takes minutes to open a current account and is users can transfer up to £5,000 monthly globally on an interbank exchange rate Monday-Friday. Having conducted 12 rounds of funding, Revolut has raised $336m.

Founded: 2015 
Value: At least £1.3bn ($1.7bn)

7. SumUp

SumUp is mobile payments company that provides card readers to smaller businesses for them to use without a contract. They take a 1.69% cut of payments made using the terminal but provide an easy and cost-effective way for businesses to make transactions. The company recently bought Shoplo, a Poland-based multichannel eCommerce platform that allows small businesses to start selling online. As part of SumUp’s expansion strategy, they also acquired Danish company Debitoor, an invoicing-software platform originally established for freelancers and SMEs.

Founded: 2011
Value: At least £780m ($1bn)

8. WorldRemit

WorldRemit is a global payments platform which allows people to send money from 50 countries to 150 countries around the world. UK registered businesses can also use the site to send payments instantly to freelancers, contractors and staff in 140 countries around the world. It was formed to provide cheaper alternatives to banks or freelancing platforms who make a profit on sending money abroad. At the start of June, the company announced that it raised $175 million (£138m) in venture funding for a new money transfer service for small and medium-sized businesses that have international operations, particularly in emerging markets.

Founded: 2010
Value: At least £700m ($900m)

9. Gryphon Group Holdings 

This insureTech group is backed by £180 million investment funding and it hasn’t even launched yet. Co-founders Simon Davis and Daniel Pender (pictured) are behind the future cloud-based protection business. They’ve bought the rights to Guardian, a 200-year-old insurance company, and plan on using its trading name. They say they have “ambition for every family to have protection that they truly believe in” and will focus initially on life and critical illness, then income protection. Their incorporation of newer tech might mean they can offer lower premiums but we’ll have to wait to find out. 

Founded: 2016
Value: £360m

10. Starling Bank 

Another mobile-app based bank looking to challenge traditional banks. Founded in 2014 by Anne Boden, who pioneered the UK’s first same-day payment service thirty years ago, Starling was granted a banking licence in July 2016 and launched its first mobile personal current account app in May 2017 for both iOS and Android phones. Recent partnerships include home insurance options through Direct Line Group and improved banking features with payments platform Tribe. 

Founded: 2014
Value: £300m - £400m