5 Fintech startups to watch in 2021

Darren Sinden

From trading in sneakers to providing big data insights to retail investors these five fintech startups all have something to make them standout in 2021

We are not quite out of 2020 yet but naturally our thoughts turn to the New Year as the old one begins to fade and attention turns to possible trends and areas of interest over the next 12 months.

Over the past few years, Business Insider has asked leading VCs which startups they think could “take off” in the year ahead and the report makes for interesting reading, particularly as this year there is a separate section for “hot trends” which included many fintech’s in their number.

Here are 5 of Business Insider’s picks to look out for in 2021:

Albert

Albert is an app designed to help people manage their money more efficiently allowing them to keep track of bills, spending habits and returns on investments. Albert is doing this using human advisors who help to guide its users. The company has raised a little under $72.0 million thus far and has added new services such as short term advances where customers can access $100 to ease cash flow.

Chime

Chime is an online consumer banking tool, headquartered in San Francisco it offers spending savings and credit builder accounts as well as payday loans and free overdrafts. Chime customers can also access mobile payments, automated savings and a Visa debit card. Chime doesn’t provide the underlying banking services rather it works in partnership with two FDIC assured US banks Stride Bank and Bancorp Bank. To date, Chime has raised $1.54 billion dollars and as of September 2020, the banking app had more than 5.0 million account holders making it one of the fastest-growing banking startups in the USA.

Commonstock

Commonstock is an early-stage startup that is looking to exploit the massive growth in investing in and trading on the stock market seen in 2020. Similar to Denmark’s Public Commonstock aims to create social communities in which novice investors can chat with experts and learn to make trades for themselves.

The Commonstock app is still in beta testing but some of the features are eye-catching such as the ability to link membership to an existing brokerage account which in turn will allow users to validate the performance of more experienced members and mentors so that what you being told tallied with what actually happened.

Commonstock has raised just $11.20 million so far and any future fundraising will be something of an acid test for Venture Caps appetite for social trading stocks in light of recent events at market leader Robin Hood. They may feel that it’s time for the disruptors to be disrupted themselves.

StockX

StockX is an online exchange where traders can buy and sell sneakers and other high value and collectable leisurewear, Whilst this might sound like a very niche market its one that has been developing since the mid-1980s and the launch of Nikes Air Jordan one, Limited edition runs of new sneakers are often in high demand and collectors and traders use algorithms to ensure they secure an allocation of those sneakers at launch which they can then resell on StockX for a profit. A process that’s very similar to stagging new issues and IPOs in the stock market.
The market in rare and limited-edition sneakers is estimated to be worth around $2.0 billion per annum but its forecast to grow to some $30.0 billion by the end of the decade. That growth potential has allowed StockX to raise $565 million dollars and gain a Unicorn valuation of more than $1.0 billion.

Toggle

Toggle is a service that’s designed to provide financial markets insight for retail investors. The business was founded and managed by former hedge fund traders who want to bring the data advantages that they enjoyed to the wider investing public.

Toggle offers a variety of platforms and products such as Copilot which analysis portfolios and ranks them on a number of valuation and quantitative metrics to provide an overall rating for each holding. These assessments can then allow traders to optimise their portfolios.

Toggle also provides educational materials, data and data alerts. as well as service for professional investors. Toggle hasn’t disclosed the amount of external funding it has raised if any.

However, given that its founders worked at the likes of Duquesne Capital, Fortress, Brevan Howard, and Alliance Bernstein they won’t be short of influential and wealthy contacts.

The intelligent use of market and alternative data in investing and trading is a growing trend and it’s one that has been accelerated by the pandemic and it’s not going to go away anytime soon.

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