Business Fintech & e-commerce

These Were The 10 Most Funded Fintech Startups In 2021, A Year When The Sector Led

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The most highly funded startups in financial services—a sector that led VC funding this year, with at least $131 billion invested—generally do not hail from the U.S., but from Europe.

In fact, of the top 10 most highly funded companies that are still private, five are from Europe, three from the U.S., one from Brazil and one from the Bahamas. 

Three mobile banking platforms rank among the top 10 funded fintech companies in 2021. The two most highly valued companies in financial services raising the largest fundings are Sweden-based Klarna and London-based Revolut

Here’s a closer look at the 10 fintech startups that raised the most venture backing in 2021.

No. 1: C6 Bank, $2 billion: São Paulo, Brazil-based C6 Bank raised a $2 billion round led by JPMorgan Chase that valued the company at $5 billion. The company, started in 2019, is the most recently founded on this list but already has 7 million customers, which includes individuals and small businesses. Its competitor in the Brazilian market, Nubank, represents 27 percent of the Brazilian market with either a bank account or credit card and went public earlier this month. 

No. 2: Klarna, $1.6 billion: Buy now, pay later merchant platform Klarna raised two funding rounds tallying up to $1.6 billion, moving its valuation from $31 billion to $45.5 billion within three months. The company was founded in 2005 and is likely to go public in 2022. Klarna’s global gross merchandise volume for the first three quarters of 2021 came in at $57.3 billion compared to the same time frame in 2020 at $35.2 billion. It has more than 250,000 retail partners and is growing the fastest in the U.S.

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No. 3: NYDIG, $1.3 billion: New York-based Bitcoin platform NYDIG raised $1.3 billion in 2021, with its most recent funding of $1 billion, led by WestCap,  valuing it at $7 billion. NYDIG provides a white label solution to integrate Bitcoin into its customers’ products. 

No. 4: FTX, $1 billion: Bahamas-based cryptocurrency exchange platform FTX, founded in 2018, offers lower fees, by as much as 85 percent, for crypto trading. It claims to have 1 million users and $10 billion in volume traded in the last 30 days. The company raised a Series B of $1 billion, valuing the company at $18 billion, and then raised a further $425 million in a Series B extension in October that upped its valuation to $25 billion. 

No. 5 (tie): N26, $900 million: Berlin-based mobile bank N26, founded in 2013, closed on its Series E funding of over $900 million led by Coatue and Third Point Ventures, valuing it at $9 billion. The company has more than 7 million customers in 25 markets. 

No. 5 (tie): Trade Republic, $900 million: Berlin-based commission-free broker Trade Republic, founded in 2015, raised a Sequoia Capital-led Series C funding of $900 million in May, valuing the company at $5.3 billion. The service is active in Germany, Austria and France. The company has 1 million customers with more than half of those being first-time investors in the capital markets. Trade Republic has over $6.7 billion in client assets under management. 

No. 7: Fireblocks, $843 million: Tel Aviv and New York-based Fireblocks, founded in 2018, provides security for digital assets, which  is used by institutions and neobanks to protect customers’ digital assets. It raised its Series C, D and E in 2021, seeing its valuation move from $900 million to $8 billion in nine months. Fireblocks raised $843 million across these three fundings in 2021. 

No. 8 (tie): Revolut, $800 million: Mobile banking platform Revolut, founded in 2015, raised an $800 million Series C funding valuing the company at $33 billion. The round was led by the SoftBank Vision Fund and Tiger Global. Revolut has more than 16 million customers worldwide.

No. 8 (tie): Mollie, $800 million: Amsterdam-based payments integrator Mollie, founded in 2004 and the oldest company on this list, raised a Blackstone Group-led $800 million Series C funding valuing the company at $6.5 billion in June 2021. Mollie services 120,000 merchants across Europe and is on track to process more than $22 billion in 2021, up 100 percent year over year. 

No. 10: Chime, $750 million: San Francisco-based mobile bank Chime, founded in 2013, helps its banking customers avoid fees. The company raised $750 million in a round led by Sequoia Global Equities valuing it at $25 billion. The company has 13 million active customers. 

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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