- We ask some of the top venture investors to recommend up-and-coming US-based fintechs with one catch: They couldn’t suggest companies in their own portfolios.
- We got a wide range of answers, but one common theme was startups that cater to the underserved or unbanked.
Talk to any venture investor long enough and it’s likely they’ll eventually pitch you on a startup in their portfolio. It’s natural for them to want to push companies they’re financially tied to and have already thrown their support behind.
So when Business Insider reached out to some of the top venture capital firms to get their recommendations on the hottest up-and-coming US-based fintechs, there was one one caveat: They couldn’t have invested in them.
More than a half dozen VC agreed to participate. Their responses included a wide range of fintechs, but one consistent theme across many of the startups was their focus on the underserved and unbanked.
Fintechs see the opportunity in using innovative technology to assist those who have been largely overlooked, or taken advantage of, by traditional financial players.
Here are up-and-coming fintechs VCs recommended.
Cited by: Index Ventures
Total raised: $18 million
What it does: Propel takes on the $70 billion food stamp program that touches 45 million Americans. The mobile application allows users to better manage their food stamps and stay within their budgets when food shopping.
Why it’s hot: "Both a good thing for the world, and an extremely fast-growing company," said Mark Goldberg, a partner at Index Ventures. "Game-changer for people who need it."
Cited by: Sapphire Ventures
Total raised: $225 million
What it does: Ribbon tackles the home-buying experience, giving customers the ability to buy a house while they are still securing a mortgage or selling their own home. The startup, which is headquartered in New York and Charlotte, will reserve the home you want by making an all-cash offer on the house.
Why it’s hot: "There is a lot of traditional mortgage lenders that are very restricted in what they can and can’t do. Those lenders are only doing what Fannie and Freddie will underwrite," said Paul Levin, managing director at Sapphire Ventures. "Any of these alternative lending or any transactions involving any bit of non-standardness can really be problematic, and Ribbon has come in and basically created a financing option where one didn’t exist before."
Startup: Nova Credit
Cited by: Bain Capital Ventures
Total raised: $20 million
What it does: Nova Credit looks to help immigrants transfer their credit history from their country of origin. The startup, which originated as a graduate research project at Stanford University in 2015, works with credit databases around the world to offer lenders access to pertinent information they need when reviewing a customer.
Why it’s hot: "Outstanding founding team, riding the secular trend of globalization and leveraging technology to make the world a smaller and more fair place," said Matt Harris, a partner at Bain Capital Ventures.
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