The Future Of Personal Finance: Fintech 50 2024 – Forbes

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New honorees on the Forbes list address two realities of ordinary Americans’ financial lives: they have multiple credit cards in their wallets, but not a lot of spare cash.
Tikue Anazodo’s Kudos Technologies helps online shoppers pick the best rewards credit card for each purchase and earn extra rewards from merchants. It’s a newcomer on the Fintech 50.
Even amid layoffs and a funding drought, financial technology startups continued to worm themselves into the money routines of millions. Six personal finance fintechs, including two first-timers, made the Forbes Fintech 50 list for 2024.
The newcomers reflect two realities about ordinary Americans: they tend to have multiple reward credit cards in their wallets, but not necessarily a lot of spare cash. First-timer Kudos Technologies, headed by Tikue Anazodo, offers a browser-based smart assistant that helps shoppers identify the best reward card to use for online purchases. The Nigerian-born Anazodo came to the U.S. in 2009 to study computer science at Columbia University and worked at Affirm, Microsoft MSFT and Google before launching Kudos in 2022. (He has 11 cards himself, in case you’re wondering.)
Meanwhile, newcomer Sunbit, founded back in 2016, has built its growth on the fact that many Americans have to borrow when they face large, unexpected bills–for a car repair, a root canal, or a sick pet. (According to a Federal Reserve survey, only 57% of adults can cover an unexpected bill of $1,000 or more from savings and just 46% can swing $2,000 or more.) Sunbit offers payments over time at the point of pain–for example, at nearly 10,000 dental offices.
The four list veterans are Chime, the nation’s largest digital bank, and three start-ups aiming to serve those without extensive banking, borrowing or credit experience. Esusu helps renters build their credit histories, while Propel is designed to help low-income families manage both their earnings and benefits.
Finally, there’s Tala, a regular on the Fintech 50 since our second list in 2016. While it’s based in Santa Monica, California, the company makes microloans to customers with little or no formal borrowing history in the Philippines, Mexico, Kenya and India, using their smart phone data to judge risk. It extended $1 billion of loans in 2023.
The largest digital bank in America, Chime first gained a following by offering free checking accounts and no overdraft fees. It lets customers overdraw their accounts by up to $200 for free and offers a secured credit card (a plus for those with limited or poor credit histories).
Headquarters: San Francisco, California.
Funding: $2.3 billion from Sequoia Capital, DST Global, Menlo Ventures and others.
Latest valuation: $25 billion.
Date of Latest valuation: August 2021.
Bona fides: The Chime app was downloaded more than 18 million times in 2023, up from under 14 million in 2022, according to Apptopia.
Cofounders: CEO Chris Britt, 50, who did previous stints at Green Dot GDOT GDOT and Visa; Ryan King, 47.
Helps renters build their credit histories and scores for free by reporting on-time rent payments to credit bureaus. Property owners pay a fee per unit, per month, for this service because it increases on-time payments, encourages renters to stay in units longer and looks good on property managers’ ESG reports.
Headquarters: New York, New York and Los Angeles, California.
Funding: $145 million from SoftBank, Motley Fool Ventures, Acumen Fund and others.
Latest valuation: $1 billion.
Date of last valuation: January 2022.
Bona fides: In 2023, grew its customer base to 400 property managers, lenders and other financial institutions, up from 213 the year prior.
Cofounders: Wemimo Abbey, 31, a Nigerian immigrant; Samir Goel, 29. Both had nonprofit experience before starting Esusu.Headquarters: New York, New York and Los Angeles, California.
Launched in 2022, Kudos Technologies offers a browser-based smart assistant that helps shoppers pick the best reward card in their wallet for each online purchase. The app also offers special rewards from thousands of participating merchants, all of which pay a commission to Kudos. In 2023, Kudos grew to 150,000 registered users, up from 5,000 users at the end of 2022.
Headquarters: Los Angeles, California.
Funding: $17 million from QED QED Investors, SciFi VC, Patron and others.
Latest valuation: $45 million.
Date of last valuation: September 2023.
Bona fides: Participating merchants include Walmart WMT , Priceline and Lowe’s.
Cofounders: Tikue Anazodo, CEO, 32 Ahmad Ismail, CTO, 29.
Its Providers app enables low-income families receiving government benefits such as SNAP (food stamps), rental assistance and TANF (cash payments) to manage those benefits alongside their earned income and overall finances. Propel also issues a free debit Mastercard MA for users’ cash benefits and earnings (food stamps have their own government card), generating revenue from card interchange fees and from marketers who pay to promote affordable products, such as low-cost Wi-Fi and groceries, on the platform. In 2023, Propel added a free federal and state tax filing tool within the Providers app, with an eye to making sure low income households don’t miss out on any refundable tax credits they’re eligible for.
Headquarters: Brooklyn, New York.
Funding: $90 million from Andreessen Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins, Nyca Partners and others.
Latest valuation: $500 million.
Date of last valuation: February 2022.
Bona fides: Five million families use the app monthly; 2023 revenue was $38 million, up from $34 million the year prior.
Founded in 2016, Sunbit provides point-of-sale consumer financing for large unplanned expenses incurred at thousands of businesses, such as dental offices and auto repair shops. The company had more than two million loan customers in 2023, up from 1.6 million in 2022. Nearly 10,000 dental practices use Sunbit’s patient financing tech.
Headquarters: Los Angeles, California.
Funding: $256 million from Zeev Ventures, Group 11, Chicago Ventures and others.
Latest valuation: $1.1 billion.
Date of last valuation: May 2021.
Bona fides: Brought in $191 million in revenue in 2023, up from $129 million in 2022. Cofounders: CEO Arad Levertov, 46, who served in Israel’s Shayetet-13 unit, often referred to as the Israeli Navy Seals; chief revenue officer Tal Riesenfeld, 46; CTO Ornit Maizel, 44; head of AI Tamir Hazan, 49.
Makes loans of $10 to $500 to customers with little or no formal borrowing history in the Philippines, Mexico, Kenya and India, using their smart phone data to judge risk. It offers a digital wallet in the Philippines, which lets more than one million customers pay bills through the Tala app and aims to save them money by preventing them from having to cash out and incur fees. In 2023, Tala rebuilt its data infrastructure to cut the time it takes for most customers to get approved for a loan from two minutes to just a few seconds, CEO Shivani Siroya says.
Headquarters: Santa Monica, California.
Funding: $350 million from IVP, Revolution and the Stellar XLM Development Foundation, among others.
Latest valuation: $800 million.
Date of last valuation: October 2021.
Bona fides: Extended $1 billion in loans in 2023; reached 3.5 million monthly active users in December 2023, up from three million in April 2023.
Founder: CEO Shivani Siroya, 41, who founded Tala after studying the impact of microcredit in sub-Saharan and West African countries for the U.N.

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