The Future of Personal Finance: Fintech 50 2022

Sameer Goyal and Abhay Vemimomaterial

Reported by Isabel Contreras and Jeff Coughlin

The uncertainty of the pandemic, followed by stimulus cash growth and now, skyrocketing inflation has made the youth more aware than ever about their finances and financial status. So it’s fitting that half of the eight personal finance startups honored on this year’s Fintech 50 list (and two out of four personal finance newcomers on the list) aim to help Americans who are living paycheck to paycheck or whose have a thin (or even poor) credit history, to achieve their financial level.

Newcomer Grow Credit issues users a virtual credit card (no plastic version), which can be used to pay for a monthly recurring subscription and is then paid automatically from their linked bank account. Those payments are regularly reported to credit bureaus, which helps a user build their credit score over time – vital for getting a regular credit card and getting good rates on car and home loans. Grow, like another newcomer Brigitte, charges monthly fees, whose credit builder loan is linked to a savings account, which assures that payments will be made on time and reported to credit bureaus. Another Brigitte feature aims to help users avoid both overdraft fees and expensive payday loans by linking their bank accounts, monitoring cash flow, and creating a small, interest-free cash advance when needed.

The two returning lists also focus on helping respected people join the financial and credit mainstream. Esusu reports rental payments to credit bureaus, so individual renters can build up their credit standing with periodic monthly payments—the way homeowners do. Propel’s mobile app helps users keep track of their food stamp balance and other government benefits, and it offers users a free MasterCard debit card to manage their profits and earnings in one place.

Of course many Americans are doing well financially and are increasing their spending on travel and other out-of-home experiences earlier in the pandemic. That’s where another FinTech 50 newcomer, travel booking app Hopper, comes in. In addition to commissions, it’s bringing in revenue with a new program that lets customers pay an additional fee — typically 10% to 20% of the ticket price — for up to a week to freeze a flight. . If fares go up and the customer buys a ticket, Hopper eats up the difference – especially attractive in these days of full flights and rising airfares.

The two most valuable companies in the Fintech 50 personal finance category are America’s largest digital bank, valued at $25 billion, and Upgrade, a newcomer to the list, valued at $6.3 billion. It offers a number of new products, including credit cards that can be paid off as if they were short-term loans, with a set interest rate and payment date, eliminating the risk of accumulating compound interest. In total, all honorees in this category are worth $38.8 billion.

Here are eight personal finance startups that made the Forbes Fintech 50 list in 2022.

Brigitte


Financial app aimed at helping Americans living on the edge build their money management skills and credit scores, while avoiding bank overdrafts and traditional payday advance loans. The $9.99 per month subscription service links a user’s bank account and approves them for an interest-free loan of $50 to $250, depending on their cash flow. It also uses machine learning algorithms to automatically extend that loan when needed to prevent overdraft of a bank account. (Only one loan is allowed at a time.) Brigitte’s Credit Builder feature links a term loan to a savings account that is used to ensure timely loan payments—payments that are reported to credit bureaus on time. and can increase the credit score of the users. As much as 60 points, says Brigitte. A free version of the app offers advice, but no loans.

the headquarters: New York, New York

Grant: $37.5 million from Lightspeed, DCM, NYCA and others

latest rating: $600 million

good intentions: Nearly half a million paying users, plus more than three million accounts using the app’s free features.

co-founderCEO: Zuben Mathews, 42, a Delhi native and University of Chicago graduate who was an investment banker with Deutsche Bank for a decade; CTO Hamal Kothari, 28, and Member Out of the 2021 Forbes 30 Under 30 list.

chime


The largest digital bank in America, Chime achieved a following by offering free checking accounts and no overdraft fees. In 2021, large banks such as Chase and Bank of America reduced overdraft fees, possibly in response to competitive pressure from Chime and other digital banks. According to a person familiar with the matter, Chime had planned to go public in early 2022, but was delayed amid a rocky stock market. CEO Chris Britt says Chime attracted more new customers in the first quarter of 2022 than any quarter in the company’s ten-year history.

the headquarters: San Francisco, California

Grant: $2.3 billion from DST, Sequoia, Coatue and others

latest rating: $25 billion

good intentionsAccording to Apptopia, there were 13.2 million app downloads in 2021 compared to 11.1 million in 2020.

co-founder: CEO Chris Britt, 49, who had previous stints at Green Dot and Visa; CTO Ryan King, 45.

a kiss


Helps renters build their credit for free by reporting rent payments on time to credit bureaus. Landlords pay for this service because it increases timely payments, reduces evictions, allows more tenants to stay in units longer and maximizes property managers’ ESG reporting. Collaborating with Freddie Mac makes Esusu’s product more attractive: The mortgage company offers closing cost credits on multi-family loans for owners who use Esusu.

the headquarters: New York, New York

GrantOver $144 million from SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Motley Fool Ventures, Next Play Ventures and others

latest rating: $1 billion

good intentions: Over 3 million registered rental units and over 140 property manager clients, including Progress Residential and Goldman Sachs.

Co-Founder and Co-CEO: Abhay Wemimo, 30, a Nigerian immigrant; Sameer Goyal, 28; Everyone had non-profit experience before starting Esusu.

grow credit


For people with thin or no credit history looking to increase their credit score, the novel “virtual” MasterCard is issued. The card, which charges no interest (and offers free plans up to $8 per month), can be used to pay for recurring subscriptions like Netflix and Spotify and features automatic on-time payments. linked to a user’s bank account, which builds up a credit history, raising the credit score by 50 points, says Grow. Later this year, it plans to launch a more traditional physical credit card with a 15% to 18% interest rate that users can “graduate” to.

the headquarters: Santa Monica, California

Grant$11 million from Mukar Capital, Commerce Ventures and Arena Investors

latest rating: $26 million

good intentions: 52,000 subscribers, up from 8,000 at the end of 2020.

founded byCEO: Joe Bien, 46, a serial entrepreneur whose startups include an iPhone app discovery marketplace that attracted 12 million users, called Free App a Day.

hopper


The travel booking site launched in 2014 as a free app that predicted the cheapest time to book a flight, it now offers additional features, such as in-house fares and a new program that lets customers book flights. Allows you to pay an additional fee—typically 10% to 20% of the ticket value—to stabilize the value of the flight for up to a week. If the fare increases and the customer buys a ticket, Hopper eats up the difference. Today, these new fintech products make up 40% of Hopper’s revenue, with the rest coming from traditional commissions paid to travel agents. About half of its employees are located in the US.

the headquarters: Montreal Canada

Grant$580 million from Omers Ventures, Capital One, GPI Capital and others

latest rating: $5 billion

good intentions: $150 million in revenue in 2021, up from $40 million in 2020; The app has 70 million lifetime downloads.

co-founderCEO: Frederic Lalonde, 48, who dropped out of college at age 19 and started a travel data startup that Expedia bought in 2002; Jost Auwerkerk, 50, former head of B2B engineering.

propel


Its provider app enables low-income households to access government benefits such as SNAP (food stamp), rental assistance and TANF (cash payment) so that they can manage those benefits with their earned income and their overall finances. Propel issues a free debit MasterCard for users to profit and earn cash (food stamps have their own government card), generate revenue from card interchange fees and marketers who want to use affordable products like low-cost Wi-Fi and cell plans. Pay to promote. , On the stage.

the headquarters: New York, New York

Grant: $85 million from Nyca, Andreessen Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins and others

latest rating: $520 million, according to Pitchbook

good intentions: over 5 million users; Revenue more than doubled last year to $24 million.

co-founderCEO Jimmy Chen, 34, steps down as product manager at Facebook to start Propel; COO Jeff Kaiser, 32; CTO Ram Mehta, 36.

Story


Offers loans of $10 to $500 to customers with little or no formal lending history in the Philippines, Mexico, Kenya and India, using their smart phone data to assess risk. In December 2021, Tala launched a digital savings account that has attracted nearly 100,000 users. Historically, Tala has relied on large institutional investors to fund its loans, but it plans to launch a new model in late 2022 that uses a “decentralized finance” cryptocurrency platform, which Professional investors will let Tala customers deposit money for loans and earn a refund.

the headquarters: Santa Monica, California

Grant$350 million from Upstart, Stellar Development Foundation, RPS Ventures and others

latest rating: $800 million

good intentions: Lends $70 million per month to customers, up from $60 million a year ago; There are a total of six million registered users and 1.5 million monthly active users.

Founder and Chief Executive Officer: Shivani Siroya, 40, who founded Tala after studying the impact of micro-credit for the United Nations in sub-Saharan and West Africa.

upgrade


The six-year-old personal loan fintech offers a credit card (paying 1% to 3% cash back) that also works like a personal loan: you can get a line of credit ranging from $500 to $25,000, to be paid off. There is a fixed time limit for closing and can be paid in equated monthly installments. The lender recently launched a bitcoin rewards card and a no-fee checking account that gives users 2% cash back on daily purchases.

the headquarters: San Francisco, California

Grant: $600 million from Coatue, DST, Ribbit Capital and others

latest rating: $6.3 billion

good intentions: In 2021, it reached $410 million, more than quadruple annual revenue from the previous year.

co-founderCEO: Renaud Laplanche, 51, founder and former CEO of the online lender. LendingClub; CFO Jeff Bogan, 42; SVP Adelina Grozdanova, 38; SVP Matt Wierman, 50; CIO Visar Nimani, 47.

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