As the technology sector grows in popularity, there’s no doubt that you’ve heard the buzzword fintech used on several occasions.
The Fintech industry has taken off in recent years and continues to grow, showing no signs of slowing down.
While financial technology’s most prominent players are still based in Silicon Valley and the East Coast, fintech companies in California have also made big waves.
Financial technology, or fintech, refers to companies that offer technology solutions for financial services like loans, payments, investments, etc.
Fintech companies in California have seen tremendous growth in recent years and continue to be one of the fastest-growing industries in California today!
Check out this list of the top 10 fintech companies based in California.
Founded by a group of tech-savvy former NFL players, the Federation has developed software that allows lenders and investors to discover hidden value in your retirement accounts.
Rather than having you sell off large chunks of your 401(k) or IRA all at once, Federation takes a more measured approach, slowly extracting funds over time.
In addition to providing your hard-earned money with protection against market volatility, they also offer income, which you can use any way you see fit (including paying down debt).
If that sounds appealing, visit their website as one of the fastest-growing Fintech companies in California today!
The Oakland-based company offers a way for people with student loan debt and small amounts of credit card debt to consolidate their payments into one manageable payment per month. And it charges lower interest rates than its competitors.
The cushion has partnered with LendingClub and Prosper Marketplace. Funding: $1 million from First Round Capital, 500 Startups, and Boost VC.
The company plans to expand its service into student loans soon. As college tuition costs continue to rise—they’ve increased 1,120 percent since 1978—students need help repaying their debts.
About two-thirds of recent graduates have debt burdens up to $25,000 after four years at an institution.
Among students who leave school before completing a degree program or certificate program, the average debt is between $17,000 and $25,000.
We all know that Americans have a penchant for borrowing. Credit card debt and student loans have reached unprecedented levels, making life harder for everyday people.
Most banks charge exorbitant interest rates on credit cards, and those with bad credit histories are often excluded from financial institutions.
Mojito is a new online platform that aims to make borrowing more accessible and affordable. It’s an online marketplace that connects borrowers directly with lenders.
Lenders can post their offer on Mojito, including loan rate, interest rate type, collateral type, maximum amount offered, and loan duration.
Borrowers submit their requests based on what they see appealing—like we said: it’s an online marketplace!
4. Northwestern Mutual
This insurance company has been around since 1857, helping clients with financial planning services for over 150 years.
One of America’s best-known and largest mutual life insurance companies is one of the fintech companies in California, and Northwestern Mutual has been ranked among Fortune magazine’s Most Admired Companies for six consecutive years.
Ranked by Forbes as a Best Company for nine consecutive years, they’ve earned recognition as one of America’s most ethical companies from Ethisphere Institute (two times), one of America’s best employers from Forbes and Working Mother magazines (four times), and The Harris Poll® Corporate Reputation Survey.
They get our vote for their long history, excellent customer service, and innovative products!
Enova has been on a tear recently, raising $7.5 million and signing an impressive list of financial services clients—and for a good reason.
Founded by ex-MasterCard execs, Enova is building a payment platform that helps financial institutions process payments digitally.
While many fintech companies in California deal with processing payments or moving money around digitally, Enova’s software makes it easy for banks and other financial firms to service their customers online with comprehensive digital banking portals explicitly built for each institution’s customers.
It doesn’t handle payments; instead, it deals in customer service and provides the resources so that institutions can create their digital platforms while keeping up with regulatory compliance standards.
An array is an online-only bank with no branches. And it was Founded in 2012, and it’s now backed by big names like Peter Thiel and Elon Musk.
Its main competitors are banks that have already been around for decades, so Array has its work cut out: The company doesn’t even have a credit card product yet! But if there’s any way to compete against established behemoths, it’s through innovation and a dedication to customer service.
And those traits are very much part of Array’s DNA; it was named one of America’s Best Online Banks by Consumer Reports magazine last year.
With free 24/7 access to financial advisors, Array seems to care for its customers. More than 50 percent of new accounts come from referrals.
In 2016 alone, over $1 billion was deposited into accounts opened at Array. This Los Angeles startup isn’t just trying to disrupt banking; it wants to change people’s lives for the betterment.
7. Cash App
If you’ve been feeling left out during all of Bitcoin mania, we have good news: there’s a new kid on the blockchain.
Cash App, Square’s peer-to-peer payments app, has launched an update that allows users to buy and sell Bitcoin within their Cash App accounts.
If you’re looking for a trustworthy crypto trading platform and fintech companies in California, consider Cash App if your first use of cryptocurrency is peer-to-peer transactions.
The app offers fee-free transactions and is easy to use—even if you don’t understand how cryptocurrency works.
And even though it isn’t as secure as traditional crypto exchanges, Cash App makes buying bitcoin simple.
Sign up using your phone number or email address and deposit money into your account using a bank transfer or debit card transaction.
Once deposited, you can begin trading BTC for USD at market value or even set a limit order (if you want to ensure you get what you pay for).
In addition to its ease of use, Cash App is popular because it supports U.S.-based banks (unlike Coinbase) and doesn’t charge excessive fees as some other exchange platforms do.
Started by former PayPal employees, Flywire is a payments processor that connects businesses and banks with institutions that move money around internationally.
Flywire makes it easier for businesses to get paid (particularly those overseas) while also providing instant, low-cost payments. In 2012, Flywire was named one of Business Insider’s 20 hottest companies in Silicon Valley.
Since then, it has continued to multiply—and now serves more than 6,000 customers worldwide.
Last year, the company processed $4 billion worth of payments and was ranked #13 on the Forbes 2015 list of America’s most promising private companies. This January, it raised an additional $42 million in Goldman Sachs and Jefferies funding.
Flywire recently announced its expansion into India, opening an office there and announcing partnerships with major financial institutions like ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank.
While most fintech startups are trying to bring down costs for individuals or small businesses, Flywire focuses on helping large corporations handle their international payment needs.
Its service could help individuals if you’re doing business abroad yourself or if you want to pay people outside your country without taking a hit from your bank or credit card company’s exchange rate fees. It may not be sexy but could prove very lucrative over time.
This software company is one of the fintech companies in California. It has been around since 1999, and it’s brought its tools and services into some of today’s most prominent financial markets.
Optiver is a privately held company with offices in San Francisco, London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, New York City, and Singapore.
It works with various institutions, including banks, prime brokers, and trading firms. Its investment decision platform gives asset managers real-time access to multiple sources of market information to make informed decisions when trading options or other derivatives instruments.
The tool takes complex data from different sources across stock exchanges and calculates prices using advanced analytical models. In 2015, Optiver was acquired by Flow Traders NV for $400 million.
This acquisition added nearly 1,000 employees to Flow Traders’ workforce and expanded its presence in Europe and Asia.
10. Credit Karma
Founded in 2007, Credit Karma is one of several free credit score sites that collect your data and split your score.
But unlike its competitors, Credit Karma doesn’t generate a single number; it instead gives you access to all three of your credit scores from TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax.
The catch? Instead of getting that credit-score data instantly via app or email, you have to wait for it every night at midnight when they update their database.
Other sites are better options if you want real-time info on your credit scores (like when applying for a loan).
However, if you want to keep tabs on where your credit stands without paying a dime, Credit Karma is worth checking out.
If you’re thinking about investing in financial technology or opening a new fintech company, check out these top ten fintech companies from across California.
They are all great examples of how businesses can flourish through fintech applications and provide valuable insight for new companies trying to enter a competitive market.
Which of these top fintech companies in California would you like to work for? What kinds of things do you want your company to focus on? If you want to create your own successful company, now is a good time!