The intersection of finance and technology, known as fintech, has been the hottest sector in terms of business innovation over the last couple of years. Expectations are very high for finance startups from now until 2020; to get an idea of what the future holds for fintech, here are five companies making headlines in late 2016:
1 – Realty Shares
Investing in real estate is not supposed to be complicated; however, property laws in the United States are not the friendliest towards investors who wish to pool their funds together and acquire equity interest. Fractional interest and investment clubs are not the answer; real estate investment trusts (REITs) are better, but being able to participate in a crowdfunding capacity is more attractive. Realty Shares allow prospective investors to get started with just $5,000, and the choices are not limited to residential and commercial properties; they can also choose between equity and debt transactions that may become profitable.
2 – Soldo
As one of the most interesting finance startups announced in recent years, Soldo is currently active in Italy and the United Kingdom. Soldo allows families or partners to put their economic resources together into digital wallets that can be used to manage group spending. With Soldo, a family can contribute cash to a bank account and designate one or more responsible spenders who get a digital wallet and a debit card. For every deposit and every purchase or payment, all family members get a mobile notification so that they can track household finances.
3 – Blend
This company is financially backed by Peter Thiel, the controversial Silicon Valley investor whose support of President elect Donald Trump made headlines in the run-up to the last presidential election in the U.S. Blend offers a software suite for mortgage origination firms; what is unique about Blend is that its various apps and cloud platform actually work in terms of efficiency and compliance. Each new rule and announcement promulgated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is immediately heeded and implemented into the Blend apps and platform.
4 – Adyen
This fintech firm operates in the electronic payments realm, which is a very crowded space. Adyen seeks to provide a new payment infrastructure that uses the latest technology to provide a single solution around the world. Whereas traditional payment schemes force transactions to go through multiple middlemen, Adyen handles all aspects of security and processing between merchants and financial institutions. In essence, Adyen saves merchants the trouble of signing up to accept various payment options; this startup seeks to take care of all processing by means of a mobile app and in-store terminals.
5 – Better Mortgage
Similar to the Blend fintech firm mentioned above, Better Mortgage is focused on the American home lending market. This company has received $30 million in funding from various sources; unlike Blend, however, Better Mortgage actually offers purchase and refinance loans at the retail level. The online platform that Better Mortgage works on is ideal for interest rate hunters who wish to lock in their rates and points within 30 minutes.