The future of fintech is one that everyone's debating, from the debate about whether bitcoin is a viable alternative to cash to how marketers can cash in on the industry. It makes sense why, as the industry reached $36 billion in funding in 2016, with over 1500 funding deals. The white hot space that is financial technology is set to grow both in the hands of old school, established CEOs and upstart millennials looking to uproot the financial institutions of the world. Here are ten CEOs in fintech that are paving the way to our financial future.
Jack Kokko, AlphaSense
Many fintech companies are focused on what you're doing with your money, but AlphaSense has become the go-to search engine for corporate finance. Using contextualized algorithms, the company lets you search millions of different financial documents in a few seconds to make critical decisions. Kokko, their CEO, is a former Morgan Stanley analyst, and has JPMorgan itself along with many others (including Oracle) as a client.
Doug Lebda, LendingTree
The publicly-traded, 21-year-old LendingTree has survived two financial crises and a dot com boom by keeping its online lending exchange consistently up with the joneses. This included acquiring credit card comparison site CompareCards last year and bringing on the founder of the LinkedIn-acquired Refresh, Paul Tyma, earlier this year.
Max Levchin, Affirm
As the former co-founder of PayPal, Levchin's Affirm is a natural next step. By streamlining the loan process and making partnerships with a huge array of retailers, the startup can provide much smaller loans than you'd normally consider for everything from watches to games consoles. It only takes a few clicks to get cleared for a loan, and Affirm handles payment to the vendor directly.
Adam Ludwin, Chain
With Chain, Ludwin is attempting to change the perception of what the blockchain can do for financial institutions. While many bitcoin or blockchain startups are inherently focused on a new currency, companies like Visa and Nasdaq Linq have inherited Chain's SDK to create their own distributed ledger based financial systems. T
Ted Bailey, Dataminr
With the world questioning whether the president's tweets can change the stock market, Dataminr is in a powerful position. By consuming Twitter's firehose (among other feeds0, the company is able to give alerts on events that could effect stocks, such as a presidential tweet, before they pick up speed. When financial markets can change in seconds, this means that, for example, someone could stop themselves from a potential stock purchase in advance of a catastrophic drop in its value.
Matty Cusden-Ross, Flux
The British Cusden-Ross' Flux wants to eliminate the need for paper receipts. By creating a network with retailers to replace paper receipts, loyalty cards and even the need to show a credit card. You walk up, order and hit a button on your phone and everything is handled in seconds. While focused on certain areas of London for now, Flux looks to grow into a global empire connected by working directly with banks and point-of-sale machine vendors to make integrating the system as easy as possible.
Bo Lu, FutureAdvisor
After the acquisition by BlackRock in 2015, Lu's FutureAdvisor has continued to grow as a "roboadvisor" service that combines technology with an investment council to intelligently manage your finances, such as your retirement or college fund. The service also caters to big businesses, such as partnerships with firms like U.S. Bank Wealth Management to offer automated investment capability to their clients.
James Jansson, Tapview
Micropayments have been almost as tough a problem to fix as monetizing content, and Jansson's Tapview is taking on both at once. Beyond creating a simple and easy way to manage multiple sites' payments and revenue, Tapview also specializes in very small payments, such as a few cents for an article. It's a simple way to get publishers away from forcing subscriptions or invasive advertisements on their readers.
Emmet Savage and John Tyrrell, Rubicoin
While not the first stock-picking app to exist, Savage and Tyrrell's Rubicoin takes an approach focused on hand-holding. Other than providing financial news directly to users in the app, Rubicoin's Invest and Invest Plus look to advise you on what stocks to buy in a less pushy way than a brokerage may, through Savage's own "stock of the month" pick or the star stocks that most may not even know about. Their app also includes audio lessons on investment, starting from very basic points such as "what is a stock" to help anyone get into the markets.