18 November 2021 |

Study ranks fintech’s top influencers



Study ranks fintech’s top influencers

The world is currently in the midst of a fintech boom where fintech is not only disrupting the old ways of financial services but becoming a part of our culture. 

I’ve explained fintechs impact on society via many Twitter threadsSo when this research by Utility Bidder hit my desk, I was not surprised but disappointed

The study reveals the most influential fintech companies when it comes to measures including funding, valuation, social following, and online visibility. 

The results are in

→ Robinhood is the most influential company in the fintech sphere. (Largely because of its high annual search volume, suggesting it’s the most publicly sought-after fintech company). It also raised the greatest VC funding totaling $5.6 billion.

To be fair, a lot of that funding is accounted for by the emergency funds raised after the GameStop trading frenzy earlier this year. 

→ Coming in second with the highest valuation is Stripe (currently valued at $95 billion which is 43x more than its funding of $2.2 billion). 

Here are the top 10 most influential fintechs (click here to see full size)

Why it matters

I believe fintechs have the power to influence the world. 

When Robinhood is the fintech ranked No.1 it reminds me how important it is that we—the fintech industry—work to build products that influence healthy financial behaviors instead of constant day trading. 

Just looking at the other awesome fintechs on this top 10 list, I think we can knock that crown off RH the next time this ranking comes out. 


Meet a software that identifies employee political contributions 

RegTech Complysci acquired illumis Inc., a data aggregator that provides companies a comprehensive view of employees’ political donations. 

In today’s wild political environment, this software feels like a must for any and all financial services companies.

In the words of Workweek friend Parker: “It’s a bullshit checker.” 

What’s the point?

For companies to identify contributions from their employees (and folks that live in their households) that could draw scrutiny and penalties from regulators.

→ With the rising interest in ESG investing (i.e. investors wanting their money backing companies that align with their values) this tool is even more critical to ensure the employees handling clients’ $ have values that align. 

What their CEO told me: 

I caught up with Amy Kadomatsu who explained how the tech can help businesses ensure their employees are doing the right thing to abide by preclearance rules around political donations. 

Big takeaways from Amy: 

  1. “To be able to disclose that you’ve made a donation to a political figure is about creating transparency.” 
  2.  “It’s the trust but verify concept, which is that I trust my employees, but you also need to have the appropriate controls in order to ensure that someone has not run afoul.” 
  3. “You’d spend an enormous amount of time for one person to check all of an employee’s contributions because you go to them one by one. So we combined with a service like illumis because what we should be doing is looking across all of the systems simultaneously to have a thorough check.”
  4. “The checks should be on a timely basis so you can catch any situations quickly.”


Party Round uses its own services to raise $7M 

I’d say this story is super meta if Facebook didn’t ruin that term for me, but Party Round using its own platform (one designed to make the process of raising early-stage corporate capital less awful) to raise $7 million is most definitely meta


  • Party Round CEO Jordi Hays told TechCrunch that his startup wants to work on solving a problem that tech founders have yet to hit on: The way they raise capital 
  • Its service helps automate seed deals and has founders create rounds, set terms, and invite investors to participate.
  • Party Round’s success will hinge on its ability to be good at culture

Congrats to our friends at Party Round! 🥳 Excited to see your success.


Comcast’s $10M commitment to BIPOC

CNote CEO Catherine Berman published an article that describes Comcast’s $10 million commitment to building capital in credit unions led by or serving people of color.

ICYMICNote is a women-led impact investment platform that uses technology to unlock diversified community investments that increase economic mobility and financial inclusion.

Why it matters

CNote leverages its tech to encourage more companies to make these types of investments through its partnership with MLT’s Black Equity at Work Certification. 

Corporate cash reserves are a largely untapped source of capital for underserved communities and people, like WoC entrepreneurs.  


  • Yieldstreet raised a $50M follow-on led by Mayfair Equity Partners
  • Medical fintech PayZen raises $15M to grow ‘Care Now, Pay Later’ biz
  • Secfi surveyed 1,000+ startup employees who have exercised their stock options to understand the role their company played
  • Sequoia Capital India + 120 angel investors back startup Arbo Works
  • Germany’s digital bank N26 to withdraw from U.S. 
  • Stripe backs Irish-founded fintech Imprint in $38m funding round
  • BlockFi faces SEC over high-yielding crypto accounts
  • iCapital partners with Israel’s largest investment house
  • Digital Asset Research has newly enhanced crypto Asset Vetting Reports for institutional clients