27 Fintech Unicorns, And Where They Were Born by Jeff Desjardins, Visual Capitalist

Everyone wants faster, cheaper, and more customized financial services – and since technology now makes this possible, the world is embracing the fintech revolution.

In 2015, investments in fintech nearly doubled to $22.3 billion. And although there were 1,108 deals made, there are only 27 companies that can call themselves unicorns – private companies valued at over $1 billion or more.

Locating the Fintech Unicorns

Today’s infographic breaks down data on the 27 fintech unicorns, and it comes from Glance Technologies, a Canadian-based payments company that just IPO’d on the Canadian Securities Exchange.

In total, the world’s fintech unicorns add up to a total valuation of $138.9 billion, and here’s how that is distributed by geography:

Location Unicorns Total Value Raised
Total 27 $138.9B $16.9B
United States 14 $31.0B $5.7B
China 8 $96.4B $9.4B
Rest of World 5 $11.5B $1.8B

Amazingly, the 27 fintech unicorns have only been born in six countries: United States, China, Sweden, India, the Netherlands, and the UK.

The United States has more than half of all fintech unicorns (14), including nine in Silicon Valley. China has eight unicorns, while the UK has two. Sweden, India, and the Netherlands each have one.

While the U.S. can say it is home to more unicorns, the Chinese ones have far more value so far. The biggest four fintech unicorns worldwide were all born in China: Ant Financial ($60 billion), Lufax ($18.5 billion), JD Finance ($7 billion), and Qufenqi ($5.9 billion). This is because China has more than 500 million smartphone users, with a more evolved market for payments and P2P lending.

Fintech Unicorns by Sub-Sector

Fintech is a broad net that encompasses everything from health insurance apps to robo-advisors. As a result, different sub-sectors within fintech are maturer with more unicorns and success stories (payments, lending), while others do not have any unicorns yet (wealth management, blockchain).

Here are the 27 fintech unicorns, organized by sub-sector:

Sub-sector Unicorns Valuation % of total
27 $138.9B 100.0%
Payments 7 $77.9B 56.1%
Lending 8 $30.4B 21.9%
Financial Services 3 $11.5B 8.3%
Consumer financing 2 $7.9B 5.7%
Enterprise/SaaS 5 $6.5B 4.7%
Insurance 2 $4.7B 3.4%

The biggest fintech startups are in payments and lending, which combine for nearly 80% of the value of all unicorns combined. Meanwhile, all other sub-sectors including insurance, enterprise/SaaS, financial services, and consumer financing add up to roughly 20%.

Future Unicorns

Will future fintech unicorns follow similar tracks to their predecessors?

The biggest success stories have come from payments and P2P lending, especially in China. Today, however, the Chinese payments market seems pretty hard to crack, with big dogs like Alibaba, JD.com, and Tencent all having their hands in the cookie jar. Recently, P2P lending has also been under scrutiny by regulators in China, and even U.S. lending champions such as Lending Club are having challenges as of late.

Perhaps the next fintech giant will come from somewhere outside of the status quo.

27 Fintech Unicorns, And Where They Were Born

27 Fintech Unicorns, And Where They Were Born Infographic