In 2021 there were nearly 89+ fintech unicorns born. Fintech adoption skyrocketed. VC investments climbed to the highest its ever been in the last 10 years, reaching $94.7 Bn by Oct ‘21.

With the industry experiencing stratospheric growth in 2021 as a whole, it was definitely a challenge to single out the winners. But here’s our take on who deserves to make it to the Fintech winners list for 2021.

The top 3 Fintechs of 2021

1# Square a.k.a Block

Square (Block) had a great run in 2021, and some of the notable achievements and strategic moves include:

  • Partnering with TikTok to capture the creator economy
  • It also partnered with Google to allow merchants to add their products to Google’s surfaces
  • The company made a big swing by aquiring AfterPay, the BNPL champion to bring AfterPay’s merchant relationships into Square’s seller ecosystem and boost Square’s Cash App users

2# Opensea

Opeansea, a company that launched its NFT platform in 2018, made some big ripples in the industry as the NFT market roused from hibernation—and went crazy.

  • In July, the company processed $350 million in NFT trades and raised $100 million at a $1.5 billion valuation
  • The platform currently has 1.8 million active users and a large share of the NFT market
  • It tackled the need for cheaper and faster transactions with its integration with layer-two Ethereum side chain Polygon

3# Stripe

The upstart on a mission to ‘increase the GDP of the internet’ has made some big moves this year as well.

  • The company is currently valued at $95 billion (that’s nearly 3x higher than its valuation in April 2020) – and that’s more than Uber’s IPO
  • It has managed to amass a userbase of 3.1 million active websites
  • Known to have closed the door to Bitcoin 3 years ago, Stripe has recently begun moving into the crypto space again – it even established a team dedicated to crypto and “Web3”

Our take – What does this mean for 2021 as a year?

The winners of 2021 point out some important trends. Payments and Defi were definitely a winner. Investor appetite for payments was strong with funding already up by 80% by Q3 of 2021 compared to 2020. The Defi world also saw a turning point, where digital assets broke into the mainstream – with the crypto market cap topping $3 trillion for a time and global NFT sales reaching $11Bn in Q3 2021, a 200x increase from Q3 2020.

While these were not the only sectors on fire, they were definitely notable enough to leave their mark in 2021. As we head into the new year, we can’t wait to see which fintech makes a splash!

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