The 27 Fintech Unicorns, and Where They Were Born
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
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:
|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|
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%.
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.
Visualizing $156 Trillion in U.S. Assets, by Generation
We’ve visualized data from the Federal Reserve to provide a comprehensive break down of U.S. assets by generation.
Visualizing U.S. Wealth by Generation
The distribution of wealth is an important measure of the economic power of each generation.
In the U.S., for example, baby boomers own half of the nation’s $156 trillion in assets despite making up 21% of the country’s population.
To learn more about U.S. wealth by generation, we’ve created two visualizations using Q4 2022 data from the Federal Reserve that break down both the assets and liabilities held by each American generation.
Assets by Generation
Assets by generation are listed in the table below. All figures are as of Q4 2022 and in USD trillions.
Baby boomers’ biggest category of assets is Equities & Mutual Funds, where they own 56% of the national total. Millennials, on the other hand, represent just 2%.
Where millennials do have more wealth is Real Estate, with 12% of the national total. This suggests that millennials have, for the most part, foregone investing in financial assets in order to purchase a home.
Liabilities by Generation
The following charts show a breakdown of liabilities by generation. Not surprisingly, Mortgages make up the largest component of liabilities for all generations.
Something to highlight is that millennials are carrying the largest amount of Consumer Credit, at $2 trillion (representing about 43% of total consumer credit). As of 2022, millennials accounted for 22% of the U.S. population.
U.S. Wealth by Generation
Finally, we subtract liabilities from assets to arrive at total wealth by generation in the United States. Figures again are USD and in trillions.
|Generation||Assets||Liabilities||Wealth||Share of Wealth|
As a final note, it’s worth highlighting that Gen Z is still too young to be included as a separate demographic in datasets like these. Born between 1997 and 2012, these individuals are currently between 11 and 26 years old. Interestingly, the Federal Reserve currently considers all U.S. adults born after 1981 as millennials.
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