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Insights from Four Years of the Forbes Fintech 50 List

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This week, we were honored to be included in the Forbes FinTech 50 list for the second year. We believe that data helps us better understand the world around us, so we decided to take a closer look at the four most recent years of the Forbes Fintech 50 list to see what trends the data reveals about how the fintech space has changed from 2015 to today. Play with the graphic, or read on below, to learn what we discovered.

Note: No list was produced in 2017.

Geography: The Bay Area is on top, but New York’s star is rising

New York is the center of the financial industry, but for Forbes the Bay Area reigns supreme for finance tech. San Francisco and the surrounding area were home to more than half of the companies named in every year except 2018. However, the tide may be shifting: from 2015 to 2019, New York’s share grew from 18% to just under a quarter, mirroring the city’s rise as a major center of innovation.

Company category: A blockchain bubble and waning interest in lending


What Fintech sub-category has remained strong on the list since 2015? Personal Finance and Investing, which includes companies like Acorns, Motif, and Betterment, represented 20% or more of each year’s Fintech 50 class. We can also see the rise and drop of interest in blockchain mirrored in a 2018 spike, and the gradual decline of buzz around lending companies from 2015 to 2019. Companies focused on Wall Street and enterprise technology (like Enigma) represent 20% of the list in 2019 down from 32% in 2015, possibly due to the high level of M&A and consolidation in recent years.

Funding: Up, up and up


From 2015 to 2019, funding received by companies on Forbes’ list has skyrocketed, with the median funding per company more than doubling from $61.5 million to $148 million. Total funding rose to almost $11 billion in 2019, up from a little over $6 billion in 2015. Some of this may be attributed to the rise of more mature companies on the list, as 2019 saw an increasing number of later-stage start-ups.

Looking ahead: Finding value in data


At first, it seemed like an error of omission - there was no “data” category on the 2019 list.

Then we realized that was because across all categories virtually every company on the list is built on data. While data is foundational for success in 2019, it’s only the beginning. We believe that in the future, context will be king.

As a data and technology player, how is Enigma different? We’re connecting data from thousands of sources to build a model of the global economy, transforming data from rows and columns into meaningful intelligence for some of the world’s leading organizations.

Are you interested in solving uniquely challenging and complex problems? Explore career opportunities at Enigma and help us make sense of the world through data.