Artificial intelligence (AI), in its many forms including self-driving cars, robo-advisors, mechanical baristas, and state-run facial recognition campaigns will go ahead and continue to redefine how individuals work and have their views about school, work, government, and daily life. AI startups have been marching ahead in the technology bandwagon gaining funding in a world where supergiant rounds are now quite common. The top well-funded AI startup to date, SenseTime has brought a funding in a total of $1.6 billion. Most recently, in May 2018 the company raised $620 million in a Series C round led by Tiger Global Management and Fidelity International. This round raised SenseTime's valuation to more than $4.5 billion, making it the world's most valuable artificial intelligence startup.
Financial technology (or "fintech") has become an extremely trendy industry for startups because of its high growth potential and opportunity for nearly endless disruptive innovation. In fact, these scrappy companies have the potential to take away $4.7 worth of revenue from traditional financial services, according to Goldman Sachs. Fintech companies are represented in account management, lending and financing, payment processing, and financial assets and capital markets, but what makes them so attractive for small and large businesses is their focus on the customer's needs. Financial information and processing is readily available, which allows for a business to handle important matters quickly, providing consumers with a means to conduct instant, frictionless, digital transactions at an unprecedented speed. Venture capitalists are taking notice of the fintech explosion; $23 billion of venture and growth equity has been deployed to these over the last five years, according to a report by McKinsey.
Over the past few years, Boston has undoubtedly become an emerging hub for financial technology companies. But since then, in the last five years, we started to see a resurgence," Shereen Shermak, a local angel investor and venture capitalist, told BostInno for Monday's State of Fintech report. There are a number of things feeding into Boston's fintech scene, including large financial institutions such as Fidelity Investments, State Street and MassMutual, as well as a few big exits, including Samsung's $250 million acquisition of LoopPay and PayPal's $280 million purchase of Paydiant. There are also emerging technologies fueling Boston fintech, like machine learning and blockchain. While many Boston fintech startups are focused on the enterprise side, there are a number of companies that are consumer-oriented, including Circle, Insurify, Quilt and RateGravity.
We rank top fintech investors by the number of fintech unicorns in their portfolios as well as the stage at which they first provided capital. Today, there are over 25 fintech unicorns across four different continents. Top names like Coinbase ($1.57B valuation), TransferWise ($1.6B), and Robinhood ($5.6B) have achieved global recognition. Using CB Insights data, we dug into which investors have backed the most billion-dollar fintech startups -- and which are poised to gain the most if their portfolio companies manage exits on par with their huge private market valuations. Fintech-focused VC firm Ribbit Capital takes the overall top spot as the most active investor in fintech unicorns, with 10 companies in its portfolio attaining at least $1B valuations.
Business Insider Singapore, CBInsights, Funderbeam, and Crunchbase together have created the world's fintech unicorns – fintech start-ups valued at over $1 billion. Rong360 is riding the online finance wave in China, letting consumers compare and contrast all the various products that are being offered. Silicon Valley's Sequoia Capital, an early investor in Google, Apple, and WhatsApp, is a backer. China Rapid Finance is one of the country's largest online consumer loans marketplace and has made 4.7 million loans over its platform worth over $4.7 billion. The company is said to be planning a US IPO.