01 Intro

📝 Foreword

Our aim is to create a go-to resource for the fintech community – a guide that you can rely on for access to the best insights from the brightest minds in fintech, packaged up in an easy-to-digest format.

Radek Zaleski Netguru Fintech Guide

The year of accelerated digital adoption and growth

While 2020 was a turbulent year for many industries, it was a watershed moment for fintech. A perfect storm of changing consumer expectations and relentless innovation, combined with the impact of COVID-19, rapidly accelerated digital adoption and growth.

Even before the pandemic, the financial services industry was undergoing a radical transformation. From innovation in insurance and the democratization of investing to open banking and advances in artificial intelligence, fintech is driving change on a global scale.

In 2020, investment in fintech remained strong despite the pandemic, increasing by 14% from 2019. A host of companies completed IPOs, raising millions of dollars in investment. And many others, including Stripe, Chime, and Klarna, successfully rode the wave of venture capital funding. According to Market Data Forecast, the value of the global fintech market will reach $305 billion by 2025, growing at a compound annual rate of 22.17%.

As the industry continues to evolve at a frenetic pace, we wanted to create a go-to resource for the fintech community. Our goal was to gather all the must-know trends, essential industry data, and companies to watch in one comprehensive guide.

But we wanted it to be more than just a directory.

So we asked our vibrant community of fintech experts from leading companies like Citi Ventures, Level39, and UNIQA to share their insights and opinions. The result is a guide that you can rely on for access to the best insights from the brightest minds in fintech, packaged up in an easy-to-digest format.

We hope you find it valuable and that it helps you take advantage of some great opportunities.

📗 About the guide

Disruption Guides are an opportunity to learn about an industry from the people who are actively shaping it.

Over the years, we have been working closely with companies like Solarisbank, Moonfare, Paysafe, and many big European banks, and building an engaged community of experts, thought leaders, and great minds. Across the Disruption series of events and publications, they generously share their knowledge and experience on critical aspects of the industry to help others succeed. And Disruption Guide Fintech 2021 builds on that foundation.

Whether you’re a fintech startup looking for funding, a venture capitalist hunting down your next big opportunity, or an established player building on your success, this guide is designed to help you get ahead.

We've gathered insights and opinions from industry leaders to guide you through all aspects of the market. Get up to speed on everything from the fastest-growing startups and fintech unicorns to watch in 2021 to the technology and innovation trends shaping the industry.

In this guide, you’ll find expert insights, major trends, and essential data covering the fintech industry neatly divided into five categories: Money, Network, Insights, Technology, and Environment.

Partners

We created this guide in collaboration with specially selected partners. These organizations are committed to the development of the fintech ecosystem and supporting the next generation of world-changers.

Level39

level39-logo

Level39 is the world's most connected tech community. The organization provides support to fast-growth tech companies by linking them with talent, customers, and infrastructure. At its community workspace in Canary Wharf, London, businesses can access expert mentors, top events, and exclusive facilities.

Copenhagen Fintech

Copenhagen_Fintech_Logo_RGB

Fintech Copenhagen is a non-profit working to develop Copenhagen as a leading global fintech hub by supporting technology-led startups and corporate innovators. The organization develops research and education in fintech and collaborates with partners and members to build up the fintech ecosystem.

🧐 The fintech industry

As we look back over the previous year, the fintech industry shows no sign of losing its momentum. The most recent forecast, although pre-COVID, estimates the global fintech market will reach a value of $305 billion by 2025, a compound annual growth rate of 22.17%.

FinExtra shows that although 2020 was an uncertain year, the fintech industry finished strongly, with investment reaching a total of $44 billion, an increase of 14% from 2019. Despite fears over Brexit, the UK held onto the number one position for fintech investment in Europe.

The largest companies maintained substantial growth. Digital bank Chime achieved an increase in value from $1.3 billion to $5.8 billion in just nine months, reports Forbes. And among the private, venture-backed fintechs, companies like Stripe, Ripple, and Coinbase continued to dominate.

The impact of COVID-19 accelerated digital adoption, particularly benefiting companies offering online or mobile banking, payments, and investment or lending services. Fintech app usage grew by 72% immediately following the outbreak of the pandemic, while the top seven digital banks in the US saw a 39% increase in their cumulative user base over the year.

Elsewhere in the industry, embedded finance rose in prominence as US Big Tech companies Amazon, Google, Uber, and Facebook’s WhatsApp continued to pursue financial projects, sparking concern around competition and regulation.

And open banking started to make inroads. The UK saw open banking adoption rates double, with users among the big nine banks increasing from one million in January to two million in September. However, Nordic countries are making far greater progress. Almost half of all fintech businesses have developed new products or features based around the regulation only six months after PSD2 came into effect in the region.

🗳 Judging panel

Our panel of 15 professionals from the fintech community, including four experts from Netguru, voted in seven categories to highlight the top companies and people in the finance industry.

Egemen Edgu

Co-Head of Digital Disruptors, EMEA at Citi Private Bank

Egemen Edgu Citi

With a background in investment and private banking, Egemen leads EMEA Digital Disruptors for Citi Private Bank. Egemen builds value for digital entrepreneurs by building valuable connections across Citi and Citi's networks as well as helping them and their businesses prepare for the next stage.

LinkedIn

David Putts

Chief Growth Officer at Billon Group

David Putts Billon

David is a leader in blockchain / DLT and the former founding-CEO of new banking ventures in CEE – Inteligo and Equa bank. He started his career at McKinsey and has held leadership positions at Barclays and HSBC.

LinkedIn

Aditya Goel

Co-Founder at Stealth Fintech Company, Ex Head of Product and Expansion, US at Revolut

Aditya Goel Stealth

Aditya has spent over a decade in fintech and SaaS across the US and APAC as an entrepreneur, investor, and builder.

Aditya is currently the co-founder of a stealth fintech firm and previously headed US expansion for Revolut. Aditya completed his education at Wharton School and IIT Delhi.

LinkedIn

Rita Martins

Fintech Partnerships Lead at HSBC

Rita Martins HSBC

Rita leads fintech partnerships at HSBC, driving collaboration between fintechs and business SMEs. Her work in financial services spans more than ten years of experience and four countries, including roles at Ernst & Young and Accenture.
Rita is a blogger and a regular speaker at industry events.

LinkedIn

Mel Reyes

Independent CIO/CISO

Mel Reyes

Mel Reyes is an accomplished Enterprise Information Technology leader developing cohesive and scalable digital strategies. He has defined and delivered global IT strategies implementing cloud, SaaS applications, security, RPA, mobile, engineering, Agile development methodologies, and M&A solutions.

LinkedIn

Konstantinos Kalogerakis

Chief Innovation Officer at Crowdpolicy

Konsantinos Kalogerakis Crowdpolicy new

With more than 20 years of experience in banking (NBG, Piraeus Bank, Geniki Bank) and consulting roles (Kearney, PwC), Konstantinos is passionate about fintech and open innovation. He also serves as Vice Chairman of the Hellenic Blockchain Hub and is the Athens Chapter Leader of Bocconi Alumni.

LinkedIn

Wojtek Kostrzewa

CEO at Billon Group

Wojtek Kostrzewa Billon Fintech Guide

Wojtek Kostrzewa is the CEO of Billon and the chairman of the Polish Business Roundtable. Previously, he served as the CEO of ITI Group and banks Polski Bank Rozwoju and BRE Bank (today mBank). He also managed the activities of Commerzbank in Central and Eastern Europe.

LinkedIn

Melissa Cullens

Founder & CEO at Charette Studios

Melissa Cullens Charette Studios Fintech Guide

Melissa is a design professional with 15 years of experience connecting behavior, emotion, and mindset with innovative experiences. She is the CEO and founder of Charette – a design and strategy studio helping leaders achieve sustainable growth by creating the right products and resonant messages.

LinkedIn

Ritesh Jain

Cofounder at Infynit

Ritesh Jain HSBC

Ritesh is the Co-founder of Infynit – “Humanising Credit and Credit Cards” – and a former COO at HSBC. He is an entrepreneurial technology leader and board advisor with global experience across various sectors, including payments and banking. He led the future of payments for VISA and introduced Apple Pay, and built a wealth management company as a founder- CTO.

Presently, he is an advisor on open banking in the EU and Africa and also an advisor to Harvard Business Review (HBR), payment regulators, and government bodies for the initiative of social and financial inclusion. He is a member of MIT’s Global Tech Panel and a G20 initiative for financial inclusion. Past roles include mentor to the UK’s Parliamentary Digital Service and startups.

LinkedIn

Ilana Fass

VP Fintech Banking at Silicon Valley Bank

llana Fass Silicon Valley Bank

Ilana Fass is a vice president with Silicon Valley Bank’s Fintech team, where she partners closely with entrepreneurs, investors, and influencers across the national fintech ecosystem.

LinkedIn

Radek Zaleski

Partner at Netguru

Radek Zaleski Netguru Fintech Guide

Radek Zaleski is the Head of Outbound Sales at Netguru – the consultancy, product design, and software development company recognized for its growth by the Financial Times, Deloitte, and Forbes. Netguru offers consulting, tools, and resources to companies of all shapes and sizes to make beautifully designed digital products in a way that is fast and fits their needs.

As Netguru’s Head of Outbound Sales, Radek is responsible for developing, testing, and setting the active sales strategy executed by his team of Client Partners. Radek has over 15 years of experience in working on web projects, both for large corporate clients and as a CEO. Prior to joining Netguru, he spent five years working in the media industry and also held a leadership position at a gaming company, CD Projekt. Radek holds a master’s degree in Sociology from Jagiellonian University.

LinkedIn

James Varga

CEO & Founder at DirectID

James Varga directID

James founded DirectID in 2011 with a mission to create convenience, offering new products and services for businesses and consumers alike. James is active in a number of local and global efforts to help people do more online.

LinkedIn

Konrad Jarociński

Innovation Lab Manager at Netguru

Konrad Jarocinski Innovation Lab Manager Netguru

Konrad Jarocinski is a technologist, researcher, lecturer, and innovator. He helps industry leaders get their innovation strategies in place and scale their digital efforts to realize their full potential. With more than ten years of advisory experience under his belt, he has served more than 50 companies on four continents, ranging from Fortune 100-size companies to startups.

LinkedIn

Bartosz Białek

Design Department Manager at Netguru

Bartosz Bialek Netguru

As a design team manager, Bartek is responsible for the work and development of over 60 designers at Netguru, which provides consulting services in programming, systems integration, product design, and creating software solutions. Bartek enjoys creating things that not only look beautiful but also answer users’ needs and inspire others. He has co-founded startups and released his own products to eventually focus on consulting services. He’s fascinated with technology, social revolution, new media, and human interactions.

LinkedIn

Michal Popiel

Senior Fintech Expert at Netguru

Michal Popiel Netguru

Michal is an experienced digital strategist, hands-on UX designer, and team leader with a track record in crafting digital experiences for large-scale banks. Unfazed by ambiguity, he is comfortable taking a group through a journey of discovery.

LinkedIn

We wanted to ensure that this guide represents a balanced view of the fintech industry, so we sought external input from a variety of sources. A number of experts from leading companies kindly contributed their knowledge, perspectives, and insights to this guide, including Citi Private Bank, Billon Group, Stealth FinTech Company, HSBC, Crowdpolicy, Charette Studios, Infynit, Silicon Valley Bank, and DirectID. Their input was invaluable, and we would like to thank them for their support.

Making money in fintech

Every investment must have the potential to become a home run

Enrique Martinez Hausmann Speedinvest

Enrique joined the Speedinvest Fintech team in 2018. He works as an associate and focuses mainly on Southern Europe and developing economies.

Previously, Enrique worked in EY’s Transaction Advisory Services department, where he focused on FIG, as well as business development and product management roles at various startups in Berlin.

LinkedIn

Creating real connections

Listening is fundamental to making real connections

Melissa Cullens Charette Studios Fintech Guide

Melissa is a design professional with 15 years of experience connecting behavior, emotion, and mindset with innovative experiences. For seven of those years, she has been leading and building teams.

Before founding her innovation and design consultancy, Melissa led the reinvention of Vogue.com and the digital experience of SiriusXM, and she designed IRL experiences for IBM and some of the earliest iterations of AmericanExpress.com.

Most recently, she was a founding member of Ellevest, defining and designing the award-winning product experience, brand, and team as the company scaled.

Melissa is skilled in behavioral research, experience design, product strategy, and brand vision. She has a sense for what makes people tick – individually and as a community – and uses those insights to reimagine what a business can become.

LinkedIn

Diversity and inclusion are critical to growth

Amy French Level39

Amy French, Head of Level39, joined the team back in 2014 – quickly excelling to take leadership of a diverse community of 200 high-growth tech businesses. At Level39, she has been instrumental in forging partnerships between Level39 and global institutions, investors, academia, and government.

Under Amy’s leadership, Level39 supports the 1,000 entrepreneurs who call Level39 home. In her role, she oversees the growth strategy of the business, working closely with Level39’s parent company, Canary Wharf Group.

Amy is passionate about supporting founders and manages the delivery of curriculum and ecosystem activity to support Level39’s members to sign major contracts, hire top talent, win new business, and receive critical funding. Most recently, Amy has led the launch of Digital39, a platform bringing Level39's community online, connecting its entrepreneurs globally.

LinkedIn

Staying up to date in fintech

Look for accurate information from well-informed sources

Nicolas Kozakiewicz Worldline

Nicolas has 24 years of experience in innovation and R&D, half in big corporations and half founding, funding, and developing startups in Europe and Silicon Valley. Nicolas has led multinational engineering teams, from upcoming trends and technologies to business-applied revenue-generating services.

For the past few years, Nicolas has driven global R&D and innovation at Worldline, leading teams to focus, find, evaluate, prioritize, and drive to market disruptive technologies. He is also responsible for instilling innovation, igniting new services, and increasing performance and efficiency in the company’s portfolio. Nicolas joined Worldline in 2011 and holds an SW/HW engineering degree from EFREI, backed up by a startup specialized MBA course from HEC in France. Nicolas also belongs to the Expert group of Worldline as a Fellow.

Nicolas lectures on blockchain at prestigious schools like Columbia Edu, Polytechnique, Telecom ParisTech, Institut Mines-Telecom, and HEC.

LinkedIn

Reinventing customer experiences

Think about shaping the overall financial wellbeing of customers

Ritesh Jain HSBC

Ritesh is the Co-founder of Infynit – “Humanising Credit and Credit Cards” – and a former COO at HSBC. He is an entrepreneurial technology leader and board advisor with global experience across various sectors, including payments and banking.

He led the future of payments for VISA and introduced Apple Pay, and built a wealth management company as a founder- CTO. Presently, he is an advisor on open banking in the EU and Africa and also an advisor to Harvard Business Review (HBR), payment regulators, and government bodies for the initiative of social and financial inclusion.

He is a member of MIT’s Global Tech Panel and a G20 initiative for financial inclusion. Past roles include mentor to the UK’s Parliamentary Digital Service and startups.

LinkedIn

Winning at innovation is using creativity and new ideas to outcompete and outperform your competitors

Simon Schou Copenhagen Fintech

Simon is a truly passionate “Innovation System Builder” and has been building innovation systems and clusters of innovation in almost all industries for decades.

Simon is the chief innovation architect behind the creation of Copenhagen Fintech and Copenhagen Fintech Lab, which have transformed Copenhagen into a vibrant global fintech hotspot in the last four years.

LinkedIn

Data is the key to developing customer-centric solutions

Eric Mignot Simple

Eric Mignot joined Suez in 1994 as International Controller before becoming CFO of Lyonnaise des Eaux Latin America in Argentina.

After graduating from INSEAD MBA in 1998, he co-founded Certant, a digital consulting firm in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico, after raising $3 million from leading US private equity firms. Back in France, he headed the development of CaixaBank before merging it with Boursorama.

He was MD of Boursorama France for the successful launch of its digital banking activity in 2005. In 2010, he became MD of Hiscox Insurance company for five years before founding +Simple, the first digital insurance broker for SMEs, professionals, and sole traders.

LinkedIn

We will feel the impact of 2020 for years to come

Konsantinos Kalogerakis Crowdpolicy new

With more than 20 years of experience in banking and consulting roles, Konstantinos loves to create open, collaborative platforms to explore new business models and revenue-generating opportunities.

As Chief Innovation Officer at Crowdpolicy, a dynamic player in digital transformation initiatives for CivicTech fintech since 2012, Konstantinos develops open innovation programs, such as hackathons, bootcamps, and accelerators for the public and private sector. In parallel, he acts as the official PayPal partner in Greece for large new merchant accounts in e-commerce.

Before joining Crowdpolicy, Konstantinos worked at National Bank of Greece on a series of high-impact innovation projects from 2009 onwards, including startup competitions, digital branches, and the first fintech acceleration program and innovation lab in Greece in 2016, named “be finnovative.”

He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Athens University of Economics and Business and an MBA from SDA Bocconi. He is also Vice-Chairman of the Board at the Hellenic Blockchain Hub and Chapter Leader of Bocconi Alumni in Athens.

LinkedIn

🌟 Trend experts

We asked experts from the fintech community to share their predictions on the technology, innovation, and customer experience trends that will shape the fintech landscape in the coming year. Their insights can be found in Chapter 5 of this guide.

Aditya Goel

Co-Founder at Stealth Fintech Company, Ex Head of Product and Expansion, US at Revolut

LinkedIn

Angela Ceresnie

CEO at Climb Credit

LinkedIn

Bill Staikos

Host at Be Customer Led

LinkedIn

Bob Petrie

NAM Lead, D10X Innovation Program at Citi Ventures

LinkedIn

Christopher Kuehn

Chief Commercial Officer at GraphCMS

LinkedIn

David Noyce

Head of FS Engineering at Opus Una

LinkedIn

David Putts

Chief Growth Officer at Billon Group

LinkedIn

Enrique Martinez Hausmann

Associate at Speedinvest

LinkedIn

Huzeyfe Borazan

Co-founder at Finspire Technology Ltd

LinkedIn

Ian Yamey

Co-founder at Retirable

LinkedIn

Jordan Wexler

CEO at EarlyBird

LinkedIn

Katrina Elliott

Product Manager at Penta

LinkedIn

Ken Kruszka

CEO at SnapCheck

LinkedIn

Konrad Jarociński

Innovation Lab Manager at Netguru

LinkedIn

Konstantinos Kalogerakis

Chief Innovation Officer at Crowdpolicy

LinkedIn

Lars Markull

Business Development at Weavr

LinkedIn

Marc Folch

Senior Manager, Innovation Insights & Emerging Solutions at Interac Corp

LinkedIn

Nikolai Hack

Head of Strategy and Partnerships at Nucoro

LinkedIn

Petr Janda

CTO at Pleo

LinkedIn

Robin Nehring

Innovation Manager at Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf

LinkedIn

Ronak Ganatra

VP of Marketing at GraphCMS

Linkedn

Simon Schou

Chief Innovation Officer at Copenhagen Fintech

LinkedIn

Snehal Kukreja

Manager, Innovation at CIBC

LinkedIn

Somayeh Bagherbeygi

CEO & Cofounder at PresentID

LinkedIn

Stephanie Bowker

Head of Marketing at Spendesk

LinkedIn

Wojtek Kostrzewa

CEO at Billon Group

LinkedIn

Yvan De Munck

Director Client Success - Consumer Lending at Informa Financial Intelligence - FBX

LinkedIn

👉 Next chapter: Money

One guide. Five categories of essential information to help you get ahead in 2021


In this guide, you’ll find expert insights, major trends, and essential data covering the fintech industry neatly divided into five categories.
  1. Introduction

    About the guide
    Read the chapter
  2. Money

    Making money in fintech
    Read the chapter
  3. Network

    Creating real connections
    Read the chapter
  4. Insights

    Staying up to date in fintech
    Read the chapter
  5. Technology

    Reinventing customer experiences
    Read the chapter
  6. Environment

    Navigating the challenges ahead
    Read the chapter
  7. Endnotes

    Help us build the community
    Read the chapter