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Fintech Unicorns

Gilt statue of a unicorn on the Council House,...

Gilt statue of a unicorn on the Council House, Bristol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In January, we identified the billion-dollar fintech unicorns (post), but William Mougayar went deeper looking at the tech companies founded since 2000 valued at $250 million or more. He compiled a list of 235 companies around the globe. Seventeen of those (7%) we consider fintech (15 if you don’t count real estate specialists Zillow and Trulia). The list is not yet complete (more companies are being added by readers), but it’s an interesting data point.


  • Square has been the alpha unicorn (oxymoron?) since it burst on the scene five years ago. But it looks like Lending Club is closing the gap, valued at, $3.8 billion, just (!) $1.2 billion less. However, the peer lender seems to be on the rise and headed to an IPO, while media reports indicate Square may be struggling a bit to maintain its valuation and has scuttled its own IPO plans for this year.  
  • This is the first time we’ve seen Paydiant mentioned in the billion-dollar club, but we are not surprised.
  • Of the still-private companies listed here, all but two are Finovate alums (note 1). 

Table: Fintech companies valued at $250 mil or more (founded 2000 or later)

Company Finovate Alum? Founded Valuation
Square No 2009 $5.0 bil
Lending Club Yes 2006 $3.8 bil
Zillow No 2005 $3.8 bil (public)
Xero Yes 2006 $3.5 bil (public)
Klarna Yes 2005 $2.5 bil
Wonga Yes 2007 $2.0 bil
Stripe No 2011 $1.8 bil
LifeLock No 2005 $1.5 bil (public)
Trulia No 2004 $1.2 bil (public)
Paydiant Yes 2010 $1.0 bil
Climate Corp No 2006 $930 mil (acquired)
Braintree (Paypal) Yes 2007 $800 mil (acquired)
BazaarVoice Yes 2005 $540 mil
Cardlytics Yes 2008 $500 mil
Payfone Yes 2008 $500 mil
Prosper Yes 2006 $500 mil
Vitrue No 2006 $300 mil (acquired)

Source: (link), 20 April 2014


1. Come see the latest unicorn candidates at FinovateSpring next week (29 & 30 April 2014) in Silicon Valley.