41 San Francisco Fintech Companies Building the Future of Finance

When it comes to fintech, place rivals the San Francisco. Check out these Bay Area fintech innovators.

Written by Sam Daley
Published on May. 15, 2024
41 San Francisco Fintech Companies Building the Future of Finance
​ Image: Shutterstock ​

San Francisco is undoubtedly world leader in fintech innovation. The Bay Area has become synonymous with financial innovation because of its fertile ecosystem of multi-billion dollar unicorns, recently developed startups and everything in between. Whether it’s banking software, money transferring tools, progressive credit reporting or insurance, San Francisco has the experience, talent and passion to innovate.

Check out Bay Area’s leading fintech companies making their mark on the future of finance.

Fintech Companies in San Francisco to Know

  • Chime
  • Cash App
  • Clover Network
  • Faire
  • Opendoor
  • Next Insurance
  • Truework
  • Personal Capital
  • Credit Karma 

 

Founded: 2009

What they do: Block provides financial services and offers an integrated suite of technology solutions. Its products include Square, which features commerce solutions for sellers, Cash App, for streamlining stocks and bitcoin investments, TIDAL, made to support artists as entrepreneurs and TBD, an open-source platform designed to increase access to the global economy.

 

Founded: 2015

What they do: Navan’s corporate travel and expense management solutions have uses for small businesses all the way through global enterprises. For example, its platform provides real-time insights on corporate card spending and employee reimbursements, which can drive policy and business decisions. Navan started out as a corporate travel platform, but through acquisitions and the incorporation of advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, it has since grown into a “multi-faceted business solution.”

 

Founded: 2006

What they do: Adyen is payment platform that allows client companies to take payments online and in person. Its platform accepts card payments, digital wallets and more from consumers while enabling its customers with end-to-end payment capabilities and data-driven insights. Adyen partners with enterprise giants like Microsoft, eBay and Uber.

 

Founded: 2013

What they do: Cash App started as a peer-to-peer instant money transfer service and has grown into a financial institution that serves over 50 million users with features like paycheck deposits, loans and tax filing. By increasing access to financial services across the spectrum of socioeconomic status, Cash App seeks to democratize the financial services industry.  

 

Founded: 2013

What they do: Chime is a mobile banking app that gives users perks like no hidden fees, early direct deposit and automatic savings. The banking app gives users the ability to track account balances, receive instant transaction alerts and even transfer money to friends. Meanwhile, in order to build up a substantial passive savings over time, Chime’s automatic savings tool deposits either the roundup amount of the nearest dollar for each transaction or will transfer 10 percent of every paycheck.

 

Founded: 2017

What they do: Faire operates a wholesale marketplace designed for independent retailers and boutiques, helping put in-demand products in the hands of top small business owners. The marketplace features wholesale prices on inventory ranging from home decor to jewelry, beauty and wellness products and paper goods, with Net 60 terms available to ensure retailers have access to products while keeping their margins in check. 

 

Founded: 2014

What they do: Opendoor is dedicated to making the home buying and selling processes easier for all parties involved, operating a digital, end-to-end process that unifies all parties and eliminates unexpected costs and confusion. Trusted by over 85,000 buyers and sellers to date, Opendoor allows users to browse homes, request offers on their properties, review pricing, access financial resources and connect with agents, vendors and builders — all within a single platform. 

 

Founded: 2016

What they do: Next Insurance makes it simpler for small businesses of all kinds to acquire the specific insurance coverage they need with less worry and more peace of mind. Coverage options from the provider include general liability, business insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, commercial auto, tools/equipment insurance and more, streamlining the time it takes for businesses to become secured.

 

Founded: 2017

What they do: Truework offers a streamlined verification platform that removes the largest pain points from the sharing of sensitive information and enables a smoother onboarding experience across use cases. With tools for employers, verifiers and employees all available through the platform, Truework features solutions for verifying employment status, income, lending status and more in a format designed for modern business and built on data transparency.

 

Founded: 2009

What they do: Personal Capital, located within Redwood City, utilizes technology to help people manage their wealth and take control over their long-term finances. The platform provides access to powerful tools like a retirement planner, net worth tracker, investment checkup and more, with experienced financial advisors and a convenient mobile app available for streamlined saving.

 

Founded: 2015

What they do: Finix helps SaaS businesses, marketplaces, ISVs and marketplaces of all kinds reduce the time and headaches that typically come along with bringing payments in house. Featuring an infrastructure-as-a-service platform with tools for payment facilitation, push-to-card disbursements and additional professional services, Finix is committed to exceeding global data security standards while adapting to ever-changing regulatory requirements.

 

Founded: 2012

What they do: Affirm is a fintech company that partners with more than 2,000 online stores to offer buyers flexible installment loan payment options. Instead of making expensive, one-time payments up-front for everything from shoes to furniture, consumers can use Affirm’s payment plans to gradually pay off their purchases over a 6-18 month period. The fintech unicorn has partnered with well-established brands, like Peloton, Adidas, Molekule, Rad Power Bikes and YETI, to offer flexible payment options for their products.

 

Founded: 2016

What they do: Ethos is a life insurance company using big data and technology to offer affordable, individualized policies. After choosing coverage options (debt, mortgage, income, education, etc.) and filling out a short questionnaire, policy seekers are presented with options that are customized based on each need.    

 

Founded: 2011

What they do: Wefunder is a fintech platform set on shaking up the world of investing. Specifically, the company encourages — and makes it easy for — everyday people to invest as little as $100 in startups that aren’t yet publicly traded, giving small businesses access to capital (and a whole bunch of people who will be rooting for their success). 

 

Founded: 2002

What they do: Freedom Financial Network is a family of financial brands backed by industry experts that offer individualized advice, education, and customer-centric solutions for debt settlement, personal and consolidation loans, mortgage loans or a combination. The company's goal is to help every day Americans move forward toward financial freedom.

 

Founded: 2013

What they do: TrueML uses machine learning to streamline debt collection. The platform connects millions of data points to predict a consumer’s reaction to communication frequency, timing and content. Once a profile is built on a consumer, the platform will generate omni-channel messages and will track which messages a consumer interacted with and determine a course of action for collecting debts from there. 

 

Founded: 2012

What they do: Coinbase is a digital currency platform that allows users to buy, sell and manage their cryptocurrency portfolios. The company gives users insights into real-time and historic pricing, time-delayed storage vaults for security and the ability to set up recurring buys to passively build portfolios. Coinbase offers users the ability to buy and sell hundreds of cryptocurrencies, including popular currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, Monero and Dash.

 

Founded: 2007

What they do: PitchBook’s platform provides comprehensive news, analysis and data to the private equity and VC industries. The company’s data includes research and analysis on companies, funds, deals, investors and service providers across the entire investment lifecycle that helps investors to make more informed decisions.

 

Founded: 2007

What they do: Credit Karma is a free credit monitoring and financial management service that allows users to discover their credit scores, file their taxes and access educational financial resources. Designed with regular people in mind, the service simplifies various financial management processes in order to help more people achieve financial health.

 

Founded: 2010

What they do: Located in the Sunnyvale area, Clover Network operates an open-network point-of-sale network that helps small-to-medium sized businesses run their businesses more efficiently. Created for food and beverage, retail and service-based businesses alike, Clover Network features support for payments, invoicing, employees, gift cards, online ordering and virtual terminal creation, with mobile POS hardware and powerful analytics available so businesses can continue to optimize efficiently.

 

Founded: 2020

What they do: Alt is innovating the ways in which people keep track of their investments, focusing on providing valuation of alternative assets like sports cards. The platform makes it simple to understand the valuation of assets in real time and facilitate trades with other users, with liquidity and loan-against-portfolio services available from Alt as well.

 

Founded: 2016

What they do: Better.com has streamlined the mortgage and real estate process to eliminate unnecessary steps, hidden fees and time-wasting appointments. The company’s platform includes zero commission fees, instant loan estimates and transparent step-by-step insights into where you are in the real estate process. Better.com matches clients with real estate agents who can best suit each client’s individual needs. To date, Better has funded more than $19 billion in loans.

 

Founded: 2014

What they do: Afterpay is a “buy now, pay later” platform that allows customers to purchase and receive products, then pay them off over installments. The platform allows buyers to pay four interest-free installments on purchases from brands like Adidas, Fenty Beauty, Ulta, Marc Jacobs and DSW.

 

Founded: 2014

What they do: Bolt is a checkout experience platform helping e-commerce companies to use 1-click checkout processes to boost customer conversion and retention rates. The company’s platform eliminates unnecessary checkout fields, automates contact information insertion and has 100% coverage on fraud chargebacks. Bolt is currently being used by well-known e-commerce brands, like Dita, Akira and Polywood, to process and manage online payments.

 

Founded: 2015

What they do: Varo is a mobile banking app featuring no-fee accounts, high-interest savings accounts and personal loans. With the app, users have access to more than 55,000 ATMs at no extra cost, no foreign transaction fees, no monthly charges and they can get their paycheck two days earlier through direct deposit. Varo savings account holders have the opportunity to save up to 2.8% APY without the burden of having to make certain purchases or maintaining a minimum balance.

 

Founded: 2018

What they do: Figure provides consumer financial solutions to help users access cash using equity. The company leverages blockchain and artificial intelligence to help users access home equity lines of credit, lower-rate mortgage refinancing and personal loan alternatives. Figure’s loans are generally used for home improvements, debt consolidation and even retirement planning.

 

Founded: 2012

What they do: Blend is a software-based platform helping lenders speed up and simplify applications for loans and mortgages. The platform cuts processing times by up to 50% with tools like omnichannel customer engagement, automated risk management features and AI for application analysis and prediction. The Blend platform is used by global banks, like Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank, to process more than $2 billion in loans each day.

 

Founded: 2011

What they do: Metromile is a car insurance company designed for low mileage drivers. Instead of traditionally paying a rigid fee each month no matter if you drive thousands of miles or your car sits in the driveway, Metromile bases their plans on car usage. The company charges a base fee as low as $29 a month and then charges drivers six cents per mile driven in the month. On average, Metromile has saved customers $741 a year.

 

Founded: 2009

What they do: Recurly is a financial platform specifically designed for subscription-based services. The company’s platform uses machine learning to improve billing continuity and decrease user churn, so subscription services can focus on their product and maximize revenues. Sling, Twitch, and BarkBox are just a few of the major subscription-based companies that use Recurly’s platform to manage their complicated billing processes.

 

Founded: 2017

What they do: Brex is a credit card specifically designed for startups and tech companies of all industries and sizes. The card features 10-20x higher credit limits than traditional cards, automated expense reporting and spending analysis and uncapped rewards points. Recently incorporated startups and larger tech companies, such as Boxed, SoFi and Carta, use Brex to manage their company expenses.

 

Founded: 2010

What they do: InvestCloud’s customizable digital platform helps investors and asset managers to craft unique digital experiences for themselves and clients. The platform, which handles more than $2 trillion in assets, contains hundreds of different apps that help to give investors unique looks into financial markets, while still providing intuitive design and secure encryption.

 

Founded: 2012

What they do: Credible is a multi-lender marketplace that allows for loan seekers to sift through competitive offers to choose the plan that best suits their needs. Platform users seeking anything from student loan refinancing to mortgages fill out a short questionnaire, and will receive pre-qualified offers from up to 10 lenders. Credible also released a credit card recommendation platform that takes spending, credit scores and other factors into account in order to recommend a credit card that optimally suits each individual need. 

 

Founded: 2012

What they do: Aura provides credit-building loans to underbanked or low income communities. Instead of relying on credit score alone, Aura takes into account several other factors when issuing a loan and provides borrowers with personalized financial information to make sure they take concrete steps to improve their scores. To date, Aura has reported that the average borrower’s credit score rose by 312 points from the first to the second loan.  

 

Founded: 2012

What they do: Snapdocs is a real estate tech company that helps people involved in a real estate closing work better together through integration and automation. The company is building a network and platform to remove friction among these different participants and deliver a perfect closing. Snapdocs is designed to adopt digital closings at scale, automate real estate closing workflows and provide confidence at every step of the closing process.

 

Founded: 2012

What they do: Ripple uses blockchain to streamline global money transfers. RippleNet connects banks and payment providers to provide lower cost transfers with minimal processing times. By using blockchain, Ripple is able to process and transfer liquidity across a variety of global currencies (like Euros, USD and Japanese Yen) in seconds. 

 

Founded: 2013

What they do: LendingHome offers flexible, short-term bridge loans for real estate investors looking to finance the purchase and rehab of an investment property. By offering short-term mortgages with interest rates starting at 7.5%, the company’s loans offer greater liquidity and scalability than traditional loans. To date, LendingHome has financed over 20,000 investment projects and has loaned more than $4 billion to rehabbers.

 

Founded: 2015

What they do: Tally is a financial automation platform that helps users manage multiple credit card payments and debt. The Tally platform analyzes all personal credit card balances and interest rates, as well as payments to run a credit check. Once the credit check is complete, Tally will issue a credit line with a low APR to help automatically and incrementally pay off card debt.

 

Founded: 2014

What they do: Synapse is a platform that allows for fintech companies to build and launch products. Businesses looking to develop new products safely and efficiently use Synapse to  design everything from platforms that issue loans and credit cards to apps that send wire payments and even maintain savings accounts. 

 

Founded: 2009

What they do: Tradeshift is a cloud-based fintech platform that assists supply chain buyers and suppliers. The company’s platform helps supply chain parties manage invoices, payments and procurement all in one place.  

 

Founded: 2012

What they do: CircleUp is an investment platform that uses data and capital to drive growth in emerging consumer brands. The company’s machine learning collects millions of data points to evaluate brand performance, finances and products, which gives investors insights into everything from brand positioning to projected revenue growth. CircleUp has worked with brands like Halo Top, Beyond Meat and Rhythm Superfoods to connect them with the optimal investors.

 

Founded: 2013

What they do: Earnest uses a wider range of data points to issue both personal and student loans at lower rates. The company’s platform takes nontraditional factors, like savings habits, investments and career path trajectory, into account when offering personal loans. Then, their Precision Pricing™ tool uses a budget to determine unique rates and terms for each student loan. 

This article was originally published in 2019. Margo Steines, Ashley Bowden and Sara B.T. Thiel contributed to reporting for this story.

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