An Analysis Reveals “Top” Privately-Held FinTech Companies—Including Those in Blockchain. The List May Surprise You

Will you agree with these rankings? Plus, we discuss why this matters.

By Leslie Quander Wooldridge

The world of fintech, a sector combining financial services with technology, is hot. And as the space is putting off metaphorical flames, sources predict the sector will continue to grow.

You see, many fintech companies, which can include investment and cryptocurrency platforms as well as payment and banking apps, have been generating lots of revenue and attention. And several companies have gone public in the last year alone, including Coinbase.

But privately held companies are still raking in their share of the market, and capturing the attention of financial outlets like Forbes, which released its Fintech 50 list earlier in 2021 to look at privately held companies in the space. To even qualify for the Fintech 50, “startups must have either headquarters or substantial operations in the U.S. and be private as of the date of publication,” Forbes reported, with Coinbase falling from the list (like six other previous honorees) after going public. 

Also of note: There were 20 “first-timers” on that 2021 list. And with cryptocurrency gaining more attention and a larger market cap in 2021, companies in the digital asset space in particular are firmly represented. 

So why should you care about this kind of ranking? It’s not like you can own stock in these companies, since they’re private. And we wouldn’t tell you how to feel, of course. 

But, these sorts of rankings can be worth noting, in part, because they can show the growth and strength of the fintech market and the companies in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space. Moreover, it underscores the power of blockchain technology and the impact that cryptocurrency is having on the financial sector and even beyond.

Plus, with the cryptocurrency total market cap itself hovering around $3 trillion as late as November 2021, the space, and its companies, are poised for even more attention and influence. 

So with publicly held entities removed from the researched rankings, which remaining Forbes ranked fintech companies came out on top?

If you’re wondering about where that oft-mentioned company named after a folktale legend is ranked—cough, sounds like Bobbinwood—as well as the ranking of blockchain focused-companies, we’ve got the info.

Ready? Here’s that analysis of data. Utility Bidder, which seeks to help businesses find utility deals, analyzed the 50 fintech companies on the Forbes 2021 Fintech 50 on four factors: Total funding raised, per Forbes; latest known valuation, per Forbes; number of Twitter followers as of September 9, 2021; and number of annual global searches between August 2020 and July 2021, per Google Ads Keyword Planner. 

And what’s really cool is that it released a list of the “biggest and most influential” businesses based on this info. 

Here are the top 10 companies, per Utility Bidder’s analysis.

Notably, three of these top 10 companies—Kraken, Gemini, and BlockFi—are categorized as blockchain and bitcoin companies, and Robinhood, ranked first, offers some cryptocurrency features. Another fact: Robinhood also was the most searched for company (with over 28 million searches in 12 months), and raised the greatest VC funding with $5.6 billion (though this came after that GameStop debacle). 

As for the most influential blockchain companies, here’s what Utility Bidder found. 

So there you have it. Do you agree with these rankings? 

As the year begins to close, what is clear is that privately-held companies in the crypto and blockchain space are continuing to have an impact in the fintech sector. And more growth looks likely. 

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