From its parks and breathtaking beaches along Lake Michigan to its beautiful skyline and superlative architecture, Chicago has plenty to offer. The city is also a bustling business hub, with the best fintechs in Chicago making their mark on the world.
Advancements in technology have led to the rise of fintech that supports the financial ecosystem, and Chicago, already a business mecca, is turning into a fintech hub. Benzinga’s guide to the top 10 fintechs in Chicago will help you learn more.
What is Fintech?
Fintech is a broad term that encompasses innovation and current technology in the provision of financial services. These new solutions involve the use of application platforms or systems.
Fintech companies concentrate on payments, investment portfolios, consulting and financing. The most popular are social trading platforms for investments and mobile app payment solutions.
10 Best Fintechs in Chicago
In our review of the top 10 fintechs in Chicago, we considered the products and services fintechs offer and the impact they have on their clients. We looked at the ability of fintechs to change and provide extra services that meet customers' needs.
Security of the products offered is a key factor in recommending the top fintechs in Chicago that ensures there's no breach in customers' data privacy. Integration with 3rd parties played a crucial role in the selection because some of the fintech companies provide solutions that enable users to access 3rd-party transactions. Fintechs are not only for consumers but comprise other players such as B2B and B2C companies.
1. Best Debt-Management Fintech: Beyond Finance, founded 2016
Beyond Finance is a fintech company whose main objective is to offer financial freedom to its clients through a transparent process that aims at offering tailor-made products to suit their needs. With Beyond Finance, users can save money and be in control of their debt situations. The company consolidates its clients’ debts into easy-to-manage installments.
The company has total funding of approximately $170 million in April 2021. Several events showcased Beyond Finance's determination to take its services to the next level. Some of these include being listed on AscendEX and its IDO launch on PolkaBridge. The company also introduced decentralized exchange for synthetic asset trading.
2. Best Credit Union Fintech: Alliant Credit Union, founded 1935
Alliant Credit Union is one of the oldest fintechs in Chicago and was voted the best overall credit union of 2020. This company boasts of more than 85 years in business and an asset base of $15 billion. With more than 550,000 members, Alliant Credit Union offers banking services with a great emphasis on safety and security. It has diversified its services to mobile and online banking for convenience.
In March 2021, Alliant expanded its vehicle lease initiative, which was powered by Credit Union Leasing of America (CULA). In the same month, the credit union selected Payrailz as its platform for artificial intelligence (AI) digital payments. The platform enables users to make payments, track balances and manage credit cards without much hassle.
3. Best Small-Business Support Fintech: SpotOn, founded 2017
SpotOn is one of the emerging fintech companies that helps small businesses realize their potential by providing tailor-made products to suit their specific needs. While SpotOn is headquartered in San Francisco, it has an office in Chicago as well as several other cities.
SpotOn offers a vibrant software solution that provides businesses with data and the right tools to market customer-oriented products effectively.
The SpotOn interface includes payments, analytics, loyalty, online ordering, registration and scheduling.
The company has continuously increased its capital base, and in September 2020, it raised $60 million in Series C funding from Dragoneer Investment Group and other investors. In August 2020, SpotOn acquired SeatNinja Inc. Currently, SpotOn’s total financing stands at $190 million.
4. Best Home Insurance Fintech: Kin Insurance Inc., founded 2016
Kin serves customers in the home insurance segment. Founded in 2016, it’s fully licensed to offer affordable home insurance products to property owners. Even though Kin’s headquarters is in Chicago, the company extends its scope of service to a vast region that includes Florida and California, which are prone to natural disasters like hurricanes and wildfires. The coverage consists of hurricane protection, condo insurance, flood, wildfire and earthquake protection.
In May, Kin raised $63.9 million in Series C funding from Allegis NL Capital and other investors. Kin noted that it would add more than 100 employees to its staff to service its vast clientele.
5. Best Money Transfer Fintech: Pangea Money Transfer, founded 2012
With its headquarters in Chicago, Pangea Money Transfer offers world-class money transfer services thanks to its global coverage covering more than 40 countries. Customers can benefit from real-time money transfers to their bank accounts, debit card deposits and cash pickup locations. Other advantages include no account maintenance fees and elimination of hidden fees or overdraft penalties.
The Pangea platform is technologically advanced to allow money transfers through a 3rd-party app.
Pangea has a total funding value of $32.7 million and 12 investors. In March 2021, the company was acquired by Enova International for an undisclosed sum, demonstrating that it's a blue-chip company that any investor would put money on.
6. Best Investment Portfolio Management Fintech: Halo Investing, founded 2015
Halo Investing is a modern fintech that offers a wide range of services to its clientele. It uses a highly advanced system that allows investors to access their investment portfolios from anywhere. The platform provides a marketplace approach where clients can get structured products instantly at the prevailing prices. As an investor, you can choose your portfolio and set your required expectations regarding returns and pricing.
Halo Investing has a total funding value of $15.1 million, and in June 2019, it benefited from $12 million capital in Series B funding. In the same month, it raised $11 million from William Blair Circle and Alliance Life in Series B funding.
7. Best Low-Cost Payments Processing Fintech: CardX LLC, founded 2013
CardX is a Chicago-based fintech that enables a business to accept card payments at no cost. The company works with technology in a way that the business can operate in a simple interface that a customer can use to pay with a credit card.
Customers can pay on your website quickly without redirection. CardX works with top companies in the private and public sectors and is the No. 1 fintech that offers solutions at zero cost. In August 2019, CardX secured $2 million in funding from Pace Financial Group for debt financing.
8. Best Online Brokerage Fintech: ThinkMarkets, founded 2010
ThinkMarkets is an online brokerage firm with a considerable asset base. The company provides several markets that include contracts for difference (CFDs) on equities, Forex, cryptocurrencies, indices and commodities. These markets are easy to access and connect different players in different market segments.
ThinkMarkets also offers trading tools such as Autochartist, trading central and VPS hosting. The company operates in Chicago and has hubs spread across other countries. The online brokerage firm is recognized by financial bodies such as the Australia Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA).
In May 2017, ThinkMarkets acquired Trade Interceptor.
9. Best Investing Platform Fintech: M1 Finance, founded 2015
M1 Finance is one of the best fintechs in Chicago. It offers an online investing platform that individuals can use when dealing with their investments. You can customize the platform depending on your needs and borrow funds depending on your portfolio. Therefore, M1 Finance is like a bank with ready products for its clientele.
The company prides itself on operating under lower fees, using innovative and better strategies that enable individuals to build wealth. M1 Finance total funding amounts to $173.2 million, and in April 2021, it raised $30 million from seed investors.
10. Best Investor Support Fintech: Morningstar Inc., founded 1984
Morningstar empowers individuals by offering customer-oriented products or services that enable them to access information and necessary tools for their investment. It’s one of the oldest fintech companies and has built a positive reputation in the more than 35 years it has existed.
The company also focuses on sustainable solutions that help in environmental protection by contributing to workable solutions. Morningstar has total funding of $91 million, and in March 2021, it raised $5 million from Axia8 Ventures and other investors.
Chicago: Home to the Best Fintechs
Certainly, Chicago is an emerging giant when it comes to innovation. It’s the home of many industries that spread to various sectors of the economy. Some of the top sectors are manufacturing, insurance, printing, transportation and publishing.
However, the fintech industry is emerging to be a game changer as technology takes shape. Customers can access products and services more quickly through the development of platforms that are easy to operate. If you would like to invest in fintech, Chicago is the place to be.
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