26 People-Centric Fintechs Featured in the Top LinkedIn Startup Lists

Efi Pylarinou
11 min readNov 9, 2023

We all love lists. I confess I couldn’t resist digging into Linkedin`s Top Startup lists published by Country.

Linkedin Top Startups in the: US, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands (Dutch & English), Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden (Swedish & English), Türkiye, the UAE and the UK.

I wanted to know which Fintechs made these lists, as their four criteria were different than the usual ones. Typically, we see Startup rankings based on funding, valuations, and growth metrics of all sorts — number of users, revenues, partnerships etc..

LinkedIn looks at Startups that are 5yrs old or younger and analyzes LinkedIn data focused on the people!

A reminder that in a people-centered economy, not in a task-oriented economy which is our current reality, people are assets for the business, and they are taken care of like any asset.

The Four LinkedIn people-centered pillars that are used to filter these `young` startups are:

  1. Employee growth
  2. Jobseeker interest
  3. Member engagement with the company and its employees
  4. How well these startups pulled talent from the LinkedIn flagship LinkedIn Top Companies list focused on showcasing the best places to work.

I picked these 5 countries — US, UK, Singapore, Brazil, and India — from the 20 countries that LinkedIn covered.

I`ve highlighted the Headcount when it is above 250 employees. If you aren’t curious to see which Fintech names made the list, at least in the countries that you are more familiar with, then skip to my Concluding remarks.

Looking through these lists that I`ve compiled, will give you a sense of the variety of problems Fintechs are solving in different parts of the world. Although some of them have expanded beyond their home headquarters.

Of the 50 Top Startups in the US, only 4 were Fintechs! Surprisingly low percentage.

The older one and the larger one by Employment headcount (605 people), is Ramp. Founded in 2019, Ramp powers the fastest-growing corporate card and bill payment platform in America, and enables tens of billions of dollars in purchases each year. Ramp’s customers span the full gamut of US businesses. It’s trusted by companies of all stages and sizes.

They say their mission is to help build healthier businesses, and it’s working: over 15,000 businesses on Ramp save an average 5% more and close their books 8x faster.

Full-time headcount: 605 | Headquarters: New York City | Year founded: 2019

Tapcheck was also founded in 2019 and is an EWA (Early Wage Access) platform enabling employers to offer their employees on-demand pay and financial wellness tools.

Full-time headcount: 150 | Headquarters: Dallas | Year founded: 2019

Sardine and Synctera are the other two Fintechs both founded in 2020 with roughly 100 employees.

Synctera is a Baas platform that expanded into Canada this year. They claim to offer a single set of powerful APIs, for companies to quickly launch and scale products such as debit cards, bank accounts, charge cards, lines of credit, and money movement.

Full-time headcount: 115 | Headquarters: Palo Alto, Calif. | Year founded: 2020

Sardine is a leader in financial crime prevention. Using unparalleled device intelligence and behavior biometrics, Sardine applies machine learning to detect and stop fraud. Over 250 companies use Sardine to prevent fake account creation, social engineering scams, account takeovers, bot attacks, payment fraud, and money laundering. For more information.

Full-time headcount: 100 | Headquarters: Miami | Year founded: 2020

Of the 20 Top UK Startups qualifying, 5 were Fintechs which is a sizable percentage.

Titanbay is a wealthTech serving focused on private markets and serving private banks and wealth managers.

Full-time headcount: 60 | Headquarters: London | Year founded: 2019

Zilch has been a payment BNPL Fintech that is planning to a Tech advertising platform. It allows retailers to offer “contextualised advertising deals” straight to customers through the vertically integrated payments app with immediate attribution, showing the direct conversion of ads to sales.

Full-time headcount: 228 | Headquarters: London | Year founded: 2018

Teya builds tools for SMBs to unlock hassle-free payments and manage their business better. They have recently partnered with Liberis, a UK leading embedded finance platform, to offer merchant financing to their clients. They have also expanded in Europe.

Full-time headcount: 2000 | Headquarters: London | Year founded: 2019

Wagestream improves the financial well-being of 3 million frontline workers, with a workplace finance platform built around their pay. It is offered as an employee benefit, from employers like Asda, Bupa, Crate & Barrel, Pizza Express

They recently acquired the UK Fintech, Keebo which is a credit-building service targeting the estimated 20m workers who fall into this category, including the self-employed, frontline and shift workers.

Open Banking and Financial Wellbeing is their way.

Full-time headcount: 130 | Headquarters: London | Year founded: 2018

Of the 10 Top Singaporean Startups qualifying, 6 were Fintechs and half of them are WealthTech.

Aspire (beware there dozens of companies with this name) Aspire is a finance operating system for growing businesses in SouthEast Asia.

It currently serves over 15,000 startups and SMBs in Southeast Asia, helping them save time and money with multi-currency accounts and cards, expense management, payable management, and receivable management solutions — all in one account.

Aspire has over 400 employees across four countries and is backed by global top-tier VCs, including Sequoia, Lightspeed, and Y-Combinator.

Full-time headcount: 435 | Headquarters: Singapore | Year founded: 2018

Thunes is a B2B company that powers payments for the world’s fastest-growing businesses — from Gig Economy giants such as Uber and Deliveroo and Southeast Asia’s super app Grab, to global Fintech leaders such as PayPal and Remitly.

With a single, simple connection, your business and customers can send payments to — and get paid in — every corner of the world. Instantly. Thunes supports 79 currencies, enables payments to 130+ countries, and helps businesses accept 300 payment methods.

Full-time headcount: 300 | Headquarters: Singapore | Year founded: 2016

(I am not sure why Thunes made it in the list since it was launched in 2016, so over 5yrs old)

YouTrip a multi-currency mobile wallet with a prepaid Mastercard that enables online and offline shopping. They are now focused on Singaporean businesses which do business in Southeast Asia.

By working with local currency exchange providers, the startup claims it’s eliminated foreign transaction fees and other “hidden charges” from overseas spending.

Its app also supports currency exchange for 10 currencies, including the Singapore dollar and U.S. dollar.

A woman-led Fintech that just raised $50m Series B.

Full-time headcount: 140 | Headquarters: Singapore | Year founded: 2018

Endowus: A MAS-regulated wealthTech (Robo-Advisor). A fee-only independent advisor with end-to-end digital solution for individual and institutional investors. Just raised $35million in funding.

Full-time headcount: 150 | Headquarters: Singapore | Year founded: 2017

Syfe is another WealthTech (Robo-Advisor) offering investment tools and strategies to democratize access to institutional grade methodologies and products.

Full-time headcount: 120 | Headquarters: Singapore | Year founded: 2019

ADDX is another wealthTech focused on offering access to private market investments leveraging the efficient fictionalization that is possible with blockchain technology.

ADDX has all the licenses required (from custody to financial invest.) from MAS and offers tokenized investments through their app.

Full-time headcount: 110 | Headquarters: Singapore | Year founded: 2017

Of the 20 Top Brazilian Startups qualifying, 8 were Fintechs! This is impressive as both the US and the UK are home to thousands of Fintechs and yet the number of Fintechs that made the people-centered list was lower.

Caju is a Corporate benefits Fintech that wants to transform how HR through technology. Brazilian labour law requires employers to provide monthly benefits to employees.

Caju also offers a Visa card to employees. As per Fintech Global, Caju grew last year to 190 employees after a $25mil Series B and now I see from the LinkedIn selection that they have over 300 people working for Caju.

Number of full-time employees: 305 | Headquarters: São Paulo | Year founded: 2019

Flash is in the same vertical as Caju. HR management and a card. Flash Expense allows companies to control expenses, reimbursements, and corporate travel. Flash People, which streamlines candidate onboarding.

I am reading about the multibillion-real market for meal vouchers and the conflicts around pending legislation on the portability of these vouchers.

Fintech can never escape from compliance and policies and regulations that are continuously changing and of course, differ across jurisdictions.

The number of employees at Flash is huge, and more than double that of Caju.

Number of full-time employees: 730 | Headquarters: São Paulo | Year of foundation: 2019

Cora is a leading Brazilian Fintech serving SMEs (cards and lending). According to the June Brazilian report there rae roughly 21 million SMEs in Brazil. Cora just reached 1 million SMEs and Nubank has reached 3 million SMEs.

Number of full-time employees: 400 | Headquarters: São Paulo | Year founded: 2019

Conta Simples also serves SMEs and solopreneurs which are close to 15 million in Brazil. Conta Simples, offers multi-card expense management software for the finance department.

Number of full-time employees: 255 | Headquarters: São Paulo | Year of foundation: 2018

Marvin is a B2B payments platform that enables merchants to use credit card receivables as a financial asset with which to pay their suppliers, thus unlocking credit for merchants and increasing sales for suppliers.

Marvin was the first Fintech to take advantage of a new Brazilian Central Bank framework for receivables in 2022.

Number of full-time employees: 50 | Headquarters: São Paulo | Year founded: 2021

Dr.Cash is a Fintech making credit accessible for medical, aesthetic, or dental treatments, among many others.

Number of full-time employees: 95 | Headquarters: São Paulo | Year of establishment: 2018

Kanastra is different than all the other Brazilian Fintechs in this list. They are a tech platform to enable Debt financing.

Kanastra’s solution offers a one-stop-shop solution for both the Fintechs and Originators themselves and finance providers. They recently raised $ 13 million in seed funding.

Number of full-time employees: 85 | Headquarters: Uberlândia (MG) | Year of establishment: 2022

Swap is a Baas provider with a mission to empower other Fintechs to create their own financial services based on cloud infrastructure and connected through APIs. These include payments, credit, wallets and digital accounts.

Number of full-time employees: 215 | Headquarters: São Paulo | Year of establishment: 2018

Of the 20 Top Indian Startups qualifying, 3 were Fintechs. This is similar to the UK.

Fi Money is one of the Indian neo-banking apps. This year they also partnered with Pocket HRMS, an Indian HR management software company, to offer digital tools to SMEs and large companies.

Full-time headcount: 400 | Headquarters: Bengaluru, India | Year founded: 2019

Jar is a habit-building micro-savings platform that helps users save fixed amounts from as little as ₹10. It is the Indian Acorns, offering the round-off method to effortlessly accumulate spare change from digital transactions and invest it in digital gold.

Jar also offers retail a flexible line of credit, starting at ₹1000, for financial emergencies.

Full-time headcount: 180+ | Headquarters: Bengaluru, India | Year founded: 2021

StockGro is a social investment platform focused on financial education.

This year StockGro was also included in the 2023 CB Insights’ Fintech 100 List. Remarkable as this list is with Fintechs from 24 countries and a pool of 19,000 companies.

Full-time headcount: 60+ | Headquarters: Bengaluru, India | Year founded: 2020

Concluding remarks

Through the LinkedIn People-centered Fintech lenses (a reminder of them below), it seems that the US would rank last amongst the four countries I picked — US, UK, Brazil, and India. Fewer US Fintechs make the list not only as an absolute number but mainly as a percentage. Brazil, a country with less than 1,000 Fintechs ranks very high. The US and the UK have thousands — 2021 estimates are close to 9,000 Fintechs operating in the US and 2,500 in the UK (these are Fintechs of all ages).

I view Singapore and Brazil ranking high, followed by the UK.

The Four people-centered pillars of LinkedIn filters of startups younger than 5ys, are:

  1. Employee growth
  2. Jobseeker interest
  3. Member engagement with the company and its employees
  4. How well these startups pulled talent from the LinkedIn flagship LinkedIn Top Companies list which is focused on showcasing the best places to work.

What struck me as I was doing the necessary research for this article, is how most Fintech LinkedIn company profiles descriptions are, generic, vague, and NOT at all up to date.

At the same time, although these LinkedIn lists are based on an atypical set of criteria, when we look at the Fintechs selected in each jurisdiction we are not surprised by their areas of focus. We saw many wealthTechs in Singapore, we found more Paytechs in the US, SME & credit-focused Fintechs in Brazil, very diverse Fintechs in the UK, and not at all surprised with the ones in India. Although I must say that StockGro is an exception especially because it was included in the CB insights list.

I was surprised by the high number of employees in several of the Brazilian Fintechs — like Caju, Flash, and Cora. Especially, with Flash which has 730 employees.

I thought that the 2,000 employees of Teya (that I have not heard of) was a typo (instead of 200), so I researched it. Only to find the AltFi article Exclusive: Meet Teya, the mysterious fintech unicorn formerly known as SaltPay

In Latin Teya, means Joy. I guess joy for small businesses and merchants.

Teya has already raised $1.2bn, with the latest Series C round of $345 million in November 2021. Let’s not forget that this is a Fintech (Called SaltPay initially) less than 5 yrs. old which claims 300,000 customers.

And from all the names of these Fintechs, the one that stands out is Dr. Cash! Which name stands out for you?

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Efi Pylarinou

№1 #Finance Global Woman Influencer by Refinitiv 2020 & 2019. Top Global #Fintech Influencer, Futurist, #AI, #Blockchain +: 30yrs FINANCE — https://linktr.ee/Ef