Boom and Bust
Customers loved this online bank, and its generous rewards–which cost too much to sustain. It closed in 2013.
The small-business lender went public in 2014, validating a market for startups that provide high-priced but speedy credit to entrepreneurs.
This early Bitcoin startup was backed by the Winklevoss twins but came under regulatory scrutiny and shuttered in 2013. Its co-founder is now in prison for money laundering.
Charting New Territory
One of the most successful Bitcoin- related startups, this virtual currency exchange is backed by both VCs and banks.
The mobile payments company changed the way small businesses accept payments, but has also struggled with product setbacks and a much-rumored IPO.
Launched as a consumer payments company, in 2013 WePay turned to processing payments for crowdfunding sites–and it has soared ever since.
One of the earliest online lending innovators, it faltered under regulatory scrutiny but started a comeback in 2013, and is now worth $1.9 billion.
This “robo-adviser” is jockeying with Wealthfront, among others, to build a cheaper, more tech-reliant type of wealth-management firm.
Into Thin Air
A precursor to Mint.com, this personal-finance manager launched in 2006 but lost ground to its better-known competitor and closed down in 2010.
The five-year-old payment processor, valued at $5 billion, has gotten a lift from such customers as Facebook, Twitter, Apple, and Kickstarter.
Up Up and Away
With its 2014 IPO, the online loan marketplace cemented its role as leader of this fintech generation.
The mobile payments startup attracted buzz, and more than $30 million from high-profile investors, before pivoting products and hemorrhaging high-profile executives.
ZestFinance, which sells pricey consumer loans to people who can’t otherwise get credit, is expanding its data services to China–and is No. 192 on this year’s Inc. 500 list, with $51 million in 2014 revenue.
The small-business financing company, which provides relatively costly but fast cash advances, is No. 64 on this year’s Inc. 500 list, with $27.5 million in 2014 revenue.
FROM THE SEPTEMBER 2015 ISSUE OF INC. MAGAZINE