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[CHART] The Fintech 250: These Startups Are Transforming Finance And VCs Are Loving It

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CB Insights recently released their second annual Fintech 250, their list of 250 of the top fintech startups who are transforming the financial services industry through software and technology.

2018 FINTECH 250 INVESTMENT HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Unicorns: 30 of the Fintech 250 companies have become unicorns by reaching a valuation of $1B or more
  • Funding Trends: Since 2017, these 250 private companies have raised $31.85B across 373 deals.
  • Mega-rounds: From 2013 – 2018 YTD (10/16/18) there have been 83 mega-round ($100M+) equity investments to this year’s Fintech 250, with 33 of them in 2018 YTD. This year’s cohort has already seen more mega-rounds in 2018 YTD than 2017’s Fintech 250 list in all of 2017, with 23 mega-rounds investments.
  • Outside the US: 44% of the 2018 Fintech 250 are based outside the US. The UK is home to the most Fintech 250 companies outside the US, followed by India.
  • Top VC Investor: Ribbit Capital is the top investor in Fintech 250 companies, having backed companies on the list including new 2018 unicorns, Nubank, Revolut, and PolicyBazaar as well as returning Fintech 250 companies RobinhoodWealthfrontGustoCoinbaseCross River Bank, and Upgrade.
  • Top Deal: Ant Financial raised an unprecedented $14B Series C in Q2’18 that included General Atlantic, Warburg Pincus, GIC, Sequoia Capital China, Silver Lake Partners, T. Rowe Price, Temasek Holdings, and Primavera Capital Group, among others.
  • Most well-funded: Ant Financial is also the most well-funded company on the Fintech 250 list having raised approximately $19.1B across 4 investments.

SINCE THE 2017 FINTECH 250:

  • 2017 vs. 2018 quick stats: 2018’s list has seen more equity investments and venture funding in 2018 than 2017’s list saw last year.
  • 2017 Fintech 250: 2017’s Fintech 250 list saw 22 exits, 11 through IPO and 11 through M&A.

Check out the full list here.

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Over One-Third Of Americans Ignore Their Brilliant Business Ideas. Here’s Why You Shouldn’t

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An overwhelming number of Americans who’ve considered launching their own business shied away from doing so. With a crazy lot of opportunities out there, most of them stopped chasing their business idea due to a large number of reasons – lack of capital, blamed inertia, fear of bankruptcy, or even their age.

Let’s be honest – entrepreneurship isn’t easy. It takes an incredible amount of time, effort and drive. With that said, there’s never a better time to start your business than now. Not next week, not next month – but now. Here’s why you should.

You can take the risk.

If you never try, you’ll never know. There’s going to be a time when you’ll eventually get to “If only..” and that might throw a lot of regrets your way. With every risk you take, you’re constantly learning and you can always, always recover from them over time.

Of course, you have the money!

Let’s face it – there’s never going to be ample or enough capital. Entrepreneurs are always going to need more. The trick is to do more with less – think: less time, less overhead costs, less staff. Despite the crazy cost-cutting ideas you have, if the money still doesn’t meet the mark – change your business plan.

You can create anything – even beam heat to space. The ability to create anything you want shouldn’t be lost while running it across a string of approvers or bureaucratic hurdles. Got a big idea jotted down? Figure out a way to make it work. Network, research, chalk out a solid business plan, splurge your creative skills, let people know what you’re doing, but make it happen.

Related: Raising Startup Capital: 4 Funding Sources You Can Bank On

Acquiring customers has not been easier.

With super useful marketing tools, social media and analytics, the farthest you need to get to are a few clicks.

It’s possible (and cost-efficient) if you plan it right.

With some of the best software at hand, nearly everything can be set up quickly and sometimes free. Crawl the internet for credible sources to help you out when you’re stuck. You can seek advice from specialized company formation agents who can help you out with legal and other bureaucratic hassles, so you focus on driving your business.

It’s super easy!

Many who look to take the plunge just stall simply because everything seems overwhelming or difficult. Here’s what’s surprising: it’s not. What’s more, this Inc piece tells you how you can set up your business in two or three hours.

What’s holding you from realizing your business goals?

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Here’s How Microsoft’s CEO Runs A Meeting #BossUp

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So how do you run a meeting effectively?

Satya Nadella, CEO of billion-dollar behemoth Microsoft, is known for keeping his meetings concise and to the point, always telling his employees to skip pointless talking points that waste their time. 

According to Doodle’s 2019 State of Meetings report, the cost of poorly organized meetings in 2019 will reach $399 billion in the U.S. and $58 billion in the U.K.

When Nadella took over Microsoft, the company was going through an identity crisis. The company was lethargic and had almost lost its innovative edge. 

But in the years since, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has transformed more than the stock price.

One way he did so was by transforming Microsoft’s meeting culture. 

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal a few years ago, Nadella shared his three-rule method for better meetings. Here’s how it went.

Listen more (two ears, one mouth)

Nadella says listening to your team helps provide an environment where one they feel comfortable expressing their ideas, and sharing their problems and even their mistakes. 

This is valuable data that will help you guide your team in the most effective way possible.

Talk less.

You can talk less by asking more questions, not rambling, drawing out quieter members by asking for their opinion, and staying on time. If you find you talk too much, ask yourself how important it is to the overall message of the meeting. Biting your tongue can make the meeting more efficient. 

Be decisive when the time comes

Remember, it’s great to talk less and listen more, but that won’t get you anywhere if you don’t assign tasks and follow through. 

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How To Get Team Members On The Same Page: 5 Tactics To Follow

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(Editor’s Note: The following article is a guest post by superstar entrepreneur and tech investor Jonathan Schultz.)

No matter how advanced artificial intelligence gets, we will always need humans to bring their organization’s vision to life. But, how do we bring people on board that can really, truly live and breathe that same vision? What is the secret sauce to getting team members on board without having to twist their arm? Let’s find out.

The biggest thing to take into consideration is that different people are influenced by different things. There is not a one-size-fits-all method that will get everyone on board with new ideas and plans. Here are a few ways to get your team members on board:

1. LISTEN TO THEM & LEARN FROM THEM

You need to understand where the biggest issues and concerns within your company lie. You have to create opportunities for people to engage directly. To feel empowered. To move in the direction that allows them the ability to make decisions. You will never win over any team members by making hasty assumptions, so get down to the facts and ask the hard questions, listen to the answers and learn from the feedback you are getting. You can’t do every job at your company —so stop trying to!

2. BE RELATABLE

Don’t just tell people what you want to do and what you plan to do, give specific reasons for each. There’s a reason why MLK and Gandhi were able to get crowds everywhere they went. Remember — people aren’t following you for who you are, they’re following you for what you believe. Talk about what motivates you, your experiences, who you really are and what you believe in.

You need to show your team a vulnerable and human side so they can relate to you —and then relate to themselves. If your team can understand where you are coming from, they will follow you to the depths of … wherever you go. Be a leader!

3. TAP INTO EMOTIONS

Emotions certainly have a place in business – a very important place, honestly. It’s where most important decisions manifest from. As much as we think we’re thinking from our heads —the reasons why intuition and “that’s a gut feeling” exist is because it’s coming from an emotional place. If you are genuinely passionate about your team and your business and you are invested in your ideas, your team will feel that, and so will your customers. Do not hold back.

4. ALWAYS BE CONSISTENT

Your message should never alter. Maybe you pivot, but you need to say what you mean and mean what you say. While your tone may change and your approach may change, your central message should always be consistent. The idea is not to just spout off what you think the audience wants to hear, but to tell them what they need to hear in an honest and professional way. And, allow feedback to come back in the same manner. This is not personal —this is progress. Leaders will win over their them by being transparent and saying things in a way that people can hear.

5. MAKE AN IMPACT THAT MATTERS

What you say and do should be aligned with your company’s purpose and goals. You need to make it very clear to your team members how they play into the bigger picture. Remember, without them, there is no picture. When you narrow your focus on purpose, you establish common ground that many people can get behind and support.

These five tips will help you get your full team on board with your vision. Stay honest, be true to your values and make sure your team knows that they are vital and the reason for the company achieving its goals. As we say, there’s no “I” in “team”.

Jonathan Schultz is an entrepreneur, real estate tech investor and influencer. He’s the co-founder of Onyx Equities, a leading private equity real estate firm, and has been voted one of the most powerful people in real estate. Follow Jon’s blog here

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