The 5 Hottest Finance Startups from 2014

Mattermark ranked the five fastest-growing finance startups from last year, and four of them happen to be bitcoin-related. Coincidence?

“Traditional payment methods are sluggish, costly, and insecure compared to bitcoin. This financial technology has the potential to revolutionize the economy and make it more efficient,” says Julia Patterson, communications manager at BitPay (ranked #4).

Meanwhile, Xapo (#2) is finding demand for bitcoin outside the United States. “We are seeing a lot of growth in emerging markets with customers that do not have any other way to spend digitally,” says founder and CEO Wences Casares.

Developers are also taking an interest in bitcoin. “One of the things we’re most excited about is the amount of developer interest in bitcoin,” says Adam White, VP of business development and strategy at Coinbase. “In June 2015, the number of Github repositories referencing Bitcoin surpassed 6,000; by comparison, there were only 2,300 repositories referencing PayPal.”

Here are the top finance startups from the report:

1. Coinbase

Growth score: 1724

Mattermark says: “According to CEO Brian Armstrong, Coinbase, the Bitcoin wallet and exchange company, has 1.7 million accounts. Coinbase plans to expand into 18 European countries in the near future.”

2.  Xapo

Growth score: 1594

Mattermark says: “Xapo received a $20M Series A investment to build a secure, insured vault for bitcoins. It is poised to follow the bitcoin industry’s exponential growth trajectory.”

3. BTCJam

Growth score: 1471

Mattermark says: “BTCJam is a bitcoin-based peer-to-peer lending service that bypasses restrictions on fiat currencies – making credit accessible while promoting safe returns to investors. BTCJam has funded over $5M in loans for people in over 100 countries.”

4. BitPay

Growth score: 1295

Mattermark says: “BitPay, a bitcoin payments processor, services more than 53,000 merchants. . . To accommodate higher adoption rates in European countries, BitPay opened in Amsterdam in September 2014.”

5. Avant

Growth score: 1269

Mattermark says: “Avant offers personal loans, from its own capital, to qualified borrowers in nearly 50 states. Avant will use their $75M Series C investment and $300M credit facility to hire and expand its loan portfolio through customer acquisition activities.”

Mattermark ranked the fastest-growing finance startups of 2014 based on their Mattermark growth score, which takes into account monthly unique website visitors, weekly mobile downloads, social media metrics, number of employees, and equity funding. The results, along with a wealth of other data on the fastest-growing startups, regions, and industries, are reported in the 2014 Startup Traction Report (get it for $99).

Mattermark’s 2014 Startup Traction Report uses data from public sources like Crunchbase, AngelList, NASDAQ, the SEC, and the White House Office of Management & Budget, as well as private relationships they have with investors and entrepreneurs. Everything was measured for the 2014 fiscal year, which covers October 2013-September 2014.

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Written by:
Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact
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