Global venture capital investment in financial technology has increased 223 percent over the past five years, starting at $930 million in 2008 and climbing to nearly $3 billion dollars this past year, according to a report from Accenture. This increase in fintech investment has outpaced total overall VC investments by a factor of four.
A number of factors have driven the high paced growth in the fintech sector. The financial crisis of 2008 caused escalated mistrust of the global banking system and has shrunk access to credit. And historically low interest rates left investors searching for higher returns on their non-monetary assets.
This has paved the way for financial technology firms to thrive. While global fintech funding has mostly been dominated by areas such as Silicon Valley, New York and London, these three companies are poised to put Chicago back on the map.
Fundology - Fundology creates a private securities marketplace, and uses a process management tool to make investing in a private company faster and more simple. They link both individual and institutional investors to private companies that need the capital. Fundology offers an innovative platform where investors can privately and securely screen these company’s financial data to see if they want to invest.
Kahuna Accounting - A subsidiary of Kahuna Business Group, Kahuna provides an innovative cloud-based accounting platform that allows startups to focus on their business rather than accounting. Kahuna’s Director of Marketing said, "Entrepreneurs don't want to spend their time bookkeeping. They need to focus their time on generating revenue. We make sure their bookeeping is taken care of and done right." Partnered with Xero, Kahuna’s mobile app enables you to track expenses, send invoices and run your business from the palm of your hand. Kahuna provides a unique solution, working collaboratively with entrepreneurs to ensure their accounting cycle is complete each month.
Bolstr - Founded in 2011, Bolstr has simplified the fundraising process for small businesses. Bolstr creates a marketplace for local business by selecting only the best and brightest through their own stringent process. Once selected, accredited investors have the opportunity to invest in these small companies and will earn healthy monthly returns based on revenue based payouts. Choosing only a select few Chicago businesses, Bolstr provides the opportunity for them to secure the capital they need in order to prosper, while providing investors an unique opportunity for great returns while seeing their favorite local business grow and succeed.