The FinTech sector has benefited from forced changes in behaviour during lockdown, as even traditional High Street customers have been pushed towards mobile and online banking, and other services such as money management.

Business customers, meanwhile, have also looked towards new digital solutions in areas such as payments, banking, and asset management, either to enable business continuity or to offer new services to millions of home-based customers.

Yet 2020 has still been a tough year for the sector. Major economies have tipped into recession, with the UK worst hit among its key trading partners. As previously reported, Q1 was one of the worst quarters for FinTech investment, and while funding rebounded quarter on quarter in Q2, overall deal activity continued to fall.

Glimmers of hope could be seen in the flurry of FinTech IPO filings that took place in Q2, but these were perhaps taking advantage of the calm between two storms: the first coronavirus wave and a feared second, plus the economic fallout from lockdown.

In this volatile environment, market analysis firm CBInisghts has produced its FinTech 250 for 2020 (see graphic), a rundown of what it believes are the most promising private companies using technology to disrupt financial services – from young startups to unicorns. They were singled out from 16,000 candidates.

According to the firm, the 250 firms have raised over $49 billion in aggregate funding across nearly 900 deals since 2015, and $10.3 billion across 120 deals this year alone (to August 2020). Thirty-two are valued at or above $1 billion as of their latest funding round.

Global FinTech 250 2020 Source CBInsights

Global FinTech 250 2020 – Source CBInsights

The US dominates the list, with 54 percent of companies, followed by the UK (home to 38 of the top 250) and India (20 selected companies). See our separate report for more on the US FinTech sector.

The top deal of the year worldwide was clinched by mobile wallet provider Grab, which raised $856 million in Q1, with participation from investors Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and TIS INTEC Group. Grab is the most well-funded company overall in the 250, having raised approximately $9.7 billion in 22 rounds since 2014.

Ribbit Capital is the most active venture capital (VC) investor in the 250.