Office space Level39 in Canary Wharf is the biggest hub of fintech talent in London, and possibly the world.
It’s home to more than 170 startups, ranging from one-person operations to teams of 30-plus. Despite its name, Level39 now takes up three floors.
We’ve picked out the 15 most exciting companies based in the space, ranking them based on which we think have the potential to become the next TransferWise.
As well as pure fintech firms, we’ve also included startups based there that work in areas like cyber security or customer engagement. For many of these businesses, the majority of their clients are finance firms.
That’s why they have based themselves in the heart of Canary Wharf, home to the headquarters of big banks like HSBC, JPMorgan, and Barclays.
What it does: Crowd curated stock and investment news from Twitter and traditional news sources.
Why it's hot: CityFALCON is one of the finalists in Twitter's first global startup competition Hatch, and is the only fintech company on the 10-strong list. Founder and CEO Ruzbeh Bacha worked in corporate strategy at Skype before starting the company.
Raised: $US4.6 million.
What it does: A forex trading platform that lets investors back independent traders' investment strategies and also breaks down the risks involved.
Why it's hot: The FCA-approved platform has been on-boarding traders but will soon open its doors to investors, with over 5,000 on the waiting list to invest. Foreign exchange industry website LeapRate says it has the potential to be 'the next big thing.'
Raised: $US3.7 million.
What it does: Mobile money provider that lets companies pay employees who don't have bank accounts.
Why it's hot: Level39 boss Eric Van der Kleij raved about doPay during a recent visit and the startup was part of Barclays Techstars accelerator programme. It recently launched in Egypt, working with Barclays and Visa there, and is planning to roll-out across the Middle East, Africa, and India soon.
Raised: Midway through funding round.
Founded: 2014, launching this year.
What it does: Student-focused mobile money product, with a prepaid card that can be managed from an app.
Why it's hot: While half the company are still students and it has yet to launch, LootBank is already talking to Royal Bank of Scotland. The bank is interested in the speedy and easy way the startup has developed for on-boarding customers, particularly foreign students coming to the UK for the first time.
What it does: The startup's employee monitoring platform pulls data from phone calls, emails, internal chat systems, and trading data to spot rogue traders and market abuse.
Why it's hot: The system was built by 2 veterans of software titan Oracle and Behavox's CEO is a former Goldman Sachs analyst, giving them serious chops in both finance and tech. Microsoft and Google have both put money into the company. Behavox has just completed a pilot with a major bank and is about to roll-out its system across the bank's London and New York operations.
What it does: The world's largest open database of companies with data on over 84 million companies in 104 jurisdictions.
Why it's hot: Recently awarded the Open Data Business Award by the Open Data Institute, which was co-founded by world wide web inventor Sir Tim Bernes Lee. Customers include LinkedIn, Stripe, the World Bank, and the US Government.
Raised: $US77 million.
What it does: The company's software pulls 'unstructured' data from sources like social media, blogs, news items, and forums, and makes them understandable so people can take action on them.
Why it's hot: DataSift has access to 200 million active users daily and more than 50 million interactions. The company's anonymous Facebook tool also lets people see what people are saying about brands and companies on the social network without compromising privacy.
Raised: $US6.5 million.
What it does: Makes money management apps, plugging into your account and crunching transaction data into understandable forms to let you know what you're spending and when you're spending too much.
Why it's hot: The Icelandic company already makes white-label apps for big European banks like ING, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Sweden's Skandia, and Islandsbanki. The company is now targeting UK banks and financial services.
Raised: $US1.1 million AUD.
What it does: Australia's largest bitcoin wallet provider and exchange, with 50,000 users.
Why it's hot: CoinJar is building a suite of financial products that aim to bring bitcoin into the mainstream, such as its Swipe card, a prepaid debit card topped up directly from a bitcoin wallet, and its Hedged Accounts, which allow users to receive and send bitcoin without being as exposed to price volatility. CoinJar relocated its headquarters to London from Australia last December because of the more favourable tax treatment to bitcoin in the UK.
Raised: $US3.25 million.
What it does: Uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to let companies and brands carry out automated conversations with customers on text or online chat.
Why it's hot: 22-year-old Russian founder Dmitry Aksenov first began building robots at the age of 7. Customers of DigitalGenius include BMW, Panasonic, and Unilever.
Raised: $US14.6 million.
What it does: Bitreserve uses the infrastructure of bitcoin to send money internationally for free by converting 8 currencies and 4 precious metals into 'cloud money.'
Why it's hot: The US-company was founded by CNet founder Halsey Minor and is run by Nike's former CIO, Anthony Watson, a Forbes '40 under 40' executive. $US137 million has been transferred over Bitreserve's platform since launch. Its UK outpost is at Level39.
Raised: $US3.5 million.
What it does: Predictive tool that reads digital signals to help companies know when the best time to make a business approach is. It uses 'open source' data and machine learning to highlight promising windows of opportunity.
Why it's hot: CTO Prashant Majmudar designed software that listened for submarines at BAE Systems before building Growth Intelligence. Google, American Express, and BT all use the product.
Raised: $US73 million.
What it does: Social trading -- people can see, follow, and even automatically copy the trades of investors and speculators on the platform.
Why it's hot: eToro has pulled down money from huge investors from all over the world, raising cash from Russia's Sberbank, China's Ping An, and German bank Commerzbank. It is currently expanding to Russia and China.
Raised: Over $US8 million.
What it does: Digital threat analysis. The company's SearchLight platform tracks 100 million data sources (including the dark web) in 27 languages, and is complemented with human security analysts.
Why it's hot: Clients aren't disclosed but it's understood that many of the top banks use its platform and the startup helped develop the Bank of England's cyber security testing framework CBEST. Digital Shadows has also been on two separate trade missions to the US earlier this year with Boris Johnson and David Cameron.
Raised: $US147 million.
What it does: Mobile money transfers to the developing world.
Why it's hot: WorldRemit, which is a member of Level39 but headquartered in west London, is one of London's rising stars, valued at $US500 million earlier this year. Founder Ismail Ahmed is a veteran of the remittance market, having helped advise the UN on anti-money laundering.