Chinese online property insurer ZhongAn has topped a list of financial technology (fintech) innovation companies, leading a strong showing by Chinese firms this year amid increased funding and interest in the sector there.
The Fintech 100 list, published on Monday under collaboration between investment firm H2 Ventures and KPMG, was still dominated by U.S. companies, with 40 percent of the firms based in the Americas.
But there were seven Chinese firms in the list of 100, compared to just one a year earlier.
Fintech companies are shaking up banking and other industries by allowing savers and borrowers to bypass traditional lenders with smartphone apps and websites for loans, payments and all areas of financial services.
ZhongAn was founded in 2013 in Shanghai and is a joint 11venture between major firms Alibaba Group, Tencent Holdings and Ping An Insurance. Beijing-based electronics retailer Qufengi, which allows flexible payment options, ranked fourth.
Healthcare insurance specialist Oscar and automated investment service firm Wealthfront, both from the United States, ranked second and third on the list.
In addition to the strong showing by companies from the United States and China, there were 18 British firms and 10 from Australia and New Zealand.
The report said fintech financing is expected to reach $20 billion this year, up 66 percent from $12 billion in 2014 and representing a six-fold jump over the past three years.
The Fintech 100 was based on issues including capital raised, geographic and sector diversity and market place impact and included 50 established fintech companies and 50 picked as “emerging stars” for their potentially disruptive plans.
The 100 companies have collectively raised more than $10 billion.
The payments sector is one of the busiest, with firms from payments, currencies and transactions accounting for a quarter of the Fintech 100 firms. They include Swedish e-commerce company Klarna, San Francisco-based Square and Dutch firm Adyen.
Twenty-two names on the list were lending companies, 14 were wealth management firms and seven were involved in insurance.
(Reporting by Steve Slater)
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