8 fintech start-ups from around the world worth keeping an eye on

31 Oct 2019

Image: © Syda Productions/Stock.adobe.com

From blockchain solutions to payment platforms, we’ve rounded up some up-and-coming fintech start-ups from around the globe.

Earlier this year, the World Economic Forum (WEF) published its list of 2019’s Technology Pioneers.

Over the past few months, we’ve taken a look at some of the start-ups that the WEF thinks will transform the health industry, the world of cybersecurity and the factory of the future.

Now, we’ve taken three fintech start-ups that the WEF has lauded this year and combined them with a few Irish fintech players that you’ll also want to keep an eye on in the coming years.


Anti-money laundering (AML) transaction monitoring software start-up Tookitaki was founded in Singapore by Jeeta Bandopadhyay (COO) and Abhishek Chatterjee (CEO). Together, Chatterjee and Bandopadhyay have developed an AI-powered regulatory compliance solution for financial institutions.

Tookitaki, which is Bengali for hide and seek, was recognised as one of the WEF’s 2019 Class of Technology Pioneers. While the start-up was founded in 2014, it is run by a core team with more than 150 years’ cumulative experience working in finance, AI, big data analytics and financial crime. Outside of the company’s Singapore HQ, Tookitaki has offices in North Carolina and Bangalore.

Over the last five years, the start-up has raised a total of $8.8m from investors including Enterprise Singapore, Blume Ventures, Illuminate Financial, Jungle Ventures and Srijan Capital.


Loanitt, the start-up founded by Kilkenny natives John Duggan (CEO) and Padraig Nolan (COO), was a finalist in this year’s Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) Awards, run by Enterprise Ireland. The start-up is a new B2B credit intermediary with a cutting-edge technology platform that aims to streamline the credit application process.

At this year’s IBYE, Duggan was awarded €7,000 in the category of Best New Business Idea. The company’s product aims to optimise customer choice by creating a credit marketplace. Users don’t pay any fees for using the service, as the start-up makes money through each successful referral with Loanitt’s lending partners.


Another start-up recognised by the WEF is Remitly, a Seattle-based fintech that was valued at $1bn in July 2019 after raising $220m in equity and debt. This makes Remitly a major competitor for World Remit, which has a valuation around $900m. According to Crunchbase, Remitly has raised a total of $420m to date.

Co-founder and CEO Matt Oppenheimer set up the money transferring service after he spent time living in Asia and Africa and witnessed how inconvenient and expensive international money transfers were. He founded the company with Joshua Hug and Shivaas Gulati.

Investors in this start-up, which was founded in 2011, include Generation Investment Management, PayU, Threshold, QED Investors and Founders’ Co-op.


Founded by Jennifer Hourihane in 2016, the original idea was for Oathello to be a legaltech company. After participating in the fintech cohort of the Barclays Techstars Accelerator, however, Hourihane realised that Oathello fit into many more categories that initially planned. Now, she refers to her business as a utilities start-up, but the company works largely with financial services.

Oathello has developed a platform to accelerate the signing, execution and completion of documents online, when it is legally required for the movement of assets, debt, capital and transactional efficiency within the financial system.

While still in its early stages, Oathello has been backed by Techstars, investor Jonathan McKeown, NDRC and Enterprise Ireland.

Pip IT

Galway-based Pip IT is a fintech company on a “social impact” mission. The start-up has developed a secure and private online payment platform that helps migrants living and working around the world to pay bills and transfer money overseas at a fraction of the cost and time taken by the more traditional international payment providers.

Last year, the company raised €1m in funding from private investors and Enterprise Ireland, which enabled the business to create 25 new jobs in Galway.

Founded by Ollie Walsh and Julian Callaghan, Pip IT is backed by Enterprise Ireland, the Dotforge pre-accelerator and the Key Fund.


Co-founded in 2017 by Daniel Loftus, UrbanFox was set up to tackle fraud and cybercrime. UrbanFox helps large payment processors and companies that facilitate the transfer of money from a merchant site to a card or a bank, by detecting the occurrence of synthetic fraud.

The start-up simulates what the founding team believes the behaviours of fraudsters would be and then detects these behaviours before a crime can actually be committed. When Loftus spoke to Siliconrepublic.com in September, he said that it’s not a very well-known type of fraud, but it’s a highly valuable area.

Still in its early stages, the start-up is backed by Enterprise Ireland and the NDRC, as well as the Barclays Techstars accelerator.


Based in Galway, Bitcub is a blockchain platform specifically designed for community-focused financial organisations, such as credit unions, building societies, community development organisations and community-focused banks.

An offshoot of Girt Mobile, the start-up was founded by Aonghus O’hEocha and is targeting the 68,000 credit unions around the globe. With Bitcub, credit unions can automate and regulate many inefficient internal processes while attracting new members with relevant products and services such as creditable remittance, micro-loans and savings products.

Bitcub’s platform includes know your customer (KYC) and AML elements to enable rapid access to accounts, products and services.

Guangzhishu Technology

Headquartered in Beijing, Guangzhishu Technology provides a privacy-preserving and scalable blockchain-based data collaboration platform to bring inclusive finance to underserved populations and improve the efficiency of existing financial institutions.

The company was founded in 2017 by CEO Jiachen Zhang. With the technology, individuals can own their personal data on their devices and directly contribute their profiles to use cases such as credit scoring.

Another company hailed by the WEF, Guangzhishu has partnered with ConsenSys, Hyperledger, The Linux Foundation and the Harvard Blockchain and Crypto Club.

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Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic