San Francisco top in global fintech rankings

Ellie Duncan
24 Jun 2021

San Francisco has held onto the top spot in Findexable’s Global Fintech Rankings report for the third consecutive year, followed by London and New York, as other US cities progressed up the rankings.

The San Francisco Bay Area is home to 14 privately-owned fintech startups valued at more than $1 billion – also known as ‘unicorns’ – with eight of those added in the past year alone, according to the rankings.

The Global Fintech Rankings 2021 report, produced in partnership with cloud banking platform Mambu, ranks the fintech ecosystems of more than 264 cities across 83 countries, incorporating data from Findexable’s own records and collated and verified by its global partnership network.

Sao Paolo in Brazil came in at number four in the city rankings, while the Tel Aviv area in Israel made it into fifth place.

Berlin, the Boston area, the Los Angeles area, Hong Kong and Singapore made up the rest of the top 10 cities, ranked by number and quality of fintechs.

Simon Hardie, founder and CEO of Findexable, said: “We continue to see San Francisco lead the way in the global fintech industry, and we fully anticipate it to do so for many more years to come.

“The creativity of the technology sector combined with network effects of being in a vibrant, growth-orientated community mean that it is an ideal place for any progressive business, but particularly for fintechs.”

The US ranked first in the report’s country rankings, given that it leads the world in terms of the total number of fintech companies, as well as their algorithmically-determined ‘quality’ score.

Findexable found that just under half of all fintech companies registered in the report were concentrated in the Bay Area and New York – 810 total for these two cities versus 876 in the rest of the country.

The report found that many US cities reached the inclusion criteria of 10 or more fintechs in the city for the first time this year, and suggested that this points to a shift away from the established fintech centres, such as San Francisco, London and Hong Kong, to a more “dispersed” fintech environment.

This was backed up by the fact that more than 50 new cities and 20 new countries joined the index this year for being home to at least 10 fintech companies.

Elliott Limb, chief customer officer at Mambu, added: “Fintech is about turning banking into a background force, a utility – and this has only just begun. This shift is being enabled by platform as a service (PaaS), software as a service (SaaS) and banking as a service (BaaS).

“The players have no boundaries, and this is why it has thrived in San Francisco, where the only boundaries are what you can code.”