Focal Fintech: 25 Startups to Watch
Meet NYC's up-and-coming startup leaders transforming financial services—from banking and payments to retirement planning.
New York has been the birthplace of many category-defining fintech companies including Betterment, Lemonade, Stash, and MoneyLion to name just a few.
Here at Primary, we frequently get questions from talented operators, technology buyers, and investors in our network about the next generation of fintech startups and who they should be paying attention to.
This year has been a turbulent one for the startup and tech ecosystem. It’s no secret that venture funding has slowed this year. We compiled this list to spotlight 25 up-and-coming fintech companies in NYC who’ve raised Seed or Series A rounds of $4-30 million in the last 18 months innovating across seven major themes:
- Reimagining banking and lending infrastructure
- Tackling the tax return
- Accessible wealth management and financial planning
- Better tools for small businesses
- Unlocking new data sources
- Building systems for better decision making
- Streamlining financial visibility
Reimagining banking and lending infrastructure
The banking crises this year highlighted the fragility of our financial systems—many of which were built in legacy programming languages like COBOL. Startups in this category are developing modern tech across different areas of banking and lending.
Paolo Bertolotti and Adam DeVita, Cofounders of ModernFi
Paolo Bertolotti and Adam DeVita founded ModernFi in 2022 to reinvent how banks leverage technology to improve their operations. The startup has developed a deposit marketplace that is helping banks of all sizes better manage their balance sheets by allowing them to source funding on-demand. Prior to starting ModernFi, Paolo completed a PhD in Complex Systems and Statistics at MIT and Adam worked as a product manager at Citi. Earlier this year, the team raised a $4.5 million seed round led by Andreessen Horowitz.
Danae Vachata, Founder and CEO of Grounded Technologies
With the goal of helping banks grow, Grounded operates a deposit marketplace that provides financial institutions access to core deposits from a variety of different funding sources. In July, the team raised $3.5 million in funding and launched its first product in partnership with BMO Financial Group.
Michael Barbosa and John Jordan, Cofounders of OatFi
OatFi provides UX-friendly working capital infrastructure and tools that allow any company with B2B payments flows to launch their own credit products. Prior to starting the company, Michael Barbosa worked at Morgan Stanley and cofounded a climate startup, while John Jordan worked as a software engineer at Disney+ before launching a software development agency. In October 2022, the team emerged from stealth and announced $8 million in equity funding led by QED Investors as well as $50 million in debt facilities.
Andres Klaric and Marc Escapa, Cofounders and Co-CEOs of Fuse
Fuse is a next-gen loan origination system (LOS) that simplifies lending for financial institutions by providing the ability to customize financial rules, utilizing a low-code API builder and personalized agent portal. Dedicated to simplifying and modernizing the LOS market, Fuse delivers top-tier, customer-focused technology solutions for lenders. By streamlining the lending process, Fuse facilitates reliable interactions between lenders and borrowers, providing a secure and scalable platform for banks, finance companies, credit unions, and fintechs. With Fuse, business teams can confidently implement changes without hesitation. Headquartered in New York, NY, Fuse is committed to transforming the lending industry.
Tackling the tax return
In 2022, U.S. consumers spent 1.2 billion hours preparing tax returns while businesses spent a similar 1.1 billion hours. Companies in this category are tackling this massive problem—reimagining the ways in which we interact with tax preparation.
Gavin Nachbar and Michael Bock, Cofounders of Column Tax
Gavin Nachbar and Michael Bock founded Column Tax in 2021 with the ambition of building software that would make tax and financial products accessible to everyone. The team went on to develop an API that allows banking and fintech partners to provide streamlined tax-filing services to their customers. In May 2022, Column Tax raised a $21.7 million Series A round led by Bain Capital Ventures.
Ben Borodach and Daniel Marcous, Cofounders of April
Another fintech aiming to ease the stress that comes with tax season is April. The company was founded in 2021 and incubated by Ben Borodach while he was at Team8 alongside Daniel Marcous, previously the CTO at Waze. In June 2022, the team rolled out its integrated tax filing software and announced a $30 million Series A round, pushing its total funding to $40 million. This year, April was named the Best Consumer Tax Software by the fintech Breakthrough Awards.
Accessible wealth management and financial planning
Access to financial advice and planning is something that’s still only available to a (largely wealthy) subset of individuals. Startups in this category are building new tech focused on opening up access to financial planning and previously inaccessible investing products.
Ritik Malhotra and Muller Zhang, Cofounders of Savvy Wealth
Savvy Wealth offers an AI-powered, digital-first platform that gives financial advisors modern software to scale their businesses. Ritik Malhotra and Muller Zhang bring more than a decade of combined experience in starting, growing, and selling companies. Last November, the team closed an $11 million Series A round led by The House Fund, bringing its total funding to over $18 million. Recently, the company unveiled Savvy Direct Indexing, a proprietary tech solution, and announced that it is managing more than $100 million in assets across the U.S.
Tyler End and Ian Yamey, Cofounders of Retirable
Retirement planning is a topic that often evokes mixed emotions and varied levels of readiness. Some individuals have diligently prepared for their golden years, while others find themselves overwhelmed, unsure of where to even begin. The majority of American retirees have less than $1 million in retirement savings, leaving them below the asset minimums of most traditional wealth management firms. Enter Retirable, a startup dedicated to assisting mass-market retirees to confidently transform their retirement savings into reliable, monthly Retirement Paychecks. Tyler End and Ian Yamey founded Retirable in 2019 to make sure that professional advice on planning, investing, and spending in Retirement was accessible to all Americans. Retirable has secured a total of $15 million in funding, with a $6 million seed round led by Primary in 2022.
Bob Elliot, Bruce McNevin, and Matt Salzberg, Cofounders of Unlimited Funds
Led by ex-Bridgewater executive Bob Elliott, Unlimited Funds is an investment company using machine learning to offer low-cost alternatives to investment strategies previously only accessible to the wealthy. Bob founded Unlimited in 2022 alongside Bruce McNevin (a professor of economics at NYU who has worked in data science roles at hedge funds) and Matt Salzberg (a seasoned operator and investor). In May, the team bagged $8 million in Series A funding, led by FirstMark and Citi Ventures, to continue expanding its products.
Dylan Parker, Dean Hathout, and Ammer Soliman, Cofounders of Moment
Stocks may have gotten all the attention in the last couple of years, but Moment is on a mission to now modernize bond trading. The company offers a platform that aims to make bond trading more accessible. Moment’s APIs enable automated trading, provide comprehensive data and analytics, all while monitoring key risk metrics. Moment has partnered with Apex to roll out its suite of APIs to over 220 clients. This past September, the team landed $17 million in Series A funding led by Andreessen Horowitz, bringing its total investment to over $20 million.
Better tools for small businesses
Applications to start new businesses surged to the highest level in two years in June. Many of these new business owners are looking to access financial services and tools that fit their needs. Fintech startups are increasingly building tools that are improving the financial experience of different types of business owners.
Samuel Poirier, Luke Finney, and François-Xavier Lemire, Cofounders of Mercantile
Mercantile launched its small business credit card platform in 2022. That same year, the team announced a $15 million Series A round, led by Index Ventures, bringing its total funding raised to $22 million. So far, Mercantile has partnered with key medical associations such as American Optometric Association, Academy of Doctors of Audiology, and Dental Success Network among others, to provide tailored credit card programs for their members.
Anthony Mironov and Greg Franczyk, Cofounders of Wingspan
Independent contractors make up a significant chunk of the U.S. economy, contributing $1.35 trillion in 2022, according to a survey by Upwork. Despite that, working with 1099 contractors involves many challenges, especially when it comes to onboarding, payments and compliance. That’s where Wingspan, founded by Anthony Mironov and Greg Franczyk in 2019, wants to help with the first payroll platform purpose-built for contingent work. In March, the team closed a $14 million Series A round, led by Andreessen Horowitz, pushing its total funding to $23.5 million.
Cole Riccardi, Founder and CEO of Authentic Insurance
Instead of buying insurance from a broker, companies can choose to self-insure through ‘captive insurance’—creating their own insurance company to cover their specific risks. Because of the complexity of setting one up, this is an option that is typically out of reach for most small businesses. Cole Riccardi founded Authentic Insurance in 2022 to enable SMBs to tap into the benefits of captive insurance. Last month, the team raised $5.5 million in seed funding led by Slow Ventures.
Unlocking new data sources
Companies in this category are building the connective tissue between siloed systems or data sources with the belief that high quality data infrastructure will unlock new product types and customer segments.
Dareen Salama and Amir Tasbihi, Cofounders of Gryps
Ten years ago, Dareen Salama and Amir Tasbihi got to know each other while working at a construction management company in NYC. Excited by the prospect of using AI to modernize how construction companies manage capital projects, the duo founded Gryps. The platform aggregates construction project data that is spread across disparate financial, contractor, architect, and government agency systems. This past summer, the team announced a $6.2 million investment led by Primary. To date, Gryps has raised $7.7 million in total funding.
Oban MacTavish, Tess Bloch, and Cooper Hart, Cofounders of Spade
Every year close to 700 billion credit and debit card payments are processed. Most of these transactions are reported in a nonsensical string of letters, numbers, and symbols that is difficult to decipher. Spade, started by two-time founder Oban MacTavish, Cooper Hart, and Tess Bloch in 2021, uses its API to connect payments data to real merchant identities. Providing banks and fintech companies with merchant identities, spending categories, and geolocation details in under 50 milliseconds helping them authorize more transactions and save millions of dollars in fraud losses and inaccurate disputes. Earlier this year, the team secured $5 million in seed funding led by Andreessen Horowitz.
Kristopher Stipech and Michael Del Monte, Cofounders of Moneykit
MoneyKit is building a universal access layer that allows all of a users’ financial profiles to be accessible through a single API. Kristopher Stipech was a founding member of Cash App and most recently served as the Head of Product Design. Last year, Kristopher started MoneyKit with Michael Del Monte, former founder and CTO of Quovo (acquired by Plaid in 2019 for $200 million). According to Pitchbook, the team has received $9.5 million in seed funding to date.
Harald Collet, Adam Kleczewski, and Steven She, Cofounders of Alkymi
Alkymi builds AI-powered tools that help extract insights from investment and market data that are locked away in emails, PDFs, and presentations. Before starting Alkymi, Harald Collet was a General Manager at Bloomberg, Adam Kleczewski a data scientist at x.ai, and Steven She spent time at x.ai and Two Sigma. The company was founded in 2017. This year, the team launched a generative AI tool that enables financial services firms to instantly extract insights from documents and data sets. In October 2022, Alkymi raised $12 million in Series A capital led by Intel Capital, bring its total funding to $26 million.
Daniel Wertman, Tom Effland, and Yoni Sebab, Cofounders of Noetica
While working as a finance attorney, Daniel Wertman saw first-hand how frustrating it was to extract useful information from complex transactional documents. Last year, Daniel founded Noetica alongside Tom Effland, and Yoni Sebag. The company offers an AI-powered platform that reads and analyzes complex financial documents, with an initial focus on corporate debt transactions.
Building systems for better decision making
“Data rich but insights poor” is another refrain that is all too common across financial services. While companies in the previous category are helping their customers get access to data, these companies are building systems to better utilize the data to either automate or streamline onboarding or underwriting decisions that typically require manual review.
Maik Taro Wehmeyer and Maximilian Eber, Cofounders of Taktile
Maik Taro Wehmeyer and Maximilian Eber first met while studying at Harvard, both worked at QuantCo (a firm building AI-powered data solutions for a variety of industries) and then teamed up to found Taktile in 2020. The company is helping fintechs and banks build automated decision flows—enabling customers to make smarter decisions at scale. In November 2022, the team snagged a $20 million Series A round co-led by Index Ventures and Tiger Global, bringing total capital raised to $24.7 million.
Alex Schmelkin, Brian Moseley, and Jane Tran, Cofounders of Sixfold
Sixfold helps insurance underwriters work more efficiently and effectively with its generative AI-powered tools. By uploading underwriting manuals, applications and data onto Sixfold's generative AI software, insurance carriers will receive recommendations while evaluating applications. Founded this year, the leadership team has an extensive background in AI, SaaS, security, and insurance. In May, the startup received $6.5 million in seed investment.
Eli Wachs and Alex Grinman, Cofounders of Footprint
Bringing trust back to the internet isn’t an easy feat, but that isn’t stopping Footprint from trying. Founded by repeat entrepreneurs Eli Wachs and Alex Grinman, the startup reimagines how companies gather, store, and verify personal data online during onboarding. At the same time, they help consumers gain more control over their own information by creating a closed-loop ecosystem of digital identity. With $6 million in seed funding, the team is building a portable identity that stores PII in Nitro Enclaves which can only be authorized via passkeys, making the internet frictionless for good actors and an increasingly complex maze for fraudsters.
Jonathan Awad and Timothy Hyde, Cofounders of Baselayer
Determined to fight fraud in the commercial banking and lending space, Jonathan Awad and Timothy Hyde founded Baselayer to provide a streamlined business risk assessment platform built on machine learning models. Jonathan previously worked at business verification startup Middesk and OakNorth Credit Intelligence while Timothy was the former CTO at Screenshop, an AI-powered shopping app that was sold to Snap in 2020. Baselayer, which was founded this year, has secured $4 million in funding.
Streamlining financial visibility
Finance teams need better tools to make the right strategic decisions for the companies they serve. Solutions in this category are focused on helping finance teams get better visibility into company balances and financial activity.
Tal Kirschenbaum, Asaf Kotzer, and Ariel Weiss, Cofounders of Ledge
Ledge, cofounded by Tal Kirschenbaum & Asaf Kotzer last year, is building the 'finance OS' for modern enterprises as it automates and simplifies finance operations for teams working at scale. Ledge provides continuous, real-time reconciliation across a company's entire stack, offering unparalleled visibility into cash positions and cash flows, detailed transaction journey insights, and instant reporting for informed, real-time decisions. Earlier this year, the startup announced a $9 million seed round led by New Enterprise Associates and with participation by leading fintech founders from Papaya Global, Melio, Payoneer, Fundbox and Mesh Payments.
Adam Weisman, Cofounder and CEO of Auxilius
Led by Adam Weisman, the team behind Auxilius works at the intersection of finance and healthcare. At its core is a financial management and accounting platform for biotech companies operating clinical trials. Auxilius’ software aims to offer the right tools so that biotechs of all sizes can bring drugs to market as quickly and effectively as possible. The team announced a $10 million Series A round led by Renegade Partners in June 2022.
Matthew Calvano, Henry Bradlow, and Francisco Enriquez, Cofounders of Adaptive
Using AI and simple software integration, Adaptive’s platform is designed to help construction companies manage and automate project finances, such as budgets, accounts payable, expense tracking, and more. Founded by Matthew Calvano, Henry Bradlow, and Francisco Enriquez, the startup closed a $6.5 million seed round in July 2022, led by Andreessen Horowitz. Adaptive has raised $7.25 million in total financing to date.