When it comes to fintech inspiration, including products, business models and of course user experience, the Y Combinator (YC) alum list is a great place to start. The incubator continues an important part of the startup ecosystem having incubated AirBnB, Dropbox, and multi-unicorn Stripe along and 1,000 others.

In its early years, fintech was an afterthought. Only 5 of 140 startups (3.6%) during YC’s first 5 years (2005 to 2009) were financial services related. Since then, 90 of 870 (10%) have are fintech.

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Table: YC Fintech Companies by Year

Class Total Companies # Fintech Companies % Fintech
2016 211 24 11%
2015 201 22 11%
2014 109 13 12%
2013 83 9 9%
2012 117 8 7%
2011 89 7 8%
2010 61 6 10%
2009 39 1 3%
2008 43 1 2%
2007 32 2 6%
2006 17 0 0%
2005 8 1 13%
Total 1,010 94 9.3%

Source: Y Combinator, yclist.com, TechCrunch, Finovate, BankingUX analysis
(see note 1 for fintech definition; does not include newer YC Fellows.

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List: YC fintech alums by year
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2016 (24)

  • AirfordablePayment plans for travel
  • AlphaFlow: P2P real estate investment manager for individual investors
  • Bonsai: Invoicing and payments tool targeted to freelancers
  • Cover: Insurance-on-demand using a smartphone camera
  • Emburse: Corporate prepaid cards that enforce spending rules
  • FellowAn API for working capital
  • flexReceipts: Digital receipt platform
  • FlutterwavePayment processing in Africa
  • Landed: Crowdfunding platform for mortgage down payments
  • Legalist: Algorithmic litigation financing
  • LendEDU: Student loan portal
  • LendsnapAutomating mortgage paperwork for lenders
  • MeterFeeder: Enables all parking meters to accept credit cards
  • Nova Credit: Global credit reports
  • OneChronos: Next-generation financial exchange
  • PayStack: Online card processor in Nigeria
  • PocketSuite: Small businesses payment, invoicing, booking and communication application
  • Selfycart:  Mobile app for self-checkout & payment
  • SmartPathFinancial advisor for main street families
  • Stilt: Personal loans for international borrowers living in the United States
  • SwayAutomated bookkeeping
  • TrueBill: Subscription payment management for consumers
  • UtilityScoreAPI for utility data & bills
  • WorldCover: Crop insurance for the developing world

2015 (22)

2014 (13)

  • AbacusSay good-bye to expense reports
  • BillForwardA highly flexible and unified billing platform; built for high growth and enterprise companies
  • BitAccessThe easiest way to buy and sell bitcoin
  • BlockScoreReal-time identity verification and due diligence
  • ClearTaxThe easiest way to e-file income tax returns in India
  • Onename.ioBlockchain ID. A better identity
  • Shift PaymentsShift Payments is changing the way money changes hands
  • Sliced InvestingSliced provides technology to help financial advisers deploy alternatives
  • TradeBlockDigital currency data and analysis
  • Two TapUsers can now order any product directly in your app with Two Tap
  • Zen991099 tax help for rideshare drivers, delivery drivers, housekeepers, and more
  • Zidisha: Online microlending community
  • ZincPay with with Dwolla or Bitcoin, and manage all your orders in one place

2013 (9)

2012 (8)

  • Airbrite (exited): Cloud-enabled platform for mobile commerce
  • Coinbase: Bitcoin wallet and exchange
  • Crowdtilt: Allows users to pool funds online
  • EligibleReal-time eligibility checks for health insurance
  • FundersClub: Equity crowdfunding marketplace
  • LendUp: Reinventing the payday-lending industry
  • SmartAsset: Bringing full transparency to the financial decision-making process
  • ZenPayroll: Modern payroll

2011 (7)

  • DebtEyeAutomated credit-counseling solution
  • Giftrocket: Gift card that works at any location
  • GoCardlessU.K.-based service for merchants to set up interbank transfers for customers
  • Leaky: Helps consumers make better decisions about insurance
  • OrderAhead: Order from local merchants on your phone
  • TrustEgg: Simple way to save for a child’s future
  • SwipeGood: Enroll credit and debit cards to automatically round up every purchase to the nearest dollar for charity

2010 (6)

  • CardPool (exited): Gift card exchange marketplace
  • E la CarteTablets for restaurant point-of-sale
  • FutureAdvisor (exited): Robo-adviser
  • IndineroAccounting, taxes and payroll for small business
  • ReadyForZero (exited): Helping people control and reduce debt
  • Stripe: Developer-friendly way to accept payments online

2009

  • WePay: Online payments platform

2008

  • Tipjoy (dead): Social payments engine for digital content

2007

2005

  • TextPayMe (exited): SMS payment service acquired by Amazon

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Notes:
1. We are using a broad definition of fintech including payments, insurance, investing, etc.
2. A few YC companies are in stealth mode, so this list is not complete.

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