On November 7th, some of the most innovative startups in the world gathered in Lisbon, Portugal for the annual Web Summit conference. The special thing about this conference, is that it allows startups, founders, and entrepreneurs to showcase their latest innovations and ideas.
It's a great place to learn about what's right around the corner, and this is especially true in the exciting world of Fintech. That's part of the reason we attended Web Summit, to get a sense of some of the most exciting startups that are changing the game.
From social investing to real estate, here are three startups that are poised to change the game in fintech.
Investing becomes social with eToro
One of the industries that is really being shaken up by fintech is stock trading. People are shying away from traditional trading firms and services (and their large fees), and going with fintech startups that are not only cheaper but offer more innovative products and services. One such platform is eToro, which has introduced social trading technology into the arena.
In social trading, you're connected with an entire network of investors, almost like a social media site. You can follow other traders and investors, share ideas, and even copy strategies from investors that match your strategy.
CEO Yoni Assa gave a speech at Web Summit, noting that the goal of social trading and investing is to one day take the place of high-priced financial advisors. Often with financial advisors, investors don't get much insight or transparency into their past performance.
But with eToro, traders can take an in-depth look at the investors they might want to copy. How much have they gained this year? How is their performance over time? By taking investments social, eToro could really force traditional investment providers to step their game up and introduce similar features in the near future.
Bricksave makes real estate investing accessible
For the average investor, real estate is one of the most challenging investments to get into. That's mostly because of the sheer amount of capital you need to make an investment. Owning a home is cost-consuming enough, and most people simply don't have the amount of cash on hand necessary to invest in additional properties, much less the time and energy to manage them.
Enter Bricksave, a real estate crowdfunding platform that allows people to invest in rental properties for an initial investment as little as $2,500. First piloted by CEO Thomas de Lucy to include properties in the Latin American region, Bricksave is now expanding to major international gateway cities like Miami, New York, Paris, and London.
Much like Kickstarter, a rental property is only purchased when a certain funding goal is reached within a certain time frame, or investors get their money back. Rental contracts are also locked in ahead of time to minimize the risk, and for the first four years, investors get a monthly share of the rental income based on the amount they invested.
After that four years, the property is sold, and investors receive a return on their capital investment. What's truly innovative about Bricksave is that they set up local companies and manage the property as appropriate, taking the headache out of rental property investing.
As it grows, Bricksave could prove to be an extremely viable way for small investors to build up a steady stream of real estate investment income.
Managing all your financial apps just got easier with Bud
Between banking, payments, and investment applications, our smartphones are getting increasingly cluttered with various apps to manage the different areas of our finances. Not to mention the security concerns of accessing each app separately, giving hackers greater opportunity to steal private information of multiple accounts.
That's precisely why British entrepreneur Edward Maslaveckas came up with Bud, a single hub to manage a person's entire collection of financial apps, as well as provide intelligent budgeting analysis based on the unified data. Bud also lets people discover new financial apps that might be useful to them, based on individual criteria such as age, marital, and homeownership status.
The startup illustrates a larger trend towards more personal assistant fintech apps. Banks and fintech startups have built out a huge ecosystem of functional apps that cover everything from investing to international money transfers, but the next iteration will be all about making these easy to manage and access.
With Bud, people can see their credit cards, banking, payments, and investment information in one dashboard, and quickly search prior transactions in any and all accounts from one single point.
While Bud is currently in Beta and only available in the UK, it's easy to see how it could rapidly expand into other markets (especially the US), in the very near future. For consumers, it won't be about how many financial apps you have, but how smart those apps are and how easily you can access information from a single place.
If you haven't been to Web Summit before, it's truly a special event that brings together thought leaders, innovators, and disruptors within the technology industry. And nowhere is this more evidenced in fintech, where customers are continually demanding more than what big banks can offer.
Startup founders are partnering with risk-taking investors to bring things like social investing and real estate crowdfunding to offer people more alternatives, and in turn a better shot at lifelong financial success.