The Top Fintech Angel Investors
FintechDrift has compiled its list of the top fintech angel investors, based on weeks of research.
Although Q1 of 2020 was one of the worst quarters for fintech funding in recent memory, according to a CBInsights report, fintech funding began to recover in the second half of 2020.
While deal activity declined for the fourth consecutive quarter in Q3 2020, mega-round funding increased 24% quarter-over-quarter.
Funding outside mega-rounds declined 16% in Q3, suggesting founders must work harder to get the early-stage funding they need to get their ventures to market.
Now more than ever, knowing which angels to approach is critical for fintech founders, which is why we’ve compiled this list of the top angel investors active in fintech.
Ben Tompkins is primarily known for his prior role as Managing Partner at Draper Esprit, an active investor in European startups, during a period when it invested in Graphcore, Revolut, N26, UIPath, Aircall, and Trustpilot.
He has since shifted back into investment banking as Managing Director at Stifel Financial Corp.’s Global Technology Group, where he advises software companies that serve financial services businesses, among other areas.
In addition to his career as a professional VC and investment banker, he has been an active angel investor.
Tompkins’ angel activities are less focused on pure fintech — he invested in next-generation helmet startup HEXR, for example. Still, professional expertise transfers over to his personal investing. He placed an early bet on global insurtech startup Zego, which has raised $52 million to date.
Lance White made his name as an angel investor for investing in Facebook and Palantir. But his early investment in AngelList established him as a fintech player.
In addition to AngelList, he has made investments in Fundtable, another crowdfunding platform for startups at the idea stage, which was named one of 2020’s best crowdfunding platforms.
White also invested in Addepar, a Mountain View-based startup led by Palantir co-founder Joe Lonsdale, that helps investment advisors report to their clients. Addepar now has almost $2 trillion in assets traded on its platform and clients, including financial giant Morgan Stanley.
White also invested in ClearTax, a fintech platform to help consumers and businesses in India file taxes and make investments, used by millions of companies, accountants, and consumers.
White’s most recent exit came with YCharts, a Chicago-based financial data research platform acquired by private equity firm LLR Partners in October 2020 for an undisclosed amount.
The former YCombinator partner co-founded Posterous (acquired by Twitter) and was an early employee at Palantir (he turned down a role as co-founder to stay at Microsoft, costing him tens of millions of dollars).
He is currently Managing Partner at the venture capital firm Initialized Capital, which he founded in 2016, and has a prominent blog and YouTube channel.
In addition to his activities as a VC, Tan has made personal investments in startups — many in the fintech space. Tan caught the blockchain bug and invested in crypto exchange Coinbase, crypto portfolio tracker CoinTracker, and Dharma Labs, a protocol for generic tokenized debt agreements.
Tan is also active in other types of fintech, investing in Digit, an automated savings platform, as well as payments platform Patreon and TrueLink Financial, which provides financial services to elderly and disabled people.
Hinrikus is a co-founder of remittance unicorn TransferWise and its former CEO. Since stepping down from the CEO position in 2017, the Estonian entrepreneur has doubled down on his angel investing activities.
Sources state that approximately 20% of Hinrikus’s investments are in fintech and that he usually invests between £100,000 and £250,000 in each round.
Notable fintech investments include growth capital provider Uncapped, decentralized finance protocol Radix, estate management software Farewill, open payments provider Primer, insurtech business Zego, and business banking startup Qonto.
Baroness Denise Kingsmill
The New Zealand native and member of the House of Lords made a name for herself as a leading corporate lawyer in London’s financial world and then as Deputy Chair of the Competition Commission, which enforces the UK’s antitrust laws.
She was appointed a life peer in 2006 and is a member of the European Union Financial Affairs Committee.
In addition to her careers in law and public service, Kingsmill is active in London’s fintech scene. She is the founding chair of Monzo, the digital banking unicorn based in London.
The Baroness is also an investor in Starling Bank, the mobile banking startup founded in 2014.
New York-based investor Greg Arrese is founder and Managing Director at Ride Ventures, an early-stage tech venture fund focused on SaaS, marketplaces, consumer tech, and fintech.
In addition to his activities as a VC, Arrese has made a name for himself with personal angel investments in the fintech and enterprise SaaS space — most notably Mattermark, a data platform for venture capitalists that was acquired by FullContact, a market leader in identity resolution software, in January 2018.
Other investments include Debtsy, which uses technology to create a kinder, gentler debt collection agency, collaborative analytics platform Cursor (acquired in 2019), loan syndication marketplace LoanStreet, institutional equities broker Proof Trading, and mobile-first fraud detection startup InAuth (acquired in 2016 by American Express).
The former McKinsey analyst and Oxford graduate ran corporate strategy for Microsoft before founding Katana Capital, a long-short equity hedge fund. But in addition to his role as a hedge fund manager, Songhurst also makes angel investments in startups through his vehicle, Songhurst Capital.
Songhurst has backed Estonian banking startup Montonio Finance, Swedish trade finance startup Treyd, open banking credit bureau Credit Kudos, cashflow management tool Fluidly, insurance services provider Tractable, and ID verification startup Onfido.
Several of his investments have led to successful exits, including Spanish payments platform Verse.
The UK-based entrepreneur is known for his role as Venture Partner at Techstars, but he is also active as an angel investor and was named “UK Angel Investor of the Year” in 2019.
While he is now founding partner of Outrun Ventures, a venture fund focused on fintech, Adelsbach continues making angel investments, primarily in fintech.
Recent investments include home finance startup Youtility, French travel insurance startup Koala, and commission-free options trading platform Gatsby.
His notable past investments include securities lending startup Sharegain, open banking API Railsbank, and asset management tool Everledger.
The founder of Moderne Ventures, Freedman was previously Head of Strategic Investments at the National Association of Realtors.
In addition to her role at Moderne, Freedman makes personal investments heavily concentrated in fintech and neighboring proptech.
She invested in the Series A of EasyKnock, a New York-based provider of sale-leaseback programs that has since raised $344.7MM.
She has also invested in StreetWire, a Blockchain-based data service for real estate, rental screening platform SNAPPT, credit startup Nova Credit, and commission-advance startup Payfully, which provides advances to realtors with in-contract transactions.
Howard Lindzon rose to prominence at the intersection of tech and finance as co-founder of StockTwits, one of FastCompany’s “10 most innovative companies” on the internet. Prior to founding StockTwits, he was a content creator at WallStrip, the financial news video blog acquired by CBS in 2007.
Since leaving StockTwits at the end of 2013, Lindzon has acted as chairman of Social Leverage and made personal investments.
Most notably, Lindzon invested in the seed round of commission-free investing unicorn Robinhood. He also invested in Alpaca, a San Mateo-based company that builds a developer-first API for stock trading.
Well-known for his role as Venture Partner at New Enterprise Associates, Narasin is also an active angel investor. His seed investments have historically capitalized on emerging trends.
Narasin was early to spot the potential of alternative lending, investing in both Kabbage and Lending Club. He was also an early investor in Zenefits.
Other fintech investments include Lottery.com, a lottery ticket management service that integrates the lottery with users’ mobile phones, remittance startup ZipZap, and Tuition.io, which allows companies to offer student loan contributions as a benefit.
Narasin was an entrepreneur before he became an investor. He started Fashionmall.com, an e-commerce site, in 1993, which IPO’d in 1999. He is also a frequent speaker about technology and investing.
DeLuca founded Motivate Venture Capital, a Chicago-based Pre-Seed and Seed investor, after a successful career as a fintech entrepreneur.
His startup Sailfish Systems, which provided data to trading firms, banks, and hedge funds, merged with VictoryNetworks in 2013 and was bought by QuantHouse in 2017.
DeLuca subsequently co-founded Oxford Intelligence Partners, a market analytics firm, in 2015, which was sold to Q4 Inc.
DeLuca’s notable fintech investments include LitiGate, which aims to streamline dispute resolution with AI, Verisart, which verifies artwork using blockchain, management reporting software Compass (acquired by Sage Group), and payments platform zooz (acquired by Payu).
Choosing the right angel investor can make or break a startup.
The right investor provides valuable strategic insight, connections, and will assist when it comes time to raise subsequent rounds.
The wrong investor can waste your time and be a roadblock to raising additional money.
Picking an investor with a track record of success in fintech will dramatically increase your chances of success.