2015 Innovators to Watch: 6 to 10

  • Philip Ryan
  • June 10, 2015
  • 2

6. Patrick Collison, Co-founder/CEO, Stripe

patrick_collison2When Patrick Collison helped launch Stripe with his brother in 2010, the notion that startups needed a dedicated payments service (what, MC/V/A don’t offer enough payment options?) was a foreign one at that time. Interesting play, but shallow potential was the conventional wisdom at the time. No longer. Each of the Big 3 have SDKs for developers, and the demand for Stripe advances with the continuing waterfall of startups being launched. And their unique payments demands — the benefit of using Stripe’s prebuilt code — are more widely acknowledged. In other words, it is not just code. It is code that is ever-evolving. Collison has become something of a Pied Piper for payments. Many of his tweets get RT’d extensively by his +26,000 followers. He has even helped put his native Ireland on the startup map by supporting efforts there to foster the local startup ecosystem. More notably, however, is that he has helped Stripe raise $190 million of venture funding to date, with its last valuation at $5 billion. Far out.

7. Jeff Dennes, Chief Digital Banking Officer, BBVA Compass

jeff_dennes2There’s a folksy way about Jeff Dennes. When he talks fintech, he rarely gets into the technical aspects of it. Recently, in an industry speech, he introduced the need for digital banking innovation with a story about how he had to spend more than he expected when he moved house with his wife for the first time. But don’t let the plainspeak fool you. Dennes has worked with speed and determination to remake BBVA Compass into a digital bank. BBVA Compass has done so not just with internal initiatives, but with acquisitions, most notably of Simple, the online banking startup it acquired last year for $117 million. We get the sense that Dennes’s story at BBVA Compass is only beginning.

8. Lucy Peng, CEO, Ant Financial

lucy_peng2Lucy Peng, also known as Peng Lei (彭蕾), is one of the founders of Alibaba and the head of its payments subsidiary, Ant Financial Services. It would be difficult to exaggerate the growing importance and power of Alibaba, or Ant itself. Recently valued at around $45 billion, it makes Peng the world’s newest female billionaire, and is expected to go public in 2016. Ant includes Alipay, as well other payments services supporting Alibaba, including small business lending. Peng was an economics professor in Hangzhou before Alibaba’s founding in 1999, as was Alibaba CEO Jack Ma. She is widely seen as his most likely successor. “The internet belong to young people,” she said in 2013, and is almost anxious to get younger people into positions of power at the company. “We believe that they understand the future better than us, and they have a better chance at seizing the future.”

9. Matt Harris, managing director, Bain Capital Ventures

mattharris_bainMatt Harris is managing director at Bain Capital Ventures with particular responsibility for financial services. Under his direction, BCV has built up a healthy portfolio of FinTech standouts — his own term is “finsurgents” — including BillTrust, Dynamics, TapCommerce, SigFig, PeerTransfer, and more. Harris is also known for his repeat performances as the rollicking ringmaster of Money2020’s LaunchPad360, which has seen the launch of FinTech luminaries such as LoopPay, now known as — or least the major component of — Samsung Pay. Finovate moved away from a single male presenter to two female presenters this spring — You KNOW Harris is feeling the pressure to bring it this year at LaunchPad360.

10. Ben Milne, CEO, Dwolla

ben_milneBen Milne’s payment network Dwolla was never expensive — from launch until last week, transactions over $10 cost just $0.25 — but now it’s completely free. And realtime. How is Dwolla still in business and even flourishing? Though Dwolla launched to solve a consumer pain point Milne himself experienced, he realized it was better positioned to serve businesses, and that is where it earns money now. But consumers can certainly benefit from its free system. This is, as it happens, how the system works in realtime countries such as Sweden — consumer money movement is subsidized by business transactions.

1-5 | Home | 11-15

  Like This Post

Philip Ryan is Senior Editor of Bank Innovation and Senior Director of INV Fintech. He began covering financial services in 2012 and has more than 15 years' experience in online journalism, which makes him quite old. He can be reached at pryan@royalmedia.com.

  • googleplus

2 thoughts on “2015 Innovators to Watch: 6 to 10

Leave a Reply