3 Startups To Watch: Tab, Smarkets, Aire

Browsing new startups is so much fun—new companies pop up every day, so there’s always a chance to discover that one description of a newly funded startup’s goals that makes you say, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

With that in mind, here are three startups you should keep your eye on:

Tab:

Let’s be honest, we all have places around the world that we’d like to see—personally, I’ve always wanted to see the Nazca Lines in Peru, because the simple fact that they exist is mindboggling and just, so cool—but getting to Peru is not the simplest thing to do. So the fact that a company exists specifically to streamline bookings and payments in the travel industry, particularly to emerging countries—a company already working with more than 60 currencies, and backed by Y-Combinator—is definitely worth noting. Tab combines fintech with travel with the goal of boosting local tourism and smoothing the way for travelers and backpackers abroad. The company is based in London and San Francisco, and is already working with tourist businesses across Central and South America to grow business. Customers pay in their local currency, businesses are paid in their local currency—fintech for travel! Hello, Nazca Lines.

Smarkets:

Catchy name, catchy idea: this London-based startup is bringing fintech to the gambling world (or, gambling to the fintech world). The company’s betting exchange platform, which was recently ranked fifth in the 2016 Sunday Times Tech Track 100, allows users to trade on a variety of things, like horse racing, cricket, football, actual football, motorsports, and politics. According to the company’s site, Smarkets works as a prediction exchange—so a price on the platform is backed by the knowledge of each and every trader taking part in the market.

Aire:

With an increasing emphasis on innovation in the area of credit cards, it follows that there should be equal innovation when it comes to your credit score—but before innovation there can start, people have to understand what they do. That’s where Aire comes in: begun two years ago, this startup focuses on broadening access to financial products and opening the world of finance to people who might be left out of it at the moment, by providing clients with their “true credit score.” Aire customers complete a “virtual interview,” and that information is then provided to lenders for credit: taking an exhaustive experience for many people and creating more transparency, so people can better understand—and perhaps improve—their credit rating, something which will allow users greater access to the financing they need for things like a car or home mortgage. It could end up providing a new metric for underwriting.

To learn more about fintech startups, join us in Tel Aviv for Bank Innovation Israel this November 1-3. Register here.

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