The Global Startup Ecosystem Report Fintech Edition

Global Fintech Ranking: Top 25 + 10 Runners-Up

Key Findings

  • The top five Fintech ecosystems are Silicon ValleyNew York CityLondonSingapore, and Hong Kong.
  • Hong Kong is a new entry in the top five ecosystems, thanks to strong scores in the Focus and Funding factors.
  • The biggest movers from the 2020 Fintech report include Zurich (+9), Seattle (+8), Toronto-Waterloo (+6), and Bangalore-Karnataka (+6).
  • São Paulo is Latin America’s Fintech leader at #16. Nubank’s $42 billion IPO contributed to a 200x growth in the ecosystem’s exit amount in 2021 versus 2020.
  • North America and Asia both have eight ecosystems in the top 25, making up 32% each. Europe holds 24% with six ecosystems. MENA, Latin America, and Oceania each have one ecosystem in the top 25 (4% each). No African ecosystems are represented.

Global Top 25

Hong Kong is among the top five global ecosystems for Fintech due in part to its number of Fintech-focused accelerators and incubators, which are reflected in its Focus factor score. The city also scores well in Funding, which includes early-stage funding volume and growth, as well as the number of local investors. In 2021, Hong Kong produced two Fintech unicorns: ZA and Amber Group. Its most recent unicorn, created in May 2022, is Babel Finance.

Toronto-Waterloo’s improved Funding factor score has helped it move up six places from 2020, to #7. This is in part thanks to Wealthsimple’s $600 million May 2021 private equity round, the highest Fintech deal in the ecosystem in 2021. Toronto-Waterloo is also in the top five performing ecosystems in the Performance and Legacy factors and in the top 10 ecosystems in Funding and Experience.

As home to 31 Fintech public companies with more than 250 employees, Zurich is a leader in the Legacy factor. Its high number of Fintech-focused accelerators and incubators contribute to its Focus factor, further driving the Swiss city’s entry at #15 (from #24 in 2020).

São Paulo is Latin America’s Fintech leader and the region’s only entry in the top 25, at #16. Nubank’s December 2021 $42 billion IPO contributed to a 200x growth in exit amount in 2021 versus 2020. Latin America overall saw a 198% increase in Fintech Series A funding amount from 2020 to 2021 and produced six Fintech unicorns in 2021.

With approximately 26,000 relevant patents registered in the ecosystem, Seattle is performing well in Knowledge, and is in the top five Fintech ecosystems for Talent. Both factors contribute to its move up to #18 from #26 in 2020.

LA is another North American success story, coming in at #8 thanks to strong Funding and Talent scores. The ecosystem produced six unicorns in 2021, including Acorns and Recharge PaymentsTala, which provides financial services in emerging markets, secured a $145 billion Series E round in October 2021 and refinancing tool loanDepot exited at a valuation of $4.5 billion.

Bangalore-Karnataka moved to #21 from tied #26 in 2020, thanks in part to Razorpay’s $375 million December 2021 Series F and CoinSwitch’s $260 million October 2021 Series C, which contribute to its Funding factor.

Shanghai moved down five spots from 2020 (from #6 to #11) due to a 22% drop in exits over $1 million. The ecosystem has also experienced a 41% reduction in Series A rounds since the last ranking and a decline in the Talent factor score.

Tokyo is a high performer in the Knowledge rank, indicating that it has produced a large amount of Fintech-related patents. The Japanese capital also scores well in Legacy, and the $2.7 billion acquisition of Paidy by PayPal 2021 contributed to the ecosystem’s success.

This year’s Fintech report includes a change in methodology from our 2020 edition.  Ecosystems benefit when they have a sub-vertical focus and our rankings now take better account of that fact. Greater weight has been given to the Focus factor to reflect the fact that more people working in the same area accelerates progress. For more information, see the Methodology section.