On Tuesday, Dec. 21, LendIt fintech announced finalists for the 5th annual LendIt Fintech Industry Awards to celebrate the top fintech influencers and innovators across 14 categories.
Though it was a calamitous year, it was record-breaking for the fintech industry. After an excellent year for valuations, IPOs, startups, and digital finance innovation, join LendIt in celebrating these finalists. The 2021 winners will be announced at the year-end award ceremony and Dinner on Feb. 8, 2022, in South Beach, Miami. Industry awards are a featured part of the Lendit Nexus Dealmakers conference.
In no particular order, the finalists are a cross-section of hundreds of applications submitted from Sept. 21, 2021, through Dec. 10. Categories and finalists include:
Fintech Innovator of the Year
This is the award for the company that demonstrated a strong culture of innovation in the past year, producing groundbreaking changes in the industry. This year’s Contenders show variety, from newly public neo banks, BNPL, lenders, and commerce ecosystem leaders. The main innovation referenced must have been made commercially available in the past 18 months, with a significant impact in the past year.
Executive of the Year
This award is given to the senior executive male or female who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, integrity, performance, and team-building within his or her company. Finalists are a non-exhaustive list of the many inspiring execs that do all this while at the same time contributing to the advancement of the industry.
Jennifer Tescher, CEO of Financial Health Network
Scott Sanborn, CEO Lending Club
Steve Smith, CEO of Finicity
Jason Wilk, CEO at Dave
Dave Girouard, CEO at Upstart
Prashant Fuloria, CEO at Fundbox
Fintech Woman of the Year
Like the top executive of the year category, but female fintech-focused: this award is given to the senior executive who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, integrity, performance, and a commitment to fostering gender diversity both within her company and in the industry at large.
Jo Ann Barefoot, CEO of AIR
Luvleen Sidhu, CEO BM Technologies
Wendy Cai-Lee, CEO of Piermont Bank
Rania Succar, SVP at Quickbooks Money
Stephany Kirkpatrick, CEO at Orum.io
Rochelle Gorey, CEO at SpringFour
Innovation in Digital Banking
As open banking, accessibility, and inclusivity become synonymous with the future of banking, this award goes toward the company that has demonstrated a strong culture of innovation, producing significant advances in digital banking technology in the past year.
Top Consumer Lending Platform
From BNPL, Small-dollar lending, and innovation like early payroll, consumer lending is as hot as ever. This award goes to the top consumer lending platform based on a combination of loan performance, volume, growth, product diversity, and innovation.
Top Small Business Lending Platform
Especially during the pandemic, SMB lenders helped support small businesses while quarantines kept customers away. These top contenders, among many, kept the economy running through successful loan performance, volume, growth, product diversity, and innovation.
Top Real Estate Platform
At LendIt LatAm, Real Estate proved to be a significant fintech industry trend. This award goes to the top real estate platform based on a combination of loan performance, volume, growth, product diversity, and innovation.
Kiavi (formerly LendingHome)
Emerging Lending Platform
It does not take an expert to know Online Lending has been a cornerstone of fintech since the beginning. These firms learn from the past and work toward the future; the award for a young company that demonstrates the greatest potential impact on the future of online lending.
A segment of fintech that ignited like wildfire this year, these finalists showed the best application of crypto technology in traditional finance. The winner of this award should demonstrate a vital bridge between traditional finance and crypto to encourage greater adoption.
Most Promising Partnership
In a year of endless consolidation and purchases, these partnerships symbolize that not every firm needs to buy out its competitor. This award goes to the company that has completed and publicly announced an innovative partnership in the fintech community.
New Energy Nexus & Rise, created by Barclays
Barclays and Anthemis Group
Ocrolus & Plaid
OakNorth & Old National Bank
TransUnion & Spring Labs
Finicity & Tomo Credit
Top Service Provider
Where would fintech be without the helping hands of experts? This award is presented to the service provider, law firms, accountants, trusts, etc., that has demonstrated deep expertise, unique value, strong ROI, commitment to clients, and the fostering of a deeper understanding of fintech.
Top Technology Service provider
Without background infrastructure, fintech is nothing. This award goes to the technology company with the greatest impact on the fintech market.
Galileo Financial Technologies
Excellence in Financial Inclusion
As the speakers at LendIt LatAm showcased, Financial Inclusion can be synonymous with success: succeed together or fail apart. This award goes to the company that has made the biggest difference in expanding access to financial services in new and innovative ways.
Emerging Fintech Company
New for 2022, this is awarded to the most promising young fintech company in any vertical. Contenders are young, scrappy, and hungry companies with a real possibility of becoming a leader in their category in the years to come.
The winners will be announced during awards season, as the finale of the LendIt Nexus summit in South Beach. Reserve a seat for Industry Awards and the two-day networking-only event Feb. 7-8.
Intensely energetic news reporter asking questions covering the collision between Silicon Valley, Wall Street, and everywhere in-between. Studied history at the University of Delaware, learned to write at the Review, and debanked.