5 Fintech start-up breakthroughs in 2021

Under the stress and strain of COVID, many small businesses have sought out financial management platforms which are easy to use. Meanwhile, with the increase of digital transfers, customers are looking for apps that safely escort their money across cyberspace. So, as 2022 begins, Business Leader reviewed the UK fintech start-ups who capitalised on last year’s demand for safe and secure online banking.

Atom Bank

Founded in 2014, Atom Bank was the first bank in the UK to operate solely on an online app platform. It was also the first online bank to be granted full UK regulatory licences. What set it apart from its competitors were its state-of-the-art security features. Users were able to log in to their bank accounts using face or voice recognition.

In 2017, LinkedIn put Atom Bank in their list of top 25 start-ups, rubbing shoulders with Deliveroo, Uber and Airbnb. By the end of 2021, the business had recorded assets in excess of £2.85billion.


Accumulating £20million in funding in 2015, Azimo has propelled itself to the top of the UK’s fintech community. They support the fast, secure and low cost transferral of money between friends and businesses.

Where they have thrived during the pandemic is in their facilitation of cheap overseas transfers. Countless expatriates who have found themselves stuck in national lockdowns have been able to use Azimo to send money back to their families. The app allows money to be sent to over 190 countries in over 80 currencies.


Monzo rose to prominence via its more casual and sociable approach to online banking. It aimed to simplify a banking process that had become needlessly complex. However, where it has truly excelled is in its engagement of its customers. The company has constantly sought to involve customers in the testing of new features and app updates. They also constantly engage with customer feedback, and strive to make their product as customer-friendly as possible.

Thanks to this ‘by our customers, for our customers’ approach, they saw their Monzo card users rise to 5.62million in 2021. Across the year, customers spent a staggering £16billion on Monzo cards.

Starling Bank

Committed to more ethical online banking, Starling Bank have seen their assets rise from £1.26billion to £7billion. The secret to their success has been their flexibility. They offer a full range of bank accounts tailored to the specific needs of their clients. Joint, teen, business, euro, dollar, personal and even child accounts are all available through their app.

Also supporting a number of innovative B2B facilities, Starling Bank had approximately 3.8 million downloads of its banking app worldwide in October 2021 alone, Airnow reports.


One of the UK’s fastest-growing fintech start-ups, Tide have developed a reputation for helping SMEs to manage their finances as efficiently as possible. They have developed a comprehensive set of highly efficient administrative solutions, fully integrating with modern accounting systems.

Relentlessly listening and catering to the needs of small business owners, they have become one of the leading providers of digital business banking services.