It may not be the first thing that comes to mind every time you use ApplePay to buy your coffee or Venmo your friend for booking that rental, but by doing so, you are participating in one of the most revolutionary innovations of our time. And, more likely than not, your transaction went through Atlanta.
Every year, trillions of dollars flow across payments systems managed by Georgia companies in the fintech capital of the world. Fintech, the cross-section between finance and technology, describes the industry that has made it easier to send, spend and manage money. Apps, websites and other digital platforms that help transfer funds, enable transactions, automate investing decisions and buy financial products are all part of what is considered fintech.
Transaction Alley & More in Atlanta
The fintech talent pool is thriving in the Atlanta community. Emerging businesses in the Georgia capital are proving to be the exception to the rule that most startups fail. Incubators like The Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) at Georgia Tech University yield a 90% graduate success rate, setting the standard for startups in the city. Innovative Atlanta fintech companies Kabbage, Greenlight and BitPay are bringing the South to the forefront of financial technology innovation.
WorldPay US has had a big hand in creating the vibrant tech community in Atlanta as one of the top acquirers of growing ventures. The company’s President and CEO, Tony Catalfano, has committed $1 million towards the launch of ATDC to keep the industry growing.
TechSquare ATL serves as an exclusive social club and innovation center for companies as small as pre-seed startups and as large as Coca-Cola.
The city also hosts two annual VC conferences: Pitch Atlanta, an invite-only event that connects entrepreneurs with investors, and Venture Atlanta, which typically draws over a thousand entrepreneurs.
What makes Atlanta such a hub for fintech startups? The market opportunity of the city depends on the established fintech ecosystem, access to partners and clients, low operating costs, a favorable regulatory environment, and a diverse talent pipeline, as well as a host of startup incubators to create a tech community and boost local companies.
The Atlanta culture surrounding STEM education sustains a diverse workforce and a talent pool fit for hiring diversity. The region has over 290,000 students enrolled in 64 colleges and universities and is considered the #2 metro area for the quality of its engineering universities. Beyond academic excellence, Atlanta universities prioritize inclusive opportunity. Georgia Tech tops the rankings in engineering degrees awarded to Black students, women, and foreign nationals.
Vibrant Culture & Community
Southern hospitality is alive an well in this city with a rich history, diverse makeup, and sprawling growth. Residents of Atlanta can enjoy perks like city parks, popular shops and markets, art museums, and an aquarium. Many folks appreciate the city’s fine food and wine, some frequent popular bars, while others explore international cuisines along Buford Highway. Activities like concerts, sports games, and more are favorite for many locals. Plus, compared to many similar sized cities, Atlanta boasts affordability and a lower cost of living.
Support or Resources for Startups & entrepreneurs
The Atlanta Tech Village, a tech incubator complex in the neighborhood of Buckhead, supports the development of hundreds of startups in the area. Housed in a 103,000 square foot building, the Village is now the fourth-largest tech hub in the United States. Since its founding, the Village has supported over 300 startups— raising a total of $826 million in capital—and created more than 6,000 jobs.
Key Atlanta Companies
Atlanta began its fintech story through companies that now process nearly 70% of the world’s digital payments. Companies like First Data, Global Payments and TSYS have grown over decades to become some of the most influential players in the financial technology space.
More recently, startups like MailChimp, Kabbage and Scoutmob have become global success stories with local roots in the Atlanta tech village. MailChimp, the email marketing giant, bootstrapped their way to over $400 million by simplifying the process of email distribution. Kabbage, which provides financing to small businesses, is a fintech unicorn with $250 million in funding from SoftBank, is currently valued at $1 billion+ . Scoutmob rose to fame as an app for deals, getting rid of the cost for consumers and became powerful competition sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial.
The Top 20 Georgia based FinTech companies generate an annual revenue of more than $72 billion. The state now ranks third in the nation.
Is Atlanta the right fit for your startup company or tech career? At One America Works, we take a proactive approach to linking growth companies and jobseekers with the fastest growing tech cities in the US. Learn more about what makes Atlanta a great place to grow a company, start a career, and more. Stay up-to-date on other growing cities through One America Works and follow us for more trends worth your attention.