12TH - 14TH
CEO - Bunq
Ali Niknam (1981), born in Canada but from Iranian descent, grew out to be the de-facto innovator in the financial sector, bringing diversity to the banking industry. He set up his first company when he was just 16 years old. In his early twenties he founded TransIP, the third largest domain name and web hosting provider in the world. In 2012 he set out to radically change the banking industry and founded bunq.
Ali managed to get the first European banking permit in over 35 years and, as its sole investor, invested €98.7M in bunq. In a deal with British private equity firm Pollen Street Capital, bunq has raised €193 million and the company’s valuation soars to €1.6 billion, as of July 2021. As part of the deal, bunq acquired Capitalflow Group, a privately held Irish lending company with strong ties to the Irish community. In 2022, bunq acquired Belgian fintech TriCount, a move that made bunq the second largest neobank in the EU.