30 Under 30 Finance 2023

30 Under 30 Finance 2023

During a year of heavy losses in the financial markets, these entrepreneurs, traders and investors deftly navigate choppy waters and make a big impact.

Of Jeff Kauflin, Maneet Ahuja,Nina Bambysheva,and Michael del Castillo

Back in 2010, Ham Serunjogi saw the problems his father faced trying to move money through Africa’s ossified banking system. Then just 16, Serunjogi had made the Ugandan Youth Olympic team and had to pay his swimming coach, but his father couldn’t make a simple bank transfer – he had to fly to South Africa with an envelope full of cash. Two years later, at Grinnell college, Serunjogi met Maijid Moujaled, a Ghanaian computer science major who had started a popular student coding group. Almost immediately, the two started talking about developing an African money transfer app, which they later called Chipper Cash, and launched it in 2018.

Today, over five million customers use Chipper Cash to send money between seven nations, including Uganda, South Africa, Nigeria, the UK and the US. Customers can pay bills, as well as trade stocks and crypto. In 2021, San Francisco-based Chipper posted more than $75 million in revenue, mostly from foreign exchange fees, and in the first half of 2022 it brought in more than $100 million. The pair has raised $300 million in funding, reaching a valuation of $2.2 billion in November 2021.

Serunjogi, 28, is just one of the honorees on the 2023 30 Under 30 in Finance list, which covers traditional financial services, fintech, and crypto and blockchain. The shortlists were chosen from more than a thousand nominations and were evaluated by an all-star set of judges, including David Vélez, co-founder and CEO of Sao-Paulo-based digital bank Nubank; Alex Atallah, co-founder of non-fungible token marketplace OpenSea; Christine Moy, a partner and head of digital asset strategy at Apollo Global Management; and Jenny Just, a co-founder and managing partner of investment firm Peak6 Investments.

Despite the sharp drop in cryptocurrency prices over the past year, digital asset entrepreneurs continue to gain momentum and have a broad impact, and they featured strongly on this year’s list. An example is Hayden Adams, 28, which followed an idea created by Ethereum inventor Vitalik Buterin for a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange that uses automated market makers controlled by code instead of humans. Launched in 2018, Uniswap has become one of the most popular crypto applications, with millions of users and more than $1 trillion in lifetime trading volume.

Kevin Sekniqi, 29, is one of the founders of Avalanche, a high-speed blockchain that has over three million users. In September, private equity giant KKR said it would use Avalanche to tokenize part of a healthcare-focused private equity fund, giving investors access to private equity at a fraction of the capital typically required.

Many list makers also came from fintech. David Dindi, 29, Marco Alban-Hidalgo28 and Emma Marriott, 28, are co-founders of Atomic Invest, a white-label product that allows companies to offer investment services in their apps. Atomic has 30 clients ranging from regional banks and credit unions to fintech startups, and expects to reach $2 million in annual revenue this year.

Megan Harris, 27, did stints as a product manager at a title insurance startup and auto insurance company Root before founding Empora Title in 2020. The Columbus, Ohio, startup aims to speed up and increase transparency of the often opaque title search process required for every real estate transaction in America . Valued earlier this year at $95 million according to PitchBook, they’ve done 1,000 transactions, and the title fees they collect typically range from $1,000 to $2,000-plus.

Traditional financial services executives made up the final third of our list. In less than five years, Kate Dunbar, 27, has risen through the ranks to lead the macroeconomic research team at Bridgewater, the world’s largest hedge fund with $150 billion in assets under management. As the youngest person ever appointed to the firm’s investment committee, she conducted research examining the Covid crisis and subsequent financial shocks during the pandemic.

After enrolling at the University of Washington at 16 with a triple major in computer science, mathematics and economics, Eric Lei completed his Ph.D. in machine learning from Carnegie Mellon when he was 25, and was doing research in physics and medicine. Now, as a portfolio manager at WorldQuant, a $7 billion quantitative hedge fund spun out of $58 billion Millennium Management, Lei, 28, trades securities using artificial intelligence, machine learning and statistics to exploit market inefficiencies.

This year’s list was edited by Jeff Kauflin, Maneet Ahuja, Nina Bambysheva and Michael del Castillo. For a link to our complete financial list, click hereand for full 30 Under 30 coverage, click here.

Gallery: Callouts 30 Under 30 2023

20 pictures


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