Top Fintech Companies in Europe

Following the positive responses of the Growth Index for the Italian Fintech market, Mapendo’s Data Science team came back with a new series of the Growth Index, this time putting its focus not solely in its motherland but on the greater European landscape.

Growth Index 1.0: Highlights

We first came up with the idea of conducting a study on the growth of Fintech app services in September 2019.

The numbers for this market were impressive (and still are!), from the initial VC investments to the end level of final users, but was the growth consistent in time? Are the apps effectively used by its users? And what are the latter’s thoughts about the service/app experience?

The total value of investments into Fintech companies worldwide from 2010 to 2018 (in billion U.S. dollars)

Our study focused on the neobanks market in Italy, for which, we collected data to calculate the Growth Rank, a comprehensive value of apps’ active usage and after-experience appreciation of the users.

The results were predictable and surprising at the same time. The upper ranks consisted of companies backed by hundreds of millions of investments from global venture capital, as we predicted. Yet, the companies that we expected to perform poorly, that is traditional banks’ doppelgangers for the digital-only, did not lose ground in the index. A remarkable example was the performance of buddybank, Unicredit Italia’s digital product thought for iOS users, which ranked first in the iOS Apps metric.

Read the full article here 👉

Growth Index 2.0


The guiding idea for Growth Index 2.0 was kept unchanged.

This time, we wanted to explore how the same products performed across different countries and how local products, that is, services targeted to respective country residents of Spain, France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom, compared to them.

We also improved the split metrics formulae to better capture and differentiate the data we’ve collected over the time period analyzed, quarter October 2019 — January 2020.

Growth Index explained

Mapendo’s Growth Index is an aggregate value of four different metrics (User reviews, Website ranking, iOS app, and Android app), ranking challenger banks from the perspectives of market penetration, service popularity, and app appreciation.

What do the metrics mean?

  • User reviews measures the appreciation shown by users via ratings and reviews. We tried to evaluate the extraordinary user experience, which distinguishes challenger banks from traditional retail banks, other than creating a fundamental element of diversification and competition among themselves.
  • Website ranking measures the public’s interest, expressed in terms of SEO and website traffic.
  • iOS App and Android App measure respectively the app performance on iOS and Android.

The apps are the ones and only access points of neobanks and to measure how widespread they are. We extracted downloads and ranking data from the Finance category of app stores.

By differentiating the two platforms in our analysis, we’ve succeeded in giving more space, in the Index Decomposition, to apps targeted to one market or the other, which otherwise would seem as underperforming (as the final Growth Index adds up numbers obtained from both devices).

Enough with the explanations…

… what does the Growth Index look like?

  • Comprehensive ranking in each of the five markets analyzed: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK.
  • Top 3 Performers in each of the split metrics: User reviews, Website traffic, iOS App, Android App (by country)

Diving into the data

It is interesting to notice how products vary across different markets. While the industry unicorns maintain their sovereignty even across different countries (as it is for Revolut, which keeps the absolute record in all five countries understudy), the immediate following places are occupied mainly by country-focused banks. Many of them are also born as digital products of traditional banks. This is the case for Banca Widiba and CheBanca! (Gruppo Mediobanca) in Italy, Openbank (Santander Group), bnc10 and Bnext in Spain, Tomorrow in Germany, Starling Bank and firstdirect (HSBC) in the UK, Orange Bank in France.

We are rather intrigued by Germany’s results. Base of one of the most popular and well-established neobanks N26, Germany doesn’t welcome a great base of users (please note the different range of scale of the German index). The lack of enthusiasm with respect to the other countries finds its origin mainly in German people’s commitment to traditional banks and to their preference of cash over cards and technological devices¹.

Indeed, according to S&P Global, in 2017, almost half (47.5%) of all transactions in Germany including online payments were still handled in cash. According to Deutsche Bank 74% of retail transactions are still made with cash in Germany. To compare, in the UK, 72% of consumers do the majority of their banking online².

What about the breakdown analysis?

In the Growth Index Breakdown, a chance to ‘shine’ is given to digital services that chose specific market segments as targets, that is, iOS-users-only or Android-users-only (although the first case is more common).

As explained, our Growth Index is a cumulative value of four metrics, thus neobanks like buddybank (Unicredit Italia) are greatly penalized in the ranking for lacking one of the four metrics. This may be misleading as a result. In fact, whilst positioning 11th (out of 17) in the overall rank, buddybank reveals to be the best performing service for iOS devices.

Interested in knowing more about us and our A.I. tech? You can learn about how it can help grow your App here!


The intense competition in the industry and the immense enthusiasm demonstrated by users create a fast-changing environment, where end-users are more and more educated on the services offered and consequently more difficult to satisfy. In this environment strategy, it is all about: app marketers are required to think differently to win the game.

Although at each country’s national-level country-focused banks find a considerable audience, the largest piece of the cake is obtained by banks born and conceived from philosophies with an international mindset. Perhaps, this international outlook is also the major strategic factor that led Revolut to indisputably wear the crown in all five markets.


With our Growth Index series, we hope to bring more insights into the leverage works of tech-only-based services. Many of them, adopting full programmatic services to support their growth.

Keep following us to receive the latest updates on our Growth Index series (next issue: a comparative analysis of consecutive quarters performances)!

Want to learn more?

For more insights on relevant data about your industry or questions on how to leverage User Acquisition and programmatic advertising to drive incremental revenue for your app, contact us!


The analysis is based on public data extracted from App Annie, Trustpilot, SimilarWeb, Google Play, App Store.

Website traffic data takes into account, to the extent possible, traffic originating exclusively from the specific countries.



Mapendo’s artificial intelligence solution creates the most effective User Acquisition funnels in Fintech, Travel/Booking and E-commerce sectors.

Ads and landing pages for our customers — more than 50, from 60 different countries — receive over 3 billion clicks a month, generating millions of CPA shares.

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We are Mapendo. Curious and innovative. Mobile App Marketing is what we do and w. Artificial Intelligence is how we do it. || Bologna, IT ||

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