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SoFi Makes the List of World’s Most Innovative Companies of 2023

Most Innovative Companies

Competitive fields like personal finance can be hard for up and coming brands to crack into when competing with towering titans that have been around for decades.

However, that’s exactly what digital operator SoFi has managed to do, with recognition of its achievements coming in the form of a high ranking finish in this year’s Fast Company ranking of the most innovative organizations worldwide.

Let’s talk about what this means for SoFi in particular, and how the other players stack up against it at the moment.

Leaders in Innovation

The aim of SoFi is to empower its customers and allow them to take control of their finances, whether that’s through products like mortgage loans made easy, investments, credit cards, insurance or anything else relating to money management.

It also provides business solutions, with small business financing allowing entrepreneurs to acquire capital for their projects and push them to new heights.

Although it may have only launched back in 2011, in the interim SoFi has managed to grow from focusing on student loan refinancing, to encompassing a much wider array of offerings, as mentioned. With more than five million customers onboard, it retains its youth-focused branding and outlook, and managed to boost its revenues by 60 percent last year, hitting $1.6 billion.

Key Competitors to Know About

It’s worth pointing out that SoFi was honored with a third place finish in the personal finance segment of Fast Company’s rankings. This put it just behind front-running incumbent brand American Express, which was noted for having switched up its strategy to bring more under-40s onboard, having previously been less attuned to the needs of millennial and Gen-Z customers.

Second place in the ranking went to AcreTrader, a startup that has only been operational for five years, but has mixed things up with its fractional ownership business model that allows almost anyone to nab a slice of America’s enormous agricultural land market.

The top 5 was rounded out by First Republic and Quartr, with the former being a bank which prides itself on taking an especially principled approach to the services it offers. Unlike the other brands mentioned so far, this is a personal finance operator that chiefly targets more affluent, older customers, but also puts some of its capital into providing affordable housing in places where it is needed most. The latter, meanwhile, is a service that is all about giving users deeper insights into how companies are performing, so that they can tailor their investment strategies accordingly.

World-Beating Brands of the Moment

While SoFi and its contemporaries might be shaking things up in the specific niche of personal finance, the rest of Fast Company’s overview of the Most Innovative Companies of 2023 makes for interesting reading in terms of the broader business trends it highlights.

The overall number 1 spot was occupied by OpenAI, the business behind ChatGPT and several other game-changing artificial intelligence models that has hinted at just how much the future is likely to hinge on this technology.

Second place went to McDonald’s, which is a starkly different brand proposition to OpenAI, yet one which has managed to stand the test of time and stay relevant thanks to its willingness to reinvent itself and tap into the evolving cultures that fuel its customer base.

Airbnb took third place, with the Holdfast Collective and Nubank completing the top 5, creating a suitable eclectic collection of businesses and brands for insiders to debate and scrutinize in the coming weeks and months.

Wrapping Up

No doubt the SoFi team will be one of many celebrating their inclusion in this prestigious list, but it goes to show that new and old brands alike can share the spotlight so long as they don’t stagnate.

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