Strategy Note /

5 top-performing listed fintechs of 2021

  • We highlight 5 fintech shares that have delivered 115% median return: Angel One, M Cash, Kakao Pay, Kaspi, East Money

  • Our selection spans several geographies and sectors; a portfolio of these names would have more than doubled in the year

  • We also highlight 5 high-profile firms whose shares have tanked: Waterdrop, KE Holdings, Pagseguro, Lufax and Paytm

5 top-performing listed fintechs of 2021
Rohit Kumar
Rohit Kumar

Global Financials/Thematics

Rahul Shah
Rahul Shah

Head of Corporate & Thematic Research

Tellimer Research
7 January 2022
Published byTellimer Research

Listed fintechs had a tough year in 2021, with sector returns almost flat yoy. However, there was a wide dispersion in performance across various sectors and geographies. In this note we highlight five of the best performing fintech shares of the past year. Our selection spans several geographies and sectors; a portfolio of these names would have more than doubled in the year. We also highlight five high profile firms whose shares have plummeted in 2021; a portfolio of these companies’ shares would have more than halved over the past twelve months.

Angel One (India)

US$ total return: +246% | market cap: US$1.3bn

Angel One, previously known as Angel Broking, is a digital investment services company offering stock trading, advisory services, margin funding, mutual fund investments, etc., to its customers. It is one of the largest retail brokerage houses in India. The company was incorporated in 1996 but shifted to a fully digital business model in 2019. Angel Broking has various innovative product offerings, which include ARQ (a robo-advisory platform), iTrade Prime (a trading platform offering flat per-order pricing for various asset classes) and AngelBee (a mutual fund investment platform). It currently has a total client base of 6.5mn, with 2.5mn active clients.

Angel One's positive share price performance is supported by the firm's strong growth momentum. The company's average daily turnover during the quarter ended Sep-2021 rose 352% yoy to around US$80bn, increasing its market share by 9ppts to 21%. Its revenues in this period rose 69% yoy while profits are up 80% yoy.

Angel One appointed Narayan Gangadhar as its new CEO in April 2021. He has two decades of experience with leading global technology firms including Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Uber. The company recently changed its name from Angel Broking to Angel One to reflect its change in focus from being a traditional brokerage to building a completely digital business model.

Angel One's transformation from traditional brokerage to a fully-digital model

Source: Company presentation

M Cash Integrasi (Indonesia)

US$ total return: +135% | market cap: US$0.6bn

Established in 2010, M Cash Integrasi is a digital services provider operating across various business segments with a broad and growing suite of products (currently 18, see exhibit below). M Cash identifies itself as a platform that builds digital products and services to address specific unmet economic needs. Its flagship product is Digital Kiosk, which is targeted at providing services to unbanked customers. Since 2017, the company has expanded into various other product lines, including mobile wallets, payments infrastructure, business communication, cloud advertising, logistics and food delivery.

M Cash's strong share price performance this year is likely down to its rapidly expanding product portfolio. It aims to capitalise on network effects and data gathered through its wide product suite to enhance the consumer experience and boost customer retention.

M Cash's expanded product portfolio

Source: Company presentation

Kakao Pay (South Korea)

US$ total return: +95% | market cap: US$19.6bn

Kakao Pay is a digital payments platform sponsored by Kakao, South Korea's top mobile messaging service provider. It offers various financial services to its customers, including payments, money transfers and asset management. It also recently ventured into the securities business, which is growing strongly. In addition, Kakao Pay has a digital non-life insurance unit. The company had 37mn registered users at September 2021 (with 20mn considered active) conducting transactions worth over US$80bn annually. Kakao Corporation and Ant Group are the major shareholders.

Kakao Pay completed its listing on KOSPI in November 2021. Its shares more than doubled on the first day of trading, indicating an attractive IPO price point and investors' strong demand for the story. Q3 21 saw revenues growing by 48% yoy, with monthly active users up 23% yoy and transaction volume up 41%. Kakao Pay's digital stock trading offering is also performing strongly, with registered accounts almost doubling yoy to 5.2mn users.

Kakao Pay has a KRW46tn total addressable market

Source: Company presentation. Note: units are KRW

Kaspi (Kazakhstan)

US$ total return: +86% | market cap: US$22.7bn

Kaspi is the leading financial technology platform in Kazakhstan. It listed on the London Stock Exchange in October 2020. Kaspi started off as a payments platform but has since transformed itself into a super app offering payments (both mobile wallet and infrastructure services), digital banking, e-commerce, BNPL, travelling, mapping and messaging and other services. Payments contribute about 30% of revenues while e-commerce accounts for another 20%, with the remainder spread across other products. Kaspi has 10.8mn monthly active users on its platform, who perform an average of 45 transactions per month; the transaction rate has almost doubled in the past year.

Kaspi's strong price performance during 2021 results from robust business growth, which is benefitting from network effects as the product portfolio expands. Kaspi's userbase and activity are growing across all verticals; the experience of Alipay in China suggests that these network effects could represent a strong entry barrier to competitors. In addition to delivering strong growth, the company is also highly profitable, with 9M 21 ROE at 70%.

Kaspi is outperforming its growth targets across all segments

Source: Company presentation

East Money Information (China)

US$ total return: +50% | market cap: US$60.0bn

Founded in 2005, East Money Information is a Shanghai-based company engaged in online investment services. Its platform,, is a one-stop solution for investments and provides services to over 100mn users. East Money's products include investment information, advisory, financial data, securities trading, online mutual fund sales, stock exchange community and online wealth management. The business is growing strongly; revenues have increased by around 75% in both 2020 and 2021 while net income growth has been even higher. The net margin is an impressive 63%, up from 43% in 2019.

East Money was also part of our top fintech performers of 2020 list, but its strong share price performance in 2021 is even more eye-catching, considering the sell-off in Chinese tech stocks. We think the price appreciation is mainly attributable to robust mutual fund inflows (although this has slowed recently) and rising trading activity, both of which have contributed to the firm's solid financial performance.

East Money Information's growth trajectory

Five high-profile underperformers

Below we highlight five high-profile but poorly performing fintech shares. China regulatory woes and investors' more cautious approach towards high-multiple shares have been contributory factors for some of these names.

1. Waterdrop (China): US$ total return: -89% | market cap: US$0.5bn

2. KE Holdings (China): US$ total return: -68% | market cap: US$21.4bn

3. Pagseguro (Brazil): US$ total return: -54% | market cap: US$8.4bn

4. Lufax (China): US$ total return: -48% | market cap: US$12.8bn

5. Paytm (India): US$ total return: -39% | market cap: US$11.6bn

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Emerging markets fintech: 2021's best (and worst) markets, verticals and stocks