- TitleCofounder and CEO
The explosion of fintech—short for financial technology—wouldn’t have happened without Plaid. After the Dodd-Frank Act guaranteed consumers access to their own banking data—and in digital form—following the 2008 financial crisis, Perret (along with his cofounder, William Hockey) saw an opportunity to build technology that would connect that data with money-moving apps. One of their very first customers was Venmo, a peer-to-peer payments app that was acquired by PayPal and is now considered one of the earliest fintech hits. Since then, Plaid has come to power some 80% of major fintech companies, including investing app Robinhood and cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase. Its tech is now also used by other companies such as Microsoft and e-commerce platform Shopify, and in January, Visa agreed to acquire Plaid for $5.3 billion—one of the fintech industry’s most successful exits to date and making Perret one of its youngest (and likely wealthiest) stars.