Trailblazing East Asian-American Startups Revolutionizing the US Payments Industry

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The startup ecosystem is teeming with brilliant minds from all walks of life, each working tirelessly to transform their innovative ideas into reality. This article celebrates a few of these innovative personalities and their achievements within the Payments industry. Focusing on startups founded by individuals from East Asian heritage, this article forms part of our series on initiatives taken by minority groups in the business world, emphasizing on startup culture.

These startups continue to redefine the finance sector, leveraging the latest technologies such as blockchain and Fintech, to create solutions that improve efficiency, accessibility, and security of transactions. Through their hard work, they have not only brought forth new paradigms for handling and processing payments but also contributed to elevating individuals from minority groups within the corporate sphere.

Prepare to delve into the world of some of the top East Asian-founded startups in the Payments industry. From banking and cryptocurrency to retail and enterprise services, these innovative companies are making waves with their ground-breaking solutions. So without further ado, here are a few startups that are reshaping the industry.

Illume Financial

Founded in San Francisco, California, by Adam Schlesinger, Chirag Shukla, Dave Kochbeck, and Jeff Schnitz, Illume Financial is an innovator in the Fintech space. The company is dedicated to helping modern Fintechs launch innovative financial products at scale, significantly contributing to the Banking and Financial Services industries.


Based in Livermore, California, Gluon is a versatile startup founded by Hakam Misson, Narinder Bajwa, Sameer Misson, and Stuart Hockman. The company’s primary offering is a platform that establishes an interconnected network of businesses, consumers, and vehicles, fostering seamless communication and data exchange. This Innovation-driven platform is the backbone behind their major advancements in diverse sectors including Blockchain and Retail Technology.


Led by Tammy Camp and Sean Bennett, Stronghold calls San Francisco, California, its home. Embracing the potential of the blockchain technology, Stronghold provides developers with a platform for creating virtual payment networks. This API not only supports rich app development but also access to legacy and next-generation payment networks.

OAK Network

Established by Chris Li and Irsal McGinnis, OAK Network is yet another San Francisco, California-based startup. The company has made strides in automatic transactional procedures, eliminating many of the complexities observed in traditional solutions. Their product enables users to create customized on-chain automation, facilitating schedule future and recurring payments among other functionalities.


Another innovative startup from New York, New York is Pico. The company was founded by Jason Bade and Nick Chen. Pico presents a comprehensive, SaaS platform that empowers entrepreneurs to transform their social media audience into a thriving business, contributing significantly to the realm of audience-driven marketing and e-commerce.

Ternary Developments

Founded by Jason Lee, Ternary Developments is a Miami, Florida-based startup. The company has developed premium solutions for Discord server owners. Through their seamless web-based UI, they unify the Website, Stripe, and Discord experience, enabling automation in the entire lifecycle of a member.


Lithic, headquartered in New York, New York, was established by Boling Jiang, David Nichols, and Jason Kruse. Through its platform, Lithic provides virtual cards, giving both consumers and businesses peace of mind and convenience. These virtual cards allow users to prioritize their safety without compromising their sensitive financial information, hence redefining the consumer, Financial Services, and Fintech industries.

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