Keefe, Bruyette & Woods and Nasdaq have launched an index that tracks fintech companies.

The KBW Nasdaq Financial Technology Index includes 49 fintech companies, which represent 18% of the investable universe of domestic financial services firms and accounts for a $785 billion total market cap, KBW and Nasdaq announced in a joint press release Monday. The index's ticker is KFTX.

The companies in the index leverage new assets like advanced data aggregation and analysis, innovative technology, and creative thinking, the firms said. Nearly all of them operate online and generate revenue mostly through fees. The list includes publicly traded credit card issuers, core technology providers, digitally-focused banks, marketplace lenders, payments firms and information companies.

As the fintech sector has grown the definition of the term "fintech" has become less clear and less consistent among different types of companies, the firms said, and part of the aim of the index is to give investors a precise representation of what's available in the market.

"Technology is changing the way financial services are both created and delivered to the market," Fred Cannon, global director of research at KBW, said in the release. "The KFTX provides a relevant benchmark within the fintech space, which will be valuable to the increasing number of investors closely watching this area."

Global investments in fintech have exploded in recent years - such investments totaled $19.1 billion in 2015, compared to $2.4 billion in 2011, according to data from KPMG and CBInsights.

The companies included in the index are ACI Worldwide, Alliance Data Systems, American Express, Bankrate, Black Knight Financial Services, Blackhawk Network Holdings, BofI Holding, Broadridge Financial Solutions, Cardtronics, CBOE Holdings, CME Group, CoreLogic, Dun & Bradstreet, Envestnet, Equifax, Euronet Worldwide, EverBank Financial, EVERTEC, FactSet Research Systems, Fair Isaac Corp., Fidelity National Information Services, First Data, Fiserv, FleetCor Technologies, Global Payments, Green Dot, Intercontinental Exchange, IHS Markit, Jack Henry & Associates, LendingClub, MarketAxess Holdings, Mastercard, Moody's, MSCI, Nasdaq, PayPal Holdings, S&P Global, SEI Investments, Square, SS&C Technologies Holdings, Western Union, Thomson Reuters, Total System Services, Vantiv, VeriFone Systems, Verisk Analytics, Virtu Financial, Visa and WEX.

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