Hi all, Julie here.
Happy Friday! It’s very weird to have it be 70+ degrees outside in December, but it sounds like other areas of the country are seeing abnormally high temps too? Anyways, I’m hoping for a white Christmas in Michigan, but I’ll be excited to get back to Austin for a warmer winter after.
Two new podcasts were released this week! First was with Alex Bouaziz, Co-Founder of Deel, and the second was with Bradley Tusk of Tusk Ventures. Take a listen to both this weekend or bookmark for later :)
Today's Partner, Laika
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State of BNPL
Interesting report from TrueAccord on consumer payment preferences and debt payback.
“The percent of BNPL customers who make a payment is more than double the like-size credit card accounts at 30 days post placement and 50% higher at 90 days. The liquidation rate or repayment rate for BNPL accounts is 2.5 times that of credit cards at 30 days post placement and almost double at 90 days.”
There was a separate report out in recent days showing a surge in BNPL usage on Black Friday and Cyber Monday too.
Funding and Deals
Sorry, more news on this front. Bangalore-based Simpl announced a $40M raise led by Valar Ventures and IA Ventures. BNPL has existed in India for several years but has taken off recently. The startup said it has grown its monthly active merchants and active user base by 10 times in the past 18 months, with over 7,000 brands now using Simpl.
CeFi Pays Heavy Toll Going DeFi
In a piece I published yesterday, I mentioned that hacks, rug pulls and other fraudulent schemes in the crypto space are becoming more and more common. Add another massive scandal to the list. BadgerDAO, a DeFi protocol that offers yield opportunities on Wrapped BTC, announced that it suffered a massive hack resulting in $120M in losses. One wallet, in particular, suffered losses in the form of 896.8 Wrapped BTC (nearly $51M). In investigating this wallet, it became clear that it was tied to the CeFi exchange, Celsius.
Update: Just a few minutes ago, Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky confirmed that the wallet suffering heavy losses did belong to the exchange. He did, however, also confirm that the only money lost belonged to Celsius - no members were impacted by this massive hack.
Relaxing Crypto Ad Rules
Meta/Facebook is making it easier for companies to run advertisements promoting cryptocurrencies. A couple of years ago (thanks to ICOs), Facebook had made it harder for crypto advertising on the platform, requiring many marketers who wanted to promote cryptocurrency to submit an application including any licenses they have obtained and whether they are traded on a public stock exchange. Now, if the advertiser has one of 27 eligible regulatory licenses, Meta will accept it. Ads from parties advertising things like crypto events continue to be exempted from having to seek pre-approval.
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Associate at Costanoa Ventures
Costanoa is hiring an investor to focus on the burgeoning financial technology ecosystem. The firm has made numerous investments in the ecosystem, including BillGo, Highnote, Lively, Noyo, Liferaft, and Highline. Costanoa brings its world class company building skills to the fintech sector. Its investors combine operating & investment expertise, deep insight, and emotional intelligence. The firm’s operating platform provides expertise, tools and community to help founders learn more and grow faster. The primary goal of this role is to help the firm find, diligence, and invest in the best founders and companies. If this sounds like you, apply above!