Hi all, Julie here.
Happy Monday! Excited to get October started off on a high note. In case you missed it, we have new Tux Time episodes withCharley Ma, Credit Karma’s GM of Money, and TripActions Liquid’s SVP. More exciting interviews to come :)
Today's Partner, Laika
Navigating enterprise procurement
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Monzo Backs Out of License Application
British challenger Monzo has withdrawn its application for a U.S. banking license after starting the process in April of last year. Monzo said this “isn’t the outcome” it initially set out to achieve, but “following recent engagement with the OCC” the startup decided to back out of the process for now. It’s worth noting that Monzo successfully secured a full banking license in the U.K. in 2017, though the company has yet to turn a profit.
Funding and Deals
Ladder’s New Round
I have very fond memories of Ladder. I interviewed the founder, Jamie, at SXSW a few years ago and they crashed Gwyneth Paltrow’s party with me after. True story. Anyways, Ladder, which provides flexible term life insurance policies providing coverage, announced $100M in new equity funding and a valuation of $900M. The company says that revenues are growing four-fold this year and it’s on track to issue $30B in coverage by the end of this year. Ladder focuses a lot on younger demographics, with easier-to-use interfaces, a wider range of pricing and coverage options, and algorithms that can produce quotes and close deals much faster.
Not a good weekend for Compound. After a glitch in the DeFi lending platform that led to nearly $90M in mistaken rewards being distributed last week, Compound Labs’ founder said that might not be the end of it. On Sunday, he tweeted that an additional 202,472.5 COMP tokens were issued, bringing the total dollar amount of crypto that was accidentally distributed to about $160M. COMP is the “native token” used to conduct transactions. Since the platform is decentralized, the company must now wait and hope that users return the funds that they were sent by mistake. So far, having the founder beg and even threaten users hasn’t worked...
It’s really too bad that Shaq is doing this after Ian’s birthday and we can’t get these as a gift for him this year...Shaquille O’Neal announced he’s releasing his own collection of NFTs in partnership with Ethernity Chain. The collection of five NFTs will run on Ethernity and be available for purchase on October 15. On top of that, the buyers will be entered to win a pair of custom size 22 shoes and a personal video call with O’Neal himself, as well as a dinner table at O’Neal’s music festival. This literally would have been the perfect birthday gift for Ian, ugh. Anyways, Ethernity has previously launched athlete-partnered NFT collections with the NFL’s Ezekiel Elliot and boxer Manny Pacquiao, so this isn’t the first big release the platform has seen.
Crypto Funds Get Inflows
Bitcoin is back above $40K and everyone is bullish again. Digital asset investment products attracted $90M in new money, marking the seventh straight week of inflows after experiencing a rough summer. The report from CoinShares showed Bitcoin-focused funds took in $69M, the third straight week of inflows, while crypto funds focused on Ethereum saw $20M of inflows.
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Equal parts design systems, IA, and visual design, this role will impact the future of everything Square builds. As the Lead Designer on the Square Banking Ecosystem team, you will be the first dedicated designer on this newly formed team, reporting to the Head of Design & Creative for Banking. Square is building a suite of new financial products and you will be essential to creating connections between these products and defining the roadmap and design vision for the shared product surface areas. Apply at the link above!
Congrats to Community Member and friend Ohad Samet of TrueAccord for being named one of 10 people defining the future of consumer credit!