Hi all, Julie here.
So ready for a holiday weekend. There’s a possibility that Robinhood’s S1 drops after I send out this email. If so, you’ll have to wait until next week for my initial thoughts. And you’ll have to wait until closer to the actual listing for my deeper thoughts when I work with Mario from The Generalist on a deep dive along with an amazing crew.
In the meantime, check out my podcast out now with Rize CEO and Co-Founder Justin Howell in the final part of our couples finance series! I had totally forgotten that Rize started out as a B2C play focused on couples finances before pivoting to B2B. Loved hearing his thoughts and predictions for the future of the space.
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Klarna’s Good News And Bad News
Buy Now Pay Later giant Klarna had a bad start to the day on Thursday. The company was forced to temporarily shut down its app after a "self-inflicted incident" had users logging in to random accounts, full of private information. Klarna said the cause was an error made during an app update, and it lasted for around 30 minutes with as many as 9500 users impacted. The company is also rumored to be raising another round of funding that would push its valuation above $40B.
SPACs Are Back
Honestly I’m sad Ian didn’t tell me about this first (he used to work there). Acorns is going to go public via a SPAC. The merger would value the digital savings and investing app at about $2.2B. One of the first apps in the robo advising/micro investing space, Acorns says it now has north of $4.7B in assets under management. It’ll be interesting to see what this offering does for the likes of Stash, Betterment, Wealthfront and others that do business in the same space, though with slightly different models. Wealthfront and Betterment, for instance, have higher AUMs but fewer customers since their customers tend to hold much higher balances with the firms.
And on the SPAC front, congrats to SoFi on its deal closing and ringing the bell next week!
Robinhood Helps Healthcare Workers Get Access to Figs IPO
Not entirely fintech since this is an apparel company, but I love that Robinhood allowed healthcare workers early access to the Figs IPO. This is a great example of how platforms in our space can help people that aren’t super wealthy gain access to IPOs and potentially higher returns.
Afterpay’s New York Fashion Week Feature
We started with BNPL and we’re ending with BNPL. Fashion week is coming up soon, and the BNPL player that perhaps has the biggest fashion presence, Afterpay, is trying something new. Rather than simply buying now and paying later, the company is going to do “see now, buy now.” Afterpay is the presenting sponsor for the event this year, and with that it will be helping consumers literally buy items as they see them on the runway and pay for them in installments.
Really cool piece from our friends at cable on how to build a financial crime team!
Love love love seeing more of these fintech meetups now that vaccinations are rolling out widely and things are opening! Hit us up if you’re interested in attending one in your city!