Hi all, Julie here.
We survived the ice/cold temps unscathed. Thanks to my dad for giving us #AllTheTips on getting things ready for cold weather (pipes outside can freeze and burst?!). Thankfully the internet didn’t go out and I was able to talk to the newest cohort of Plaid’s FinRise program :) Another solid crew of founders that I'm excited to follow!
Lastly, here are a few of our recent episodes of What’s Happening In Fintech Today for you over the weekend:
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One97 Communications (which operates Paytm) didn’t have such a great earnings report this week. The stock has gotten rekt since its November IPO so it didn’t see a big fall yesterday like US listed companies have seen after missing earnings, but it brought up questions of profitability. The company reported a loss of 7.8B rupees ($104M) for the December quarter, compared with a loss of 4.74B rupees a quarter earlier. Revenues rose 34% from the previous quarter to 14.6B rupees. The company traded as high as 2,150 rupees at the IPO, and the stock is currently trading at 950 rupees.
Funding and Deals
Bitcoin, meet Web3. Trust Machines raised $150M to build an ecosystem of applications designed to "unlock the potential of Bitcoin" for Web3. While Ethereum and other blockchains have been leading the way in Web3, Bitcoin has remained more of an investment vehicle. Trust Machines’ goal is to create the largest ecosystem of Bitcoin apps and grow the Bitcoin economy. NFTs (of which I just bought my first one) are still most popular on Ethereum. If this all helps lower gas fees, count me in.
LatAm Payments Funding
Bold, a fintech company working to enable financial access to electronic payments in Colombia, raised $55M in a funding round led by Tiger Global. The company is a payment services provider currently focused on serving micro and SMB merchants. Its first product was a credit card reader that launched in the first quarter of 2020. It later added a “pay-by-link” service as well. The company says it ended 2021 with more than 100,000 merchants using its services. In a recent article, the founder said that cash still represents over 80% of transaction volume in Colombia versus 35% in Brazil and 30% in the US.
NFT Community Funding
Tiger Global gets another mention today. Shocker. RareCircles, an all-in-one platform for building powerful NFT memberships, raised $7.5M in a round led by Tiger Global. The company’s aim is to support the next wave in NFTs, which it believes will be driven by a new generation of entrepreneurs looking to create robust membership experiences. RareCircles provides infrastructure for captivating audiences post purchase, such as a suite of tools that integrates access to exclusive content, unique drops, private communities, and immersive benefits.
Dune’s New Funding
Crypto analytics platform Dune is now a unicorn with its latest funding round led by Coatue. The company plans to use the capital to create a community of up to 1M analysts, support more blockchains, build an API, and massively expand its team. I hadn’t heard of Dune before, but basically it helps its users monitor metrics and trading volumes in the crypto space. The platform currently has 10,000 analysts and 100,000 pieces of analysis. While accessible to the public for free, it also has a paid product for customized data that goes for $390 per month. Dune currently helps fetch data from Ethereum, Polygon, Optimism, Binance Smart Chain, and xDAI, but plans on adding more blockchains soon.
Austin Crypto Funding
So I need to get one thing off my chest here. I love that CoinLedger is based in Austin and I love the company idea. But, there is a problem with their leadership team. It’s literally all white dudes. It’s 2022 guys…Anyways, the company just raised a new funding round and it’s a tax-reporting platform for crypto, DeFi, NFT, and Web3 users. Aka: people that are gonna need a lot of help with taxes this year and beyond. CoinLedger's CryptoTrader Tax integrates with hundreds of exchanges, wallets, and blockchains to help make filing taxes easier.
Oh hey, another crypto hack. This time, an attacker exploited Wormhole, a bridge between the Ethereum and Solana blockchains. The sum? Close to $323M or around 120K ETH. This is one of the largest exploits of a decentralized finance protocol to date.
Funds Replenished But Not Recovered
Crypto never sleeps! A day after the attack, Jump Crypto, a crypto venture capital firm that owns the developer of the Wormhole token bridge, announced it had deposited 120,000 Ether into the Solana-Ethereum bridge that suffered the devastating exploit. The whereabouts of the "hacked funds" and whether or not the malicious actor who took them will face consequences is still unknown. The protocol has offered a $10M whitehat bounty for the return of the stolen funds.
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After completing work to sharpen its brand strategy and market narrative, Orum is now looking to refresh their website in order to serve as both an educational and acquisition tool for key audiences. While it has secured talent to help evolve the brand's visual identity and build the website, it is on the hunt for a rockstar writer with deep fintech experience and familiarity with technical language in a B2B context that can bring its new tone of voice to life. In addition to the website, Orum has additional content initiatives that it would be interested in discussing as well. If this sounds like you, click the link above!