Hi all, Julie here.
Quick programming note: this is our final week of newsletters for 2021! Also, I’m super excited to sit down with two members of Constitution DAO tomorrow to record a podcast. Ping me with your questions! Then the next morning, Fintech Bae and I head to Michigan for the holidays (assuming all of my family tests negative for Covid tomorrow). Fingers crossed! Otherwise, thanks to Alex Gillette (and Red Bull) for losing a bet to my hubby and helping me get treated to a fun date night last night ;)
Today's Partner, Laika
Hey. We’re Laika.
Laika is the only solution that combines every compliance function seamlessly. The platform uses cutting-edge technology to help businesses minimize risk and approach compliance the right way.
- Turnkey, guided experience: Eliminate redundancies, connect to services using integrations, and manage tasks directly on the platform
- Automated evidence gathering: Automatically upload documents to remove manual audit processes and maintain continuous compliance
- Integrated audit: Synergize audit-prep with programmatic audit-execution to experience smoothest audit experience yet
BNPL Cuts Out Networks
Klarna is enabling account-to-account payments via bank rails for their purchases. U.S. users of its BNPL app can pay installments through direct transfers from their accounts, in collaboration with GoCardless.
JPM Hires Former Paytm Exec
JP Morgan announced the hiring of the former Paytm president, Amit Nayyar, to lead its advisory work with European fintech companies. He’ll join just before Christmas and head up fintech and payments coverage for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He previously resigned from Paytm ahead of its 183B rupee ($2.4B) IPO in November.
Funding and Deals
A Billion Dollar Round
Even in a hot market, it’s not every day you see a $1B funding round. Today is one of those days. Crypto trading and custody startup NYDIG said Tuesday it raised $1B in a funding round that will value the firm at over $7B. The round was led by WestCap and joined by Bessemer Venture Partners, FinTech Collective and existing investors Affirm, FIS, Fiserv, MassMutual, Morgan Stanley and New York Life. The press release touted plans to “further develop NYDIG’s institutional-grade Bitcoin platform using recent upgrades to the Bitcoin protocol with capabilities such as Bitcoin and Lightning payments, asset tokenization and smart contracts.”
Insurtech startup Fuse announced a $25M extension round as it plans to enter more countries including Thailand and Vietnam. The Indonesian company connects insurance companies with multiple distribution channels and partners to make insurance services accessible and affordable through its technology. Like fintech more broadly, it’s a bet on more people wanting to do things digitally. Fuse claims it currently has more than 60k marketers or agent partners using the Fuse Pro mobile app and that it exceeded $70M in gross written premium (GWP) for the first three quarters of 2021.
Clean Up the Checkout Funding
Former Snap employees have raised $4.3M in funding for their new startup, Whym, which wants to make it easier for consumers to shop online from their phones. It kinda sounds like Fast in that instead of filling out long checkout forms and entering in payment card details, Whym’s solution offers a single-tap checkout experience where customers can pay via Apple Pay or Google Pay or even over a text message. The round was led by Deciens Capital and included participation from DNX Ventures, Reciprocal Ventures, Unusual Ventures, and more.
Anchorage’s New Funding Is Official
Congrats to our friends at Anchorage! The crypto bank announced a $350M funding round led by private equity giant KKR. This appears to be KKR's first direct equity investment in a crypto firm, though it does have a stake in the flagship fund of crypto VC firm ParaFi Capital.
Anchorage said it raised the new round to bring larger financial institutions on board for strategic growth. The company now offers much more than custody with lending, borrowing, trading, and staking services.
Coinbase and CoinMarketCap See Wild Swings
In an interesting turn of events on Tuesday, Fintech Bae briefly became a billionaire as Coinbase and CoinMarketCap suffered a “glitch” that led to prices being wildly inflated. The issue was quickly resolved, and both companies are saying that external players did not have a role to play in this crazy situation. Lucky for you all, Jordan’s gains were fiction and this newsletter lives to see another day.
Robinhood Makes an Acquisition
I feel like it has been a while since we’ve talked about Robinhood. While you’d assume this was unfavorable for most companies, Robinhood’s relationship with the press hasn’t always been so… [fill in the blank]. However, yesterday afternoon, Robinhood announced that it had acquired Cove Markets in an effort to further build out their crypto platform. As part of the deal, Cove co-founders Scott Knudsen and Victor Glava will join the Robinhood Crypto team. COO of Robinhood Crypto said “their wealth of experience in trading execution and crypto market infrastructure will help us to build more powerful trading capabilities, bringing the benefits of better competition in the crypto markets to our customers.”
Bored Ape Sells for How Much?!
I bet the first thing you expected when reading this headline is that a Bored Ape sold for some astronomical sum of money. Quite the contrary! In the latest episode of a fat finger error, one unfortunate soul accidentally listed his Bored Ape NFT for 0.75ETH, a small fraction of his intended price of 75ETH (~$300k at the time). Though he quickly realized his mistake, it was too late as a bot quickly scooped up the horribly mispriced ape and relisted it for nearly $250k. To be fair, if I blew my chance at such a big return, I’d lose many days of sleep, but this gentleman took it like champ and had this to say:
Sometimes you fuck up, make a bad buy, out of gas fail, send Eth to the wrong wallet or fat finger a listing 👀— maxnaut.eth (@maxnaut) December 12, 2021
It's going to happen. But, letting it occupy your mind for even one second after you can no longer affect the outcome is purely hurting yourself twice ❤️
Musk and Dogecoin
LOL, remember how Musk said in his Time interview that he doesn’t impact crypto prices? Can someone explain to me why Doge surged as much as 40% when Musk tweeted that Tesla will accept some payments in the digital token then?
Together With Fintech Meetup
500+ Organizations have already signed up for Fintech Meetup, the world’s largest fintech meetings-only event! That’s right - no speakers or content….just 30,000+ double opt-in online meetings that result in Leads, Deals, Partnerships and Funding. It’s the easiest way to meet the people who’ll help accelerate your business in 2022!
Here are just some of the organizations already signed up:
- Fintechs including Akoya, Alloy, Alviere, Argyle, Autobooks, Azimuth, BitPay, BlockFi, Botdoc, Certa, Checkout.com, Circle, FISPAN, MANTL, Novi, Nuance, Nymbus, Onyx, Ripple, Signal Intent, Sila, Socure, Synctera, Urban FT, Zero Hash (to name just a few!)
- Banks including Bank of America, Citi, Federal Reserve, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, J.P. Morgan, Santander, Wells Fargo & 75+ others
- Neobanks including Dave, First Boulevard, Revolut & Varo Bank and more
- Credit Unions (125+ of them already signed up!)
- Investors including Bain Capital, Commerce Ventures, General Atlantic, Mosaik Partners, Next Level Ventures, Point 72 Ventures, Tribeca Venture Partners, Vestigo Ventures & more
- Networks including American Express, Discover, Mastercard & Visa
- Plus Solution Providers, Community Banks, Tech Cos, Retailers & Merchants, Media and more!
Online, March 22-24. Startup rate available for qualifying cos. Get Your Ticket Now!
Sales Director at StoneCastle
StoneCastle Digital is building the deposit platform for a world where every company will be a fintech company. Known as Cambr, which currently processes and holds billions of client cash, it was purpose-built to solve the liquidity pain points for any participant in embedded finance. It is now looking for a director of sales to come on board and help bring Cambr to scale. If this sounds like you, apply above!