Hi all, Julie here.
Hope everyone had a great weekend! We’re having quite the heat wave here in Austin, which everyone obviously warned me would happen. Thankfully finding a pool is pretty easy here unlike NYC where it is impossible unless you belong to an exclusive club like SoHo House or one of Equinox’s prime locations. The water and central AC make all the difference.
Speaking of heat, Tux Time has two 🔥 episodes out! The first is with Daylight Co-Founder Billie Simmons in honor of Pride Month. The second is with Jillian Williams of Cowboy Ventures to honor Juneteenth and talk about how the financial system is still failing Black Americans, and how fintech can help.
Today's Partner, Public
Looking for your next job? Public.com is hiring 👀
Public.com, the social investing network, has had a big year. The company recently announced a Series D funding round and surpassed its 1 million member milestone.
Check out these open roles, and head to their careers page for even more.
- Brand Designer
- Director of User Acquisition
- Product Manager, Crypto
- Senior Backend Engineer
- Senior Backend Engineer (SF)
- Web Engineer
(Transfer)Wise Going Public
We’ve heard rumblings of this for a while, but now we know it’s official and Wise won’t be going public via the SPAC route, instead opting for a direct listing on the London Stock Exchange (this will be the biggest direct listing on the LSE). Founded a decade ago, the cross border payments company now has more than 10M customers and processes around $7B every month. I interviewed Co-Founder Kristo Käärmann a couple of months ago and he dodged this question, but with its recent rebranding as it expands beyond cross border payments into other banking services, the writing was on the wall. This is sure to be a hot listing. Wise saw its revenue grow from $422M to $586M in its most recent financial year and says it has been profitable since 2017. Is Stripe next?
PayPal’s Power Move
Some changes at PayPal. The payment giant is raising merchant costs for its branded payment products, but cutting those for behind-the-scenes processing of some Visa and Mastercard transactions. This is part of the massive shift to online shopping and the value PayPal argues it gives for merchants offering it as a payment option in the checkout (PayPal has long touted its increased cart conversion rates against competitors). What’s more, when PayPal’s Buy Now Pay Later option is offered, customers tend to spend 15% more before checking out. PayPal will charge sellers 3.49% plus 49 cents to process transactions made through its proprietary products, including its button on merchant websites and its digital wallet. This applies to products like PayPal Checkout, Pay with Venmo, PayPal Credit and new buy-now-pay-later offering Pay in 4.
I’d love to get a better idea of the terms of this deal if anyone has the deets ;) But JPM just made a fintech acquisition in the UK: robo advisor Nutmeg. Roughly 10 years old, Nutmeg says it has helped over 140K people invest for their first home, their retirement, and the children in their lives. It also has more than £3.5B in assets under management, which will help JPM build out its presence in the UK.
Big Losses At Revolut
UK fintech Revolut saw losses nearly double last year as the cost of running the business has put further pressure on the bottom line. Losses for 2020 reached over £207M. In a silver lining, revenues also grew (though at a slower pace), and customer counts went to 14.5M from 10M at the end of 2019.
Nubank’s New Board Member
Interesting and unexpected move here from Nubank: the giant Brazillian challenger bank has made Brazilian pop star Anitta its latest addition to its board of directors. Anitta has more than 54M followers on Instagram and is one of the most prominent Brazilian artists. The Nubank team hopes she can help the firm gain deeper knowledge of low income consumers in Latin America. Anitta who just released a song titled “Girl From Rio” was raised by a single mother in Rio de Janeiro.
Amazon’s Fintech Innovation Lab
Amazon is opening a Fintech Lab at Dubai's DIFC Innovation Hub, focusing on digital payments. The company says it wants to support the local startup ecosystem through networking, workshops and more. I love this idea, but I feel like I’d be a bit apprehensive to join after hearing so many stories about Amazon stealing ideas etc. Would love your thoughts on this!
Crypto Research Analyst at Cross River Bank: Cross River is a highly profitable, fast-growing financial technology company recognized for the third year in a row by CB Insights as one of the 250 best global fintechs. Its comprehensive suite of innovative products powers financial solutions with a strong focus on regulatory compliance for our partners and their millions of consumers around the world. It is on a mission to build the infrastructure that propels access, inclusion and the democratization of financial services. While the company has tripled in size over the last three years, its strong sense of purpose led Cross River to be named to American Banker’s list of Best Places to Work in Fintech. Cross River is now looking to hire a Crypto research analyst to support its accelerated growth path and expansion into the cryptocurrency market. You will identify and procure investable opportunities, and you will be at the forefront of this rapidly growing industry, engaging and educating key players while establishing Cross River as a thought leader in the space. Your primary responsibility will be generating primers, whitepapers, and timely analysis of the cryptocurrency industry. In addition to research, the successful candidate will work with technology, sales, strategy, and capital markets teams within Cross River across a broad number of initiatives. If this sounds like you, apply above!
Lots of lots of folks from Plaid read this newsletter (hi all). That means lots and lots of our readers are very glad that Visa did not end up actually buying Plaid in 2020. Check out this awesome overview and behind the scenes from Fortune.