Hi all, Julie here.
Bad news: Jordan and I were robbed.
Good news: We have renters insurance (thanks Lemonade). We are both ok (think it happened while we were sleeping). And we were able to pay a $200 fee to expedite the appraisal on our new home and will be able to close 2 weeks from today and move in the next day.
I have a podcast coming out on Monday talking about the whole home buying process. TLDR: I didn’t use a single fintech. The process wasn’t close to as bad as what people had warned me. But that might be because renting an apartment in NY feels like applying for a mortgage sometimes.
Today's Partner, Socure
4 of the top 5 banks, 7 of the top 10 issuers, and over 100 of the largest fintechs use Socure to say yes to every good consumer instantly while reducing risk online. As the leader in digital identity verification and trust, Socure’s predictive analytics platform has become the essential technology for companies seeking a competitive edge in customer acquisition—enabling businesses to achieve auto-approval rates of up to 94%, third party identity and synthetic identity fraud capture rates of up to 90% in the riskiest 3% of users, and auto-decisioning rates of 98%.
Intuit Launches...A Card Reader?
Intuit is introducing QuickBooks Card Reader, a new payment device that will remind you a lot of the dongle that Square invented years ago. With the pandemic, a slew of QuickBook’s customers will now permanently be processing payments in this new way vs cash. According to an April 2021 study by QuickBooks, almost half of small businesses that process contactless payments only started doing so since COVID-19 began (46%). Similarly, nearly a third of those who process payments using mobile payment apps (30%) started during COVID-19. It’s sort of the reverse of Square and other payments companies: they started out as payments and have expanded into other small business services...Intuit started with other small business services and is expanding into payments.
Revolut’s Big Round
British fintech Revolut confirmed an $800M round led by SoftBank and Tiger Global, valuing it at $33B. For those that forgot (like me) it was valued at $5.5B last year. The money is largely going to growth in the US and India, investing in marketing and product development. Unlike US based neobanks, Revolut has shared financial figures before. In 2020, it reported an annual loss of $232M and revenues of $306M. That gives it a multiple of 100 times 2020 sales. That’s, ummm, pretty aggressive. Though people in our Slack Community pointed out that Revolut has leaned pretty heavily into crypto and its customers have a higher LTV than others.
Vanguard’s First Acquisition
Wealth management behemoth Vanguard has made its first acquisition in its 46-year history. I’m actually shocked it hasn’t made one before? Anyways, it bought Just Invest, a startup based in California that builds bespoke portfolios for individual investors. Its direct indexing option allows investors to tweak existing indices to create bespoke portfolios that can include tilts to investment factors, such as value or growth, or to match their environmental, social and governance beliefs. Just Invest is about five years old and manages roughly $1B of assets.
Square's Next Bitcoin Move
Square is launching a new business focused on creating an “open developer platform” to make it easier to provide non-custodial, decentralized financial services. Square CEO Jack Dorsey assured crypto folks that Bitcoin would remain the primary focus. Mike Brock, who has been at Square since 20213, will lead the new project. According to Jack, this project will have an “open roadmap, open development and open source.” This comes on the back of Square’s announcement of building a wallet for Bitcoin to help with custody.
Since launching in early 2020, our friends at Ramp have experienced exponential organic growth. It’s now looking for a writer/editor with a strong background in finance to help it execute its strategy and grow its brand. As an early member of Ramp’s Marketing team, you will contribute to content across the buyer journey from thought leadership pieces to customer evidence that helps its sales team close deals. Ramp is building out the Content Marketing team and has some exciting projects it wants to execute on in the coming year as it continues to grow Ramp’s brand.
Shameless self-promotion: I got to talk to my friend Ohad at TrueAccord about what fintech disruption looks like in 2021. Tune in!
Huge congrats to Alex Cohen and his wife on their first born child! Who in the community wants to be the first to send a term sheet?