Hi all, Julie here. Anyone on here a member of the Equinox in Austin? I just started teaching classes again and this weekend was my first time there. Hit me up if you’re a member! Would love to meet up and chat before/after I teach. 

Otherwise, I just keep thinking about whether or not I should start looking at homes here in Austin. In case you haven’t been following, the market here is nuts. Like, we met someone that bought their house in December at $750K and are already getting offers for over $1M without renovations. I threw up a poll on Twitter to see what percent of people everyone thinks will actually stay here to decide on if I should try to wait it out. If I do wait, I’d still like to find ways to invest in real estate, and today’s partner Fundrise seems like a great option. More on them below.

The News

Brex Funding and Product News

Brex has announced a $425M funding round led by Tiger Global at a $7.4B valuation as well as a new product. Also let me remind you, Brex was founded roughly 3 years ago… Anyways, along with the funding, the company announced a new product called Brex Premium. This new software will allow companies that use Brex to do better expense management, bill pay, and reimbursements in the near future. Some of the new features including paying an invoice by just forwarding an email to bills@brex.com, alerts on unnecessary spend or duplicate subscriptions (this sounds a lot like what Ramp has been doing, but I haven’t dived into the nitty gritty yet), reports that help managers better understand the business, and more. 

Current Adds MrBeast

We’ve talked a fair amount about the creator economy and influencers on both this free newsletter as well as FTT+. This week, Current announced a big partnership with YouTube star MrBeast. From what I’ve seen, Current is by far the most active fintech when it comes to the influencer market. If you go to its website, they have a slew of photos of influencers that work with them, and when I talked to Adam Hadi, its VP of Marketing, he said the company works with hundreds of influencers each month (his episode of Tux Time will be out on Thursday). If you talk to other fintech companies, they likely work with a few, but nowhere near the kind of scale that Current has built up to. It’s obviously a big betn that seems to be paying off so far, but I’m super interested to see how this dynamic changes in the years to come. 

Stripe and Lyft Change Employee Vesting

I will be the first to admit that I know very little about employee equity, vesting schedules, options etc. But, I will say that when this story about Stripe and Lyft speeding up equity payouts was posted in our Fintech Today Slack Community, there were a LOT of thoughts. Our community is all off record so I can’t say who said what, but one person pointed out that: “All that is happening is these companies are adopting a very common practice of only offering new equity grants of 1 year (and therefore appropriately sized for 1 year) and then offering yearly refreshes vs the standard 4 year grant. This solves the incentive alignment problem that happens at large public tech companies where people essentially rest and vest RSUs as stock accelerates in the market.” Some people on Twitter were saying this was a bad move for startups. That’s probably true for early to mid stage, but Lyft is public and Stripe should be public, so it’s a very different ball game. Would love to keep hearing more thoughts on this though if you have them!

Weav Announces Initial Funding

Super early fintech startup Weav announced $4.3M of funding with investors including Foundation Capital, Y Combinator, SV Angel, and angel investors such as the founders of Brex and our very own FTT Expert Charley Ma. The company is building embedded technology that is designed to give financial technology companies and others access to “real time, user-permissioned” commerce data that they can then use to create new financial products for small businesses. Basically, Weav provides fintech companies like Brex (who is a partner) with real-time insights into the business health of their customers. Think “Plaid, but for ecommerce data” as Charley explained to me. 

Today's Partner, Fundrise

Diversify Your Portfolio

While public real estate has been readily available to investors for years, Fundrise’s private real estate investments offer significantly deeper diversification and outsized performance potential — a true alternative to any public market asset.

Since 2012, the Fundrise mission has been to build a better financial system by empowering the individual. They make it easier and more efficient than ever for anyone to invest in institutional-quality private real estate — with just a $500 minimum investment. To date, Fundrise has transacted on over $5.1B worth of real estate on behalf of more than 150,000 active investors. Rest assured that your money is working for you and start diversifying with Fundrise today!

(Here's all the legal jargon we know you love reading.)

Career Corner

Two great job postings today: 

  1. ​Enterprise Sales (Financial Services) at Nova Credit: Nova Credit, which is focused on helping immigrants get access to credit, is looking for someone to join its stellar Go-To-Market team. With deep product and industry knowledge, these leaders are focused on bringing Nova Credit into an ever-broadening set of businesses. Within its Enterprise Sales team, you will play an essential role in building, unlocking, and winning its relationships with financial institutions - specifically, banking institutions, credit unions, and fintech lenders. You will be responsible for executing Nova Credit’s entire sales process, from initial prospecting, to direct client negotiations, through to contract execution, and ultimately transitioning accounts to its Solution Architects (for implementation) and Customer Success (for ongoing account management) teams. Your focus will be on developing & leading large, complex, new enterprise deals and building strong, high-stakes, trust-based relationships. And you'll help shape how it engages, designs, and builds products for the best brands in banking.
  2. ​Art Director, Capital at Square. Square Capital is looking for an experienced, inquisitive, and passionate Art Director to join its Banking creative team. You know how to get people excited about Square as a brand, and help them understand very simply and clearly how its Banking products work. You know how to take raw, complicated content and make it digestible and visually compelling. You have experience working on brand, digital product, data-driven growth marketing, and go-to-market campaigns alike. You will play an important role in the full-service Banking creative team, working with a range of disciplines including copy, design, technologist, research, and more. You’re curious, eager to experiment for ways to improve, and seek to create work that inspires others. If this sounds like you, apply above!

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