Hi all, Julie here.
Exciting news to share! Our FTT+ membership just got better. On top of receiving our premium newsletters, the membershipnow comes with access to 5 of the Slack Channels in our community! Think of this as a place to network, ask for advice, talk about all the news going on in our space, and more. Feel free to reply to this email to ask me any questions you might have on it. If you haven't yet, sign up and we'll get you onboarded! Excited to get to connect with even more of you in real time :)
Lastly, be sure to check out our latest deep dive: NVIDIA. I had no idea they were in fintech at all, but turns out they are and have some notable clients too (Square, for instance).
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Robinhood Delaying IPO
File this under “not surprising” given the comments made by SEC Chair Gary Gensley in recent days. Basically, the regulator is going to be taking a very close look at the policies around payment for order flow, which is a big part of Robinhood’s revenue. Robinhood will likely be fine through all of this, but I wouldn’t want to go public at a time where there is so much scrutiny and uncertainty around the business model moving forward.
Marqeta’s IPO Day
Yay for fintech IPOs! Today was Marqeta’s day to go public, raising $1.2B and pricing higher than expectations ($27, above the expected range of $20 to $24). That values the company around $15B. Seems like it was priced well too. It got a slight pop during trading (just over 10%), but didn’t go crazy either like some IPOs have. Obviously the biggest concern that popped up right away when Marqeta put out its S1 was that Square accounts for something like 70% of its revenue. If for some reason Square stopped using them or Square’s business struggled, that could be a huge hit. FTT Expert Charley Ma did a great deep dive on Marqeta here that you should definitely look at if you’re interested in learning more.
Nubank Gets New Funding From Buffett
Dang these guys are on a tear. Brazilian digital bank Nubank announced a $500M investment from Warren Buffett's investment fund Berkshire Hathaway. This is an extension of Nubank's $400M round announced in January. This brings Nubank's eighth fundraising effort to $1.15B, the largest ever for LatAm. Jenny Johnston, who covers LatAm for us, has written about these guys a bit. It’s staggering how quickly they have grown, even prior to Covid. Like, we get excited when a challenger bank hits 10-20M users in the US. Nubank has 40M! I’m working on getting them on the podcast soon, so stay tuned.
QED Makes First India Investment
Speaking of Nubank though, one of its first investors, QED, announced its first investment in India. Bangalore-based Refyne, a startup that helps workers get early access to wages, announced a $16M raise as well as a seed round from December. Refyne users can check the platform and see how much they have earned in a week and withdraw a fraction of it at any time. This is particularly helpful for people that run out of cash between paychecks. Rather than have to go on the dark market or pay an absurd interest rate, they can simply get access to earned wages faster than they would have otherwise. The team says that over 100 companies in India are already using its platform, serving over 300,000 employees.
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Great interview from our friend Ohad of TrueAccord here with Matt Harris of Bloom Credit. Love the honesty and openness from both of them. One of Matt’s team members did something he told her not to do because he didn’t think it would work, she did it anyways, it worked, and it saved the company.
Love this initiative that Satya and Hunter of Homebrew are a part of. Them and 8 other VCs have teamed up to help people that are underrepresented. Called Screendoor, the fund is a $50M+ investment vehicle meant to back up to 15 underrepresented investors raising their first institutional fund, all while providing formal and informal training and support (without carry or fees).