Hi all, Julie here.

Quick intro today: check out the latest episode of the Policy Podcast that I do with Plaid’s John Pitts. We took a look at FDIC Chair Jelena McWilliams’ departure and what other surprises we should be on the lookout for in 2022. John and I also simply like to have fun, so our 20 minute convos are always entertaining ;)

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Today's Partner, Secureframe

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Secureframe makes it quick and easy to achieve SOC 2, ISO 27001, and HIPAA compliance.

With its guided workflows and one-click integrations, Secureframe automates the entire compliance process, from readiness to report. With Secureframe, companies can easily:

  • Connect with 100+ cloud services and vendors including AWS, GCP, and Azure
  • Automate the evidence collection process through our 1-click integrations
  • Customize auditor-approved compliance policies from a library of 40+ templates
  • Get step-by-step guidance from in-house experts

They know that navigating the world of security and compliance can be confusing. But it doesn’t have to be! Secureframe offers user-friendly solutions geared for fast-growing businesses.

If you’d like to learn more, schedule a personalized demo today at Secureframe.com!


Company News

Ken Griffin IPO 2023?

Citadel (yes, that Citadel) is partnering with Sequoia and Paradigm in a deal that values the firm at $22B. It’s the first outside investment in Ken Griffin’s business. In yet another twist, the $1.15B cash injection could lead to an IPO. Wonder how Reddit will feel about that…

The business has been particularly strong in the trading boom of the past two years. Citadel posted $6.7B of net trading revenue in 2020, almost double the previous high in 2018, and saw $4.1B of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, also a record. The company estimates that it commands 27% of equity volume market share in the U.S.

Funding and Deals

Big Round for Checkout.com

London’s Checkout.com, which didn’t raise money from outside investors until 2019, is now one of the world’s most valuable startups at $40B. The digital-payments processor announced that it raised $1B in a recent share sale that valued it at $40B. Since it’s in the payments space, you won’t be surprised to hear that its payment volume tripled in both 2020 and 2021. The company said it plans to use the funding to expand more in the US and explore more crypto offerings.

Brex’s New Round

Business banking startup Brex announced a $300M Series D-2 round that ups its valuation to $12.3B, co-led by Greenoaks Capital and TCV. Like many in the space, it started as a corporate card and has since expanded into a full suite of offerings for CFOs. Last April, Brex said it had combined credit cards, business cash accounts and new spend management and bill pay software “together in a single dashboard” as part of a service called Brex Premium that cost $49 per month. Interesting aside here from Co-Founder Henrique Dubugras:

More Business Banking Rounds

Novo also closed a $90M round of funding that values the Miami-based startup at $700M. The company said it plans to use the fresh capital to build out its infrastructure and add in new products, specifically around lending. The company said it has 150k SMB customers in the U.S., up 50k from last June’s figures.

Even More Business Banking Rounds

This time it’s not a US startup though. French fintech Qonto has raised a $552M Series D valuing the company at $5B. This is one of the largest rounds in the French tech ecosystem. The startup focuses primarily on SMBs and freelancers in France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The company says it currently has around 220k clients. And in true fintech fashion, Tiger is leading the round with TCV.

Crypto Watch

Zero Hash’s New Round

The crypto services startup announced $105M in a Series D funding round (no valuation disclosed). The company offers tech to third-party retail brokers and fintech firms and now works with Ramp, MoneyLion, TradeStation and more. The company says it’s using the new funds to expand its compliance, marketing, product, and engineering teams as well as enhance support for Layer 2 protocols.

Keeping Up With the Kardashians

You probably hear about her everyday, but it’s typically not in this light. Bloomberg has reported that Kim Kardashian and Floyd Mayweather are being sued by investors for their role in a scam involving the shit coin EthereumMax. Floyd may be undefeated in boxing, but he keeps getting pummeled for his roles in promoting crypto - you may remember that he was fined by the SEC in 2018 for his role in an ICO. Here’s Jordan's favorite line from the piece:

“EthereumMax has no connection to the second-largest cryptocurrency, Ethereum,” according to a footnote in the complaint. “It would be akin to marketing a restaurant as ‘McDonald’sMax’ when it had no affiliation with McDonald’s other than the name similarity and the fact that both companies sell food products.” Guess Kim should stick to her new role in marketing Staten Island as the new BK.

Bitcoin Mining Funding Round

NYDIG backed Luxor, a Washington-based Bitcoin mining company, has launched a new service for buying and selling Bitcoin mining machines. The company will purchase and sell specialized Bitcoin mining hardware on behalf of the Luxor team, miners, and investors. Now, bear with me for a sec cause this gets a little wonky. Basically, an application-specific integrated circuit or “ASIC” is a chip customized for a specific purpose. An ASIC miner is a piece of hardware that uses these specialized chips for the purpose of mining digital currency. Much like the price of cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin mining machine prices are volatile. The Luxor ASIC Trading Desk will trade in these opaque markets, taking principal positions to help miners gain access to at fair market prices.


Together With Fintech Meetup

Fintech Meetup (Online in just 70 days!) is the easiest way to fill your pipeline, meet new partners, meet investors and get business done! We’re facilitating 30,000+ double opt-in virtual meetings so you can meet everyone you need to meet.

750+ organizations have already signed up, including:

  • Major banks, including Bank of America, Citi, CIT Bank, Cross River Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, J.P. Morgan, Santander and Wells Fargo
  • Fintechs, including Alloy, Argyle, Array, Boomtown, Bread Finance, Checkout.com, Dwolla, Equifax, Emburse, NIUM, Ripple, Sila, Socure and Upstart
  • Neobanks, including Dave, First Boulevard, Cash App (Square), Revolut, Varo Bank and WebBank
  • Regional & Community Banks, including Axos Bank, Central Pacific Bank, Evolve Bank & Trust, FNBO, Lincoln Savings Bank, Lead Bank, M&T Bank, Sunrise Bank and Sutton Bank
  • 150+ Credit Unions, representing 17m members and $260b in assets
  • Payments, Networks and Tech Cos, including American Express, Discover, Finastra, FIS, Fiserv, Mastercard, SWIFT, The Clearing House, Visa and Western Union
  • VCs, including Bain Capital Ventures, Commerce Ventures, General Atlantic, Mosaik Partners, Next Level Ventures, Point 72 Ventures, Tribeca Venture Partners and Vestigo Ventures

Virtual, March 22-24. Startup rate available for qualifying cos. Get Your Ticket Now!


Career Corner

Corporate Development at Plaid

This is a unique opportunity to be a core member of a high-impact team situated at the nexus of product, engineering, and the broader strategic efforts at Plaid. This small and mighty team is responsible for sourcing, negotiating, structuring, and executing impactful acquisitions, as well as shaping the company’s strategy by identifying industry trends, overseeing product partnerships, and maintaining relationships with startups, VCs and bankers throughout the fintech community. If you’re passionate about creating financial access and enthusiastic about leading M&A deals and other projects end-to-end, apply above!


Community Highlights

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FTT Update:

Sequoia-Backed Companies Account for 25%+ of the Nasdaq’s Total Value




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