Hi all, Julie here.
Welcome back! Let’s see if I still know how to do this. Jordan and I had a lovely holiday in Texas. We got drinks at a speakeasy on Christmas Eve, a tasting menu dinner and FT with our families on Christmas Day, and went to a wine tasting and our favorite Asian restaurant for our 1-year anniversary on the 26th.
But now it’s 2022 and we’re back in business at Fintech Today! Here’s our first podcast episode of the year with Digits Founder and serial entrepreneur Jeff Seibert. Jeff and I dove deeper into why he started Digits (real-time accounting for small businesses), and what he’s learned starting and selling a couple of companies now. Let me know your thoughts and who else we should have on the podcast this year :)
And in case you missed it, we published our last podcast of the year with two members of ConstitutionDAO late last month and it’s one of my favorite recordings thus far.
Today's Partner, Secureframe
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Wowza, big news out of DC to end the year. On December 31, FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams resigned. Plaid’s John Pitts and I interviewed the Chairwoman for our podcast in early December, and while she was one of the last remaining high ranking officials appointed by Trump, we didn’t get the inkling that she was ready to leave so soon. She had recently fought publicly with Democrats who now make up a majority of the FDIC board over control of the agency’s policy agenda. In a letter to President Biden released by the FDIC, Ms. McWilliams said her resignation would be effective February 4. John and I will be diving into what this means and what to watch for in DC in 2022 in our next episode, out Wednesday the 12th. Subscribe so you don't forget :)
EToro Takes A Hit
FinTech Acquisition Corp V said last week that it had amended the terms of its merger with Israel's eToro, cutting the online stock brokerage's valuation to $8.8B from $10.4B.
The deal’s deadline was also moved to June 30, 2022 since it wasn’t able to meet its December 31 deadline. SPAC’s more broadly had a rough year, with shares of several companies such as Grab Holdings and BuzzFeed, which merged with SPACs, tumbling after going public. eToro also competes with Robinhood, which has struggled since its debut last summer.
Funding and Deals
LatAM BNPL Funding
LatAm BNPL player Addi announced $200M of debt and equity funding, pushing its valuation to more than $700M. The report said it was split up between roughly $80M in equity from GIC, Softbank, among other investors, and $125M in debt financing, primarily from Goldman Sachs. The company recently expanded into Brazil and has plans to open an office in Mexico this year.
Monzo Funding Round
Chinese tech giant Tencent took a stake in Monzo as part of a funding round that values the U.K. fintech at more than $4.5B. The $600M round was led by the Abu Dhabi Growth Fund, according to Bloomberg. I was about to write that it had been growing and now has roughly 5M customers, but it’s been saying it has roughly 5M customers for more than a year now? Idk.
Speaking of challenger banks, Bangalore-based Jupiter has raised ~$86M in a new round. Tiger Global, QED and Sequoia Capital India co-led the two-year-old startup’s Series C round, which values it at $711M. The startup said it’s using the funding to work on launching lending and wealth management services. Launched in beta in June 2021, it has amassed nearly half a million users. More than 65% of this user base actively transacts on the platform each month, the company said.
Samsung TV NFTs
Samsung announced three new TV models for 2022 that will enable NFT trading. According to the release, the application features an “intuitive, integrated platform for discovering, purchasing and trading digital artwork through MICRO LED, Neo QLED and The Frame.” This feels very 2022.
Move over Constitution, there’s a new DAO movement. According to a Twitter thread posted on December 25, BlockbusterDAO is aiming to create a decentralized film streaming service out of Blockbuster. By raising $5M, the DAO wants to purchase Blockbuster from Dish Network. This feels very “2022 meets 1995.”
Together With Fintech Meetup
Jumpstart your 2022 with Leads, Deals, Partnerships, Funding and more at Fintech Meetup (online, March 22-24)! It’s the world’s largest fintech meetings-only event! No speakers, no content, just 30,000+ double opt-in online meetings to get business done.
Here are just some of the 500+ organizations already signed up:
- Fintechs including Akoya, Alloy, Alviere, Argyle, Autobooks, Azimuth, BitPay, BlockFi, Botdoc, Certa, Checkout.com, Circle, FISPAN, MANTL, Novi, Nuance, Nymbus, Onyx, Ripple, Signal Intent, Sila, Socure, Synctera, Urban FT, Zero Hash (to name just a few!)
- Banks including Bank of America, Citi, Federal Reserve, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, J.P. Morgan, Santander, Wells Fargo & 75+ others
- Neobanks including Dave, First Boulevard, Revolut & Varo Bank and more
- Credit Unions (125+ of them already signed up!)
- Investors including Bain Capital, Commerce Ventures, General Atlantic, Mosaik Partners, Next Level Ventures, Point 72 Ventures, Tribeca Venture Partners, Vestigo Ventures & more
- Networks including American Express, Discover, Mastercard & Visa
- Plus Solution Providers, Community Banks, Tech Cos, Retailers & Merchants, Media and more!
Online, March 22-24. Startup rate available for qualifying cos. Get Your Ticket Now!
Sales Director at StoneCastle
StoneCastle Digital is building the deposit platform for a world where every company will be a fintech company. Known as Cambr, which currently processes and holds billions of client cash, it was purpose-built to solve the liquidity pain points for any participant in embedded finance. It is now looking for a director of sales to come on board and help bring Cambr to scale. If this sounds like you, apply above!