Hi all, Julie here.
I’ve started to think about taxes a bit, and the anxiety caused me to stop after about 1 minute. Ugh. It was nice when I was 22 and just had a simple W2 to upload to TurboTax to get a nice refund. I’m gonna turn to Harness Wealth, which we recently did a deep dive on, to get some help. Apparently this is one of their most popular products so I’m hopeful that this will help take my stress levels down. Wish me luck.
Speaking of personal finances, I interviewed one of the founders of Truebill for the podcast earlier this week to dive into its recent acquisition by Rocketcompanies and the space more broadly. Check it out here :)
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Petal’s New Raise and Troubles
Well, Petal’s week started out good with a new funding round, but it’s been a rocky ride ever since. First, the good news. The company announced a fresh $140M round of funding and a valuation of $800M (more than triple what it was valued at in September of 2020). Now the bad news. A woman by the name of Cassandra Shih claims Petal founder Andrew Endicott took the idea for the company from her. In the lawsuit that she filed, there are messages from April and May of 2015. When pitching the idea, Endicott forwarded one of Shih’s emails to the person he was talking to. The person asked who Shih was, and Endicott replied: "This chick I banged a few months ago who came up with the idea.” Woof. You should definitely read the full story.
Funding and Deals
A16Z and New $$$
The giant that is a16z announced $9B in new capital for its venture capital, growth-stage and biotech-focused vehicles. I’ll be ready for them, Coatue and Tiger to lead all of the deals I cover in this newsletter for the foreseeable future. Thanks.
Indian Funding For 2022
I believe this is the first funding for India that we’ve covered this year. BNPL startup Rupifi announced $25M in new financing. The company, which offers a BNPL service to several marketplaces to serve their merchants, saw Tiger and Bessemer lead the round. Rupifi works with marketplaces including Walmart, Flipkart and Jumbotail to serve their merchant partners with checks ranging from ₹10,000 ($135) to ₹10,000,00 ($13,500). Its founder also said that it wants to expand beyond BNPL and into an embedded checkout product for B2B as well as a commercial card. Makes sense given all of the data the company will have and the full suite of services that many payments companies are becoming today.
Frozen Crypto Accounts
Customers of a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinsuper are having trouble withdrawing money or tokens. According to Bloomberg, at least five have filed police reports after withdrawals were frozen and they were unable to retrieve about a combined $55k of tokens and cash. Coinsuper executives didn’t respond to calls and messages seeking comment. Hong Kong has already clamped down on crypto, and this sure isn’t going to help ease things.
Surprised it took this long tbh. GameStop is launching a division to develop a marketplace for NFTs and cryptocurrency partnerships. The WSJ is reporting that GameStop has hired more than 20 people to run the unit. I’d write more about this, but you should just read Matt Levine’s take.
Congress Taking A Closer Look At Bitcoin’s Environmental Impact
Lol, this should go well. According to a report by The Block, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations is planning a hearing on Bitcoin’s environmental impact and the carbon footprint of crypto mining. The hearing could take place as soon as the end of this month. Everyone in Congress already knows so much about this that I’m sure the hearing will be full of smart comments and important details… lol :)
Samsung Going All In On Virtual
Did you know you can already shop at Samsung in the Metaverse? After revealing new TVs that would allow you to shop for NFTs, the firm announced it had opened a flagship store in Decentraland, one of crypto’s most popular virtual worlds. Named “Samsung 837X,” the store will be modeled on the company’s flagship physical store located at 837 Washington Street in New York City. Decentraland’s market cap soared from roughly $1B to $7B as speculators rushed to buy its MANA token and Decentraland evolved into one of the preferred crypto-based virtual worlds of celebrities.
Together With Fintech Meetup
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