Hi all, Julie here.
The world came full circle today when I was invited to go on Bloomberg’s Quick Take to talk about fintech and how so many of you guys are hiring! Thanks to my friend Sonali for inviting me on. Here’s a link to the 30 minute episode. I’m on towards the end, but you should watch the whole thing because Max Levchin and Jackie Reses were on before me.
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No More Fees At Ally
Remember when Robinhood essentially forced other brokerages to go to zero? Well, challenger banks might be doing the same for checking and savings accounts now too. Ally announced that overdraft fees are no more, meaning customers who overdraw their accounts will no longer face a $25 penalty. Not surprisingly, customers reacted extremely positively to the bank removing fees temporarily last year, and the charges disproportionately affected people who are living paycheck to paycheck. These two things are literally why there is something called a challenger bank.
Chipper Raises New Funding
Investors of all types are continuing to bet big on fintech outside of the US. One of the geographies attracting loads of funding is Africa, and Chipper Cash is a major beneficiary. The startup, which launched in 2018 and does cross border payments for Africa, announced a $100M round led by SVB Capital. This comes after it raised $20M from Ribbit in November. The number of users is now around 4M, up 33% from last year, and it processed $100M in payments in June of 2020. If you want to learn more about Chipper as well as African fintech in general, check out my podcast with Chipper VP Wiza Jalakasi.
Truebill’s New Round
Personal finance startup Truebill announced a $45M round led by Accel. The company is best known for helping users keep track of their subscriptions and helping them cancel ones they no longer want or use, as well as negotiate what you’re paying. The company says that more than 10,000 people are signing up every day, with its user base going 1M to 2M since November.
Goldman Invests In MotoRefi
Goldman is leading a funding round in auto loan refinance startup MotoRefi. The company works directly with credit unions to enable consumers to refinance their auto loans. With loads of people buying cars over the past year (which does not appear to be slowing anytime soon), it makes sense that you’d want a bet in the auto space.
Pinwheel’s New Funding
Payroll connectivity API startup Pinwheel has raised a new $20M round of funding led by Michael Gilroy of Coatue. Basically, changing your direct deposit and verifying income is hard, and this company can make stuff like that easier. Pinwheel says it saw 11x revenue growth last quarter, with Current and Square Cash as clients. One random Q I have off of this: if stuff like this takes off, is getting a direct deposit that much of a “win” anymore?
Product Manager at Lithic: Lithic is making digital payments safer and easier for everyone by building accessible financial infrastructure for developers and seamless products for consumers.
Lithic started with a consumer product that reimagines the way people spend money online using ephemeral payment card numbers. Last year it opened up its transaction processing and core banking infrastructure to third party developers, entrepreneurs, and creators through a simple API that is now used by some of the most innovative startups, fintech companies, and neobanks.
It is now looking for a strong individual-contributor PM to focus on our growing starter and enterprise products. This person will collaborate with other product leaders to build roadmaps, prioritize features, and take concepts from ideation to execution. We recently had the firm’s founder, Bo Jiang, on our podcast if you’re interested in learning more about this company!
Speaking of Truebill, FTT community member Ohad Samet recently interviewed co-founder Yahya Mokhtarzada about a time when the company was close to going out of business. Highly recommend listening to this.