Hi all, Julie here.
Exciting announcement for you! Starting in September, I'm going to be launching a Policy Podcast with Plaid's John Pitts! Very much excited to dive into this space as a new regulatory regime takes hold. There is SO MUCH going on here. Stay tuned for our first episode!
Today's Partner, InsideTracker
Founded in 2009 by leading scientists in aging, genetics and biometric data from MIT, Tufts, and Harvard, InsideTracker’s mission is to improve the healthspan of people everywhere so they can enjoy longer, healthier lives - adding life to their years and years to their life. Using science and technology it delivers ultra-personalized guidance, specifically for you. Consumers choose the recommendations that are most compatible with their lifestyle. In my unique case, I elected to have InsideTracker create an action plan to benefit my endurance. Since beginning, I’ve completed a century bike ride (in the Texas summer heat), have won my age group in an olympic distance triathlon and have additionally been able to optimize my recovery.
In order to jumpstart your health and start living a scientifically backed healthier life, click here and get 25% off the entire InsideTracker store!
PayPal Ditches Late Fees For BNPL
If you’ve been reading our newsletter for awhile, you know that we’ve talked a lot about BNPL and the “race to the bottom” it could see in pricing pressure. Well, PayPal announced that it will no longer charge customers late fees when they miss payments on BNPL purchases globally. While the company said it “felt late fees were hindering the customer experience," I’d also assume this helps them win more merchants in its already massive network. PayPal also said this would paint it in a better light with regulators as they continue taking a closer look at the space and protecting consumers.
Funding and Deals
Plaid gets funding from...JPM?
Brex Makes An Acquisition
About a year after Brex first partnered with Weav, a startup specializing in APIs for commerce, it’s buying the company. Did I mention that Weav is just over a year old, and Brex bought it for $50M? That’s a pretty nice return for a small team. I didn’t know much about Weav before this deal, but essentially it gives organizations access to super valuable commerce data that helps them build new financial products for small businesses. Weav, like many BaaS startups, believes allowing companies to build and embed new financial products creates new opportunities for e-commerce merchants, creators and other entrepreneurs. For Brex in particular, a big selling point is that Weav’s API can enable commerce platforms to access their customers’ standardized transaction data in real time. IE: Brex’s integration with Shopify, potentially building more lending, visualization and insights products for its customers.
Shopify, But For Latam
Is it really a Fintech Today newsletter if we don’t talk about a funding round led by Tiger? Brazil’s Nuvemshop announced a new $500M round co-led by Insight Partners and Tiger Global, valuing the startup at just north of $3B. If you don’t know what Nuvemshop is, think Shopify for Latin America. Given how massive Shopify is, I guess it’s not surprising VCs have thrown more than $620M at the company in the last 10 months alone. The company’s platform serves more than 90K merchants across Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, ranging from direct-to-consumer upstarts to more established brands such as PlayMobil, Billabong, Colombraro, and Zaira Beauty. That’s up from 20K merchants at the start of 2020 and 80K at the time of its last raise in March.
Bitpanda Raises Again
Austria’s first unicorn, Bitpanda, is now valued at $4.1B in a new round led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures. The company has been finding a niche from other brokers by focusing on Europe and allowing its roughly 3M users to invest in things other than stocks, like precious metals, and of course crypto which was its initial focus. It also launched a white labeled product that allows other companies to offer trading to their own customers.
Karrot Trades Equity for $162M In New Funding
Korea’s Karrot raised $162M at a $2.7B to help expand overseas and hire 100+ new employees. Karrot, which helps people trade second hand items with people nearby, list part time jobs, real estate, and more, now has more than 15M monthly active users. It also said it plans to launch a digital payments service in the back half of this year. After app usage tripled since the start of the pandemic, growth has tapered off a bit (though it’s now growing overseas). It went from 4.8M to 14.2M users in the year to January 2021, but only added another 1M users from then to June.
Branch Grabs $ From Lee Fixel
Branch, which aims to help all types of employees get paid (sometimes instantly), has raised $48M led by Lee Fixel’s Addition. Branch’s CEO told TechCrunch that it saw its revenue grow 300% year over year in 2020, with a 700% increase in the number of enterprises using its platform. The vast majority of Branch’s revenue comes from interchange fees, though it also charges a transaction fee for pushing funds instantly from the Branch Wallet to another financial account.
Facebook’s Crypto Project Is Ready
I’ll believe it when I see it, but Facebook said Libra/Novi/whatever it’s called these days is ready to come to market. Of course, being ready to come to market and having approval from regulators to come to market is very different, and has always been the issue for Facebook’s David Marcus and his team. It also said that global payments are flawed and that social media can fix it. Just like social media fixed everything else, right? *inserts eye roll*
Together With Financial Venture Studio
Don’t just take their word for it. Listen to the founders that Financial Venture Studio has worked with:
“FVS has been central to our success. I strongly recommend them to every fintech start-up I encounter.” -Patrick Mrozowski (CEO, Point)
Since starting in 2018, the companies of the Financial Venture Studio have raised over $500,000,000 (lots of zeros here) in equity capital from firms such as Index, Kleiner Perkins, Coatue and Tiger Global. If you’re an early stage fintech, do not miss out on this amazing opportunity! Apply now!
End of summer have you itching to take on a new challenge. Well, we have exciting news! In the past 24 hours, we’ve added over 20 exciting roles to our job board from companies such as Stir, nate, Novo, Treasury Prime, and others!
I was thinking about making a Fintech Today onesie, but Nate's little guys wear the hats so well!