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Hi all, Julie here.

Fun weekend in the VerHage-Greenberg household. Planted a Fig tree, Jordan biked 30 miles, and I took a Disney class on Peloton. Highly recommend (we also have an FTTCrew hashtag that you should join). Capped it all off by catching a pretty sunset in Austin last night with a few friends at dinner.

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Today's Partner, Socure

Real talk...Is your current IDV provider helping or hurting your growth?

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Over 500 top enterprises (including 100+ of the largest fintechs) use Socure to achieve up to 98% instant verification across all ages and demographics, up to an 85% reduction in fraud rate, and much more.

See why Socure could be your new secret weapon to rapidly verifying consumers, reducing risk, and supercharging customer and revenue growth.

Don't wait until it's too late. Schedule your free assessment & demo here.

Company News

Robinhood Gets Mixed Analyst Ratings

With about a dozen Wall Street firms initiating coverage of Robinhood, the bulls and the bears were pretty evenly split. Goldman gave shares a “Neutral” rating and a $56 price target, while Mizuho gave shares a “Buy” and a $68 price target. The biggest concerns for the bears?

Uncertainty around the sustainability of retail trading levels, PFOF, and cross-selling other offerings including the checking and savings product, retirement investing and more.

Funding and Deals

Chime Acquiring Charlie

This deal makes a lot of sense. Chime tends to have customers that are more middle class than someone like SoFi or Goldman. Charlie helps people climb out of debt and manage financial health. That sounds like something Chime customers are probably asking for help with. Excited to see the products they build together!

SoftBank Bets On OPay

SoftBank’s second Vision Fund has made its first African bet, and of course it’s in fintech (since everything is fintech). Vision Fund 2 led a $400M funding round in OPay at a valuation of $2B. The Nigerian company’s mobile money and payment arm is the current hot spot, helping unbanked and underbanked users in Nigeria send and receive money and pay bills through a network of thousands of agents. Parent company Opera reported that OPay’s monthly transactions grew 4.5x to over $2B in December last year, and OPay says it processes about 80% of bank transfers among mobile money operators in Nigeria and 20% of the country’s nonmerchant point of sales transactions.

Meet Zepz (Can Someone Tell Me How To Pronounce That?)

Ummm, why are all these FX focused companies changing their names? I did not sign up for this! In other news, WorldRemit/Zepz also announced that it raised $292M in new funding that values the company at $5B.

More Latam Funding

Brazilian proptech QuintoAndar has raised an additional $120M at a $5.1B valuation in a round led by Greenoaks Capital and China’s Tencent. The startup focuses on long term rentals, helping tenants connect with landlords, as well as home buyers with sellers. And since fintech is so hot right now, it said it plans to offer mortgage, title insurance and escrow services in the future. Anyone know more about what the real estate market is like in Latam? Ping me! I’d love to dive into this a bit more.

Together With Financial Venture Studio

What do companies like Point, Flex, Dave, Reserve Trust, and Digit have in common besides being some of today’s fastest growing and most valuable businesses? They are all part of Financial Venture Studio’s portfolio. The good news? Her's your invite to sit with them.

FVS is accepting applications for Fall 2021 cohort. If you’re building an early stage startup, apply now to build the future of financial services.

Crypto Watch

FTX and Berkeley

FTX is making some big bets on sports marketing. The crypto exchange signed a 10-year deal for $17.5M with the Cal Golden Bears for a newly rebranded FTX Field. This comes after it signed a deal with the Miami Heat for FTX Arena. SoFi and Chime have also done some sports marketing like this. Who else in the fintech space am I missing? And no, Super Bowl ads don’t count.

Visa Makes An Interesting Purchase

File this under the list of things we didn’t expect to read today: Visa has just announced that it purchased a CryptoPunk NFT for $150K in Ether. Cuy Sheffield, head of crypto at Visa, wrote in a blog post that “we think NFTs will play an important role in the future of retail, social media, entertainment and commerce. To help our clients and partners participate, we need a firsthand understanding of the infrastructure requirements for a global brand to purchase, store and leverage an NFT.”

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Career Corner

The Fintech Today job board has exploded with nearly 30 amazing roles added. If you want to have a role featured or are a job seeker, click here! There are now a total of 62 roles posted from Dwelling, Rize, Eco, Treasury Prime and more.

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FTT Update:

This Newsletter Needs Help Pronouncing Zepz

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