Hi all, Julie here.

Happy hump day! In case you missed it, we published a deep dive focusing on real time payments yesterday, that we worked on with Orum and Moov. Great great explainer on what’s going on in payments so check it out if you’re interested in that space!


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(Here's all the legal jargon we know you love reading.)


The News

Paytm IPO Update

Indian payments startup Paytm is asking shareholders to allow it to sell roughly $1.6B in new shares as it prepares for its upcoming IPO (India’s largest). Some of the company’s largest shareholders include SoftBank, Berkshire Hathaway and Ant Group. Employees of the company have also been asked if they would like to sell shares as part of the IPO. The debut is part of a boom in listings for South Asia. According to Bloomberg, $4B has been raised through IPOs in the region in the first months of 2021.

Afterpay’s New Executive

Speaking of payments, Buy Now Pay Later giant Afterpay has brought on a former Mastercard executive to lead its North American operations. Zahir Khoja, who was the executive vice president of global merchant solutions and partnerships at Mastercard. In his new role as General Manager of North America, Zahir will be responsible for sales, client relationships, business growth and partnerships in the region. While it was established in Australia, NA has become a massive market for the company. In fact, it was the largest sales-generating region in the quarter ended March 30.

Stash Makes An Acquisition

New York based Stash announced the acquisition of PayGrade, a financial literacy platform helping students build healthy financial habits. This deal (couldn’t find the terms but PayGrade looks to be pretty small) makes a lot of sense for a company that has always focused on helping people start saving and increasing their financial literacy. I remember talking to Co-Founder Brandon Krieg at the Wharton Fintech Conference a couple of months ago, and he mentioned the importance of financial education not only for adults, but for kids as well. PayGrade helps K-12 teachers offer a more immersive personal finance curriculum. The team says that it is currently working on building out a platform for parents to also teach their kids about banking and investing. As someone who is thinking about kids in the next few years, I love this.

International Funding Rounds

Amsterdam based startup Mollie, which helps businesses add payments to its sites, announced an $800M round valuing it at $6.5B. First of all, damn I miss Amsterdam. Second, this comes after the company raised last September as well. The company says that growth has skyrocketed much like other payments companies we follow, and that it’s on track to process nearly $24B in payments in 2021. That’s roughly double from 2020. It would be pretty impressive if it can hit those numbers given that things are opening up again and one would assume that people would start doing at least a bit more of their shopping in person vs online.

Australian business banking startup Zeller announced a A$50M round led by Spark Capital. Apparently, business banking startups aren’t only a US thing ;) The crazy thing here is that Zeller only launched last month, and this fresh capital already brings its funding totally to A$81M. Zeller is competing against banks in the region, hoping to lure business to a more user-friendly platform that offers a fee-free business transaction account and a free business Mastercard. The company says that 1500 businesses have signed up and that 80% of those switched from incumbent players in the region.

Crypto Watch

The Latest Chinese Crackdown

The Bitcoin hashrate, which is the total computational power to mine the crypto, has dropped significantly after the government of China moved to shut down Bitcoin mining activities in some regions last month. This was largely related to environmental concerns (thanks Elon). From about 168,000 petahashes per second on May 15, the Bitcoin hashrate has dropped to nearly 86,000 as of June 23, according to real-time data compiled by The Block. Estimates have shown China to account for roughly two-thirds of Bitcoin mining as of April 2020. Today, there’s data to show that to be less than 50%. On top of that, Chinese authorities reiterated that banks and fintech companies are not supposed to be facilitating crypto transactions. Events like this have happened before, but many people in the crypto space think this time might be different and longer lasting.

A Britcoin (not a typo)

I had no idea what CBDC stood for until about a month ago, but now it seems like I hear this term once a day. This time, it’s coming from the Bank of England. The Central Bank’s fintech chief Tom Mutton said that introducing a “central bank digital currency” doesn’t mean you have to give up privacy and/or tackle crime. The bank received a slew of comments after publishing a paper on a potential “Britcoin.” Privacy was the biggest concern in the feedback, with many of them expressing concern about the Central Bank being able to access information on their payments through a CBDC system. But if nothing is traceable, then how do you stop people from using the Britcoin to buy and do bad things? Mutton said he believes you can do both of these. I’m skeptical, but I enjoyed reading his argument here.


Career Corner

In its one month of existence, the Fintech Today job board has had nearly 10,000 views and 300 applications submitted. Whether you’re looking to break into fintech, or an experienced operator, head to jobs.fintechtoday.co for some amazing opportunities.

Also, if you’re like so many others in our space and hiring like crazy, Fintech Today Jobs is the perfect place to have your role seen by quality candidates. Head on over and click on “post a job” to get started today. If you're looking for a new gig, check out roles from companies like Spruce, Stripe, Square, and Ramp :)


Community Highlights

Speaking of all the crypto news, I loved this piece from Fintech Today Community member Natalie Luu of Lightspeed. Can't go wrong when you start with a pun like "DeFi-ing the rules of traditional finance." ;)

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FTT Update:

Where's the Rocket Crashing Emoji? 🚀



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