Posted In:


2 Trillion Questions


Dec 14, 2019


Posted In:



Dec 14, 2019



The Saudi Aramco IPO is unprecedented. For the first time in history, a company is trading at a market cap above $2 trillion, two days after raising a record $26b in its IPO! Banks who worked on the deal received fees equal to 0.25% of the proceeds, worth $64m – an impressive haul, but a far cry from the $300m in fees banks received for the Alibaba IPO (which raised $25b).

The stock is trading on Saudi’s domestic exchange, Tadawul, and is responsible for 85% of the exchange’s daily trade volume despite selling only 2% of the company's shares.

An IPO is the first time private companies receive market-based price discovery – but with political entanglement in the offering and insiders' overt desire for a $2 trillion market cap, a number of questions remain for international investors.

Some question whether the decision to float on a domestic exchange was an attempt to control the narrative with local investors, and control the valuation. Furthermore, the decision to issue a relatively small number of shares may have been intended to suffocate supply of the security, again to drive up the price.

In addition to valuation questions, many international investors remain skeptical on the company's governance.

The jury is still out on how Aramco's stock will perform – and price discovery can accrue over time. For now, it remains the only public company valued at $2 trillion, and a key development in the country's plan to diversify it's economy.

Portfolio News

Ocrolus announced a new premium extension to its core technology platform – Portfolio company launches Ocrolus+, the first turnkey solution for ingesting documents and digital data streams through a single API. The enhanced platform allows customers to process financial documents and digital banking data in a normalized, hyper-accurate format. Read more

Vestwell ranked among the best places to work in NYC by Crain's New York! The 12th annual list of Best Places to Work in 2019 is published by Crain's alongside the Best Companies Group, an independent research firm. The list ranked portfolio company Vestwell 23rd on the list. Read more

Congratulations Gabrielle Haddad for being named one of the 50 inspiring fintech females for 2019 - Gabrielle is the co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer at portfolio company Sigma Ratings. The list is released by the "NYC Fintech Women" organization. Read more

Anyfin named on Tracxn's "Soonicorn Club of Sweden - Fintech" - Tracxn, which is one of the largest platforms for tracking startups and emerging technology, released its list of promising Swedish fintech startups which included portfolio company Anyfin. Read more

2 Trillion Questions

Saudi Aramco is the world's first $2 trillion company. But is it overvalued? - The IPO was historic in many ways, but international investors retain skepticism around floating the stock on a local exchange. Read more

Aramco goes public on Saudi's domestic exchange - On its second day of trading, Saudi Aramco represented over 85% of the traded value on Tadawul, Saudi's domestic exchange. The exchange only recently allowed foreigners to invest in the country. Read more

Industry News

More than 200,000 accounts signed up for fractional stock trading on day one, Robinhood co-CEO says - Robinhood joins Schwab and Square in offering fractional stock trading, and the CEO has indicated its users are chomping at the bit for the feature. Read more

Credit Karma acquires 5-person team to build their consumer app, Haven Money - Half of the 100m Credit Karma users are active on a quarterly basis. The consumer app is intended to play a more active role in their consumers' financial lives. Read more

Three men are charged in $722m cryptocurrency fraud - From 2014 until this month, the men operated BitClub Network, which solicited money from investors in exchange for shares in purported cryptocurrency mining pools and rewarded them for recruiting new investors. Read more

Over 80 Japanese banks plan to join JPMorgan’s blockchain payments network - Dubbed the Interbank Information Network, the blockchain-based network allows its member banks to exchange information related to international payments on top of Quorum (JPM's native blockchain). Read more

Jack Dorsey announces a new Twitter team: Square Crypto, but for social media - Is this foray into decentralized technology for Twitter a harbinger of a radical shift in social media infrastructure? Dorsey is catalyzing an independent team of architects, engineers, and designers to develop an open and decentralized standard for social media. Read more

Cryptocurrency is most useful for breaking laws and social constructs - In a controversy post in the crypto community, author Jill Carlson argues that cryptocurrency is not main to solve mainstream problems. In her eyes, it's main use case will always be its censorship-resistance for individuals and organizations. Read more

Nike receives a patent to tokenize shoes on Ethereum - In a document filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Nike stated that it intends to generate unique IDs and create ERC 721 tokens for some shoes. Read more

Select Financings

Albo - Mexico based challenger bank has raised a $19m extension to its Series A led by U.S.-based Valar Ventures. Read more

Camino Financial - Los Angeles based digital lending platform for small Latinx businesses raised $8m in Series A funding led by Crédito Real. Read more

FintechOS - Romania based Fintech as a Service for banks and insurance companies has raised a $14m Series A led by Earlybird Venture Capital. Read more

FlexPay - Montreal based software that allows merchants to recoup revenue lost from falsely declined transactions, has raised $6m led by Impression Ventures. Read more

Hometap - Boston based loan alternative for homeowners raised $100m led by ICONIQ Capital. Read more

Housi - Brazil based proptech that receives, manages, and leases apartments units for short and long term tenures raised $12m from Redpoint Ventures. Read more

Portify - London based fintech startup focused on gig economy workers raised £7m in Series A funding led by Redalpine. Read more

Sproutt - Connecticut based AI-enabled insurtech startup raised $12m in Series A from State of Mind Ventures, Moneta Capital, and Guardian Life. Read more

Wefox - Berlin based insurtech platform raised $110m in a second tranche of a Series B at a $1.65m pre-money valuation led by Omers Ventures. Read more

Zeus Living - San Francisco based corporate housing startup raised $55m at a $205m valuation led by Airbnb. Read more

Zippin - San Francisco based cashier-less checkout startup raised $12m led by Evolv Ventures, the venture hub backed by Kraft Heinz. Read more


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