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#319
20/20 Vision

Published:

Jan 18, 2020


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Posted In:

VC

Published:

Jan 18, 2020


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The year is off to a racing start with Plaid’s monster $5.3b exit to Visa. Now tech prognosticators are peering into the crystal ball to tell us what else the new decade may bring.

Who will be right, and what will define the narrative for 2020?

Despite a fair bit of macro uncertainty, the secular tailwinds in technology continue to generate strong optimism. The four-comma club has added its fourth member this week, with Alphabet joining Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft as tech giants with market caps eclipsing $1tn.

Cellular carriers around the world have started to flip the switch on 5G, enabling "lightning-fast" downloads and a broader set of connected devices. The AI and machine learning “stack” will continue to mature, making it possible for the combination of big data and intelligent wizardry to change the game.

With an all-time high of $800m of assets under protocol across decentralized finance (DeFi) to start 2020, the crypto community has found it’s product-market fit to build upon. The digital asset sector is now poised for the next wave of innovation – scalability solutions, tokenized smart securities, and decentralized marketplaces.

So whatever the magical AI-powered, 5G-enabled, decentralized 2020 crystal ball reveals, we will be here as always to help guide our loyal readers.

Portfolio News


Visa to Acquire Plaid - Congratulations to portfolio company Plaid on its $5.3b acquisition by Visa! This is a landmark exit for the fintech ecosystem. We've been fortunate to come along for the ride through the acquisition of former portfolio company Quovo - well done to everyone on the team. Read more

Interview with Fintech Futures: Building LatAm’s plumbing for payments - CEO of portfolio company Minka, and Fintech Collective's own, Sean Lippel, discussed the LatAm payments opportunity. Sean reflecting on the investment “Before a fintech revolution can occur, there must be infrastructure. It’s very tough to get into the deeper problems in LatAm without the infrastructure being laid." Read more

Interview with Africa Business Insight: The journey so far with Flutterwave - In the series "How We Made It In Africa" Olugbenga Agboola, CEO of portfolio company Flutterwave, discusses his optimism and opportunities within the African ecosystem. Read more

Ocrolus CEO invited on "Bank On It" podcast show - Sam Bobley, Co-founder and CEO of portfolio company Ocrolus, spoke with fintech podcast show host John Siracusa. Read more

Reonomy named in top companies to work in NYC - Built in NYC's annual list includes portfolio company Reonomy in the top 10 of the “100 Best Places to Work in NYC - 2020” list. Read more

20/20 Vision


The Information’s predictions for the next decade - The Information provides us with some wide-ranging predictions for what a world full of nearly 50-year-old millennials will look like. Read more

Predictions for the year from the FT’s tech correspondents - Predications range from a renewed interest in blockchain to data privacy between the US and China (namely through TikTok) and the 5G impact beyond your phone. Read more

ARK releases annual Big Ideas 2020 research report - Given ARK’s estimate of 220m digital wallets in the US by 2024, if every user were to be valued according to the lifetime value of traditional bank customers, the digital wallet opportunity could be worth more than $800b. Read more

Industry News


India’s about to hand people data you can only dream of - India has more than 560m internet users and soon they’ll have unprecedented control over their digital financial footprints. This "account aggregator" system is similar to Plaid in the US, but public. Read more

Lawmakers call for the investigation of fintech firm Yodlee’s data selling - Financial-data firm Yodlee might be selling consumers’ personal financial data without proper consent. Three lawmakers have asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate. Read more

Goldman Sachs, the 150-year-old investment bank, is staking its future on a mobile app - The Marcus portal, which lets customers check balances and set up recurring transactions, will one day serve as the bank's storefront and one-stop-shop for an array of digital banking services. Read more

Bank of England threatens action if City firms dither over moves to replace LIBOR - The Bank has urged City firms to accelerate their efforts to abandon the scandal-ridden Libor financial benchmark and threatened to use its powers against them in an attempt to hasten the overhaul. Read more

JPMorgan’s stellar profits show banks can make money despite tougher rules - Returns this high were no longer supposed to be possible! After the GFC many banks’ returns on equity looked more like utility companies. Read more

Why Goldman Sachs is playing catch-up with JPMorgan - Goldman’s consumer push is growing fast. Deposits on Marcus more than doubled from $24b at the start of 2019 to $60b at the end, and revenues were up 41% from last year. Read more

Sacramento Kings launch League's first live blockchain-powered auction platform for authentic merch - In collaboration with ConsenSys and Treum, every auctioned item will be authenticated with a transparent audit trail of product history. Fans will be assured that each piece of gear is authentic. Read more

Grow trees without spending money - The cutting edge rTrees project has been announced, a virtuous donation dapp powered by DeFi that plants real trees using only the interest earned on the DAI in your crypto wallet. Read more

In China, it might be more accurate to describe the process of digital financial services as “TechFin” - Technology is completely redesigning finance from the smartphone user’s perspective. Some $17tn of transactions were conducted online in 2017, more than 50 times those in the U.S. Read more

Shopify's new lending product is a $200 starter loan available to millions of online merchants - Shopify Capital has advanced more than $750m in loans since its launch in 2016. The new starter loan does not require a credit check or a personal guarantee. Read more

Travelex hack: staff write paper invoices as websites are down - Currency firm still offline as hackers demand $3m to stop the release of customers’ data. Staffers have had to write out paper invoices for customers as the foreign currency firm continues to be without computer systems. Read more

Select Financings


Corvus - Boston based commercial insurer raised $32m in Series B funding led by Telstra Ventures. Read more

epiFi - India based challenger banking platform has raised $13.2m in its Seed round led by Sequoia India and Ribbit Capital at a $50m valuation. Read more

HighRadius – Houston based working capital optimization software raised a $125m Series B round from ICONIQ Capital at a $1b valuation. Read more

Insurify - Boston based insurance automation startup raised $23m in a Series A led by MTECH Capital and Viola Fintech. Read more

Lightnet - Thailand based global remittance Velo protocol raised a $31.2m Series A led by a conglomerate of Asian financial institutions. Read more

Roofstock - Oakland, CA based online marketplace for investing in single-family rentals raised a $50m Series D equity round led by SVB Capital. Read more

Very Good Security (VGS) - San Francisco based data security provider received an undisclosed investment from Visa. This round follows a $35m Series B led by Goldman Sachs in October last year. Read more


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