Posted In:

Vintage, Startups

Aging Like Fine Wine


Feb 29, 2020


Posted In:

Vintage, Startups


Feb 29, 2020



As Napoleon once said, “Nothing makes the future look so rosy as to contemplate it through a smashing glass of Chambertin.” He may not have actually used the word “smashing”, but will we soon be able to say something similar about fintech?

So far this year we have been reminded that, like wine, some great things take time to reach their peak: Morgan Stanley acquired E-trade (a 1982 vintage startup), Visa acquired Plaid (2013 vintage) and this week, Intuit acquired Credit Karma (2007 vintage).

In 2013 the US DOJ fined JP Morgan $13b (half of their earnings that year) and filed lawsuits against Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and Morgan Stanley. In the wake of this litigation, seeded with the desire to rewire how consumers interact with financial services, MoneyLion, Chime, N26, Robinhood, Nubank, Raisin, Tandem, and others were born.

Ideal growing conditions and terroir mark the best vintages (read: post-financial crisis era), and the top vineyards separate themselves under great stewardship (read: founder). The best wines are also best drunk after a specified amount of time, like the famed Italian Barolo being best drunk 10 years+ from its vintage (read: exit).

The average age of a startup worldwide at acquisition is 8-10 years old and so the 2013 fintech vintage has yet to reach peak drinking age but it is fast approaching. When it is time to pop the cork, we’ll all be excited to give it a good nose… and hopefully, none of the bottles are corked!

Portfolio News

New Vestwell infrastructure removes traditional record keepers from retirement plan administration - Portfolio company Vestwell has developed leading investing architecture and APIs to maintain records in-house on a digital database and take full control over 3(16) administrative tasks such as eligibility, loans and distributions, notices and compliance testing. Read more

Google partners with Flutterwave to train 5,000 SMEs to leverage online commerce - The initiative, known as 'Digital Business Compass', aims to provide a platform for the 37m Nigerian SMEs to develop the skills to leverage online commerce tools from Google and portfolio company Flutterwave. Read more

Aging Like Fine Wine

Do wine vintages even matter anymore? - With weather patterns changing in unexpected ways, premium winemakers, where vintage matters, are at risk of sub-par years. Mass-market winemakers have a more consistent product year-to-year and are less influenced by global warming. Read more

Buzzy fintech startups that Wall Street is talking about - Less than two months into the year, it's already shaping up to be a banner year for dealmaking by financial firms — particularly for deals with incumbents buying fintech startups, as Wall Street names some startups top of the list. Read more

Intuit confirms that it is buying Credit Karma for $7.1b in cash and stock - the software giant behind QuickBooks, TurboTax, and Mint, confirmed that it plans to acquire Credit Karma — with more than 100m registered users, 37m of them active monthly users. Read more

Jamie Dimon says ‘door is open’ for more US bank deals - JPMorgan is banned from buying other banks but will be ‘open-minded’ about other businesses. JP Morgan's profits are up to $60bn in 2019. Read more

Industry News

How bond, stock, bitcoin, and copper markets are reacting to coronavirus - The US stock market was gaining earlier this year even as concerns about the epidemic intensified. That went into reverse on February 20, when the S&P 500 began five-straight days of declines. Since then things like oil and copper, which tend to be linked to economic growth, have tumbled. Read more

Reddit’s profane, greedy traders are shaking up the stock market - The do-it-yourself traders of r/WSB are waging a kind of guerrilla warfare in the markets, trying to exploit what they see as weaknesses in the system to move prices where they want them. Read more

Asset managers seek refuge in each other’s arms - For an industry that is facing downward pressure on fees, rising costs and clients reducing the number of asset managers they want to deal with, increasing scale is crucial. Most active managers are fighting to fend off the threat to their business models from the low-cost, index-tracking approach dominated by BlackRock and Vanguard. Read more

Insurance app records driver as "speeding" despite being on the train - Carrot Insurance uses phone data to measure journey length, acceleration, and braking - but some say it often fails to work or wrongly records data. In one instance, despite being on a train and the app recorded the user as "speeding". Read more

Klarna posts first-ever annual loss - The Swedish "buy not and pay later" startup, and Europe’s joint-largest unlisted fintech, suffered its first-ever annual loss in 2019, making heavy credit falls amid a big push into the US ahead of a possible IPO. Read more

The Plaid ‘mafia’ begins with John Whitfield joining student loan fintech startup Summer - Whitfield is joining Summer as its head of engineering. He joined Plaid through the acquisition of portfolio company Quovo last year. Read more

Mastercard names new CEO - Effective at the beginning of 2021, Michael Miebach, Mastercard’s chief product officer, will succeed AJay Banga as CEO, who has served since 2010. Read more acquires payment optimization startup - London based payment platform that raised a $230m Series A last year has acquired its first startup, ProcessOut, a smart routing checkout module that works with dozens of payment providers. Read more

Select Financings

Alkymi - New York based email financial data extraction startup raised a $5m Seed round led by Canaan Partners. Read more

Behavox - New York City based compliance for enterprise platform raised $100m in funding from Softbank Vision Fund 2. Read more

BharatPe - India based digital payments startup raised $75m in Series C funding led by Coatue and Ribbit Capital. Read more

B-Social - London based digital “social bank” raised £7.8m in a Seed-2 round led by undisclosed angels. Read more

Cobee - Spain based employee benefits and payment card raised €2.1m in “pre-Series A” funding co-led by Speedinvest and Target Global. Read more

Jumo - South Africa based fintech platform for financial institutions and telecoms has raised $55m in debt and equity funding led by Goldman Sachs. Read more

Mantl - New York based bank account opening software for banks and credit unions raised $8m in Series A funding led by Point72 Ventures. Read more

Microverse - San Francisco based ISA online coding school for emerging markets raised $3.2m in Seed funding led by General Catalyst. Read more

Pipe - Los Angeles based financing platform for SaaS companies raised $6m in a Seed round led by Craft Ventures. Read more

Revolut - London based digital bank has raised a $500m Series D at a $5.5b valuation, led by TCV. The round represents a roughly 3x increase in valuation from its April 2018 Series C. Read more

Tractable - London based AI visual damage appraisal for insurance raised a $25m Series C led by Canadian investment fund Georgian Partners. Read more


FinTech Collective Newsletter

Curated News with Context

Delivered every Saturday, the weekly newsletter, produced by our team, provides a tightly edited rundown of global fintech news, along with a bit of our original analysis.