Big Tech Comes To Fintech


Jun 15, 2019



Jun 15, 2019



This week, some of the world’s biggest tech companies made fresh headlines with their forays into fintech.

Uber is getting the ball rolling in our own backyard - planning to build a fintech outpost based in NYC. Rumored possibilities for their new financial products include bank accounts and insurance products for their 93m active users.

Amazon followed suit with a new partnership with Synchrony Financial to launch “Amazon Credit Builder” - which will provide a secured card and digital-first budgeting and financial literacy tools, primarily for consumers with no credit history or bad credit.

Facebook wasn't going to be left out, announcing that they had tapped Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, and Uber to invest around $10 million each in a consortium that will govern their upcoming digital coin.

However, the biggest innovation of the week was spotted at the “Ring", aka the London Metal Exchange an institution that can trace its origin back to 1571, which this week implemented a rule banning their traders from partaking in their age-old tradition of a long "liquid lunch".

Portfolio News

MoneyLion and Ford Performance announce final two performance car influencers for "Here We Roar" Sweepstakes – Portfolio company MoneyLion, and Team Penske drivers Austin Cindric and Ryan Blaney have teamed up with Dave and Dom Tucci of Tucci Hot Rods, and automotive photographer Larry Chen, to design and build two new custom Mustangs. Read more

Axoni becomes one of four new FINOS members - Portfolio company Axoni joins FINOS (the Fintech Open Source Foundation), alongside RBC, Wipro, and WhiteSource. FINOS is a nonprofit that promotes open innovation in financial services, and is building a global footprint. Read more

Axoni featured in Global Blockchain in Retail Banking 2018 market research report - Portfolio company Axoni was featured in an in-depth study on the current state of blockchain in the retail banking market, alongside players such as Accenture, IBM, and Digital Assets Holdings. Read more

EJF Capital selects Artivest as gateway to the financial advisor market for opportunity zone solutions - Portfolio company Artivest has developed a partnership with EJF Capital, a global alternative asset management firm with $7.3 billion in AUM, focusing on regulatory event-driven investment themes. Read more

Big Tech Comes To Fintech

Uber is making a fintech push with a New York hiring spree - Uber is allegedly planning to expand into financial products with a fintech outpost based in NYC. The company is looking to hire several dozen engineers and product managers. The exact nature of these financial products remains unclear. Read more

Amazon launches a credit card for the ‘underbanked’ with bad credit - The e-commerce giant has partnered up with the publicly traded Synchrony Financial to launch “Amazon Credit Builder” — a program that lends to shoppers with no credit history or bad credit, otherwise exempt from Amazon’s loyalty cards. Read more

Facebook’s new cryptocurrency, Libra, gets big backers - The WSJ reported this week that Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and Uber are among firms that will invest around $10 million each in the consortium that will govern Facebook's digital coin. Read more

The London Metal Exchange, one of the last bastions of face-to-face trading - Members of the “Ring" aka the London Metal Exchange, one of the last bastions of face-to-face trading, are having to give up their vice of a long "liquid lunch" under new rules at the exchange. Read more

Industry News

Brex receives $2.6b valuation after latest funding round - The valuation comes after news that the company has raised $100m in fresh funding, in a round led by Kleiner Perkins Digital Growth Fund. Read more

U.S. customers to be blocked from trading on Binance.com - Following in the footsteps of Bitfinex and BitMex, the 15% of traffic to Binance currently originating from the U.S. will be shut down by the end of the summer. Read more

Monzo takes a step into the US digital banking fray - Monzo hopes to crack a tough market where customers favor traditional lenders. They will not be alone! N26, the German online-only bank that operates in 21 EU countries, is preparing for its US debut in the coming weeks. Read more

Startups target millennials with social-investing apps - More than any previous generation, millennials are likely to invest in companies that mesh with their social and political concerns - from clean energy to gender equality or water conservation. Read more

The surprising way startups are disrupting the life-insurance business - As the WSJ reports - ‘Insuretech’ companies have found it makes more sense to collaborate with old-line insurers, rather than replace them. Read more

Line CEO says fintech business may break even in 1 to 2 years - The operator of Japan’s most popular messaging platform, facing a stagnant user base and a business model that relies on advertising, is doubling down on payments to underpin other financial offerings and transform into an all-in-one app, like WeChat. Read more

Amazon seeks to revive its faltering loans business - Making loans to the small businesses selling through its website seemed like a straightforward win for Amazon. However, 8 yrs after it launched, the business is languishing. Read more

Select Financing

Synapse - San Francisco based provider of financial tech solutions to the banking industry has raised $33m in Series B funding, led by Andreessen Horowitz. Read more

Immedis - Dublin based provider of payroll and employment tax software has raised €25m in strategic funding, led by Scottish Equity Partners. Read more

Alkami Technology - Plano, TX based provider of digital banking solutions has raised $55m in Series E funding, led by General Atlantic and MissionOG. Read more

SpotOn - San Francisco based provider of payment processing with customer engagement tools has raised $40m in funding, led by Franklin Templeton. Read more

Addi - Bogotá based provider of POS credit and banking solutions has raised $12.6m in Series A funding, led by Andreessen Horowitz. Read more

Pryon - Raleigh based AI company delivering augmented intelligence for the enterprise has raised $20m in Series A financing, led by Revolution's Rise of the Rest Seed Fund. Read more

Funderbeam - London based funding and trading platform for private companies has raised $4.5m in Series A funding, led by UK based Accelerated Digital Ventures (ADV). Read more

Bux - Amsterdam based trading app claiming to make investing fun has raised an additional $12.5m in funding, led by Velocity Capital and Holtzbrinck Ventures. Read more

Sunbit - Los Angeles based point-of-sale lender has raised $26m in Series B funding, led by Zeev Ventures. Read more

Helium - San Francisco based developer of a P2P wireless network has raised $15m in Series C funding, co-led by Union Square Ventures and Multicoin Capital. Read more

Sure - New York based on-demand insurance provider has raised $12.5m in Series B funding, led by W.R. Berkley Corp. Read more


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