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Original Gigster


May 11, 2019


Posted In:



May 11, 2019



Uber’s stock started trading on Friday with a market cap exceeding $80b. While Uber is best known for catalyzing the ridesharing industry, it’s catalyzed an equally impactful social revolution – the gig economy.

Gig-economy workers are freelancers, independent contractors, and other variants of temporary workers. Nearly 60m Americans (1 in 3 in the workforce) freelanced in 2017. Uber is potentially the largest gig-economy employer in the world.

The rapid growth of the gig economy has been driven by employers who want to scale more flexibly, as well as workers who want optionality for when and how they work. However, a critical issue with the gig economy is a dearth of benefits and financial services.

Gig economy workers typically are often not provided with retirement savings options, health and disability insurance, or other benefits provided to full-time workers – part of the reason why many drivers went on strike on Wednesday.

Moreover, taxes are not withheld from gig economy worker paymentsleaving it to the individual to track their accounting and save to pay taxes. Benefits and financial services for the gig economy will continue to be a massive and growing opportunity that fintech startups may eventually address.

With Uber now a public company, it's clear it has created a complex ecosystem. And we're not just talking about the strange passengers...

Portfolio News

Dharma Markets Report #7: interest rate indexes in crypto - FinTech Collective portfolio company Dharma Protocol believes smart contract based overcollateralized lending has become the "hello world" of programmable money. The report addresses some of the alternatives to create standard borrowing rates for the market to coalesce on, allowing market participants to know the opportunity cost of their assets. Read more

Original Gigster

Uber’s biggest IPO winners - You might have known that Benchmark, Menlo, Lowercase, and First Round were some of the early-stage winners in Uber. But you may not have known that Jeff Bezos will make $400m off a $3m early stage personal investment. Read more

Driver strikes didn’t break Uber, but they showed gig economy workers are mad - Uber and Lyft drivers in over two dozen cities went on strike on Wednesday, demanding a better cut of driving profits and generating scrutiny on the "employment" practices of many gig economy platforms. Read more

Remote work and the politics of decentralization - In the last 20yrs tech has contributed to the resurgence of cities. In the coming years, tech companies may shift to decentralizing their workforces, as a result of the high cost of major cities and enabled by technologies that make remote collaboration easier. Read more

Trader who has waited his entire career for an Uber IPO - A fun reminder, in the age of the super computer, of the role of the DMM "designated market maker" on NYSE’s trading floor, one of the last bastions of open outcry trading. Read more

Industry News

Brazil's Nubank kicks off international expansion - The digital bank for the unbanked that currently touts nearly 8.5m customers has announced its international expansion with the start of its operation in Mexico. Nubank was attracted by the similarities between Brazil and Mexico, with nearly 36m Mexicans without a bank account. Read more

A new fight breaks out over 401(k) fees - One recently settled lawsuit contended employers should have protected employees from plan administrators using their information to sell them products. Read more

22% of institutional investors have some digital asset exposure: Fidelity - A survey conducted by Fidelity Investments and published Thursday found that, already, around 22% of investors have some exposure to digital assets, while 40% say they are open to taking the plunge in the next five years. Read more

Bitfinex releases official white paper for $1b exchange token offering - The crypto-currency exchange behind Tether is selling its own exchange token, dubbed LEO, in a private sale and will be launching its own leveraged trading functionality and platform for other projects to do their own IEOs (initial exchange offerings). Read more

New financial apps aim to protect the elderly - A small but growing crop of financial-technology companies are offering online tools meant to help adult children manage and monitor their parents’ finances and well-being. Read more

Why the Apple Card is the gleaming future of money - The way we spend is changing. Here is a Wired magazine write-up on everything we should consider based on Apple's new credit card. Read more

HSBC and StanChart under attack from China tech - China’s biggest tech groups have won approval to launch digital banks in Hong Kong in a long-awaited assault on the financial sector that threatens local players such as HSBC and Standard Chartered and heralds future challenges in London and New York. Read more

The coming Apple credit card tsunami: consumer survey finds huge demand for the New Card - When Apple launches its new card, 24% of young millennials and 22% of older millennials intend to apply for it, according to a new survey from Cornerstone Research. Read more

Prize-winning essays on the future of money - The FT and the Bank of England sought the best blog by a school pupil on the future of money. The winner is Estelle McCool from King’s College London Maths School. Read more

Hackers stole $40m from Binance cryptocurrency exchange - In yet another centralized exchange breach - of which there has now been $356m stolen in 2019 alone - hackers have stolen $40m from Binance's hot wallet along with two factor authentication codes and API tokens. Read more

Anti-money-laundering controls play bigger role in credit ratings - According to research published recently by Fitch, lapses in AML and financial crimes controls are more likely to affect a banks' credit rating than almost any other non-financial factor. Read more

Facebook picks London as base for WhatsApp push into payments - As the social media giant looks to monetize its WhatsApp asset through peer-to-peer payments among its 1.5b users, it has chosen the UK because it attracts a multicultural workforce from many of the countries where the app is widely used – including India, Brazil, and Mexico. Read more

Large GDPR fines are imminent, EU privacy regulators say - It's been about a yea since the sweeping regulation has passed, and now officials from Ireland and the UK have said they are investigating major GDPR cases and plan to announce enforcement actions in the next few months. Read more

Select Financings

Built Technologies ­- Nashville based construction lending startup has raised a $31m Series B led by Goldman Sachs Investment Partners. Read more

Carta - Palo Alto based cap table management platform raised $300m of Series E funding led by Andreessen Horowitz, and joined by Goldman Sachs PSI and LightSpeed Ventures. The valuation on the round was $1.7b. Read more

Health IQ - San Francisco based life insurance startup has raised a $55m Series D led by Greenspring, Aquiline, and Hanwha. Read more

VTS - NYC based real estate tech startup has raised a $90m venture financing led by Brookfield Asset Management and GLP, valuing the company over $1bn. Read more


FinTech Collective Newsletter

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