welcome to Exchange! If you received this in your inbox, thank you for your subscription and vote of confidence. If you are reading this as a post on our site, please register over here So you can receive it directly in the future. Every week, I look at the hottest fintech news from the previous week. This includes everything from funding rounds to trends to niche analysis to hot takes on a specific company or event. There’s a lot of fintech news out there and it’s my job to stay on top of it – and understand it – so you can stay informed. – Mary Ann
It ended with a bang published by NY Magazine last week. The article is the starting point. Daylight, Seed and Series A TechCrunch raises LGBQT+ Neobank here and here respectively. The image of CEO and founder Rob Curtis was so far from the gentlemanly executive that interviewing him made me question my own judgment of character. Among the allegations, fabrications, and inappropriate behavior reported in this in-depth article. One person who tried the bank’s service told me that they “didn’t see much in the way of benefits or specialization” and that it was “very difficult” except to allow them to use the name of their choice on the card. Discontinued.
Meanwhile, there’s never a dull day in the corporate leisure space. I wrote about it last week. Ramp Reporting 4x revenue growth by 2022. That got me curious about other companies in the space, so I poked around a few. An Air Base A spokesperson got back to me by sharing in an email: “We have grown 2X in the key metrics of ARR, payment volume and number of paying customers. It is important to note that the majority of our revenue is high margin and subscription based, unlike most companies that focus on exchange revenue. We prefer not to play the whole ARR blurring game…” Ouch by the way I neglected to include that last week. Brakes Expanded to the travel space. That company has reportedly ruffled a few feathers of late, though, as AwardWallet has “reduced cash and crypto redemptions by 40% and reduced transfer fees for Brax Awards by more than 40% for airline partners.” If so, Twitter was abuzz with the news. Twitter Any indicator is. I have contacted the company but have not heard back yet.
Other weekly news
Haje Jan Kamps reports: “What do you do when you have a very successful and popular product (marijuana) that is legal in some places but has been a Schedule 1 drug federally since 1970? Well, you cannot rely on any national institutions as your trading partners. One of the main areas to look at is in the billing and payment process; Even after recreational cannabis is legalized in 21 states and decriminalized in another dozen or so, cannabis has largely become a cash business. In a cashless world, that’s a problem for consumers and businesses. Smoakland It is currently beta testing a loophole that allows customers to pay by credit card. But the secret is crypto. More here.
Anna Heim reports: “If you think embedded insurance is the only hot thing Insurance We’ve got a surprise for you right now: While it’s true that startups that help co-sell insurance with other products and services are having fun, there are plenty of other opportunities in the space, several investors told TechCrunch+. More here.
I reached out to the payment company. Checkout.comTo learn more about her plans in her new role, new president Celine Dufetel asked how she feels about the comparisons to Stripe, including her thoughts on the future of payments in general and why she sees so much opportunity in the US…and her answer might surprise you. More here.
Kyle Wiggers reports: “Integrated Co-Founder Neha Narkede announced a new fintech company today. SwingIt is to develop an ‘AI-driven’ platform for financial institutions to protect online transactions from fraud and theft. Oscillar is completely self-funded, with $20 million contributed by Narkhede and the company’s co-founder Sachin Kulkarni. Narkhede said they chose not to take outside funding to ‘build and grow the company quickly when it goes public’. More here.
Kyle Wiegers reports: “Major update b Apple Pay Called Apple Pay Later, which allows users to pay the cost of Apple Pay purchases interest-free or over six weeks in four equal installments, Apple has finally launched the feature. But not for everyone – at least not yet. Starting today, Apple says it will begin inviting randomly selected users to access a later version of Apple Pay, which it plans to roll out to all ‘eligible’ users in iOS 16.4 or iPadOS 16.4 in the coming months.
Meanwhile, Fitch ratings Weighing in on the news of Apple Pay Later, senior director Michael Taiano said in an email that “not allowing Apple customers to link to a credit card is a unique feature of BNPL’s product, which should limit borrowers’ ability to make one payment.” Debt with other debt, while not fully addressing our broader concerns about structural and cyclical challenges, the current pay-later business model still faces it.
Tage Kene-Okafor gave an in-depth interview Union54 When co-founder and CEO Perseus Mlambo was forced out of business last year in a $1.2 billion refund scam, the company was at risk of total shutdown, and the company’s executive spoke candidly about the issues facing Union54. Why fintechs need to be more transparent about fraud exposure. A must read!
Fintech Futures reports: “Payment giants Visa And MasterCard It is reported that they are among the many companies competing for the Brazilian payment and banking platform Letter. News reports say the company is working with Goldman Sachs on a potential sale worth $1 billion. Sources told Bloomberg that other interested parties include a bank and a private equity firm, and that the talks may not result in a sale. According to Valor Economico Pipeline, Visa’s initial bid of $1 billion was rejected by Pismo, after which Visa raised its bid to $1.4 billion. More here. TechCrunch pegged Pismo’s revenue at $108 million in October 2021. If true, this is extremely exciting news not only for Pismo, but for the Latin American startup scene as a whole.
Speaking of Latin America, Latitude, the self-proclaimed “technological entrepreneurship program” for the Latin American region, sponsored by Andreessen Horowitz and NFX, “launched business accounts.” According to co-founder Brian Requart, the move was made in part because “most of the founders at LatAm were working with SVB.” . . . There is a gap,” he said in an email. “We’ve been working on this for months, so we decided to start.” TechCrunch covered Latitude’s rise last March.
Desire In the year Oregon filed a warning notice on March 24, 2023, informing the state that it plans to lay off 180 people between May 26, 2023 and June 1, 2023. Among those injured are the Chief Administrative Officer of the MENAA Regional President. , and vice presidents of business development, human resources and product design. A source shared that Ambition plans to become a public company but has not yet floated the SPAC. The SPAC has requested an extension to June 9 to complete the merger. Specifically, according to its website, it “decided to sell carbon credits to businesses rather than the more environmentally friendly Neo Bank that most people are familiar with,” the source said. TechCrunch reached out to Aspiration but did not receive a response. The company has raised about $250 million in funding.
PYMNTS reports: “Family Finance App Green light He announced the merger of banks and credit unions. Greenlight for Banks…allows financial institutions to add Greenlight’s app to their financial services…with the app, banks can offer Greenlight’s income, savings and spending tools to customers. Plus, parents can automatically send allowances and send money instantly, while kids and teens get a ‘parental-controlled money management experience’.
Equals Money launched a new expense management platform in the US
Novo is about to launch a working capital program for small businesses.
Pinwheel launches Smart Branch to bring payment connectivity to physical bank branches
Secfi and Daffy.org partner to make charitable giving seamless for consulting clients
Has fintech lost its appeal? What VC investors should see from founders
Funding and M&A
Featured on TechCrunch.
Salt Labs will raise $10 million to ease front line work
StellarFi has spent $15 million to help people build credit by paying bills, rent on time.
Paytrix will raise $18.3 million to build the one-time payment store
Payday wants to create the future of jobs in Africa with a $3 million seed round led by Moniepoint Inc.
Amazon-backed ACO is about to raise $120 million in new funding.
Mexican restaurant payment startup Pacto has raised $4 million in seed funding
Investing.com buys StreetInsider for $10M
Personal finance app Playbook in series A $7M trap
Stratyfy will inject $10m to advance AI-based lending.
PSA: Last year was my first breakout and I was blown away. This year, I am even more excited, because we will have a successful fintech platform! Come join us – it’s going to be great.
Next week we will take a break because of the Easter holiday, but I will be back on April 16. Until then, please take good care! And as always, thanks for reading and sharing this newsletter. xoxo, Mary Ann