FTT Update: And Your Fintech March Madness Finalists Are...

Hi all, Julie here. Finally in my new apartment and movers will arrive later this week. The end is in sight! Loving Austin so far :) 

Before we get to March Madness and the News, I have to mention Tux Time again since we had Green Dot CEO Dan Henry on and his episode is out! I loved talking to him about all of the changes he’s made during his first year as CEO. Lots of management shake-ups, new partnerships, and launching a challenger bank. Ping me on Twitter with your thoughts and who else you think we should have on! 

Jordan and I also got the pleasure of meeting Craig Lewis of Gig Wage in Dallas on Easter Sunday too! Such a gem and it was so exciting to hear about the exciting things he and his team are working on. He’ll be on the podcast soon to discuss. 

Well, ladies and gentlemen, it has come down to this - the people have spoken and the finals are set. Buy Now Pay Later giant Affirm (which also has a job opening featured today) will go head to head with our Cinderella story, issuer Marqeta, to claim the title of Fintech Today March Madness Champion. Click this link to vote on the bracket below - we will announce the tournament winner on Wednesday!

The News

Coinbase Sets A Date

Coinbase confirmed a date of April 14 for its direct listing on the NASDAQ under $COIN. On Tuesday, April 6 after the bell, the crypto company said it will release its estimated Q1 earnings. It’s the first fintech offering we’ve seen in a few weeks in the US, and the first we’ve seen for the crypto space, so I’ll definitely be watching this one closely. Bitcoin is still holding near all-time highs, so I’d assume there will be a lot of interest in this public debut, but who know. Mario at The Generalists did a great deep dive into Coinbase (which Ian helped out with) that you should check out if you’re interested in learning more about it before it goes public. 

Former Revolut Exec Raises New Funding 

UK DeFi startup Gro raised $7.1M in a seed funding round led by Galaxy Digital and Framework Ventures. Founded by former Revolut and Spotify executive Hannes Graah, Gro says its products (none of which have launched but are supposed to soon) are designed to give people "simple and friendly" access to DeFi so they can create and share wealth by combining the best of decentralized and legacy finance. Yeah, I don’t really get it either and there’s not much info on the startup out there yet, so I guess all of us will have to wait to learn more. One thing that I do understand is that low interest rates are not only causing people to buy and sell stocks more often, but it’s causing them to turn to crypto as well. I’d personally love to learn more about DeFi, so if you have thoughts, please reach out! 

WhatsApp Payments In Brazil

WhatsApp has officially received approval from a Brazilian regulator to allow users to send and receive payments on the Visa and Mastercard networks. This is exciting for the company as WhatsApp has tried and failed at receiving this approval a number of times in the past year or so. Last summer, Brazil’s Central Bank argued that WhatsApp was damaging to Brazil’s existing payment system and that it had not obtained the right licenses. This move is important for the company as it attempts to keep up with trends in mobile payments and social media. For now, WhatsApp is only allowed to handle peer-to-peer payments - merchants are not yet allowed. 

​Career Corner

Two job postings today from a larger company as well as a super early stage startup:

  1. Marketing and Community Manager at Avenify: Avenify is building better financial and career services for nurses, starting with student financing. It makes it easy for nurses to pay for school and to get a job once they graduate. The team is looking for a Marketing and Community Manager to grow its community, define and execute on its acquisition strategy, and own the relationship with its Members. An ideal candidate is an exceptional individual with experience in building communities and consumer brands, from brand ambassadorships, to newsletters, to social campaigns. It’s an early-stage startup, which means you'll be the first marketer, and among the first employees. You'll work closely with the founders, but this will be a high-autonomy role. You'll have the opportunity to shape the culture, innovate on new products, and build a category-defining company.​

  2. Strategic Partnerships Manager - New Partnerships at Affirm: This role is responsible for identifying and executing new partnerships to help Affirm expand distribution and grow our merchant and consumer networks exponentially! This person will have extensive experience autonomously generating new business, navigating partnerships, a deep payments expertise, and will work cross-functionally to identify, structure, and execute some of Affirm’s largest and most strategic deals.

Julie VerHage-Greenberg is the co-founder of Fintech Today, where she focuses on editorial content and brand. Prior to joining, she was Bloomberg’s first fintech reporter, covering Robinhood from before it was a billion dollar company, breaking the news that Plaid was acquiring Quovo, and interviewing executives on Bloomberg TV and at several large conferences.

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