FTT Update: I Promise This Is Better Than Oatly's Commercial

Hi all, Julie here. Hope everyone enjoyed the Super Bowl, or at least the ads (other than Oatly's). 

FTT+ subscribers received their first Fintech Today research report on Super Bowl Sunday. In it, FTT expert Michael Jenkins and myself took a deep dive into the Buy Now Pay Later space. We looked at the history of the key players, what their cash flows look like, and potential expansion opportunities. If you don't currently subscribe but want to see it, you can sign up here. One small data point from the report is included below. 

We (and by we I mean Austin Calvertmade a video explaining the checkout process and BNPL that you can check out for free. You should honestly go watch it simply to listen to Austin's voice when talking about how good the checkout is at taking your money. Promise it doesn't disappoint. 

The News

Tesla Buys $1.5B of Bitcoin

No wonder Elon Musk is bullish on Bitcoin. On Monday, Tesla announced via an SEC filing that it bought $1.5B worth of the digital currency in January. In the filing, Tesla said it bought Bitcoin for “more flexibility to further diversify and maximize returns on our cash.” AKA: Much like Musk, Tesla thinks Bitcoin is going higher... which it did, to the tune of 15%, on the back of this announcement. The filing also said that the automaker might start allowing customers to buy Teslas with Bitcoin. Given that Tesla ‘only’ had ~$19B in cash and cash equivalents as of the end of 2020, this is a pretty big investment in percentage terms. And of course, some people are pissed that Elon was touting the stock on Twitter while his firm was buying up Bitcoin. Elon has had run ins with the SEC in the past, and that doesn’t seem to be slowing him down, so I doubt this would either. *Note: I own ~$600 worth of Bitcoin, which sounds extra small when compared to $1.5B. 

Google and Global Payments Strike Partnership

Global Payments and Google announced a new partnership to deliver cloud-based products and capabilities. The move is part of a push from Google to bolster its Cloud business in the financial services industry. Per the deal, Global Payments will migrate its merchant acquiring technology to Google Cloud, and will provide merchant acquiring services to Google in order to extend its global market reach. The two will also be launching a series of strategic go-to-market and co-sell activities together, and will be collaborating on product development and innovation. 

Monzo Raises More Money

Monzo is raising another £50M in equity funding from existing shareholders and new investor, Silicon Valley firm, Octahedron Capital. Due to a costly customer acquisition strategy and the ongoing pandemic, the European startup has been forced to raise additional capital. Furthermore, it has removed a number of offerings, including interest rate freebies on currency transfers, and introduced new revenue generating services.According to the release, Monzo now has more than 60,000 business users and more than 100,000 customers across its paid-for current accounts with revenues up by 30% since the start of the Covid crisis. Signs its new strategy might be working.

Wild Robinhood Chart

In my attempt to not write about Robinhood for a few days, I missed this chart. It’s from a Robinhood blog post, and shows the trading platform's equities and options trading volumes through last week. I’ll just leave it here for you to take in…

Community Highlights

Lindsay Davis and I are trying to organize a Peloton group ride! Ping us on Twitter if you want to join, and add the #FTTCrew tag on your profile too to make this a bit easier.

Career Corner

Three job postings today in honor of the three companies we took the closest look at in our BNPL report. 

Director of Customer Service, KlarnaAnalytics is at the heart of Klarna’s success. An analyst at Klarna provides analytical and business expertise to ensure that the firm delivers value to customers. You will be acting as a bridge between the models, operations, products and business decisions and expected to know how to build strategies by connecting them. Think of an analyst at Klarna as a "Swiss army knife". Klarna is a data driven company where decisions are based on facts and not opinions. Analytics is integrated in the organisation and a key function in many different areas - some examples include credit risk, finance, fraud, HR, product development and sales. 3+ years of experience in a relevant field. 

ManagerGrowth Marketing, AffirmAs a Salesforce Developer, you will be an integral member of the Business Systems team within Revenue Operations. You will craft technical solutions to business problems and transform the way Commercial employees execute new business. The ideal candidate will demonstrate the ability to work nimbly and efficiently and adapt in a constantly evolving environment. This is the second Salesforce developer at Affirm and will have a lasting impact on its business systems platform. 2+ years of Salesforce development experience preferred. 

Product Manager-Banking, AfterPay: As part of a new greenfield mobile-first product team at AfterPay, you’ll work within a cross functional product team and be responsible for defining the Product roadmap for your specific area. You'll be driving innovation and building new mobile based financial services for its customers using a variety of inputs, and clearly articulating rationale behind product decisions, as well as leading the success of projects from discovery to launch, in collaboration with design, engineering, analytics, sales, marketing, customer support partners. 5+ years of experience as a PM preferred. 

That's all for Monday's update. Stay tuned for Michael's first official newsletter for us tomorrow! He dove into Plaid's European ambitions, and I learned a ton about what's going on across the pond when it comes to consumer financial data. Fascinating stuff. 

Julie VerHage 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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