FTT Update: India Mints Four Unicorns In A Week
Hi all, Julie here.
My movers arrived today! I honestly can not recommend Roadway enough. They were absolutely amazing. Ping me if you’re interested in using them! I won’t get any money but I think I can get you a 5-10% discount. And if you don't have to spend your money on a move, you should spend it on our new Plaid Volcano shirts. They're only available until 12AM PT tonight (Friday), so get on it!
In sad news, Momma and Pappa VerHage have now left Austin :( I think we did a fairly good job of convincing them to consider moving here though. And by we, I mean Tux. While it was sad to say goodbye to them, I’m excited to welcome today’s sponsor, Public to the FTT family!
Orum Raises New Round
New York startup Orum has closed a $21M funding round led by Bain Capital. Inspired Capital, Homebrew, Acrew, Primary, Clocktower, Box Group, Amex Ventures and SVB Capital also invested. Orum is just getting started but has 15 clients, many of whom might ring a bell, such as SoFi. Orum says it has sped up 85% of their deposit transfers so they’re done in a day vs the “few days” that it typically takes (ie: like when you withdraw money from Venmo to your bank account). Orum is working on a second product in the same space, called Momentum.
“We are incredibly excited to announce the launch of Orum’s smart money movement platform, Momentum. This is a critical step in Orum’s journey to transforming the way money moves -- and at such a key moment when American households need instant money access. I have unwavering conviction that the most scalable way to bring improvement is through innovation at the infrastructure level. We want Orum’s products to empower other innovators in the FinTech ecosystem -- by leveraging our API-based, embeddable infrastructure products it’s now possible to build platforms that support multi-rail, instant money movement.” -Stephany Kirkpatrick
As any of you working in the payment space know, the rails that transactions run on are OLD. There has been a debate over whether fintech should try to move to new rails or work with the old ones. Orum’s Momentum can route orders over ACH, a credit card network, banks’ new Real Time Payments Network, and the company says it does so intelligently for the best speed and cost. Orum went live with its first customer in September 2020 and is processing tens of millions of dollars in transactions a month.
Better Gets SoftBank Backing
SoftBank is back, baby! This time, the company is buying loads of secondary shares in mortgage startup Better - $500M to be exact. The investment values parent Better Holdco at about $6B, according to an article in the WSJ. It’s a sharp jump from the $4B at which Better raised money in November. For those that are less familiar with the mortgage space, Better provides home loans for consumers through its website and banks with which it partners. Better has seen a large boost in business during the pandemic as people have fled cities for the suburbs and others have refinanced their mortgages due to low interest rates. The WSJ quoted someone saying that Better has extended $25B in loans in 2020 and $14B in the first quarter of 2021 alone.
Plaid UK Competitor Raises New Round
UK startup TrueLayer announced a $70M funding round this week. Like Plaid, TrueLayer helps fintech app users connect bank accounts. Customers of Revolut and Freetrade, for instance, are syncing their bank information via TrueLayer. The round was led by Addition, a new venture firm founded by Tiger Global’s Lee Fixel. Much like Plaid, TrueLayer saw a huge boost in growth and usage of the platform as more and more people started to manage their finances online. It plans to use the funding to expand internationally to other parts of Europe and Australia.
India's Startup Scene Is On Fire
Speaking of Tiger Global, the VC firm just led a new round in Bangalore-based Groww, which allows users to invest in mutual funds, gold, and stocks, including those listed at U.S. exchanges. While India is a market where people aren’t afraid to make financial transactions online, very few invest in stocks. The $83M round valued the startup at more than $1B, making it the eighth Indian startup to reach the milestone this year and THE FOURTH SINCE MONDAY. Groww says that it now has more than 15M registered users and that two-thirds of them are first time investors.
Today's Partner, Public
As a reader of FTT, you’ve probably heard us talk about the need for broader access to quality financial education - especially as more folks turn to retail investing. Public is making it easier than ever to share ideas, discuss market news and events in real time, and create investing clubs with your friends. Furthermore, Public does not make money from Payment for Order Flow and doesn’t sell trades to third-parties. It does this to ensure there is no conflict of interest when it comes to its financial incentives and the best interests of our community. When you use Public, you can make smart long-term decisions and expand your knowledge of the market within a community of more than 1M people. In addition, when you move your portfolio to Public, they'll pay any fees your brokerage may charge you on the way out.
*Offer valid for U.S. residents 18+ and subject to account approval. Fees paid on account transfers for portfolios valued over $150. See Public.com/disclosures/.
One job posting from a massive player in our space today:
Partner Growth Manager at Checkout.com: Checkout.com launched in 2012 with a mission of empowering businesses to adapt, innovate and thrive with the connected payments they deserve. With a team of more than 1000 people across 17 countries, it now provides the fastest, most reliable payments in more than 150 currencies, with in-country acquiring, world-class fraud filters and reporting, through one API. To date, it’s raised a total of $830M, with its recent Series C valuing it at $15B. Checkout.com is looking for a Partner Growth Manager to join the Commercial Partnerships team in its fast-growing San Francisco office. You will be responsible for managing and growing platform partnerships in the Americas, reporting directly to the Partnerships Lead of Platforms. This role is highly cross-functional, and you’ll work with some of the brightest minds in payments & fintech across product, engineering, sales, and marketing. If you’d like to join the team, apply above!
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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