FTT Update: Sometimes Copying Works

Hi all, Julie here. Big news: I'm doing my first clubhouse on Thursday! Join me, my husband, Aditi of Ask Zeta and her husband at 8:30ET to talk about all things couples finances for Valentines Day! Whether you're married, living together or just dating, I promise we'll have good advice for you. And if you are none of the above, come join us and have a drink anyways ;) 

The News

Shopify Gets Fast for Facebook and Instagram

High five if you see what I did in the headline. ​

Shopify announced that it’s expanding Shop Pay to merchants on Facebook and Instagram. This means that Shopify businesses selling on Facebook and Instagram can make the payments tool available to buyers for a secure (and very fast) checkout experience. At this rate, I’m half expecting the checkout experience to just read my mind in the future and buy things for me that will magically show up at my door two days later. 

Klarna at $30B

Buy Now Pay Later pioneer Klarna is launching its first consumer banking account in Germany, and is rumored to be closing in on a new funding round that values the company at $30B.On top of a debit card, the Klarna account will come with budgeting tools in its app (reminder that Klarna received a Swedish banking license in 2017). And while the $30B valuation would be triple that of its raise last September, it’s around the same valuation that Affirm and AfterPay have in the public markets. If you’re an FTT+ subscriber, you got a great report last weekend showing the similarities and differences between these three players, and you’d know why a $30B price tag for Klarna makes a lot of sense (if not an even higher one). 

Ramp's Debt Facility From Goldman

Ramp announced it has secured a $150M debt facility with Goldman Sachs. Ramp previously raised a $30M Series B in late December 2020, after raising a $23M Series A earlier in the same year. Until this deal with Goldman, Ramp financed the corporate spending of the startups it works with via its own balance sheet, which becomes extremely difficult at a large scale. Ramp is part of the corporate credit card and expense management space.

While each a bit different, they all provide credit cards to businesses and make money through the revenue on interchange. Ramp said it reached the $100M spend threshold in the fall of last year, 18 months after it was founded. Unlike some of the other players in the space, Ramp helps companies reduce their corporate spend through a software package, which Ramp believes will be an important differentiator in an increasingly competitive market. 

Robinhood Lobbyists

Robinhood refuses to stay out of my newsletter. The startup is planning a lobbying effort that could end up weighing on its current business model. According to CNBC, one of the bills Robinhood plans to focus on is the Wall Street Tax Act of 2019. It was introduced two years ago with the goal of imposing a 0.1% excise tax on certain financial transactions including the purchase of stocks, bonds and derivatives. If that tax ended up causing people to trade less, then that would obviously hurt Robinhood, along with other brokerages. While Robinhood hasn’t publicly commented on these potential lobbying efforts, we might get a better idea of what’s going on when CEO Vlad Tenev appears in front of the House Financial Services Committee on February 18 (this date is widely expected, though not confirmed). 

Community Highlights

Payments comes up a lot in this newsletter, and our friends at Finix published a new piece with predictions for the space in 2021. Interesting thoughts in here that are worth checking out (and I promise the piece isn't that long). 

Career Corner

Two job postings today:

Senior Payments Counsel, US Treasury: The senior payments counsel at the US Treasury retired last month, and the government agency is on the hunt for a qualified candidate to fill a critical position. The reach of impact potentially touches hundreds of millions of people in our country, as the last two rounds of Economic Impact Payments of COVID stimulus relief have shown. In this senior role, you will provide legal counsel to executives and staff administering major operating programs of the Bureau, with a particular emphasis on electronic payments law, including the Electronic Funds Transfer Act; Regulation E; Automated Clearing House Rules, as adopted by Treasury; prepaid debit cards; Fedwire payments; privacy and data use; and fraud mitigation.​

Senior PM-Payments and Finance, TrueAccord: As the Senior Product Manager for Payments and Finance, you’ll drive the roadmap for redesigning TrueAccord's payments infrastructure and automating finance operations. You will work closely with engineering to deliver a robust, reliable, and auditable payments platform that enables a great experience for consumers and meets the needs of clients and TrueAccord's finance and compliance teams. You’ll be responsible for helping to guide and shape the evolution of the payments ecosystem across its B2B and B2C products, partnering with the firm's payment providers, and understanding the needs of its key business stakeholders.

That's all for today. FTT+ subscribers, you're getting a newsletter from FTT Expert Charley Ma tomorrow. Don't miss it! 

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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