FTT Update: Square Hiring For A New Product
Hi all, Julie here. Few things before we get to the news (and be sure to check out Career Corner today)...
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A new Tux Time with Wiza Jalakasi from Chipper Cash in Africa is out! I learned more in this convo than I have in any of my previous ones since I barely know anything about what’s going on in African fintech. Highly recommend this one, especially if you’re interested in learning more about that region! Honestly with everything going on there, there might be a LendIt Africa or Money 2020 Africa very soon!
Speaking of LendIt, the conference is next week and if you use code MPFTODAY, you can get a discount on your tickets :)
Jordan and I were able to meet with Craig of Dwelling and his lovely wife this weekend before they headed out of town. Definitely a weekend highlight! Tux also enjoyed playing with their cute pup Myles.
Coinbase CEO Sold Shares and You Shouldn’t Care
Now, if he’d sold like 80% of his stake, you could probably care. But 1: it was like 2%. 2: it was a direct listing, so the shares had to come from somewhere and insiders had to sell (no new shares issued). I don’t think anyone reading this would have sold less than what he did. Hell, I’d have sold more with that much of my net worth tied up for so long. Meanwhile, Bitcoin tumbled a bit but Dogecoin is still surging.
Mastercard Acquires Identity Startup
In an $850M deal, Mastercard is acquiring yet another startup, this time identity verification company Ekata. The fintech says it can verify the online identity of a person making the transaction in real time using various signals that indicate if this is fraudulent. Based on what it finds, Ekata provides a score for how likely it is the person is who they say they are. Not a surprising acquisition given the rising prominence of online transactions. What’s more fascinating is that it doesn’t appear Ekata has raised outside funding. If that’s true, that’s a pretty sick exit for the team.
Public Allows Users to Fund Accounts With Debit Card
Users of brokerage platform Public.com can now fund their accounts with a debit card. Seems pretty simple, but now that I think about it, I think Cash App is the only other place I’ve noticed being able to fund trades with a debit card. The key benefit here is speed. If you try to transfer money over via a bank account, ACH is involved and is still hella slow in the year 2021. Your debit card, however, is basically instant. Time is money, people! The only con here is for Public, which has to be paying a fee somewhere along the line to activate customers quickly through this funding mechanism.
Brex Expands Instant Payouts
Corporate credit card and finance startup Brex is continuing to expand the Instant Payouts feature it launched late last year. While it was first available to customers on Amazon and Shopify, businesses on Stripe, PayPal and Square will have access to the feature now too. Brex is one of the first startups in the space to offer customers instant access to cash from their revenue. Think of it as being able to instantly cash out from your Venmo account.
Couple of news items out of Europe today. First, looks like challenger bank Revolut is eying a new funding round that would value it around $10B+. Revolut’s last funding round was a little over a year ago and valued the company at just over $5B. Second, Stripe issuing is officially available in Europe. This service allows businesses to issue credit cards on the platform.
Today's Partner, LendIt
Taking place on April 27-29, LendIt Fintech USA 2021 is jam-packed with interactive networking and engaging sessions on the hottest topics in financial services. Explore the complexities of our rapidly changing world through insightful sessions focused on the most important trends in banking and lending. Key topics include digital banking, credit and underwriting, regulation, financial health, consumer lending, small business lending, green financing and much more. You can now save 15% with Fintech Today! Simply enter the promo code MPFTODAY when registering. For more information go to www.lendit.com/usa.
Two super job postings today, both which will help small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Global Sales Director at Unlimint: Unlimint launched almost 11 years ago with an ambition to help entrepreneurs accept and make payments to scale their business, by combining deep tech expertise with local insights. Today, with a team of more than 300 people and 14 offices located worldwide, the company has become one of the leading providers in the industry and is now offering fast-growing innovative businesses a constantly evolving business interface, designed to bring the financial world of tomorrow closer and to blur the line between traditional banking, digital wallets, and cards payments. Unlimint is looking for a Global Sales Director to join the team in either its Frankfurt or London offices. It’s looking for someone experienced and high-energy, whose primary role will be to accelerate the growth of sales and management of the global sales team.
Senior Product Designer, Banking at Square. As a senior-level Product Designer at Square, you will drive design execution for its Banking products and help develop the future of financial services for small businesses. Square’s team is building a suite of new financial products and you will be integral to defining the roadmap and vision for your area of focus. You will be the primary designer for a new, unreleased product and be responsible for bringing ideas from concept to high quality, polished design through research, rapid prototyping, and visual design execution. In addition to contributing to the growth of our entire product ecosystem, you will be a strong voice within the broader design community at Square.
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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