FTT Update: Wave of Companies Going Public

Hi all, Julie here. Just got back from picking up our podcast mascot Tux from the groomer. He’s looking as stellar as the job openings we’re featuring below from Cash App and Commonstock.

The News

Coinbase Direct Listing

Coinbase said it has registered about 115M shares for its direct listing on the Nasdaq, making it one of the first major crypto companies to go public. In a recent filing, the company also said that its shares in the private market traded at a weighted average price of $343.58 apiece in the first quarter of 2021 through March 15, up from $28.83 per share in the third quarter ended Sept. 30. With a direct listing rather than an IPO, the company will not be selling any more shares prior to its debut, which is expected in the coming weeks. 


Robinhood rival EToro is planning to go public via a merger with a blank-check firm led by Betsy Cohen. The agreement with FinTech Acquisition Corp. V values the combined company at about $10.4B and they are raising about $650M in equity to support the deal. Investors in the equity transaction included ION Investment Group, Softbank Vision Fund II, Third Point and Fidelity Management & Research. The Israel-based company has more than 20M registered users and expanded into the US in 2018. EToro offers zero-commission trading much like its competitors, but it doesn’t make money by routing customer orders to trading firms that fulfill them in a practice called payment-for-order flow. Instead, it primarily pockets a spread between the price it pays for securities and the price it passes along to customers. EToro also has a social aspect like Commonstock and Public.com, where users can post about their trades and follow other investors. 

Chime IPO? 

I’d been hearing rumblings of a Chime round above $25B, but it looks like it might be a public offering instead. According to Reuters, Chime has held preliminary talks with investment banks about going public, which could value the financial services startup at more than $30B, as soon as the end of 2021. Last September, Chime CEO (and FTT premium subscriber) Chris Britt said he wanted to be ready for an IPO in the next 12-months. At the time, Chime was valued at around $14.5B. Chime is one of many in the B2C fintech space that has seen a surge in growth amidst the pandemic. 

Morgan Stanley Goes Deeper Into Crypto

Morgan Stanley is the first big U.S. bank to offer its wealth management clients access to Bitcoin funds. The bank told financial advisors earlier this week that it’s launching access to three funds that enable ownership of Bitcoin. The move was largely made due to client demand, though only wealthier clients with more than $2M at the firm will have access. Morgan Stanley is also planning on limiting Bitcoin investments to 2.5% of total net worth. Two of the funds on offer are from Galaxy Digital and the third is a joint effort from asset manager FS Investments and Bitcoin company NYDIG. The Galaxy Bitcoin Fund LP and FS NYDIG Select Fund have minimum investments of $25,000, while the Galaxy Institutional Bitcoin Fund LP has a $5M minimum.

Socure Secures Funding 

(Yes, that headline was on purpose) Socure, a startup that uses AI and machine learning to verify identities, announced that it has raised $100M in a funding round at a $1.3B valuation. The company has focused primarily on the financial services industry, though it sees the possibility of expanding into other segments like healthcare and gaming. The startup’s platform uses AI and ML along with online/offline data like emails, phones, IP addresses, devices and more to verify that people are who they say they are. Socure says it has more than 350 customers including three top five banks, six top 10 card issuers, a “top” credit bureau and over 75 fintechs such as Varo Money, Public, Chime and Stash. It also said that its customer base grew by over 85% year over year in 2020. 

Career Corner

Two stellar job postings today:​

  1. iOS Engineer at Commonstock: Commonstock is a social network for investors, where portfolios and performance are verified by brokerages. Its goal is to improve the world’s financial health by amplifying the knowledge of the best investors. Brokerages have successfully democratized investing, they now need to democratize quality investing knowledge. Now, Commonstock is actively growing its diverse team and is hiring an iOS engineer with at least 2+ years of experience architecting, designing & implementing apps. Candidates should have a strong interest in investing, personal finance, corporate strategy or anything else related to private or public investing. Bonus points for experience working on mobile products with a focus on finance, security, or a consumer's user experience. ​

  2. Product Manager (Banking) at Cash App: Square's Cash App is one of the fastest growing financial brands in the world. Initially built to take the pain out of peer-to-peer payments, Cash App has gone from a simple product with a single purpose to a dynamic app with over 30M monthly active users. The Cash Banking Team is focused on making banking services relatable, instant, and accessible for everybody. In this PM role within Banking, you will lead the Cash Card experience including customer acquisition, personalization, fulfillment and establishment. As growth continues to accelerate and Cash App continues to enter new financial services, Square is looking for incredible people to help lead product development. You will help drive strategy to build Cash App into a leading provider of banking services and empower customers with better ways to grow and utilize their money. This role is critical because it entails building incredible features to redefine the banking experience, as well as establishing the deep level of trust required to serve as Square’s customers' financial institution of choice.

**If you're interested in having a job featured in Fintech Today, reach out to jordan@fintechtoday.co

Community Highlights

Congrats to our friends at Ramp for poaching Stripe’s global head of partnerships Colin Kennedy. Speaking of Stripe, fellow newsletter publication Stratechery interviewed Stripe Co-Founder Patrick Collison and it’s worth a read. 

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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