FTT Update: What Does the Government Think of Fintech?

Hi all, Julie here. Remember last week when I told you how excited I was for my podcast episode with John Collins of FS Vector to come out? IT’S OUT! Run, don’t walk, to listen in to this episode. We cover everything from SPACs to what fintech regulations we should expect from the new administration. Ping either of us on Twitter with your thoughts or further questions! I’m definitely having him back on again soon.

The News

Stripe's New Round

Payments giant Stripe has finally announced its new funding round, complete with a $95B valuation. That’s more than two and a half times what it was valued this time last year when it raised $600M at a valuation of $36B.

As a smart individual in our FTT Community said yesterday when the news broke, “the new model in the Valley seems to be “small” primary issuance (in this case $600M), while the demand for secondary pushes up the price in that market.” 

On the back of this new round, which was led by Ireland’s National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), Stripe plans to hire aggressively in Dublin to scale up its European operations. While Stripe helps loads of small businesses across the globe, it now counts more than 50 companies that each process over $1B annually as customers, with enterprise revenue Stripe’s largest and fastest growing segment.

“We’re investing a ton more in Europe this year, particularly in Ireland,” John Collison, president and co-founder of Stripe, said in a press release. “Whether in fintech, mobility, retail or SaaS, the growth opportunity for the European digital economy is immense.“

Ant CEO Steps Down

The drama surrounding Ant Financial isn’t slowing down. Simon Hu has resigned as CEO of Ant Group, months after the digital payments company was forced to pull its IPO amid a crackdown by Chinese regulators. Citing personal reasons, Hu will now devote his time to philanthropic work. Chairman Eric Jing has been named Ant Group's new CEO. 

While more than just a fintech company, Ant is best known for its Alipay digital payments app, which counts more than 700M people as active users every month. This is the first big political test for the company as Beijing begins cracking down on regulating tech companies. The government has made clear that private firms such as Ant Group will be expected to toe the Chinese Communist Party line if they want to succeed. The move has large implications for companies across the tech sector. Along with forcing the company to call off its massive IPO, the government has also asked it to overhaul its business model. 

New Bank In Israel

I haven’t followed the fintech scene in Israel much, even though I definitely should. Apparently, the country has just seen its first new bank launch since 1978. First Digital Bank started operations over the weekend on a trial basis, with hopes to open to the public later this year. According to Reuters, the bank has 140 staffers and has begun operations for a closed group of customers. Another interesting note is that the company was founded by Amnon Shashua, co-founder of Intel’s autonomous car business Mobileye. Shashua has invested $60M into the venture, and First Digital said it would raise additional funds to expand operations.

Community Highlights

If you're in the market for a new role, we have two amazing opportunities for you: 

  1. Data Engineer, Orum - Orum is building frictionless financial infrastructure to move money faster & smarter. We're a team of fintech veterans from the likes of LearnVest, N26, Stash, and Square backed by some of the best names in fintech, including Bain, Homebrew and Inspired Capital. We're looking for several key Data Engineers to be core contributors to our data platforms - ideally folks who are experienced pipeline builders and data wranglers who enjoy optimizing data systems and building them from inception to completion. If you’d like to play a part in crystallizing the vision of a world where the movement of money is real time and fully automated, we’d love to hear from you!

  2. Head of Product, Ensemble - Ensemble is a FinTech platform enabling co-parents to track and manage shared expenses for their children more easily. Ensemble is looking for a rockstar Head of Product eager to get in on the ground floor of a mission driven and well funded seed stage startup with top-tier VCs and be an integral part of the company's success. The Head of Product will be responsible for defining and refining the product roadmap, staying close to users and consistently incorporating their feedback, and scaling the product team as the company grows.

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

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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