FTT Update: Your Fintech Elite 8 Are...

Hi all, Julie here. Buried under a lot (and I mean a lot) of moving boxes. The big move starts less than 48 hours from now though! And thankfully I was able to see Ian in person before I left! He came over today (my husband and I are fully vaccinated) and we caught up and recorded a podcast episode for y’all that will be released soon, discussing all the big things that happened in Q1. Hard to believe ¼ of the year is already over!

Speaking of podcasts, I’m stoked for you to finally be able to listen to the one I recorded with Satya Patel from Homebrew last week! He focuses on the seed stage (so pre-product in most cases) and it was fascinating to hear what he looks for in his companies. He’s got a pretty good track record too, with early investments in Plaid, Gusto and Chime. 

Otherwise, I had a fabulous birthday weekend filled with brunch with Charley, pancakes on my birthday at Bubbys in Tribeca, and puppy play date in the park for Tux.

Fintech Sweet 16 Recap

Congratulations to underdogs UCLA and Oregon St. on securing their trips to the Elite 8! This has been one of the craziest March Madnesses (in one of the craziest years) I can remember and it’s nice to see some underdogs make it through. Unlike the NCAA bracket, however, the Fintech Sweet 16 saw all of the top seeds progress through to the Elite 8. Thank you to all that participated!

I’m excited to see who makes it through the “regional” rounds into the Final Four. Click on this link to vote in the bracket below - we will announce the Final Four on Friday!

The News

Stripe Leading Funding In Ramp

Corporate credit card and expense software company Ramp is close to finalizing two rounds of funding that will value the company at $1.6B, according to The Information. The story says that D1 Capital Partners led the first, $65M round at a $1.1B post-money valuation with participation from payments company Stripe and existing investors Coatue Management and Goldman Sachs. Stripe is now leading another, $50M investment in Ramp at the higher post-money valuation of $1.6B. Guess Q2 is gonna be another big one for fintech funding too! I'd also bet that this means Stripe is going to shut down or at least not work on its own Corporate Card product any more and this investment is tied to a partnership where Stripe will push Ramp into the Stripe sales base.

Visa Dives Deeper Into Crypto

Today, Visa said it’s piloting a program for its payments network to use a stablecoin backed by the U.S. dollar to settle transactions. The payments giant said it’s using a USD Coin to settle transactions over Ethereum, with the help of the Crypto.com platform and Anchorage, a digital-asset bank. There are plans to roll out the program more broadly later in 2021. 

SPAC Trouble

Trouble in SPAC land. Bill Ackman’s blank-check company said it will miss its self-imposed deadline to find a target. Ackman had hoped to find one by the end of Q1 for Pershing Square Tontine Holdings Ltd. but time has run out. In July, the company raised $4B in an initial public offering, plus a $1B commitment from Pershing Square, and is now seeking a private company to take public. Ackman held talks with Airbnb, Stripe and others.

Novo Launches Miami Office

Small business banking platform Novo announced that it’s opening an office in Miami. It currently has seven employees located in the city, with plans to more than double its Miami presence over the course of 2021. Miami enthusiast Keith Rabois will be happy. Founded three years ago, tens of thousands of small businesses have now used the platform, which processed more than $600M in customer transactions in 2020. Novo has recently launched new products including invoicing, budgeting, e-commerce, and self-service capabilities.

*Our sponsorship calendar for Q2 is nearly full! To learn more about sponsorship opportunities email jordan@fintechtoday.co

Career Corner

Senior Partnership 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 Senior Partnerships Manager to join the Commercial Partnerships team in their fast-growing San Francisco office. You will be responsible for building out strategic partnerships in the Americas. Reporting directly to our VP Commercial Partnerships, you’ll have ownership over how Checkout.com partners in this critical space. With a combination of strategy, scrappiness, and grit, you’ll develop relationships with influential e-commerce players and design innovative partner programs to bring best-in-class solutions to their customers.​​

Sr. Android Engineer, FinTech at TripActions Liquid: TripActions Liquid is a next generation payments and spend management solution that is disrupting the market by taking advantage of the latest fintech infrastructure from providers like Stripe, Visa, Plaid, and Modern Treasury. The company has raised over $800M including a recent $155M at a $5B valuation from investors including Andreessen Horowitz and Lightspeed to help accelerate the payments and spend offering with a plan to become a public company in the next few years. It's looking for a Senior Android Engineer who possesses a passion for pushing mobile technologies to the limits to join its Liquid Team. This is a very unique role which combines the small team feeling of a startup launching a brand new product, with the perks, opportunity size and impact of an established company.

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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