“[Column is] a nationally chartered bank but have built every facet of the technology from scratch,” Hockey told TechCrunch in an email interview. “We are both the bank and the technology provider.”
When Hockey decided to move on from Plaid, he said in a June 2019 tweet that the move was in part to make room for more “great leaders.” And maybe Hockey was also itching to start something new because for some people, one success only fuels the desire to create another.
I also wrote last week about how in mid-2020, – after raising nearly $180 million in debt and equity – short-term rental startup Lyric Hospitality had shuttered most of its locations in what was widely viewed as another pandemic casualty.
At first glance, these two companies have little in common.
In the case of Wheelhouse, its predecessor company’s core team, led by co-founder Andrew Kitchell, didn’t give up in the face of a plunge in business. And neither did many of its investors. They salvaged the software side of their business and made its own standalone company – Wheelhouse, which Kitchell describes as “fintech platform for the $500 billion-plus flex rental space” that includes pricing and financing. In other words, its software is aimed at helping short-term and mid-length stay providers manage their properties and make more money off of them.
So why do these stories make me irrationally happy? In life, are we not constantly reinventing ourselves in the same way these founders have taken learnings from their good, and bad, experiences to move on? I don’t know about you, but I don’t even feel like the same person in many ways that I was five, 10, 15 or 20 years ago. Over the years, I’ve done a lot of things I’m proud of – and some things I’d like to forget. But all the while, I grew wiser and the person that I am today represents my learnings from all those experiences.
We are forced both in life and in business to adapt – sometimes to unexpected things like global pandemics and at other times, to things we know will happen but never really prepare for – like the death of a family member. We also adapt to success – with confidence and the desire to pay it forward (I hope) and do more great things.
Sorry to get all philosophical in what is meant to be a fintech-focused column. But what can I say? It’s been a week and I’m in a philosophical kind of mood. Don’t worry, it doesn’t happen often!
Since 2019, Pry has raised $4.2 million. Its software is aimed at helping seed to Series B companies do things like create models, budgets and “track critical financial metrics.” Co-founder and CEO Andy Su told me that when Brex CEO and co-founder Henrique Dubugras first approached him, he never expected it would result in an acquisition.
In Su’s own words:
He told me that he really loves what Pry is doing and thinks it could do really well within Brex. And I thought he was just being nice, you know? And just being encouraging to another fellow founder. But it turns out, he really meant it.
Gotta love it.
On a more consumer-y note, PayPal and Venmo are increasing their instant transfer fees for both consumers and merchants in the United States in the coming weeks, PayPal announced on April 21. Instant transfers allow customers to transfer their money instantly to a bank account or debit card for a fee.
On April 21, Marqeta announced its new RiskControl product suite aimed at helping card issuers combat payment card fraud. The company says that global card payments are increasing annually, with more than 450 billion card payments processed in 2020 alone. So it’s only logical that fraud is up as well.
Spend management startup Airbase, which targets mid-market companies, is hosting its first annual conference: Off the Ledger LIVE!, on April 26. The virtual one-day event is free to attend and will feature five CPE-eligible sessions featuring folks such as former Oracle CFO Jeff Epstein; Doximity CFO Anna Bryson; Jenny Bloom, former CFO at Zapier and MailChimp; Menlo Ventures Partner Matt Murphy, among others. Session topics will include fundraising, data, automation and remote teams.
Publicly-traded WEX, which has a market cap of $7.57 billion and provides payment processing for the fleet industry, is launching a new effort called Flume, a digital wallet which the company claims could help “upwards of 30 million small businesses that are excluded from the digital payments market.” WEX says Flume is the first outgrowth of WEX Ventures, the company’s in-house R&D – or incubator – dedicated to creating new products.
According to WEX: “Unlike most payment platforms focused on digitally enabled companies, Flume aims to help close the digital divide for overlooked trade-oriented businesses initially with less than $15 million in annual revenue.”
NovoPayment is a global BaaS company based in Miami that has largely been focused on offering its API platform to customers in the Latin American market. It has developed a full-stack, multicurrency solution with three main categories — data banking, payment infrastructure and card solutions, its founder and CEO Anabel Perez told TechCrunch.
Moving on to Europe. Despite the fact that immigrants to a new country can often be cash rich, they have no credit history in their new country. Plus, a consumer cannot take their credit file from one country to another. Furthermore, credit bureaus are rarely coordinated or joined up across countries. The upshot of this is that those that can get credit find themselves paying a disproportionately higher cost of borrowing. And immigrants have to start again every time they move to another country.
Companies like CapOne, Vanquis and NewDay have been promising to focus on this, but the problem remains a thorny one to solve. Credit fintech startups like Yonder, (raised £25.9 million), Keebo (raised $6.9 million) and Tymit ($21.5 million) are attempting to address this.
Founded by Revolut alumni Ashutosh Bhatt and CTO, Adam Lewis, Pillar has an Open Banking-led data and analytics engine that will be launched in Q3 of this year. Last week, we also covered
Welcome Technologies and its recent raise for its immigrant-focused offering.
Can we just talk about how nearly $17M for a pre-seed round is just crazy considering that just a few short years ago, we were reporting on $17M Series As (and possibly even Bs)! But now, we don’t even blink an eye.
That’s it for this edition. This week marks the last time I will publish my Fintech Roundup before it graduates to an official newsletter. Eeek! I’m so excited. Thanks for joining me on this ride!! Have a wonderful weekend.