Hi all, Julie here.
If you were watching any of the business news networks today, you probably heard that many Goldman Sachs employees are back at the office today. You probably also heard that Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman won’t be happy with you if you aren’t back in by Labor Day. At least that means he might not be as pissed as David Salomon if he sees you in the Hamptons this summer. Anyways, I want to know how your employer is handling the future of work! Will you be fully remote? In the office half the time?
Take this survey for me, and I’m going to do a post on this with the takeaways in the next week or two. Three of you that fill this out will receive one month free of FTT+!
Lastly, Tux Time is back! Here’s my interview with Andrew Brown of Check, a payroll company backed by Stripe.
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(Here's all the legal jargon we know you love reading.)
Elon Is Making Up With Bitcoin
TLDR: Elon was able to buy the dip that he caused when he said Bitcoin wasn’t good for the environment, and now that he’s had a chance to buy low, he wants to drive the price back up again so he’s saying he’s ok with Bitcoin.
Elon Musk said, via Twitter of course, that Tesla is going to allow transactions in Bitcoin once mining is done with more clean energy. He wants miners to use about 50% clean energy, and some estimates show that 39% of crypto mining is powered by renewable sources.
AmEx Checking Accounts For Small Biz
Post Kabbage acquisition, American Express has now debuted its first-ever checking account, in an attempt to win over more U.S. small businesses. The APY will be 1.1%, and AmEx will begin offering as much as $150,000 in lines of credit to existing customers. Obviously AmEx has already won over a lot of small businesses, but the space is continuing to get more competitive. In April, AmEx said spending on its cards by U.S. small- to medium-size enterprises jumped 6% from the same period in 2019, before the pandemic.
Hello Alice Scores QED Led Round
Speaking of small businesses, Hello Alice, a platform connecting small business owners to capital, networks and business services, announced a $21M round led by QED. The company says that it will use the fresh capital to enhance its current platform, scale and launch a mobile app. An interesting stat from the press release: Since April 2020, Hello Alice has raised and deployed over $20M in emergency grants and resources for small business owners, with the largest percentage of those grants going to New Majority owners, prioritizing people of color and women. The company also says it now serves nearly 500,000 small business owners weekly.
Finley Gets Bain Funding
Super early stage company Finley announced a $3M seed round led by Bain Capital to work on a platform that digitizes debt capital agreements and stores key dates, making it easier for companies to comply and perform reporting with capital providers. Basically, compliance is hard, there can be several types in each state, and staying up to date on it while running a business makes it that much harder. Finley’s software was designed to put the relationship between the company and the debt capital providers on autopilot to manage those compliance requirements without having to hire a team of lawyers and analysts.
Leif helps schools offer income-based financing to students changing careers. Since 2017, Leif has allowed thousands of students to use Income Share Agreements (ISAs) to make paying for education safer and easier. Unlike student loans, ISAs protect students by only requiring repayment once they get a sustainable job. It’s looking to hire an experienced software engineer with a bias for action and an entrepreneurial spirit. Candidates will have a demonstrated track record of effective code in an object-oriented language, and are able to take decisive action even with 70% certainty in understanding that startups are uncertain environments where things should be done well but rarely perfectly. If this sounds like you, apply above!