Hi all, Julie here.
Happy first day of Stripe Sessions!
Speaking of Stripe, the company says it saw a “major uptake” of the unusual offer it made to staff to leave high-cost cities like New York and San Francisco and take a $20,000 bonus to boot. At the same time, places like Goldman and Morgan Stanley seem to be setting a tougher tone on being in the office, while others like American Express seem to be taking a slightly more lenient stance. What’s your company doing and how is that impacting your desire to work there? Take this survey and you’ll be entered to win a free month of FTT+ or the famous FTT hat, your choice :)
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More LatAm Funding
Jenny had an amazing piece yesterday about all the funding news we’ve had in LatAm, and it was already outdated a couple of hours after getting published! EBANX, a leading cross-border commerce platform connecting global merchants with local consumers in LatAm, announced a $400M investment from Advent International and an additional commitment of $30M to the company’s planned IPO in the U.S. The startup has worked with companies such as Amazon, Alibaba, Spotify, and Uber to reach and conduct commerce with over 70M LatAm consumers across 15 countries through its proprietary platform and solutions. It processed over $3.5B in volume and 150M transactions in 2020.
On top of that, Betterfly announced that it has raised $60M in funding, which I believe is LatAm’s largest insurtech funding round. Betterfly provides a fully digital benefits subscription for companies in Latin America, giving each employee smart life insurance, which, accompanied by positive lifestyle choices, grows at no cost. The round included investments from partners of DST Global, QED Investors, Valor Capital, and the SoftBank Latin America Fund, and will be used to expand into other regions and grow the platform.
SoFi Gets a Buy from Rosenblatt
Seems like Rosenblatt is pretty bullish on the future of challengers and bearish on the future of the big banks. From the analyst note:
“The incumbent legacy banks face a challenging road ahead as a new wave of digitally native and mobile- first banks rush into the market. Challenger banks like SoFi command a powerful cost advantage over incumbents which will lead to dramatic disintermediation over the next 5-10 years, leaving substantial primary bank accounts, revenues, and market value up for grabs. As they mature, competition and consolidation are likely to follow. But for now, challenger banks face a “jump ball” opportunity to seize market share from the old guard... and SOFI is well-positioned to capture a significant amount of the value hanging in the balance.”
Small business fintech is booming. Novo, a challenger bank for small businesses, announced a $40.7M Series A led by Valar Ventures. The company says the funding will be used to continue growing its business and platform. It currently has 100,000 SMB customers and has seen $1B in lifetime transactions since it was started in 2018. Novo is far from the only solution here. Brex, Rho, Mercury and others are also targeting this space and garnering lots of interest. Much like the consumer facing challenger bank space, there is plenty of room for more than one winner here given how many small businesses there are in the US alone. It’s a sector to watch.
French Startup Funding
French bookkeeping startup Pennylane announced €15M in funding led by Sequoia. Another fintech that focuses on the small business space, Pennylane helps business owners view real time financial data in one place. The company said it has generated $2.4M in revenue since its founding last year and now supports 1000+ SME customers on a daily basis.
Primary Venture Partners just launched its application for the second cohort of its Founders Fellowship. It’s trying to reach a diverse group of NYC-based founders, so check it out if this is you!
Exciting hires for our friends at Treasury Prime! Marty Roberts is joining as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) and Jeff Nowicki is joining as Head of Bank Partnerships. Marty worked at RPX as General Counsel helping it IPO, and was later named CEO. He also worked at the FDIC for a period of time. Jeff was previously Senior Vice President of Deposit and Product for BankProv, and has a number of years from Radius Bank as well.