Hi all, Julie here.
Teaching a few classes at Equinox in Austin this weekend if anyone wants to stop by! Otherwise, I very much look forward to relaxing a bit. It’s been a tough week for a variety of reasons, but know that I’m thankful to have so many amazing people in our community.
Today's Partner, Public
Looking for your next job? Public.com is hiring 👀
Public.com, the social investing network, has had a big year. The company recently announced a Series D funding round and surpassed its 1 million member milestone.
Check out these open roles, and head to their careers page for even more.
- Brand Designer
- Director of User Acquisition
- Product Manager, Crypto
- Senior Backend Engineer
- Senior Backend Engineer (SF)
- Web Engineer
Stripe Gets Into Tax
Stripe is launching Stripe Tax after acquiring TaxJar in April. The new product will provide automatic, updated sales tax calculations and related accounting services to Stripe payments customers (in around 30 countries at first). While separate from TaxJar, it shows continued expansion from a company that moves quicker than almost anyone out there. The main focus here is that goods are taxed in various ways in over 130 countries. That’s a huge burden for small businesses trying to manage that along with a million other things. Stripe says this has been one of the most requested tools from customers. And don’t forget Stripe Sessions is in about a week, where the company gives out a ton of updates to customers and talks about the future. So this is probably not the last big news we hear from Stripe this month!
Klarna’s Massive Round
Klarna just raised, well, a really big round. I’m pretty happy about it though since it made my 5 shares of Affirm go up by like 10% this week. Anyways, it raised another $639M at a valuation of $45.6B. I’m still in shock at how quickly the world changed for Buy Now Pay Later. I remember just a year or two ago, no one used these things other than for buying Peloton bikes. Now I see the buttons at checkouts alllll the time. Guess that would explain why the valuations have skyrocketed.
Affirm and Shopify Expand Partnership
Speaking of BNPL, Affirm and Shopify just expanded their partnership. Shop Pay Installments, powered by Affirm, will now be available at all eligible sellers in the US. According to Max Levchin, Affirm CEO, 1 in 4 merchants that used Shop Pay Installments during its early access saw 50% higher average order volume compared to other payment methods. Merchants also saw 28% fewer abandoned carts through Shop Pay Installments since it didn’t take them to another webpage to complete the purchase process. Pretty good selling point as the BNPL space continues to heat up and get competitive between various offerings as they fight for checkout space.
SoftBank’s Big LatAm Investment
I’m very much looking forward to our FTT LatAm Expert Jenny Johnston writing for us again on Tuesday. After Nubank announced a big round that included Warren Buffett, Mexican payments company Clip announced a $250M round from SoftBank’s Latin American fund. Clip’s goal is to get more small and medium sized businesses to be able to accept card payments. Of the almost 11M businesses in Mexico, only about 1M accept card payments, Clip said.
Capital One Looks Like A Challenger
It’s almost like giving someone their paycheck 2 days early is a good customer acquisition strategy or something (not to mention makes people super sticky). Capital One announced it’s going to start offering this to customers. Not too much to elaborate on here, but I always love it when incumbents have to start copying the newbies.
Jack Ma's Ant Group, which was forced to go through some restructuring by the Chinese Government, has been approved to run a consumer finance company. After a planned $35B IPO that was pulled, this is the first step towards Ant being regulated more like a traditional finance company in China rather than a tech company. The consumer finance app will be called Chongqing Ant Consumer Finance and will be able to do things like issue personal loans, accept deposits, and borrow from Chinese financial institutions. Ant's company will now be held by six outside shareholders, two of which are state-owned banks.
Emerging News: Brex of Africa and Paytm
I’m loving all of the fintech evolution in Africa. Apparently cash flow is a huge problem for businesses there, which is why Float was started. Dubbed the “Brex for Africa,” the company’s CEO told TechCrunch it is “rethinking the way African businesses manage their financial operations, from managing cash and making payments to accessing credit.” Float is now launching out of stealth, and this is definitely one I want to follow. If any of our readers in the region have thoughts, let me know here or in our Slack!
Speaking of emerging markets, India’s most valuable startup, Paytm, confirmed plans to go public. In a letter to shareholders, Paytm said that it plans to raise money by issuing fresh equity in the IPO. Valued at $16B, the company also reported a consolidated loss of $233.6M for the financial year that ended in March, down from $404M a year ago. Its revenue also fell 10% during this period to $437.6M.
Principal Engineer at Spruce: As part of the Spruce Engineering team, you will help build the platform that is defining the future of real estate transactions. In this role, your skills and knowledge in modern web platforms, frameworks, and software architecture will help Spruce lower transaction costs, create new technology-based efficiencies and create a reliable, performant system that improves access to the largest source of capital most of us will ever have - real estate. Spruces is seeking a talented Principal Engineer to join the team. This person will play a critical role in designing systems architecture, implementing features, developing infrastructure and backend services, as well as contributing to the team culture. As a Principal Engineer, you'll be a technical leader and contributor to projects, delivering value throughout the product lifecycle. You'll also bring your communication skills and unique background to help foster a diverse, fun, caring and productive team.
Big things coming from our friend and community member Craig Hunter of Dwelling!