Marcus loses another leader. Ojo sells to RBC. Affirm announces a layoff. Here's what we're watching this week 👇
Pinned to the Top
Goldman Sachs’s beleaguered consumer bank is losing another leader, Bloomberg reported Friday, as the division continues to lose money and executives debate its future.
Peeyush Nahar has served as the global head of Goldman’s consumer business, formerly known as Marcus, since June 2021. Nahar, a former Uber and Amazon executive, took over leadership of the unit from Omer Ismail, a Goldman veteran who left the bank to lead One, a Walmart and Ribbit Capital-backed fintech company. David Stark, one of Ismail’s top lieutenants at Goldman who led the bank’s credit card partnership with Apple, also joined One. Swati Bhatia, who co-led Goldman’s consumer efforts with Nahar, stepped down in January.
Following CEO David Solomon’s most recent restructuring of the firm’s ranks in October, pieces of the former Marcus unit have been folded into a new division called Platform Services, along with the bank’s credit card partnerships and installment lender GreenSky. Executives say that their priority for the new division is reaching profitability, after it posted $2 billion in losses for 2022. Goldman executives are now debating whether to publicly set 2025 as a target date for breaking even on its consumer efforts as the firm’s investor day on Feb. 28 looms, Bloomberg reported.
More here →
Binance acquired a majority stake in Gopax, a South Korean crypto exchange. More here →
Credit Suisse (NYSE: CS) will pay $210m to buy the advisory boutique of Michael Klein, who is expected to lead a spinoff of Credit Suisse’s First Boston business. More here →
Black Knight (NYSE: BKI), a Jacksonville, Fla.-based mortgage lending software provider, will seek a buyer for its Empower loan origination software unit to help overcome U.S. antitrust concerns over its $13.1b takeover by Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), per Reuters. More here →
OJO Labs, an Austin based comprehensive real estate assistance platform, sold its Canadian operations to Royal Bank of Canada. The company has raised over $130M from investors including Royal Bank of Canda, Wafra, and LiveOak Venture Partners. Financial terms were not included, but Inman reported that the startup netted $200 million from the sale as well as fresh debt raised from Vista Credit Partners, an arm of Vista Equity Partners. More here →
Blip Labs, a New York-based embedded bill pay startup, raised $2.1m in seed funding. Blip offers APIs and SDKs that enable customers to embed personalized, engaging, and powerful bill management experiences into their products to position themselves as the primary financial relationship with their end-users. More here →
Fierce, a personal finance super app, raised $10m in seed funding. Fierce’s offerings include the Fierce Cash account, an FDIC-insured checking account with an annual percentage yield rate of up to 4.25%, and a debit card with access to over 55,000 fee-free ATMs. The app is currently available for iOS and will be launching on Android later this year. More here →
ModernFi, a marketplace for banks to exchange deposits on demand, has raised $4.5 in a round lead by a16z. It was founded in 2022 to build a transparent marketplace that connects banks to exchange deposits on demand. It also helps the banks manage balance sheet size and earn potential revenue. It is currently working with U.S.-based banks ranging in size from $500 million to $100 billion in assets. More here →
Highbeam, a startup that provides banking features, credit and cash flow insights to e-commerce customers, today announced that it raised $10 million in debt. Using the platform, customers can create bank accounts, take advantage of free wire transfers and get a debit card with 2% cash back on all purchases. More here →
Lunar, a neobank out of Denmark, closed a round of €35 million. It is building a platform of banking and other financial services, aiming to win over customers from incumbent banks by providing a mobile-based, more snappy user experience, better rates for basics and new services that leverage personalization and analytics to give users more insights into their financial standing, planning and futures. More here →
Atlantic Money has launched its cheap foreign exchange service across Europe. The company originally started in the U.K. with GBP as the base currency and nine different currencies on the recipient’s side.Since then, the company has expanded and is now live across 29 European countries. Users can convert EUR through Atlantic Money and send money to a foreign bank account. More here →
Mazepay, a Danish B2B payments startup, raised €4m. Founded in 2018, Mazepay promises to empower medium and large-scale enterprises to easily manage all B2B spending within a trusted and compliant global ecosystem. More here →
Habitto, a Tokyo-based savings fintech, raised $3.9m in pre-Series A funding. The mobile offering connects savings, investment and life insurance products supported by financial advisors. More here →
Tazapay, a Singapore-based cross-border payments startup, raised $16.9m in Series A funding. Tazapay was created to combine both card and real-time payment methods as a full-stack service for merchants who sell across borders, so they only need to use one payment platform. More here →
Power Financial Wellness, a Kenyan based fintech, has raised a $3m seed round. The startup issues partner employees access to short and long-term loans, investment opportunities, and insurance products. Unlike other micro lenders who rely on credit reference bureaus to make lending decisions, it only lends to employees and contractors (gig workers) of companies they have on-boarded on their platform, lowering the risk of defaults, and ensuring that borrowers access funds that they can pay back. More here →
Canoe, a back-office automation startup for alt asset managers, raised $25m in Series B funding. The company streamlines alternative investment processes with an advanced document collection and AI-based data extraction technology. More here →
Geneva-based Taurus, which operates a platform to trade, invest and protect digital assets, has raised $65 million led by Credit Suisse. Taurus works with more than 25 financial institutions and corporate clients in eight countries and three continents. More here →
OpenEyes, an Israeli insurance startup targeting commercial automotive fleets, has emerged from stealth with $18 million in Series A funding. Founded in 2020, OpenEyes offers commercial auto insurance combined with “cutting-edge technology,” which appears to be some form of computer vision. The startup operates an insurance agency, OpenEyes Insurance Agency Inc., which offers “competitive rates.” More here →
UK-based Coincover, which offers crypto protection for companies and private investors, has closed a $30 million Series B round. Founded in 2018 and launched in 2019, Coincover provides digital asset protection and it currently serves 300+ businesses, from exchanges and wallets to hedge funds, family offices, and banks. More here →
The Indian insurance platformInsuranceDekho has raised $150 million in a Series A funding round. InsuranceDekho works most insurance providers in the country and has direct integration with nearly four-dozen firms through which it offers nearly 400 insurance products. More here →
From the Stash
Embedded finance is the ‘golden goose’ of fintech - We’ve seen a rise of innovation in financial services over the past few decades, which has brought us to the current boom of the embedded fintech market. Embedded fintech is the integration of financial services with non-financial business infrastructures, without the need to redirect customers to traditional financial institutions. More here →
5 trends shaping banking and payments in 2023 - With 2022 in the rearview mirror, let’s look at the trends that will shape the banking and payments space in 2023. The current elephant in the room is the looming recession, and it is essential that financial institutions manage risks and prioritize budgets while maintaining a clear route toward long-term growth. More here →
A decade of fintech failures: 4 innovations that didn’t live up to the hype - Over the last decade, fintech has evolved from a label for plucky startups into a sustained movement that has disrupted the traditionally stodgy financial services industry. Much has been written about the success of fintech and how this wave of technological innovation has changed consumers’ lives. More here →
Earnings roundup: Tech investments inconsistent amid economic uncertainty - Technology spend at banks varied during the fourth quarter of 2022 amid talk of a recession. The $3 trillion Bank of America saw 8% growth in non-interest expenses in Q4 to $5.1 billion and $1.8 trillion Wells Fargo saw a 5% year-over-year increase in tech spend to $902 million - More here →
Kraken ends its crypto-staking services for US clients following $30M SEC charge - Kraken has settled charges with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and is shutting down its on-chain staking program, the government agency shared on Thursday. More here →
Affirm’s stock plunges as it misses earnings, cuts 500 jobs and shutters crypto unit - CEO Max Levchin takes 'full responsibility' for layoffs decision. More here →
Robinhood (Nasdaq: HOOD) plans to buy back around 55m shares currently held by disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried. More here →
Payments giant PayPal is pausing work on launching its own stablecoin amid a regulatory crackdown on crypto, Bloomberg reported Friday - The company, which lets customers buy, sell and hold tokens like bitcoin and ether, had been aiming to launch the stablecoin in the coming weeks but is putting the project on hold to better understand how digital assets will be regulated going forward, according to the report, which cited a person familiar with the matter. Stablecoins are tokens that are pegged to the value of a fiat currency. More here →
Reports / Webinars
Accelerating growth during economic uncertainty - Stripe
Watch this on-demand webinar to hear how software providers can accelerate their growth with embedded payments.
Click above or view here →
☑️ Thanks for reading. Please ask your friends, colleagues and others to sign up. Use the field below.
If you have any companies or news to share - use the form
AND - if we’re not already connected - let’s do it.