6 min read

Fintech Highlights - 2/20/2024

Welcome back - hope you had a great Presidents Day weekend.

NOTE: We'll be publishing today AND Thursday this week.

Here's what we've been watching this week 👇

Pinned to the Top

white Apple card
You Can Now Use Your Apple Cash Like a Debit Card

It's your money, and you want it now!

One of the Apple Card's key perks is Apple Cash: Whenever you earn 1%, 2%, or 3% cash back from your purchases, those rewards are deposited into a digital cash card in your iPhone's Wallet app, which you can use to pay for, well, just about anything you want. 

The one limitation, however, was that you needed to be able to use Apple Pay (either digitally or in person) in order to spend the cash. Since your Apple Cash Card wasn't a real debit card, it couldn't be used in places that required card numbers. So, if you wanted to spend the money somewhere that didn't take Apple Pay, you'd need to first deposit the cash in your bank account, wait for the funds to transfer, then spend them with your debit card. Not ideal.

This restriction isn't long for this world, however. As part of iOS 17.4 Apple is offering Apple Cash users the option to set up a virtual card number for their Apple Cash Card

Super solid move from Apple that will create a lot of delight from customers.


The BFD

white and blue magnetic card
Capital One to buy Discover Financial in $35B stock deal

Really hot off the press. After a rumor started this weekend, it's official - Capital One is buying Discover including it's card, network and banking portfolios.

Capital One Financial Corp. agreed to buy credit-card lender Discover Financial Services in a $35 billion all-stock deal to create the largest US credit card company by loan volume.

McLean, Virginia-based Capital One will pay 1.0192 of its own shares for each Discover share, a 26.6% premium to the closing price on Feb. 16

I'll leave this right here…..


M&A

Bitgo, a crypto custodian valued by VCs at $$1.75b, acquired Brassica, a Houston-based alt investing infrastructure startup, per Axios Pro. Brassica had raised around $12m from firms like Republic, Valor Equity Partners, and Long Journey Ventures.  More here ->

Cred, an Indian credit card payment app valued by VCs at $4b, agreed to buy mutual fund and stock investment platform Kuvera, which is backed by VC firms like Eight Roads.  More here ->

Tesco (LSE: TSCO), a British grocer, agreed to sell much of its banking business to Barclays (LSE: BARC) for around £600m.  More here ->


Fintech

Pennylane, a Paris-based financial management and accounting platform for startups and SMEs, raised €40m in Series C funding at a €1b valuation. The company offers accounting software for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and accountingfirms, with a focus on modernizing the tech stack of accounting firms in France and Europe.  More here ->

OTO, an Indian financing platform for two-wheeled EVs, raised $10m in funding. It offers services such as two-wheeler loans, outright purchase options, and features like test rides at customer locations and home delivery of two-wheelers. More here ->

Tuum, an Estonian core banking tech startup, raised €25m in Series B funding. It offers a cloud-native API-first core banking platform, enabling businesses to rapidly provide tailored financial services to their customers. More here ->

Oobit, a Lithuanian crypto payment app, raised $25m in Series A funding. The app enables in-store payments, instant money transfers, and the purchase of over 35 popular cryptocurrencies.  More here ->


Investtech

Flood, an SF-based protocol for order routing, management, and settlement, raised $5.2m in seed funding.  The protocol aims to provide decentralized application (dApp) developers with a suite of tools for owning and managing the entire lifecycle of their application’s order flow. More here ->

Overflow, a startup that helps charitable and faith-based organizations accept stock and crypto donations, raised $20m in Series B funding, per Axios Pro. More here ->

Suma Wealth, a provider of wealth-building tools for young U.S. Latinos, raised $2.2m.   More here ->


Crypto

BBO Exchange, a decentralized derivates exchange, raised $2.7m in pre-seed funding.  The platform aims to provide the entire DeFi ecosystem with infrastructure and a liquidity layer for derivative trading, ultimately creating a venue where users can trade and earn on everything effectively. More here ->

Code, a micropayments startup building upon the kin (KIN) cryptocurrency, raised $6.5m in seed funding.  More here ->

Portal, an SF-based decentralized exchange for trading bitcoin, raised $34m in seed funding.  More here ->

Cube.Exchange, a hybrid crypto trading platform, raised $12m in Series A funding. More here ->


Insuretech

Kin, the Chicago-based D2C home insurer, raised $15m. The company offers home, landlord, condo, and mobile home insurance and is licensed to operate in several states, including California, Florida, and Louisiana. More here ->

Shepherd, an SF-based commercial insurtech, raised $13.5m in Series A funding. More here ->


Proptech

Closinglock, an Austin, Texas-based provider of real estate wire fraud prevention software, raised $12m in Series A funding. It offers a secure platform to prevent wire transfer fraud in real estate transactions, aiming to modernize and secure the process.  More here ->

Rize, a Saudi prop-tech startup in the rent now, pay later space, raised $2.9m in seed funding.  More here ->


From the Stash

P2P leader PayPal to redesign mobile app - PayPal will invest in a new app to launch in 2024 alongside a new strategy to drive engagement with better consumer experiences like AI-driven shopping.  “Redesigning our app and creating improved, frictionless onboarding paths are tangible ways that we plan to drive higher penetration,” Chief Executive Alex Chriss said during PayPal’s fourth-quarter earnings call. More here ->

Affirm Revenue Up 48% on Higher Interest Income - Affirm revenue jumped 48% year over year, to $591 million, in the October to December period, as the company charged higher interest rates on its installment loans. Interest income rose 86%, to $288 million, far outpacing growth in revenue from what Affirm charges merchants. Lower technology, sales and marketing and general and administrative costs helped narrow the company’s loss by 48%, to $167 million. More here ->

Plaid Hires First President - Plaid has hired its first president, Jen Taylor, in a sign that the company is preparing for an initial public offering. Taylor was previously Cloudflare’s chief product officer and had worked for Salesforce, Meta Platforms and Adobe before that. More here ->

Transactions: BNY expands use of Microsoft for data management - BNY Mellon has expanded its use of Microsoft for cloud services and AI models, according to a Feb. 5 release from the bank.  The $30 billion bank will integrate its financial data with Microsoft Azure to create AI-driven models that its clients can use for services like wealth management. More here ->

Jack Henry updates tech strategy - Jack Henry updated its tech modernization strategy during its fiscal second quarter, the technology provider announced during its earnings call today.  “This strategy is changing how we deliver our solutions through a cloud-native, API-first environment, using several key benefits embedded in the Google Cloud platform, including cutting-edge security and business continuity advancements” More here ->

Fiserv payments revenue up 3% to $1.8B - Fiserv saw an increase in payments revenue during the fourth quarter as its financial institution clients looked to join new payment rails and grow deposits.  Payments revenue during Q4 increased 3% year over year to $1.8 billion, according to Fiserv’s earnings supplement.  More here ->

JPMorgan Chase — the biggest bank in the country — isn't giving up its "love affair" with old-fashioned brick-and-mortar locations anytime soon, The Wall Street Journal reports ($). More here ->

Investing platform Public launches options trading—and pays customers for their orders More here ->

Fintech predictions from Plaid’s CEO - More here ->

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