5 min read

Fintech Highlights - 2/21/2023

Robinhood users traded a lot of crypto in January. Pie transforms it's insurance business. Ledge raises a round. Here's what we're watching this week.. 👇

Pinned to the Top

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Robinhood sees an increase in crypto trading in January

Trading platform Robinhood said it saw $3.7 billion in crypto trading volume in January, a 95% increase compared with one month prior.

The pop coincides with a 2023 rally in the prices of several cryptocurrencies—bitcoin, for example, is up roughly 46% year to date.

To be sure, Robinhood’s crypto trading volume for the month was still down 59% year over year. And the company’s heightened trading levels simply bring it back to around where it was trading before FTX filed for bankruptcy in November. In October, Robinhood saw $3.5 billion of crypto trading volume, rising to $5.7 billion in November amidst the FTX meltdown. In December, though, crypto trading volume dropped to just $1.9 billion.

More here →

THE BFD

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Pie Insurance expands it’s offering

Pie Insurance, which provides workers’ compensation insurance to small businesses, announced that it has completed its transition to a “rated, full-stack carrier.”

What’s happening: Pie will begin issuing its own insurance policies later this year following the recent acquisition of a nationally licensed insurance company (previously the American Insurance Company), now renamed the Pie Insurance Company.

Why this is the BFD: The company is really growing. In September Pie  raised a $315 million Series D. It also recently expanded into commercial auto insurance as the MGA for Ford Motor Credit Company through the launch of Ford Pro Insure.

The big picture: Insuretech companies have endured headwinds through the last few years. Some grew really big, fast, while others methodically took time to build their businesses and really figured out how to sustain themselves.  Matic is a great example of that - starting as an API-focused business and is now a general insurance broker / agent. The next round of solid business in this space are emerging.

M&A

Finastra, a London-based fintech owned by Vista Equity Partners, is considering a sale of its banking unit that could fetch upwards of $7b, per Reuters. More here →

Stone Point Capital agreed to buy a 20% stake in the insurance brokerage business of Truist (NYSE: TFC), which is being valued at $14.75b.  More here →

Sequoia Financial Group, an Akron, Ohio financial planning and wealth management firm backed by Valeas Capital Partners, agreed to buy Zeke Capital Advisors, a Berwyn, Pa.-based multifamily office with $6.2b in AUM. More here →

Fintech

Vaas, an SF-based debt management platform focused on Latin America, raised $5m in seed funding. Andreessen Horowitz led, and was joined by Nazca, Maya Capital, ClockTower Ventures, Latitud and Marathon Ventures. More here →

Ledge, a digital payment automation startup, has raised a $9m seed round. Ledge learns how finance teams operate in order to automate their operational activities and glean insights from their payment activities. This kind of learning is often about identifying either patterns or anomalies (e.g., a failed payment).  More here →

Sandbox Banking, a Cambridge, Mass.-based fintech integration startup, raised $4.3m in additional seed funding. The Sandbox Banking platform helps customers connect fintech products into their existing systems.  More here →

SendOwl, an SF-based payments startup focused on digital products, raised $9m in seed funding. The company “empowers creators and businesses to sell anything digital, anywhere online.  More here →

Vexi, a Mexican credit card startup, raised $8m in Series A funding. Its only offering is a credit card, which it offers through American Express without using any third-party issuers or processors. - which helps the company earn more revenue through interchange fees. More here ->

AdalFi, a Pakistani online lender, raised $7.5m. The company provides a “proprietary AI-powered credit scoring platform” that enables bank partners to unlock access to credit for “millions of people and small businesses.”  More here →

PhonePe, India’s most valuable fintech startup (which competes with Google Pay and Paytm) has raised another $100m funding round. The ongoing round values the Bengaluru-headquartered PhonePe at a pre-money valuation of $12 billion. Walmart-backed PhonePe has said previously that it plans to raise up to $1 billion as part of the ongoing financing round. More here →

Crypto

Alongside, an SF-based crypto indexing platform, raised $11m in seed funding. a16z led, and was joined by Coinbase Ventures, Franklin Templeton Investments, Village Global and Not Boring Capital. More here →

Stelo, a crypto wallet security startup, raised $6m in seed funding led by Andreessen Horowitz.  More here ->

Insuretech

OpenEyes, an Austin, Texas-based insuretech focused on commercial automotive fleets, raised $18m in Series A funding. More here →

PCF Insurance Services, a Lehi, Utah-based insurance brokerage, raised $500m in preferred equity funding co-led by HGGC and Carlyle's global credit group at a $4.7b valuation.  More here ->

Naked Insurance, a South African insurtech company that helps consumers to insure their cars, homes and valuables, has raised $17 million in Series B funding led by the International Finance Corporation (IFC). Naked is a digital insurance platform covering cars, content, homes and standalone items.  More here →

Goose, an insurance “super app,” closes $4M Series A funding round. The Vancouver-based company will use the funding to accelerate the adoption of its consumer-focused insurance super app in Canada and the U.S. through education and awareness initiatives. More here →

From the Stash

Zillow customers can now choose between a cash offer from Opendoor or selling with an agent - Zillow and Opendoor’s partnership allows homeowners on Zillow to now compare multiple selling options up front — including a cash offer from Opendoor and an estimate to sell on the open market with a Zillow Premier Agent partner.  More here →

Coinbase Revenue Falls 75% as Trading Slumps - Coinbase said revenue dropped 75% percent to $629 million in the fourth quarter as crypto trading volumes plunged, and warned that mounting regulatory scrutiny following the collapse of FTX could hurt the crypto industry in the coming year. More here →

Bank of America lands record number of tech patents - Bank of America was granted a record 608 patents last year by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, a 19% rise year over year. Key automation technologies such as AI and machine learning (ML) applications were at the fore, alongside information security and payment end uses, emanating from a diverse global workforce. More here →

Pipe has a new CEO from Block, months after founding team announces departure - Pipe, an alternative financing platform that was last privately valued by investors at $2 billion, has announced its new chief executive, an appointment that comes months after the company’s three co-founders stepped down from their posts in a stunning, unusual shake-up.  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 →

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