Hi! It’s Monday, November 8, 2021.
In a new report on stablecoins, a U.S. Treasury working group suggested that bank-like oversight is needed for stablecoin-issuers and called on Congress to take “urgent” action to establish regulations limiting stablecoin issuance to insured banks.
Swedish BNPL giant Klarna acquired product comparison provider PriceRunner for €930 million, continuing the firm’s recent buying binge (this is Klarna’s *fifth* acquisition since July!). Why do we think this is worth paying attention to? Reviewing Klarna’s purchases over the past year (personalized shopping, shopping experience, price and product comparison), we see a pattern suggesting that Klarna is intentionally diversifying into a one-stop shopping destination.
This diversification includes “a space to collect loyalty cards, additional money saving tools, [and] live shopping events,” the successful combination of which could place it on a trajectory to challenge Amazon or Google Shopping. Coincidentally, Klarna also announced that it is rolling out a new in-app shopping feature that will allow users around the world to pay in installments with any retailer, regardless of whether the merchant is integrated with Klarna.
Ally Bank is acquiring digital credit card company Fair Square Financial for $750 million. The acquisition will give Ally access to Fair Square’s 658,000 cardholders and loan balances worth a combined $763 million, new revenue streams that could help Ally offset losses resulting from its decision to permanently drop overdraft fees earlier this year.
Square will allow minors to sign up for its Cash App service, joining a growing number of firms offering banking products to teens aged 13-17. Cash App confirmed that any minors signing up for the service will need authorization from a parent or guardian but will then have autonomy over their account and be able to send P2P payments and spend with a Cash App card.
Personal finance tool NerdWallet debuted on the Nasdaq exchange at $18 per share before gaining up to 91% on its first day of trading, driving the company to a valuation over $2 billion.
Robinhood is expanding its IPO Access platform to allow companies issuing shares through the program to set aside some stock for members of the public with ties to the issuers.
The Squid Game cryptocurrency was a scam, largely disappearing from the internet shortly after plunging to $0.0007 from $2,856.65, leaving nearly 40,000 traders holding (HODLing?) the bag while the token’s founders made off with millions. Just saying, this is more or less the same fact pattern that resulted in the creation of securities laws in the 1930s...
African cross-border payments company Chipper Cash raised $150 million in a Series C extension round at a $2 billion valuation.
Indian digital payments provider Paytm raised $1.1 billion in an anchor round as part of its initial public offering.
Business management platform Honeybook raised $250 million in Series E funding.
End-to-end compliance and audit management Laika raised $35 million in a Series B funding round led by JP Morgan.
Behavioral analytics platform Neuro-ID raised $35 million in a Series B funding round led by Canapi Ventures.
Nigeria lending startup Payhippo raised $3 million in seed funding.