Hi! It’s Monday, January 10, 2022.
Happy New Year! We hope you had a wonderful holiday and your year is off to a good start. We’re excited to be kicking off our 8th(!) year together and looking forward to all the great things ahead. Best, Team TFU
Consumer neobank Dave was publicly listed on the Nasdaq exchange after executing a SPAC merger with Victory Park Capital’s VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings III “blank-check” company. The Los Angeles-based banking app’s price opened at $8.27 – giving the firm a market cap of approximately $3.1 billion – before dropping about 8% in early trading. The deal also included a $210 million private placement led by Tiger Global Management.
Experian and TransUnion are developing solutions to bring buy now pay later loans into credit reports. Experian announced that it is working with partners to add BNPL repayment information into credit reports and TransUnion is working on its own BNPL credit reporting service. The news comes a few weeks after Equifax announced that it will begin recording installment plans on people’s credit reports by adding a business industry code for BNPL to classify data such as payment history. Many BNPL players don’t furnish data to credit bureaus, and including repayment data on credit reports may give regulators better visibility into the impact of BNPL loans on consumers.
In a public letter to kick off 2022, British neobank Starling said it will launch a banking-as-a-service offering as it enters a “new phase” of its development. According to CEO Anne Boden, “Starling as a Service” will “offer our partners the benefit of Starling’s advanced technology to . . . have [a digital bank] up and running in months[.] It will be their licence, our technology.” This is one of the first examples of a neobank branching out to present itself as a platform for other prospective neobanks, but likely will not be the last such effort as the BaaS market opportunity continues to evolve.
Meanwhile, following her comments that Britain’s open banking regime has failed, Anne Boden was accused of stifling innovation by over 50 fintech founders. The group sent a letter to members of parliament calling Boden’s views “typical of banks trying to thwart the future of innovation in financial services.”
International financial messaging system SWIFT is planning “a series of experiments in Q1 2022” to explore to “improve interoperability between participants and systems during the transactional lifecycle of tokenised assets.” SWIFT said it will work with a number of financial institutions, including Clearstream and Northern Trust, to transact both “established forms of payment and central bank digital currencies.”
Fintech-focused venture firm Ribbit Capital closed its latest fund at $1.15 billion, according to its SEC filing, more than doubling the $420 million it raised for its previous fund in January 2020. Ribbit has invested in some of the world’s most prominent fintech firms over the past several years, including Coinbase, Nubank, Affirm and Robinhood.
Rocket Companies acquired personal finance manager Truebill for ~$1.3B as it looks to diversify its core mortgage servicing business. Truebill, which has 2.5M users and says it analyzes $50B in transaction volume per month, was last valued at $500M in a June funding round. Cofounder Yahya Mokhtarzada called Truebill “the best finance company, period.”
PayPal is considering launching its own dollar-backed stablecoin, inventively called “PayPal Coin”, and says it will “work closely” with regulators if it moves forward.
The New York Department of Financial Services announced the appointment of Peter Marton as its new deputy superintendent of virtual currency. Marton was previously a Senior Principal at global consultancy Promontory Financial Group.
SMB financing platform Ampla raised $40 million in a Series A funding.
Canadian blockchain infrastructure and software provider Figment raised $110 million in Series C funding at a post-money valuation of $1.4 billion.
British challenger bank Monzo raised $600 million in a new funding round, which included a stake from Tencent.
Payroll and HR software-as-a-service platform for SMEs PayFit raised $289 million in Series E funding.
Credit card issuer for underserved consumers with little to no credit history Petal raised $140 million in Series D funding at a valuation of $800 million, more than 3x its Series C valuation.
NFT marketplace OpenSea raised $300 million in Series C funding at a valuation of $13.3 billion. The company was valued at $1.5 valuation at its Series B funding round last July.
Indian banking and payments platform Razorpay raised $375 million in Series F funding at a $7.5 billion valuation.
Indian neobank Jupiter raised $86 million in a Series C funding round co-led by Tiger Global, QED and Sequoia Capital India at a $711 million valuation.
Indian B2B BNPL Rupify raised $25 million in a new financing round co-led by Tiger Global and Bessemer Venture Partners.