Benefits Boost


Nov 13, 2023


Cindy Grazer


Nov 13, 2023


Cindy Grazer


COVID-19 brought about many structural changes to our lives: more time locked up at home with the family, a monumental push to remote work, the rise of Tik-Tok, and the so-called “Great Retirement.” Over 3.5 years since the onset of COVID-19, the U.S. continues to have approximately 2m more retirees than initially forecasted, marking one of the most significant and lasting transformations in the country's workforce.

The pandemic has altered the labor force participation rate of those over 65, which dropped from nearly 21% pre-pandemic to slightly over 18% during the pandemic's peak in the summer of 2021. Of the 4.2m workers who left their jobs between March 2020 and July 2021, 2.4m were unexpected retirements. Since then, about 1.5m have returned to work, driven by the need for mental engagement and financial reasons, according to a T. Rowe Price survey.

These vacancies are prompting companies to offer incentives to encourage retirees back into employment. Over 2,500 businesses, including prominent names like H&R Block, Microsoft, and Bank of America, have committed to AARP's pledge to promote an age-diverse workforce. States like Michigan are even adjusting laws to help retired teachers return without pension penalties, amid severe teacher shortages.

In the efforts to retain talent, employers have to get more creative in how they attract and retain staff. In the UK, benefits such as subsidized lunches, free exercise classes or subsidized travel have overtaken pay as one of the tools to win in the war for talent. In this new era, companies are rolling out the red carpet for retirees, with perks that might just include a 'Golden Years Gym' or 'Wisdom Wednesdays.' Who knows, the next corporate meeting might just be scheduled after a power nap and a round of chair yoga!

Newsletter Image - 11/13

Portfolio News

FinTech Collective invests in Performativ - Copenhagen based Performativ is building the operating system for wealth managers. This capital will allow Performativ to supercharge their sales channels and scale within and beyond their current footprint of six European countries, in addition to continuing to build products that add value across back, middle, and front office functions. Read more

MoneyLion announces third quarter 2023 results - MoneyLion Inc. (“MoneyLion”) (NYSE: ML), a leader in consumer and enterprise financial technology powering the next generation of personalized products, embedded finance and content, today announced financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2023. The company reported record revenue of $110m, Up 24% Year-over-Year. Read more

Performativ named as one of the top 10 Danish startups to watch - Performativ addresses the challenges of existing solutions that are high-maintenance and technically complex. Performativ reduces operational costs and improves scalability, provides accurate and transparent data, enhances the user experience for both wealth managers and clients, and serves as a central hub for portfolio management and client relationships. Read more

Embroker selects Ascend to revolutionize the insurance industry - This collaboration aims to revolutionize the insurance industry by combining Ascend's cutting-edge financial automation solutions with Embroker's expertise in providing tailored, innovative insurance products for business risk profiles and verticals. Read more

Lido launches on Base - Lido is pleased to present the launch of wstETH on Base. The availability of the wstETH Base bridge opens up the benefits of staked ETH to the Base ecosystem, further enhancing Ethereum liquidity and stability. Users of Base will now be able to use their staked ETH across the growing Base DeFi ecosystem, and protocols on Base will be able to integrate wstETH to enhance liquidity and usability further. Read more

Plaid launches consumer reporting agency to leverage cash flow data for credit risk insights - Open banking innovator Plaid announced a new initiative to enable lenders to leverage consumer-permissioned cash flow data on prospective borrowers. The new entity will serve as a consumer reporting agency that will build solutions that deliver ready-made credit risk insights using this information. Read more

Alkami and Plaid partner to provide financial institutions with direct access to Plaid via the Financial Data Exchange aligned (FDX) API core exchange - Alkami Technology, Inc., a leading cloud-based digital banking solutions provider for financial institutions in the U.S., announced today that it has enabled its financial institution clients to benefit from direct application programming interface (API) access to Plaid. Read more

Coincover bolsters leadership with new CFO and Head of Legal - Coincover, the pioneering blockchain protection company, is further reinforcing its leadership team with two strategic appointments. This announcement comes shortly after the appointment of Coincover's new Chief Commercial Officer, Ridhima Durham. Read more

As Uniswap fees accumulate, other trading platforms join the fray - Uniswap Labs has seen nearly $800k in revenue over the last two weeks, after enabling fees on certain user transactions. In recent weeks, Osmosis, Blur, and Hashflow have also received proposals to introduce trading fees. One industry participant said the growing interest in fees is a sign that DeFi is maturing towards a focus on revenue. Read more

Reserve Bank of Malawi grants Flutterwave license to process international transactions - Flutterwave, Africa's leading payments technology company, has announced today that it has obtained official authorization to facilitate international remittances in Malawi. The International Money Transfer Operator (IMTO) license was granted on Thursday, October 19, and will enable the payments company to process remittances from Malawians and other Africans sending money back home. Read more

Benefits Boost

How benefits have overtaken pay as the key to hiring and keeping staff - Employers across the UK are having to be more creative in how they attract and retain staff, as basic salary rises are failing to keep up with inflation. And while some companies are looking to pay more, recruiters say this approach, alone, is unlikely to work in the face of rising costs. Read more

Millions of retired Americans aren't coming back to work as predicted - Before the pandemic, the participation rate for workers age 65 and older reached 20.8% before dropping two-and-a-half percentage points by July 2021. The rate has since risen a percentage point to 19.3% but remains well below the pre-pandemic high. Read more

Industry News

Big banks cook up new way to unload risk - JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and U.S. Bank and others are selling complex debt instruments to private-fund managers as a way to reduce regulatory capital charges on the loans they make, people familiar with the transactions said. Read more

Bitcoin golden cross appears following largest monthly gain in 9 months - Bitcoin has snapped off its second-largest monthly gain this year as the asset begins a new phase of upward momentum, analysts speculate. Bitcoin’s performance for October is one of the year’s best month’s after rising more than 28% following a period of low volatility in the third quarter. Only the month of January — a 40% increase — stands out as a better performer in 2023. Read more

HSBC launches tokenized gold-focused offering for institutional investors - London-based financial giant HSBC is trying its hand at gold tokenization. The bank launched tokenized ownership of physical gold held in its London vault on Wednesday, noting its use of distributed ledger technology (DLT) to trade the assets. Tokenized physical gold can be traded between HSBC and institutional investors through the HSBC Evolve platform. Read more

Solana’s Jupiter Exchange set for token launch - The Solana-based swap aggregator Jupiter Exchange is releasing a native token. Announced during the Solana Breakpoint conference, the news came with information that the majority of the forthcoming JUP token will be released to the public via community airdrop and a token sale. Read more

Goldman moves to unload GM credit card - The bank on Tuesday informed a group of employees within its Platform Solutions division, who work on the GM card, that a process to find a new issuer will begin soon, people familiar with the matter said. GM is expected to run the process. The credit-card program is largely marketed toward people who buy and own General Motors cars. Read more

Sam Bankman-Fried found guilty by jury in landmark crypto trial - Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was found guilty on all seven counts by a panel of 12 jurors last Thursday. FTX co-founder Gary Wang, head of engineering Nishad Singh and former Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison testified against their former colleague. Read more

World’s biggest bank forced to trade via USB stick after hack - Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd.’s US unit had been hit by a cyberattack, rendering it unable to clear swathes of US Treasury trades after entities responsible for settling the transactions swiftly disconnected. Read more

Coinbase Q3 results signal its future as ‘crypto super app’ - Though Coinbase’s trading volumes have continued to drop, analysts said the crypto exchange’s third quarter results signal its other business segments could carry the company in future quarters. Read more

Fed official: Stablecoins pose a threat, but could present innovative opportunities - US economic leaders gathered in DC Tuesday to discuss the future of crypto policy and innovation in America. At the event, Officials said that The Federal Reserve needs to step up its oversight of the stablecoin ecosystem, and that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency — which oversees the American banking system — could benefit from increased tokenization. Read more

ETH soars above $2k as BlackRock iShares Ethereum Trust registered as corporate entity in Delaware - Asset management giant BlackRock registered to create an ethereum trust, a potential first step toward asking regulators to approve an exchange-traded fund tied to ether, the second-largest digital token. Earlier this year, BlackRock registered a bitcoin trust in the same manner and a week later filed an application with the SEC to launch a spot bitcoin ETF. Read more

Select Financings

Arch - New York based private investment management platform raised $20m in Series A funding led by Menlo Ventures. Read more

Authentick - Singapore based authentication platform for digital collectibles raised $4m in Seed funding led by Menyala. Read more

Bimaplan - India based embedded insurance company raised $3.5m in Series A funding led by Orios Venture Partners. Read more

Black Ore - Texas based AI platform for financial services raised $60m in new funding led by Andreessen Horowitz. Read more

Cast AI - Miami based cloud spend optimization company raised $35m in Series B funding led by Vintage Investment Partners. Read more

Diesta - London based payments insurance platform raised $2m in Seed funding led by Restive. Read more

Due - London based facilitator of international transactions through non-custodial accounts raised $3.3m in Seed funding led by Semantic. Read more

Eilla AI - London based generative AI platform for M&A, VC, and PE research and document creation raised $1.5m in Seed funding led by Eleven Ventures. Read more

Enable - San Francisco based rebate management platform raised $120m in Series D funding led by Lightspeed Venture Partners. Read more

Finkargo - Colombia based international trade platform for SMBs raised $20m in Series A funding led by QED. Read more

Flitter - Paris based pay-by-mile car insurance company raised €3.5m in Seed funding led by Helvetia. Read more

Galactic Holding - Latin America based cryptocurrency ecosystem raised $6.25m in Series A funding led by Galaxy Interactive. Read more

Goodvest - France based climate-friendly savings fintech company raised €10m in new funding led by Ring Capital. Read more

Llama - Bengaluru based platform for on-chain access control and governance raised $6m in new funding led by Founders Fund. Read more

LXA - Singapore based loan origination, processing, underwriting, and servicing startup raised $10m in Seed funding led by NEA. Read more

Monument Bank - UK based digital challenger bank raised £40m in Series B funding led by Dubai Investments. Read more

Payroll Integrations - San Diego based payroll and benefits automation company raised $20m in Series A funding led by Arthur Ventures. Read more

Pimlico - London based decentralized application infrastructure provider raised $4.2m in Seed funding led by a16z. Read more

Prosper - London based low-cost digital wealth app raised £3.2m in pre-seed funding led by Tom Blomfield. Read more

Qomodo - Italy based BNPL provider raised €4.5m in Seed funding led by Fasanara Capital. Read more

StablR - Decentralized Euro stablecoin startup raised €3.3m in Seed funding led by Deribit. Read more

Ritual - Decentralized platform for AI compute raised $25m in new funding led by Archetype. Read more

21bitcoin - Austria based bitcoin investing app raised €2.1m in new funding led by Volksbank Raiffeisenbank Bayern Mitte eG. Read more


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