With the summer travel season upon us, flocks of tourists flood many of New York’s busiest streets from Times Square to Wall Street, entertained by the city’s many diverse attractions and cultures. But New York is also constantly evolving. Since the beginning of the pandemic, New Yorkers have suffered not only from the COVID virus, but several instances of subway attacks, gun violence and rapidly rising inflation.
While these past three years have not been easy on NYC residents, the optimism in the air is palpable and the tech scene is thriving. Tech:NYC found that tech accounted for 17% of New York City’s job growth since 2010 (about 114,000 jobs) and was increasing at a faster rate than nearly every other sector. Tech giants’ investments into the city - Facebook and Google among others - have contributed to these numbers, but smaller startups have also found New York to be fertile ground for ecosystem growth. According to Pitchbook, startups in the city have raised $19.8 billion in venture capital so far this year compared to $20.2 billion in the entirety of 2020.
Some historically West Coast-oriented investors are also making a second home of New York and for good reason, too. New York is one of the most diverse and multicultural cities in the world, and attracts talent internationally as well as across the US. It also makes New York one of the best places to test new and innovative products like this dude did on his Citi Bike this week!
IMMO’s £1b mission to fix up properties - IMMO will use its technology platform, which it has been building up since it was founded in 2017, to scour the market for houses with low energy performance certificate (EPC) ratings that it can modernize, or fix up. IMMO is targeting the first purchase of its newest UK portfolio in October. Its technology allows it to quickly find houses in need of renovation in areas where there is an undersupply of rentals and where yields are strong. Read more
VC firm Antler opens offices in Lisbon and Madrid - The global venture capital firm Antler has arrived in Iberia, with the opening of offices in Lisbon and Madrid. It wants to make over 30 investments in the region by 2023. The Portuguese Sérgio Massano (partner and Antler’s expansion director) and Ricardo Batista (director, ex-Glovo and Lola Market) are the first members of the team. Read more
Boom! She's Back!
Activist Elliott Management holds stake in PayPal - The size of Elliott’s stake and its intentions couldn’t be learned. PayPal has roughly $8b of cash and short-term investments and not much more debt; activists are frequently drawn to companies they say could allocate capital more aggressively. Earlier this month, news hit that Elliott recently bought 9% of Pinterest. That's the same company that PayPal was in talks to buy in the fall, until PayPal shareholders revolted, and the company abandoned its pursuit. Read more
The quest to find $181m in bitcoin buried in a dump - James Howells' life changed when he threw out a hard drive about the size of an iPhone 6. Howells had two identical laptop hard drives squirreled away in a drawer in 2013. One was blank; he says the other contained 8,000 bitcoins — now worth about $181m, even after the recent crypto crash. He'd meant to throw out the blank one, but instead the drive containing the cryptocurrency ended up going to the local dump in a garbage bag. Now, he is hoping local authorities will let him stage a high-tech treasure hunt for the buried bitcoins. His problem is that he can't get into the dump. Read more
FTX is in talks to buy crypto exchange Bithumb, continuing its acquisition spree - Vidente, the owner of South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb, said it has held discussions about a possible sale of its stake to FTX. Talks of another acquisition are part of FTX and its founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s aggressive acquisition approach amid a major downturn in the cryptocurrency market. If the deal with Bithumb goes through, FTX will gain further foothold in Asia and in particular South Korea, where crypto trading is very popular. Read more
Lloyds CEO says bank will look into more fintech acquisitions - The bank has already agreed to buy wealth platform Embark Group and protection firm Cavendish Online in the past year or so, and in terms of more acquisitions would “definitely continue to look at those as we go forward,” according to Nunn. Any bolt-on deals would need to improve Lloyds’ core business, which is building new digital offerings “in a way no fintech can,” Nunn said in an interview. Read more
Goldman Sachs chases its main street banking ambitions—slowly - Goldman has a lot riding on its consumer project. Traditional investment banking and trading, Goldman’s bread-and-butter businesses, are highly lucrative but can wilt in a market downturn. A strong consumer business could provide a stable revenue base that, in turn, could win Goldman a more generous stock valuation. But the business hasn’t yet turned a profit, and Goldman isn’t saying when it thinks it will. Still, the bank expects the consumer business to top $4b in annual revenue by 2024, roughly double what it is on pace to bring in this year. Read more
Crypto exchange FTX US expands stock trading, plans options next - FTX will offer no-fee stock trading service to all US users, including non-crypto investors, in a move to expand its customer base and increase assets under custody. The company also plans to add options trading, although no specific timeline was provided. Read more
Senate bill takes aim at Visa, Mastercard credit-card fees - Two U.S. senators are preparing legislation that would give merchants power to process many Visa and Mastercard credit cards over different networks. The bill, which could be introduced as soon as this week, aims to create more competition among U.S. credit-card networks, a sector where Visa and Mastercard have long dominated. Read more
The EU’s ‘remarkable’ speed at crafting crypto rules - While the US is still getting its house in order when it comes to regulating crypto the EU, in contrast, is moving full speed ahead with a bloc-wide legislative package on digital assets — Markets in Crypto-assets regulation (Mica). Read more
Jack Ma Plans to Give Up Control of Ant - Jack Ma, who doesn’t hold any titles at Ant, currently controls 50.52% of voting rights in the company. According to Bloomberg he could transfer some of his voting power to other Ant officials. Ant told regulators of Ma’s intention to cede control, adding in a statement that regulators didn’t demand the change but have given their blessing. Read more
Moelis brushes off crypto winter to start blockchain group - Moelis has already been advising on deals in the industry. It was hired by crypto broker Voyager Digital, which has filed for bankruptcy and has reached out to dozens of potential strategic partners, according to a regulatory filing. The New York-based investment bank has also worked with clients including Ripple Labs and CipherTrace, which was acquired last year by Mastercard Inc. Read more
Top US regulator fires warning shot after Apple’s push into lending - In a warning shot to Silicon Valley following Apple’s decision to launch its own BNPL service, Rohit Chopra, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, said his agency would “have to take a very careful look [at] the implications of Big Tech entering this space”. Among the issues the agency would consider was whether it may actually reduce competition and innovation in the market, and also raises questions about the use of customer data. Read more
Office of Financial Research pilots data hub for climate-risk assessments - The US Office of Financial Research (OFR) has launched a climate data and analytics hub pilot to help regulators assess risks to financial stability stemming from climate change. Read more
Swift could face challenge in new era for cross-border payments - EIU - The Russian invasion of Ukraine will cause disruption to cross-border payment systems and could, in conjunction with technological advances, challenge the dominance of the Swift network, predicts a paper from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). Read more
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