Posted In:

Banking, Payments, Crypto


#520
Happy Holidays from FinTech Collective!

Published:

Dec 26, 2023


Author:

Cindy Grazer

Posted In:

Banking, Payments, Crypto

Published:

Dec 26, 2023


Author:

Cindy Grazer


Share:

As we wrap up the year, FinTech Collective’s daylight hours have been significantly extended thanks to our new office opening in London. With this milestone we are reinforcing our conviction in “IRL” interaction with the same foundation that we’ve been building on for the past 11 years: global fintech investors backing founders who are reimagining the way money flows throughout the world.

Beyond our office presence, we’ve been busy doubling down on in person interactions well beyond the “beaten path” of your average fintech investor, with more than 50 trips between the team to 5 continents, and a few cracking events to go along with it: namely bringing 200 people together in Mexico City in the spring, and a similarly sized group in New York in the fall.

As the talent recycling tailwinds have mounted, the green shoots that we’ve been anticipating throughout the early stage ecosystem are starting to show through. Whether you’re preparing for the flurry of January activity by dancing on the tables at MooserWirt or with some long awaited R&R by your fireplace, FTC wishes you a happy holiday season and smooth sailing into the new year!

We hope you enjoy the recap, and if you have friends or colleagues who will enjoy our weekly missive, please have them sign up here! Link

Sizzling Investments in the Frying Pan of Fintech


  • CapIntel launched OMNI, a holistic wealth management platform for financial services professionals as they doubled down on US expansion.

  • Centrifuge launched CF Prime, a comprehensive suite of services and technologies that helps easily onboard and scale a portfolio of real-world assets (RWAs).

  • Constrafor grew over 700% YoY on their mission to offer procurement solutions for GCs and accelerated payment solutions for subcontractors.

  • Daisy announced their 100th building partnership on their mission to take a tech-driven approach to reshape how buildings are managed, as the fastest growing property manager in NYC.

  • Fondeadora finalized SOFIPO acquisition, one of ~40 junior banking licenses in Mexico, to expand its portfolio of products and services to more digital financial solutions.

  • GoGoPool launched the first staking primitive for subnets on Avalanche, and is the fastest growing protocol on the Avalanche network with 150 active minipools and 250k AVAX staked.

  • Mattilda raised a $19m Series A round and partnered with Santillana, the largest academic content platform in the Spanish speaking world, servicing over 2m students in the region.

  • Minu secured their neo voucher license, becoming the only early wage access company in Mexico to offer the trifecta of pay on demand, employee benefits, and vouchers.

  • Mondu successfully secured licensing with the FCA to take on the UK's $200 billion e-commerce market. Mondu now has offices in Berlin, Amsterdam and London.

  • MoneyLion stock has surged 55% on the back of strong 2023 performance.

  • Nexu raised a $20m Series B round to continue expanding its financing platform for car dealerships across Mexico.

  • Pemo onboarded 1000+ businesses in less than a year of go live as a Mastercard Direct partner.

  • Performativ marked FTC’s first European investment in Copenhagen, raising a €5.5m Seed round for their software solution revolutionizing Europe’s wealth management industry.

  • Rainbow Wallet launched a mobile browser extension, also expanding into Brazil to support PIX payments.

  • Sabi raised Series B funding on top of a year of incredible growth, surpassing $1b in GMV as Africa’s digital commerce infrastructure.

  • Simetrik expanded beyond LatAm into India and Southeast Asia, becoming a global provider of reconciliation solutions to payments companies and financial institutions.

  • Termii acquired a regulated MVNO, received approval for their VAS license, and secured their first enterprise customers including Bytedance and NIBBS.

  • Vestwell crossed the billion dollar valuation mark with their Series D funding, and was selected to power J.P. Morgan’s 401(k) workplace savings platform and the New Jersey State Auto-IRA program, adding to its roster of more than 30 state savings programs.

  • Violet launched Mauve, the first RWA-focused, fully AML-compliant, and VASP-registered non-custodial exchange.

  • Ziina became the only non government affiliated entity to secure Federal Central Bank regulation in the UAE.

New Office


  • The London legacy begins! This year we brought on Toby Triebel as our newest partner to head our European efforts, and promoted Samantha Wulfson to round out the team in FTC’s newest HQ.

Annual Meeting


  • We hosted our 11th Annual Meeting of CEOs and LPs at the Wythe in Brooklyn, with over 150 people in attendance. Michael Morell, the former Acting Director of the CIA joined us to discuss decision making in high consequence environments - in many cases, with limited information - during his thirty-three year career at the Central Intelligence Agency during which he navigated numerous crucible moments in the geopolitics of the 21st century. You can hear the conversation here on Spotify.

Most Popular Newsletters From 2023


Everything Everywhere All At Once - March 2023
Previously, increased credit card use indicated financial stress, but Gen Z feels no such strain. They’re financially motivated and are benefiting from recent events like the pandemic and a tight job market which has boosted entry-level salaries. The Bank of America Institute notes that 75% of Gen Z have considered additional income channels like a second job. Their actions and youth reflect a commitment to having everything, everywhere, all at once, mindful of the "Breakfast Club" adage: "When you grow up, your heart dies.”

Bigger is Not Always Better - March 2023
In 2019, during a wave of payment industry mergers, FIS acquired WorldPay for $43b. This move aimed to counter margin compression by integrating banking systems with payment processors, expanding merchant networks and adding products like POS, cards, and credit for retail and SMBs. However, by March 2023, FIS was planning to divest WorldPay for almost half of what it paid. This highlights their struggle to compete with fintech companies in digital payment solutions, emphasizing that bigger isn't always better.

Cash is No Longer King - January 2023
Bank robberies and tax evasion, prevalent in cash-based societies, are declining in countries like Denmark where a shift away from cash led to zero bank robberies in 2022. In contrast, the cash-loving US experienced an increase in bank robberies and attacks on armored cars. Elsewhere, Nigeria now investigates government cash account withdrawals for money laundering to combat fraud (and potentially discourage cash usage). The transition to digital finance introduces new challenges, signaling that financial crime, though evolving, is far from eradicated.

[Fed]Now We're Talking - July 2023
FedNow, the Federal Reserve’s instant payments system, launched with participants spanning banks, credit unions, federal bureaus, and over a dozen other private providers like FIS and Jack Henry. Sounds great, right? Although it promises enhanced liquidity and reduced friction in digital payments, the system's fast processing raises concerns about fraud detection. Questions linger about keeping pace with risk and compliance, costs, widespread adoption, and the potential for unforeseen exploits.

Liquidity for Canned Liquids - July 2023
Liquid Death, known for its edgy canned water, plans to go public next year with Goldman Sachs leading the IPO. Despite its popularity, including 240 superfans with tattoos, the company's profitability is uncertain – it was unprofitable in 2022 and had a 12% gross margin. This move signals a revival in the IPO market after years of stagnation, potentially ushering in major deals from companies like Arm, Stripe, and Instacart, and revitalizing the late-stage VC financing landscape.

Most Clicked Stories From 2023


We asked ChatGPT to make a market-beating ETF. Here’s what happened - In a bid to see how close technology really is to replacing Wall Street’s army of analysts, experts and money runners, we challenged ChatGPT, the artificial intelligence tool that’s taking the internet by storm, to create us a winning portfolio for the US stock market. The result: A classic exercise in fence-sitting, with the tool explaining that the market is too unpredictable to design such a fund, while warning about the need to pick investments aligning with our goals and appetite for risk-taking. Read more

Introducing Paze, big banks’ answer to Apple Pay - Early Warning Services LLC, which is owned by a group of banks including JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of America, is behind the new digital wallet called Paze. The banks are trying to compete against the likes of Apple Pay and PayPal at online checkout. Read more

Aaron Schumm unveils expanded Vestwell vision – and M&A plan – and hires Danya Dumbrill to detail it as a 'strategy' to 'lead the savings industry' - Vestwell CEO and founder Aaron Schumm has unveiled a hire to recast his firm from a “digital 401(k) recordkeeper” to the “leading savings firm” in the nation. Schumm hired Danya Dumbrill in August to take a boil-the-ocean style objective that he first saw in his peripheral vision but is now in his cross-hairs. Read more

Global sperm counts are falling. This scientist believes she knows why - At 87, Shanna Swan, a statistician-turned-epidemiologist, captivated a youthful Copenhagen audience with her research on declining global sperm counts and the role of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Swan's work, spanning over two decades, focuses on how everyday items like plastics and pesticides impact reproductive health, suggesting a looming fertility crisis. Her insights are reshaping understanding of environmental influences on human biology, emphasizing urgent changes in consumer goods and industrial processes to safeguard future generations. Read more

Inside the private writings of Caroline Ellison, star witness in the FTX case - Caroline Ellison, once the CEO of Alameda Research, finds herself at the heart of the FTX scandal, one of the largest crypto exchange collapses. Her intertwined personal and professional relationship with FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, alongside her leadership struggles at Alameda, are revealed in private documents. Now, as a vital witness in Bankman-Fried's fraud trial, Ellison's unique perspective and documented reflections shed light on the chaotic realm of cryptocurrency trading, potentially influencing the outcome of the trial and future crypto regulations. Read more


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FinTech Collective Newsletter

Curated News with Context

Delivered every Monday, the weekly newsletter, produced by our team, provides a tightly edited rundown of global fintech news, along with a bit of our original analysis.