Posted In:

Africa, Payments, Crypto

Insta[fees] vs. Reality


May 11, 2024


Sarah Parsons Wolter

Posted In:

Africa, Payments, Crypto


May 11, 2024


Sarah Parsons Wolter


If you’re thinking about buying tickets for Roland Garros in the next few weeks, the 25 Qualifying Day tickets may seem to be a steal…until you hit checkout and see the additional 16% in “management fees” that you’re also on the hook for. Luckily the starting price tag is low so you’re likely still in the clear. However, that may not be the case for the Premium Privilège Package.

This experience isn’t unique to grand slam events unfortunately. Across both physical and digital purchasing journeys, surprise fees are popping up left and right. This sneaky strategy lets businesses compete based on fixed price, but charge more on the back end, which reduces buyers’ abilities to make their decisions with a transparent view of best pricing throughout the market.

In addition to the toll these fees are taking on consumers’ bank accounts – adding up to $90b per year in the US – this practice can also undermine the trust and confidence that brands aspire to build with their customers.

President Biden has moved hidden fees up in his long list of priorities, with Congress introducing a bill last year to “limit and eliminate excessive, hidden, and unnecessary fees imposed on consumers.” In the meantime, in activities from concert-going to going out to eat, it’s important to remember that what you see on the menu may not be as good as it appears – including the price tag.

Portfolio News

MoneyLion announces first quarter 2024 results - MoneyLion saw record revenue of $121m (+29% YoY), GAAP net income of $7m, and adjusted EBITDA of $23m, representing a 19.4% adjusted EBITDA margin. Additionally, total customers grew 98% YoY to 15.5m. Read more

Simetrik recognized for significant contributions to Colombia innovation in KPMG annual report - The annual ‘Colombia Tech Report’, published by KPMG, recognized Simetrik, Gopass, and Addi for their significant contributions to financing, employment, and innovation within Colombia. Read more

Forbes 50 Over 50: Investment - Congratulations to Victoria Meakin, co-founder and president of Ocrolus, for being named to Forbes 50 Over 50: Investment list. In addition to her role at Ocrolus, Meakin also leads the boards of two nonprofits, and previously co-founded PhoneCharge, a pioneer in the e-payment space. Read more

Flutterwave and Travelwings to redefine international travel experiences for Nigerians - By leveraging Flutterwave and choosing its efficient, comprehensive payment solutions for enterprise businesses of all sizes and industries, Travelwings, which operates in over 100 destinations worldwide, is well-positioned to serve its new and existing customers in Nigeria with a seamless travel experience. Read more

Insta[fees] vs. Reality

The gap between the price you see and what you pay is getting worse - Surprise fees are widely hated, but they are still sneaking onto the bottom of bills for everything from concert tickets to dinners out. More companies are unbundling the cost of their goods and services, retail analysts say, tacking on 3% for swiping a credit card or adding a little extra for gas. Read more

Industry News

FTX has billions more than needed to pay bankruptcy victims - Lower-ranking creditors typically receive just pennies on the dollar for their holdings, but FTX benefitted from a strong rally in cryptocurrencies including Solana. The company has also sold dozens of other assets, including various venture-capital projects like a stake in the artificial-intelligence company Anthropic. Read more

Nubank surpasses 100m customers - Nubank announced today that it has surpassed 100m customers in Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia, making it the first digital banking platform to reach this milestone outside of Asia. The achievement comes on the heels of record 2023 financial results, with over $1b in net profit and over $8b in revenues. Read more

How TikTok is wiring Gen Z’s money brain - Americans under 30 get much of their news on TikTok. They hear about money there, too, and that’s shaping the way they save, spend and view their financial prospects, young adults and economists say. Read more

The next act of GenAI: How to get AI ‘agents’ working like humans - Prosus Group analyzes AI agents across 3 subsectors: those that focus on: “general tasks” like workplace productivity; “function-specific” agents that perform a certain job like sales development representatives; and “industry-specific” agents, which aim to automate various tasks across a given profession. Read more

China’s Ant Group doubles down on global expansion with cross-border payments offering Alipay+ - Ant Group is looking to expand into the payments markets of Europe, Middle East and Latin America. The company introduced Alipay+ in 2020, allowing foreigners to use apps from their home countries to make payments in China by scanning QR codes of Alipay and in other countries via local partners. Read more

Wells Fargo says US scrutinizing Zelle complaints behind scenes - Scams using peer-to-peer systems such as Zelle and Venmo have prompted calls by regulators and lawmakers for financial firms to improve consumer protections and make victims whole. Read more

When is a charitable donation securities fraud? - Donor-advised funds (DAFs) are tax-efficient ways to empower individuals to give money to causes they support — and they're charities in their own right that are responsible for all the donations they make. Axios reports that the tension is causing real problems — including a new securities fraud accusation against Goldman Sachs. Read more

Revolut launches UK crypto exchange as digital assets recover - The new platform, called Revolut X, will allow “experienced traders” to buy and sell over 100 different tokens, according to a statement this week. Fees will range from zero to 0.09%, and investors must have a Revolut retail account to trade on the venue. Read more

Gen Z sinks deeper into debt - Young Americans are starting out with more credit-card debt than generations before them, and that financial burden can have long-lasting effects. The rising debt load largely reflects a surge in prices for food and shelter at the start of their careers, coupled with a larger percentage of Gen Z who graduated with student loans. Read more

Tensions rise in Silicon Valley over sales of start-up stocks - Tensions over the shadowy and often enigmatic market of private company stocks have reached a boiling point, just as the buying and selling of such shares has grown bigger than ever. At its center is an age-old debate: Should everyone have access to the riches and risks of investing in Silicon Valley start-ups? Read more

FDIC investigation finds culture rife with sexual harassment, discrimination - The report, crafted by law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and released this week, was commissioned by the FDIC after a WSJ investigation in November revealed a toxic workplace culture at the agency. Investigators spoke to more than 500 employees at the bank regulator out of fewer than 6,000, most of them current, who “painfully and emotionally” recounted their experiences of misconduct at the agency. Read more

FIS launches embedded finance platform for financial institutions and businesses - The new “Atelio by FIS” platform can help any company collect deposits, move money, issue cards, send invoices, fight fraud, forecast cash flows and better understand customer behavior, the company said in a press release. Read more

India proposes CBDC that can function offline - India’s central bank wants its digital currency to be available without internet access and has expanded the use of its digital currency on a pilot basis, with at least 1.3m customers and 300k merchants using it. Read more

Leading Colombian bank launches crypto exchange and peso stablecoin - Colombia’s largest bank, Bancolombia, has entered the crypto business by launching a crypto exchange called Wenia. The crypto platform aims to on-board 60,000 users in its first year and compete with Binance and Bitso. Read more

Select Financings

Abound - London based credit technology company raised £800m in growth funding led by GSR Ventures and Hambro Perks. Read more

Abyan Capital - Saudi Arabia based robo-advisory company raised $18m in Series A funding led by STV. Read more

Arbelos Markets - British Virgins Islands based crypto derivatives liquidity company raised $28m in Seed funding led by Dragonfly Capital. Read more

Canopy - Utah based accounting software company raised $35m in Series B funding led by Ten Coves Capital and Ankona Capital. Read more

Daloopa - New York based financial analysis automation company raised $18m in Series B funding led by Touring Capital. Read more

Dexif - India based fixed-income market tech company raised $4m in Seed funding led by RTP Global. Read more

DwellFi - Palo Alto based AI and blockchain solutions company raised $3m in Seed funding led by E1 Ventures. Read more

Eleos - London based digital life insurance solutions company raised €3.75m in Seed funding led by Fuel Ventures and Indico Capital. Read more

EYWA - British Virgin Islands based multichain transactions protocol raised $7m in Seed funding led by Michael Egorovm. Read more

GoMining - Singapore based bitcoin mining infrastructure company raised $3m in Seed funding led by Bitscale Capital. Read more

Greenboard - Austin based compliance and operations software company raised $4.5m in Seed funding led by Base 10 Partners. Read more

Hemera - Mountain View based web3 infrastructure company raised $2.6m in Seed funding led by LIF Capital and Nomad Capital. Read more

Honeycomb - Chicago based digital insurer raised $36m in Series B funding led by Zeev Ventures. Read more

Infinity Fincorp Solutions - India based small business loan provider raised $8m in new funding led by Archerman Capital. Read more

Lagrange Labs - New York based blockchain cryptography company raised $13.2m in Seed funding led by Founders Fund. Read more

Mitosis - Panama based DeFi liquidity company raised $7m in Seed funding led by Amber Group and Foresight Ventures. Read more

Monzo - London based challenger bank raised $190m in growth funding led by CapitalG and Hedosophia. Read more

Numeric - San Francisco based AI-powered accounting automation company raised $10m in Seed funding from investors including Founders Fund and Menlo Ventures. Read more

Panax - Tel Aviv based cash flow management company raised $10m in Series A funding led by Team8. Read more

Plenty - New York based couples financial planning app raised $5m in Seed funding from investors including Inovia Capital and Garage Capital. Read more

Provable Markets - Amsterdam based securities lending technology company raised $8m in Series A funding led by Dialectic Capital Management. Read more

Renda - Nigeria based e-commerce order fulfillment company raised $1.9m in Seed funding led by Ingressive Capital. Read more

Seamfix - Nigeria based digital identity solutions company raised $4.5m in new funding led by Alitheia IDF. Read more

Stonal - France based real estate data management company raised €100m in growth funding led by Aareon. Read more

Swypex - Egypt based corporate cards platform raised $4m in Seed funding led by Accel. Read more

Tuza - London based card payments comparison company raised $5m in Seed funding led by Connect Ventures. Read more

Volta - Las Vegas based non-custodial crypto platform raised $4.1m in Seed funding led by Fika Ventures and Haven Ventures. Read more

ZKM - Silicon Valley based Ethereum scaling company raised $5m in pre-Seed funding led by OKX Ventures. Read more


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