Oh To Be Young Again


Jan 29, 2024


Cindy Grazer


Jan 29, 2024


Cindy Grazer


Don’t we all wish we could turn back the hands of time even for a little bit? We suspect most centenarians might agree. Moody’s Analytics’ recent study on global shell companies didn’t unearth the desires of our elderly counterparts, but it did find 21m “red flags” associated with these entities – including 2,200 that have directors aged above 123 years and one at 942 years!

The study notes that atypical directorship is one of seven characteristics the agency used to flag companies that could be using false and misleading information to enable financial crimes such as money laundering. Other flags include circular ownership, mass registration, and dormancy. All of these contribute to the $1.6t laundered annually – which might include the $2b revenue Chinese company who only registers one employee, the thousands that have 5-year-olds as directors, or the 22k entities registered to the Pyramids of Giza.

These suspicious shell companies are not met without resistance, though. The global market for anti-money laundering solutions is expected to grow at a clip of 17% annually to $11.9b by 2030, thanks in part to heightened governmental scrutiny in financial services. Moody’s and other financial institutions could be wise to make use of new governance technologies – or perhaps they end up falling for a company whose executive is a 500-year-old vampire…

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Portfolio News

GGV Capital U.S. names 3 FinTech Collective Portfolio Companies to the 2024 Fintech Innovation 50 - Congratulations to FTC portfolio companies Constrafor, Vestwell and Plaid on being named to the Fintech Innovation 50 list, which was launched by GGV Capital US in partnership with Crunchbase, and recognizes the 50 most promising fintech companies in the eyes of investors. Read more

Berlin-based B2B payments fintech company Mondu secures €30m for continued European expansion - Mondu has added €30m to a debt financing transaction initially provided by Vereinigte Volksbank Raiffeisenbank (VVRB) in October 2022. Now totaling €50m, the working capital will support Mondu’s 2024 pan-European expansion plans. Read more

OXIO sees significant growth in US and LATAM telecom markets - OXIO saw a 48% Increase in network traffic in 2023, highlighting customer adoption of telecom-as-a-service. In addition to the substantial network traffic growth, twice as many brands joined the platform and OXIO’s U.S. user base grew significantly. Read more

Embroker introduces professional financial services coverage program built on ONE platform - This offering is unique to the needs of accountants, bookkeepers, and tax preparers, built to handle specific risks around professional liability, cyber liability, and key business owners’ insurance coverages. Read more

CoinLedger named as 'best crypto tax calculator app in 2024' - CoinLedger was named as one of the best crypto tax calculator apps in 2024, according to Crypto.News. Read more

Octane and Kawasaki announce strategic agreement - Octane, the fintech revolutionizing the buying experience for major recreational purchases, and Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A., (Kawasaki) announced a new agreement to provide promotional financing for prime customers in the United States. Read more

GoGoPool launches MEV Yield for all ggAVAX holders - GoGoPool is proud to announce that ggAVAX holders will now earn MEV yield on thier platform. This initiative represents more than just a technological leap; it marks a significant step towards democratizing Miner Extractable Value (MEV), a domain traditionally dominated by centralized entities. Read more

Oh To Be Young Again

Over 2,000 shell companies have directors aged 123 years or older, Moody’s found. The oldest known human lived to 122 - Moody’s Analytics has found 21m “red flags” associated with shell companies that could be used to enable financial crimes, from ancient directors to dubious addresses. Read more

Global anti-money laundering solutions market to reach $11.9b by 2030 - The global market for Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Solutions is experiencing unprecedented growth, with a forecast to expand to a staggering $11.9b by the year 2030, reflecting a 17.2% annual growth rate. Read more

Industry News

US FTC bars TurboTax maker Intuit from advertising 'free' services - The commission's final order, after an administrative ruling in September, said Intuit cannot advertise or market any service as free unless it was free to all consumers, or unless it disclosed properly the percentage of taxpayers that qualify for the free product. Read more

Apple offers to open iPhone NFC payments to third-party providers after EU investigation - Under the proposals, Apple will allow developers in the European Economic Area to access iPhone NFC payment features that were previously exclusive to its own Apple Pay and Wallet software. Read more

Crypto startup Figure seeks SEC approval to issue interest-bearing stablecoin - The move is a novel attempt at creating a new class of stablecoins with federal legitimacy, and if successful, Figure will be offering the first stablecoin regulated as a security in the US. Read more

Credit card debt is up—and it’s taking longer to pay down - From fuel and groceries to hotels and airline tickets, consumers are putting more purchases on credit cards—and taking longer to pay them off. The four biggest U.S. banks reported higher credit card spending in 2023 compared with the previous year. Read more

The T+1 train will soon hit markets - A big change is coming early this year in the way US markets operate, with a shift to a shorter settlement cycle for trades in stocks, bonds and exchange traded funds. Most US settlements will move from T+2, or two business days after the trade is agreed, to T+1. This is very important for the future health of markets and a step long sought after by regulators, lowering trading costs and making the settlement of trades much more efficient and reliable. Read more

Chinese fintech giant Ant Group sets up AI unit led by former Google researcher - Ant's increased AI efforts come at a time when most major Chinese tech companies are investing in large language models (LLMs) - the technology that underpins ChatGPT and similar AI chatbots - and exploring ways to boost growth through innovations in the area. Read more

CFPB proposes banning NSF fees on declined real-time payments - Under the proposed rule, financial institutions would be prohibited from charging NSF fees on transactions such as declined debit card purchases, ATM withdrawals and some peer-to-peer payments. Read more

63% of financial advice on TikTok is misleading, one study found. Users love it anyway - One of the issues that makes advice on social media so challenging is that platforms are designed to elicit emotions and provoke immediate responses—neither of which are helpful reactions when it comes to financial decisions. Read more

There have been 40,000 pre-orders for the second Solana Mobile device - Solana Mobile announced that the pre-orders for its second-generation mobile phones have exceeded 40,000. Read more

Terraform Labs files for bankruptcy protection in US - Singapore-based Terraform Labs, in a filing with the bankruptcy court in Delaware, listed assets and liabilities in the range of $100-$500m. Terraform Labs said it would meet all financial obligations to employees and vendors during the Chapter 11 case without requiring additional financing. It also plans to continue Web3 offerings expansion. Read more

What recession? Growth ended up accelerating in 2023 - The U.S. economy grew 3.1% over the last year capped by a fourth quarter in which the economy grew at 3.3%, defying projections of a recession as a resilient labor market supported strong consumer spending. Read more

Mastercard says virtual cards bring speed and security to B2B healthcare transactions - Mastercard noted that virtual card solutions provide better data for reconciling claims and payments, enabling providers to streamline their accounts receivable process. This has drastically helped speed and transparency in the healthcare market for them. Read more

Klarna CEO signals IPO in US may happen ‘quite soon’ - The CEO pointed out that the US is a natural choice for an initial public offering given that it is the firm’s largest market by revenue. Speculation has been rife about when and where Klarna will IPO, with the UK and its home market of Sweden being other potential possibilities for a listing. Read more

Select Financings

Alinia Invest - New York based wealth management app aimed at Gen Z women raised $3.4m in Seed funding led by F7 Ventures. Read more

Ansel - New York based supplemental insurance company raised $20m in new funding led by Portage. Read more

Axyon AI - Italy based asset management AI company raised €3.9m in new funding led by Montage Ventures. Read more

Bankflip - Spain based regulatory data collection and document processing company for financial services businesses raised €2.6m in pre-Seed funding led by JME. Read more

BillingPlatform - Denver based enterprise revenue lifecycle management company raised $90m in growth funding led by FTV Capital. Read more

BlinkSky - Atlanta based platform for managing gift and prepaid card programs raised $1.5m in pre-Seed funding led by undisclosed investors. Read more

Bluesheets - Singapore based AI-powered financial data company raised $6.5m in Series A funding led by Illuminate Financial. Read more

Clerk - San Francisco based user authentication platform raised $30m in Series B funding led by CRV. Read more

Krepling - Nashville based e-commerce channel management platform raised $3.3m in Seed finding led by Bull City Venture Partners. Read more

ModernFi - New York based deposit management firm for banks raised $18.7m in Series A funding led by Canapi Ventures. Read more

Ozone API - UK based open banking API platform raised £8.5m in Series A funding led by Gresham House Ventures. Read more

Polymer Labs - New York based ethereum interoperability hub raised $23m in Series A funding led by Blockchain Capital. Read more

Naq - Netherlands based automated compliance platform raised €3m in Seed funding led by No Such Ventures. Read more

Safty - Denmark based consumer insights startup for banks raised $1.7m in pre-Seed funding led by Upfin. Read more

Sequence - Israel based consumer dashboard and routing system for financial accounts raised $5.5m in Seed funding led by Aleph. Read more

Sygnum - Switzerland based digital asset bank raised $40m in Series C funding led by Azimut Holding. Read more

TravelPerk - Boston based corporate spend and travel company raised $104m in growth funding led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. Read more

Vivifi India Finance - India based credit decisioning and loan management company raised $75m in Series B funding led by undisclosed investors. Read more

WealthKernel - London based wealth management company raised a £6m Series A extension led by ETFS Capital. Read more


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