Oi...Lend Us A Tenner


Apr 30, 2022


Cindy Grazer


Apr 30, 2022


Cindy Grazer


As inflation rises and stimulus checks run dry, millions more Americans are borrowing money from friends and family than they were a year ago. According to the Census Bureau’s survey, about 25.6m people relied on loans from someone close to them over the past year, up from 19.1m the year prior. That’s about 10% of all adults.

Making up the broadest share of the borrowing pie were millennials — and although almost 40m households in the U.S. are headed by that generation, they hold just 6.4% of national wealth, as compared to their boomer counterparts, who hold over half of it. The stratification between millennials and boomers can be explained by a number of factors, including rising inflation (which is now leading to even more unaffordable housing), student debt, and for many, entering the workforce during a financial crisis. This compares to Boomers, who entered the home-buying stage of life, for example, when housing was affordable, and has generally been an appreciating asset.

While many experienced an increase in wealth due to the bull market of the past 10+ years, Boomers have still benefited the most (leaving aside a select handful of YOLOers). And now taking into account the recent equity sell-off, coupled with the highest inflation levels in 40 years, all is certainly not well for the younger generations of American consumers.

Millennials often get a bad rap, but they are, in large part, the generation who are responsible for some of the most disruptive fintech start-ups out there today that are trying to tackle the problem (globally). Keep building!

Oi...Lend Us A Tenner

Portfolio News

Women Who Roar podcast series episode 4: The weird & wonderful world of crypto - Episode 4 produced in collaboration with FinTech Collective and MoneyLion is live! In this episode we focus on the weird and wonderful world of crypto - discussing things like why there is so much interest, what exactly is an NFT, and how it is one of the weirdest, wildest, most inclusive branches of finance. Parker Jay-Pachirat, Head of Community at FinTech Collective and a member of the firm's DeFi team gives her insight into this new emerging digital space. Click the link to listen or watch the full episode now! Read more

Minka raises $24m from Tiger, Kaszek to help move money more quickly across LatAm - Congratulations to portfolio company Minka on this most recent round of funding. Minka is an open network that aims to allow organizations such as banks and clearinghouses to “publish” and move money in real time by exposing their “closed, outdated core systems” to the web - and in its home country of Colombia, the startup has already had an impact. It partnered with ACH Colombia to work on The Transfiya project, which includes direct read and write API access to 80% of the accounts in the country. This makes it the largest open banking project in the region. Read more

Graph Day & Graph Hack 2022 - Portfolio company The Graph is hosting ~700 builders from around the world and expecting over 2k attendees, with top founders, developers, VCs and media uniting to shape the future of web3. It will be a fantastic networking and hiring opportunity. Graph Day will take place on June 2 at the historic Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, followed by the Graph Hack from June 3-5. All the ticketing info you need is here. Use code: GraphFintech for a special discounted price. Read more

OpenSea acquires NFT aggregator Gem - Gem lets you buy and sell NFTs across multiple marketplaces and makes it easier to sweep the floor of an NFT collection (that is buy a range of the lower end of the collection). Following the acquisition, Gem will continue to operate as a standalone brand. Read more

Early-stage VC Antler opens first Latam office in Sao Paulo - Antler, which is based in Singapore, is opening its first office in Latin America as the region keeps attracting record capital volumes. Marcelo Ciampolini, an engineer who worked for banks and founded an online lending company in Brazil, will head the Brazilian office. Antler typically finances the opening of startups for a 10% share in the new company and is expected to invest up to $50m in pre-operational startups in Brazil over the next five years. Read more

Oi...Lend Us A Tenner

Inflation forces budget-squeezed Americans to ask family and friends for loans - Some 25.6m people -- more than 10% of all adults -- relied on loans from those close to them to meet spending needs, according to the Census Bureau’s latest Household Pulse survey of finances, which covered the period from March 30 to April 11. That figure was up from 19.1m a year earlier, when the question was first asked. Read more

Warnings appear in household finances - A recent survey by the Census Bureau raises questions as to how sustainable robust consumer spending really is — and just how vulnerable many Americans may be as their pandemic savings and other sources of cash run out. Read more

Industry News

Fidelity to allow retirement savers to put bitcoin in 401(k) accounts - Under the plan, Fidelity would let savers allocate as much as 20% of their nest eggs to bitcoin, though that threshold could be lowered by plan sponsors. The new offering would be limited to bitcoin initially, but other digital assets are expected to be made available in the future. Read more

MercadoLibre aims to ‘democratize finance’ with payments app - MercadoPago, the smartphone payment app provided by MercadoLibre, has fast become one of the most lucrative parts of the business. The fintech unit has tapped into the millions of Latin Americans who remain poorly banked — as many as half of all adults — by offering an easy-to-use alternative. Payments totalling $77b went through the app last year — a 55% increase on 2020. Read more

Cryptocurrency firms push back against proposal to police treasury markets - The rule, proposed by the SEC in January, would expand the agency’s definition of an exchange to include a broader array of communication systems that enable prospective buyers and sellers of securities to find each other. Such entities would have to register with the SEC either as exchanges akin to the New York Stock Exchange, or as a category of broker-dealers called alternative trading systems, or ATSs, which perform exchange-like functions but face lighter regulations. Read more

PayPal CEO says firm to 'double down' on digital wallet efforts - PayPal president and CEO Dan Schulman cited several statistics as the rationale: more than 50% of the PayPal base uses the company’s digital wallet, customers who use the digital wallet transact 25% more at checkout than users who don’t, and over 70% of BNPL users did it through the firm’s digital wallet. Read more

WhatsApp follows Google in giving cash-back rewards to win payments users in India - The Meta-owned instant messaging service is running a campaign as part of which it is giving away about 11 Indian rupees, or 14 cents, up to three times to users if they send money to three different people on the app. The move should help WhatsApp accelerate its efforts to make inroads in India’s mobile payments market, which is currently dominated by Google and Walmart-backed PhonePe. Read more

Cross-border real-time payments pilot launched by EBA, SWIFT, TCH - The three private sector firms owned by member banks are developing the pilot as part of their immediate cross-border (IXB) initiative to enable faster, smoother global money transfers by tapping options available in domestic payments. The initial proof of concept was finished last October with input from seven banks. Eleven financial institutions participated in the design of the system. Read more

Crypto mortgages let homebuyers keep bitcoin, put down nothing - Crypto mortgages are the latest example of the deepening role of digital coins in the U.S. real estate market, with property buyers and lenders alike embracing the volatile currencies to underpin deals for hard assets. Last year, Fannie Mae started allowing borrowers to use crypto for their down payments. Read more

Archegos founder Bill Hwang, former CFO charged with securities fraud - Archegos collapsed in March 2021, leaving banks with more than $10b in losses and sparking calls for more regulatory oversight. More than $100b in stock market value vanished in a matter of days. The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York described the purported scheme as historic in scope, alleging that defendants and their co-conspirators lied to banks to obtain billions of dollars in loans, which they then used to inflate the stock price of publicly traded companies. Read more

Robinhood to lay off 9% of full-time employees - In a blog post, CEO Vlad Tenev described the company’s last two years as hyper growth accelerated by several factors including pandemic lockdowns, low interest rates, and fiscal stimulus. To meet customer and market demands, headcount grew by almost 6X from 700 to nearly 3800 in that time period. But like any company, with growth like that comes more job openings to manage that growth, which then ended up with some roles and job functions that were duplicated, he wrote. Read more

Dorsey’s Block takes swipe at Canada banks with loans service - Block is expanding its small-business loans service to Canada, bringing it into more direct competition with the country’s big banks. The program, known as Square Loans, will make offers to eligible users and deliver funds as soon as the next day. The loans come with one upfront fee, and borrowers pay the money back over time as a set percentage of daily card sales with Square. Read more

Goldman offers its first bitcoin-backed loan in crypto push - The secured lending facility lent cash collateralized by Bitcoin owned by the borrower, a spokeswoman for the bank said. The deal was interesting to Goldman because of its structure and 24-hour risk management. Read more

Select Financings

0x Labs - San Francisco based maker of a decentralized exchange protocol raised $70m in Series B funding led by Greylock Partners. Read more

Afriex - Nigeria based payments startup raised $10m in Series A funding led by Dragonfly Capital, Sequoia Capital and Stellar. Read more

Argent - London based DeFi wallet startup raised $40m in Series B funding led by Fabric Ventures and Metaplanet. Read more

Copper - Seattle based banking and crypto investing app for teens raised $29m in Series A funding led by Fiat Ventures. Read more

CoreChain Technologies - New Haven based B2B blockchain payments network raised $4.2m in Seed funding led by Ulu Ventures. Read more

Finbots.AI - Singapore based credit scoring firm raised $3m in Series A funding led by Accel. Read more

HomePace - Park City based home equity financing startup raised $7m in Series A funding led by LEN X. Read more

JustiFi - Minneapolis based fintech and payments company focused on Saas raised $4m in Seed funding led by Crosslink Capital. Read more

Kard - New York based credit card reward startup raised $23m in Series A funding led by Tiger Global. Read more

Leasecake - Orlando based lease and location management software provider raised $12m in Series A funding led by PeakSpan Capital. Read more

Ondo Finance - New York based DeFi investment bank raised a $20m in Series A funding led by Founders Fund and Pantera Capital. Read more

Our Happy Company - Singapore and US based NFT company raised $7.5m in Seed funding led by Infinity Ventures Crypto and Animoca Brands. Read more

Outfund - UK based alternative financing startup raised £115m in Series A funding led by Force Over Mass, PostFinance, 1818 Venture Capital and Tribe Capital. Read more

PROOF - US based Web 3 media startup raised $10m in new funding led by 776 Ventures. Read more

Rain - Bahrain based startup providing corporate credit cards for DAOs raised $6m in Seed funding led by Lightspeed Venture Partners. Read more

Starling Bank - UK based challenger bank raised £130.5m in new funding led by Goldman Sachs. Read more

Streamlined - Oakland based invoicing and payments startup raised $3m in Seed funding led by Greycroft and SignalFire. Read more

Symmetrical.ai - UK based payroll tech provider raised $18.5m in Series A funding led by Target Global. Read more

Taxfix - Berlin based tax filing startup raised $220m in Series D funding led by Teachers’ Venture Growth. Read more

TheGuarantors - New York based startup providing insurance and financing options for the rental market raised $50m in Series C funding led by Portage Ventures. Read more

Tonic - DeFi platform on NEAR raised $5m in Seed funding led by Electric Capital. Read more

Turtlemint - India based insurtech platform raised $120m in Series E funding led by Amansa Capital, Jungle Ventures and Nexus Venture Partners. Read more

Vanilla - Los Angeles based estate and wealth management platform raised $30m in Series B funding led by Insight Partners. Read more

Venly - Belgium based crypto firm for e-commerce and gaming companies raised $23m in Series A funding led by Courtside Ventures. Read more

Vertex Protocol - San Francisco based decentralized derivatives trading protocol raised $8.5m in Seed funding led by Hack VC and Dexterity Capital. Read more

Zenda - UAE based school billing startup raised $9.4m in Seed funding led by STV and COTU Ventures. Read more


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.