Playing Permanent Hooky


May 08, 2023


Cindy Grazer


May 08, 2023


Cindy Grazer


The public and private sector alike are walking a fine line when it comes to time allocation to work.

Europe was the first to make headlines this year, first with the 4 Day Week Campaign in Britain pushing for a 32-hour week. President Macron soon went on to evoke the opposite sentiment in France with his controversial decision to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64.

Most recently though, the topic is gaining traction in Latin America. In Mexico most labor contracts are currently six days with only one day of respite – making the time allocation woes of Americans, Brits, and other neighbors seem like peanuts in comparison.

A proposal to guarantee two days of mandatory rest per week has sparked a national debate on labor relations in Mexico this week. More than 25m people, or 44% of the country reports working 6 days a week, with Mexico (along with Argentina, Peru, and Costa Rica) leading the region in working hours – at 48. That’s not to mention the 2-4 hours in commuting time that most must factor in.

On the flip side, the economic impact is on everyone’s mind. In Mexico reports have quantified this decision as a $20m cost. Meanwhile, the UK’s campaign participants say: “the economy doesn’t need us to be working five days a week anymore. It was 100 years ago, the shift to a five-day week, and the economy’s transformed since then.”

The headline that nearly all employees at companies taking part in the UK’s 4-day workweek trial reported a better work-life balance is common sense at best. Instead, there may be a bit more profound question that evaluators should be asking – like what will the impact be on regional and global competitiveness if adopted at large? Or better yet, can ChatGTP help workers continue to accomplish what previously would have taken them five workdays rather than four?

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Portfolio News

Octane launches Prequal Flex™, digital soft pull tool that can instantly prequalify consumers anywhere dealers market their products - Prequal Flex is a dedicated webpage that is unique to a specific dealership and allows consumers to quickly and easily prequalify for financing. Since Prequal Flex uses Octane's proprietary soft pull technology, consumers can understand their buying power without impacting their credit until a contract is generated. Read more

Where will Moneylion Inc (ML) stock go next after it has gained 36.67% in a week? - Moneylion Inc (ML) stock has gained 11.15% while the S&P 500 is lower by -1.12% as of 3:40 PM on Tuesday, May 2. ML has risen $1.26 from the previous closing price of $11.30 on volume of 73,278 shares. Read more

Tune into CapIntel's conversation on leveraging ESG and climate data - On May 16th at 1:00 pm EDT CapIntel and MSCI Inc. will come together to dive deeper into the objectives of ESG and Climate data and share ways to have more informed and impactful client conversations. Read more

Playgrounds launches flagship product, Subgrounds - Through Subgrounds, Playgrounds is revolutionizing the data supply chain -- enabling devs, businesses, and DAOs to access & leverage the data they need using simple & reliable integration tools. Read more

MetaStreet announces new primitive in NFT lending - Metastreet announced this week a new primitive in NFT lending and a new product, the Automatic Tranche Maker. The MetaStreet ATM is a new primitive in NFT lending market design that utilizes user-defined tranches within a broader pool of capital to enable economies of scale. This design is the first of its kind in NFT lending, as the protocol is entirely permissionless, oracleless, and promotes capital efficiency, unlike other offerings in the space today. Read more

Playing Permanent Hooky

Four-day week: ‘major breakthrough’ as most UK firms in trial extend changes - Of the 61 companies that entered the six-month trial, 56 have extended the four-day week, including 18 who have made it permanent. The UK pilot, which kicked off last June, has been promoted by 4 Day Week Global, a not-for-profit organization founded in New Zealand, and overseen by the think tank Autonomy and a team of academics. Read more

How many days a week do you work? A proposal in Mexico seeks to shorten one of the longest journeys in the world - In a country where most labor contracts are for six days, the measure to guarantee two days off is gaining popularity, but employers are concerned about its economic impact. Read more

Industry News

First Republic Bank is seized, sold to JPMorgan in second-largest U.S. bank failure - JPMorgan said it will assume all of First Republic’s $92b in deposits—insured and uninsured. It is also buying most of the bank’s assets, including about $173b in loans and $30b in securities. As part of the agreement, the FDIC will share losses with JPMorgan on First Republic’s loans. Read more

Revolut takes on Nubank with Brazil launch and LatAm push - Revolut has launched in its first country in Latin America, offering a multi-currency account and crypto investments in Brazil, which is Latin America’s largest market for financial services, a key corridor for the large remittances market, as well as an increasingly digital population. However, Revolut has tough competition in the region. Read more

FDIC plans to hit big banks with fees to refill Deposit Insurance Fund - The US is poised to exempt smaller lenders from kicking in extra money to replenish the government’s bedrock deposit insurance fund, and instead saddle the biggest banks with much of the bill. The DIF, as the fund is known, is a linchpin of the US financial system as it’s used to insure most accounts for up to $250,000. It’s refilled by all insured banks paying quarterly fees known as assessments. Read more

Reimagining the future of finance - Fintech revenues are projected to reach $1.5t by 2030, according to a new report from Boston Consulting Group and QED Investors. Despite last year's turbulence, analysts remain bullish on the fintech industry and expect it to pick up a significant share of global financial services revenue by the end of the decade, with fintech revenues projected to grow sixfold over that time period. Read more

Microsoft has teamed up with GoDaddy, PayPal, and Stripe to offer in-app payments in Teams - Microsoft is launching a payments system inside Microsoft Teams that lets small businesses earn money from things like appointments, classes, one-on-one sessions, and webinars. Read more

The Kingdom Of Bhutan has been quietly mining bitcoin for years - Discussions around Bhutan’s efforts to develop sovereign mining operations have been occurring since 2020, as Bhutan sought to harness the country’s hydroelectric plants to power racks of mining machines that solve complex mathematical problems in order to earn bitcoin rewards. Once completed, this would make Bhutan one of the only countries to run a state-owned mine, alongside El Salvador. Read more

The dangers of letting AI loose on finance - As economists and financiers rush to use AI, concerns about whether they understand it should also be considered. Currently, it's believed that a few generative AI giants will be the base of the market. That means a bug in the system could poison the well — or create self-reinforcing market swings as multiple financial businesses use the same base. Read more

Former OpenSea employee convicted in first NFT insider trading case - A 32-year-old former product manager at OpenSea has been found guilty of fraudulently purchasing non-fungible tokens he knew would sharply increase in value, in the first conviction for what prosecutors described as insider trading of digital assets. Read more

Greenwood acquires mobile banking platform Kinly to bring together two of the largest black-owned fintech startups - The acquisition, Greenwood's 3rd over the last year, will help grow the company's ecosystem of over 1m members and provide Kinly’s community of over 300,000 with priority access to Greenwood’s unique, comprehensive financial product that emphasizes community building and wealth creation for Black and brown people. Read more

US weighs more business deposit insurance after banks fail - The FDIC said in its report that switching to a “targeted coverage” approach, where business accounts get more coverage than the current cap, would be the best option for financial stability. Such a change, however, would require congressional action. Other options include maintaining coverage as is, or switching to cover all deposits, the FDIC said. Read more

Coinbase launches international perps exchange — starting with 5x leverage - Coinbase plans to let international users trade perpetual futures out of Bermuda through a new platform. Dubbed Coinbase International Exchange, the platform touts a robust trading experience delivered in partnership with a number of external market makers ready to provide liquidity, as well as a liquidation framework that “meets rigorous compliance standards,” and comes amid a bitter tussle between the company and regulators in the U.S., its home market. Read more

Select Financings

Advance Intelligence Group - Singapore based fintech company powering BNPL lender Atome raised $80m in growth funding led by Warburg Pincus. Read more

Aligned - Tel Aviv based B2B buyer-seller network raised $6m in Seed funding led by Hetz Ventures. Read more

Frost - England based e-wallet provider raised £2m in new funding from a crowdfunding campaign. Read more

InvestorHub - Melbourne based shareholder engagement platform raised $4m in new funding led by EVP. Read more

Kiwi - India based credit card platform raised $6m in pre-Seed funding led by Nexus Venture Partners. Read more

Kreditz - Sweden based credit scoring and verification service raised €10m in new funding led by Ingka Investments. Read more

Liquido - Mountain View based payments company for Latin America raised $26m in new funding from Index Ventures, Base Partners, Restive Ventures, Mantis VC, and UpHonest Capital. Read more

Nomba - Nigeria based payment services company raised $30m in pre-Series B funding led by Base10 Partners. Read more

Novidea - Israel based insurance policy and distribution platform raised $50m in Series C funding led by Battery Ventures. Read more

Setscale - Miami based purchase order financing platform raised $9.5m in Seed funding from Fin Capital, Great Oaks, Mantis, WndrCo, Ethos, and Jaws. Read more

Slash - San Francisco based online banking platform aimed at solo entrepreneurs raised $19m in Seed and Series A funding led by NEA. Read more

Tarabut Gateway - Saudi Arabia based open banking company raised $32m in Series A funding led by Pinnacle Capital. Read more


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