Posted In:

Banking, Payments, AI

Power To The People?


Jul 10, 2023


Sarah Parsons Wolter

Posted In:

Banking, Payments, AI


Jul 10, 2023


Sarah Parsons Wolter


The ‘great resignation’ appears to be coming to an end. The New York Times reported that the rate at which employees voluntarily leave their jobs has fallen significantly in the past few months. In 2022, more than 50m workers quit their jobs in the US, a record number that beats the prior high in 2021 of 48m. Tightness in the labor market meant that prospects of funding new jobs were high, and employers competed to raise wages to retain talent. But that appears to be changing.

The uncertain macroeconomic environment so far in 2023 has induced global layoffs and declines in hiring, as well as increases in job searches. On LinkedIn, in the US, the number of job applications per applicant has increased 35% year-on-year, while the UK saw +38% year-on-year. At the same time, in May 2023 hiring on LinkedIn is -22% year-on-year, particularly in technology, information and media. As a result, leverage has started to shift back to employers as wage growth slows.

The shifting dynamics in the labor market is often measured via federal and payroll data, and has significant consequences for savings levels, retirement planning and much more. While it remains debatable whether compensation gains made by workers during the great resignation will persist into less certain macroeconomic environments, the tools and infrastructure for access to financial literacy and management should continue to improve. No calling quits on that.

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Portfolio News

Termii teams up with Truecaller to revolutionize mobile business communication in Africa - The partnership aims to fortify the commitment to the African business landscape by officially launching the Termii mobile platform “TermiiGo” and introducing the Truecaller Verified Business solution within the mobile platform. African businesses can streamline their operations, improve connection, and offer an unmatched client experience thanks to TermiiGo, a feature-rich platform that was created exclusively for them. Read more

MoneyLion Teams Up with A.I. Ben Franklin to Declare the Summer of Financial Freedom - Moneylion is using the power of A.I. to bring back Benjamin Franklin to raise awareness around financial freedom while surprising select social media followers who participate in its latest brand campaign, “Financial Freedom”, that will run from July 5th to August 14th. Read more

Power To The People?

The ‘Great Resignation’ is over. Can workers’ power endure? - The furious pace of job-switching in recent years has led to big gains for low-wage workers. But the pendulum could be swinging back toward employers. Read more

Workers’ grip is slipping, despite job market’s resilience - While countries like the U.S., UK, Canada, India, Ireland, and Singapore show more signs of slack as labor market tightness gradually approaches pre-pandemic levels, several European nations continue to face tighter conditions compared to their pre-pandemic baseline. This cooling trend suggests a potential shift in the balance of power. Read more

Industry News

Nine British banks sign up to new AI tool for tackling scams - Mastercard is selling a new artificial intelligence-powered tool that helps banks more effectively spot if their customers are trying to send money to fraudsters. Trained on years of transaction data, the tool helps to predict whether someone is trying to transfer funds to an account affiliated with “authorized push payment scams.” Read more

Goldman is looking for a way out of its partnership with Apple - The Wall Street firm is in talks with American Express to take over its Apple credit card and other ventures with the tech giant, according to people familiar with the matter. A retreat from Apple and credit cards would effectively end Goldman’s consumer-lending business, and would also seal the fate of Goldman’s grand plans to become a full-service bank. Read more

Crypto miners seek a new life in AI boom after an implosion in mining - The boom in demand for high-end chips powering the rise of artificial intelligence has given new life to some of the survivors of the last tech-hype cycle: cryptocurrency miners. The demand for such processors has skyrocketed with the viral success of ChatGPT, and the resulting shortage has sparked a competition to capture computing power and find workarounds. Read more

Bank of England considers forcing foreign banks to replace branches with subsidiaries - Subsidiaries enable local regulators to seize control of failing banks rather than leaving their fate to the discretion of their parents’ supervisors. But compelling more banks to set up such units is likely to be unpopular with the industry, since full-blown subsidiaries are more expensive than merely maintaining branches in the UK. Read more

Private equity firm GTCR buys majority stake valuing Worldpay at $18.5b - FIS will receive upfront, net proceeds of about $11.7b and retain a non-controlling 45% ownership interest in the new standalone joint venture. The valuation includes $1b contingent on returns realized by GTCR. The deal is a part of a turnaround plan crafted by Stephanie Ferris, FIS’s newly installed chief executive officer. Read more

The checking account war is over - 14% of Americans have opened a new checking account this year, according to a survey from Cornerstone Advisors. Read more

America’s retirees are investing more like 30-year-olds - Nearly half of Vanguard 401(k) investors actively managing their money and over age 55 held more than 70% of their portfolios in stocks. In 2011, 38% did so. Read more

North Carolina reps suggest adding Bitcoin, gold to state Treasury - North Carolina lawmakers are considering investments in Bitcoin and gold as a way to bolster the southern state’s coffers, passing a bill on Wednesday that would fund a study of digital assets and precious metals. Read more

Seven top investment firms using AI for asset management - From automated analysis of recent earnings-report data to analyzing relationships between stocks and market indicators – and a whole lot more – AI as an asset management tool is emerging as a powerful way for investment firms to meet market performance goals and land more clients. Read more

With the chip shortage fading, in-car payments gain speed - JPMorgan is offering a sandbox for clients to develop new use cases for in-car commerce and application programming interfaces to connect a car's technology to the client's infrastructure. Read more

Bittrex mimics Coinbase, argues SEC lacks authority to apply securities laws to crypto - Bittrex is seeking to dismiss SEC charges alleging that the now-shuttered exchange listed unregistered securities on its platform. “The SEC lacks the ‘clear congressional authorization’ required to apply the securities laws to tokens,” Bittrex argued. Read more

Select Financings

Abound - San Francisco based app powering remittances to India raised $10m in new funding led by The Times Group. Read more

AlloyX - California based real-world asset vault raised $2m in pre-Seed funding led by Hack VC. Read more

Bitkub - Thailand based cryptocurrency exchange raised $17.8m in new funding led by Asphere Innovations. Read more

Clair - New York based digital bank offering earned wage advances raised $25m in new funding led by Thrive Capital. Read more

Dougs - Lyon based online chartered accounting service for small and medium-sized businesses raised €25m in new funding led by Expedition Growth Capital. Read more

Moove - Ghana based mobility fintech company offering vehicle financing raised $8m in new funding led by Absa. Read more

Numarics - Zurich based provider of automated accounting and administration solutions for SMEs raised €10.2m in Seed funding led by UBS Next. Read more

Revcast - Raleigh based revops platform raised $3m in Seed funding led by CRV. Read more

Statement - London based payments marketplace for small businesses raised $1.9m in pre-Seed funding led by Northzone. Read more

Steadily - Oregon based digital insurance platform for landlords raised $28.5m in Series B funding led by Zigg Capital. Read more

Tandem - UK based challenger bank offering "green lending" raised £20m in growth funding led by Quilam Capital. Read more

Topkey - San Francisco based expense management platform for property managers raised $5m in Seed funding led by Felicis Ventures. Read more

VersiFi - New York based prime services platform for digital assets raised an undisclosed amount of Seed funding led by The Hunting Hill Group. Read more


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