Posted In:

Industry, US, Financings

Tell Me How You Really Feel


Jan 15, 2024


Cindy Grazer

Posted In:

Industry, US, Financings


Jan 15, 2024


Cindy Grazer


As Americans, we may not be the most logical bunch, and our actions often reinforce this. This is what makes the Axios “Vibes” report so relevant – it’s often not the cold, hard data that determine how Americans vote, but rather how they feel.

The latest Vibes check reveals that nearly 9 in 10 Americans believe gas, groceries, and housing - not stocks - are the real economic indicators they care about, with 6 in 10 participants saying they are “triggered” when going to the grocery store. Nonetheless, spending has continued to trend upward. Polls capture good old American entitlement with the consumer sentiment that they should not be responsible for reigning in their spending, but rather, the US government is to blame for their need to spend more to maintain the same quality of life.

To make matters worse for many of these consumers feeling the financial stress of day to day life, federal student loan payments have resumed after a prolonged COVID-induced pause. Delay times to speak to support staff have jumped from 12 minutes to 70, a third of income driven payment plan applications remain pending for more than a month without resolution, and as the cherry on top, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has also noted inaccurate bills. Talk about having to double check your cheque!

Portfolio News

Reorg accelerates expansion of market-leading credit intelligence and technology solutions with acquisition of LoansIntel - Reorg, a global provider of credit data, analysis and intelligence, announced today that it has acquired LoansIntel, a credit research and workflow solution for private loan and high-yield issuers. Read more

Avalaunch and GoGoPool partner to launch Bloom, a framework for decentralizing subnets - Avalaunch (of Avalanche) and GoGoPool are excited to introduce Bloom, an open framework allowing Subnet builders to attract validators and delegators to decentralize their networks programmatically. Read more

Revert Finance launches new lending protocol Revert Lend - AMM liquidity management protocol Revert Finance has announced the launch of Revert Lend, a new lending protocol designed for liquidity providers on Uniswap v3. Read more

PortX and Plaid partner to fast-track data access for financial institutions - PortX announced a strategic partnership with Plaid to expand capabilities for connecting data between applications and bank accounts. Read more

STFX launches integration with Vertex Protocol - STFX completed its most significant integration yet, partnering with Vertex Protocol to offer 75% lower fees, over 30 assets, deeper liquidity, and upgraded performance. Read more

Tell Me How You Really Feel

Axios Vibes: America's unhappiest people - Why it matters: It's not what voters see — the economy's improving with rising wages and low unemployment. It's how they feel that could tank President Biden in November. Read more

CFPB says student loan servicers may be violating consumer protection laws - The CFPB has been monitoring borrowers’ experience and recently published its findings: long wait times, application processing delays, and inaccurate billing statements. Read more

Industry News

Carta, a key Silicon Valley player for startups, stumbles, prompting customers to consider competitors - The company recently faced backlash for combining its cap table and secondary sales businesses and has since announced winding down the later. Carta reportedly reached out to investors of three companies about selling shares without permission or notification – and did little to resolve multiple repeated breaches. Multiple other startups have come out on social media voicing similar transgressions. Read more

FTX creditors seek ‘in-kind’ crypto repayments instead of 2022 low prices - Several FTX clients have requested a US bankruptcy judge prevent the defunct crypto exchange from valuing their cryptocurrency deposits based on 2022 prices. They argue that FTX’s approach is hindering them from capitalizing on the recent rise in crypto prices. Read more

Banks say 2023 was the peak after $250b interest haul - Leaders at some of Wall Street’s biggest banks took turns calling an end to the record run for their biggest source of revenue. Wells Fargo surprised analysts by predicting a 9% slide in net interest income for 2024, while Citi forecasted a modest decline this year. Read more

Bitcoin X hack an ‘embarrassment’ for cyber security-conscious SEC - Regulator faces calls from lawmakers to explain how its account became ‘compromised’ in market-moving mishap. Read more

The Fed launched a bank rescue program last year. Now, banks are gaming it - Borrowing from the Fed’s bank term funding program has increased to new highs in recent weeks, a strange consequence of the market’s flip to forecasting multiple Fed rate cuts over the coming 12 months. Read more

Can retirees keep splurging? Don't count on it - Older Americans’ spending has been helped by a healthy increase in Social Security incomes, but this year’s boost will be much smaller. Last year, Social Security recipients saw an 8.7% cost-of-living adjustment, the highest increase in four decades, but this year will see an increase below 3%. Read more

Fox Corp launches blockchain platform to negotiate with AI firms - Fox Corp, one of the largest media companies in the U.S., has publicly debuted a new blockchain platform called Verify to help media companies track how their content is being used online. Read more

The insurance market is healing - Higher prices and lower interest rates are drawing more capital into reinsurance. Insuring the risk of catastrophic hurricanes and earthquakes risk probably isn’t getting cheaper, but at least there might be more coverage coming to relieve the troubled insurance market. Read more

X: transforming the global town square - X plans to launch peer-to-peer payments in 2024. The company stated this will unlock more user utility and new opportunities for commerce, and showcase the power of living more of users' life in one place. Read more

Crypto firms introduce risk assessments and finance tests in response to strict new rules in UK - Amid new compliance laws, some cryptocurrency exchanges are asking UK users to fill out risk assessments and questionnaires related to their financial knowledge. Read more

Coinbase exploring licensing to expand access to derivatives in the EU - Coinbase is seeking to acquire a Markets in Financial Institutions Directive ("MiFID") licensed entity to expand its derivatives offering in the EU. Read more

Revolut could face million dollar damages after biometric data lawsuit - Revolut could face millions of dollars in damages after being hit by allegations of illegally collecting, storing and using its customers’ biometric data in a fresh lawsuit filed in the US. Read more

Select Financings

AbbeyCross - London based wholesale FX company raised $6.5m in Seed funding led by Valar Ventures. Read more

Bracket Labs - Panama based volatility trading company raised $2m in pre Seed funding led by Binance Labs. Read more

Cleva - Nigeria based banking company raised $1.5m in pre Seed funding led by 1984 Ventures. Read more

Conta Simples - Brazil based expense management company raised $41.5m in Series B funding led by Base10Partners. Read more

DigitalOwl - New York based medical insurance technology company raised $12m in Series A funding led by Reinsurance Group of America. Read more

Finoa - Germany based crypto custodian company raised $15m in Series B funding led by Balderton Capital. Read more

Grip Invest - Delhi based fixed-income insurance technology company raised $10m in Series B funding led by Stride Ventures. Read more - Vienna based health insurance technology company raised €6m in Seed funding led by SpeedInvest. Read more

Karma Wallet - North Carolina based environmental finance company raised $2m in Seed funding led by Tweener Fund. Read more

Maalexi - United Arab Emirates based cross-border trade company raised $3m in Series A funding led by Global Ventures. Read more

NoahArk Tech Group - New York based decentralized trading company raised $2.4m in pre Seed funding led by EOS Network Ventures. Read more

Patchworks - London based e-commerce interaction company raised £2m in Series A funding led by Gresham House Ventures. Read more

Saros Finance - British Virgin Islands based payments and digital asset company raised $3.75m in new funding led by Solana Ventures. Read more

Rainbow - San Francisco based small business insurance technology company raised $12m in Seed funding led by Caffeinated Capital and Altai Ventures. Read more

Rivero - Switzerland based digital payments company raised $7m in Series A funding led by 6 Degrees Capital and Inference Partners. Read more

Umoja - Atlanta based digital asset hedging company raised $2m in pre Seed funding from investors including Quantstamp and Blockchain Founders Fund. Read more

Unbox - Belgian based value exchange company raised €12m in Series A funding led by HSBC Asset Management. Read more

Zilo - UK based asset and wealth management startup raised £25m in Series A funding led by Fidelity International Strategic Ventures and Portage. Read more


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