Posted In:

Lending, Payments, AI

Time For An Upgrade?


Feb 05, 2024


Cindy Grazer

Posted In:

Lending, Payments, AI


Feb 05, 2024


Cindy Grazer


In today's rapidly evolving technological landscape, the demand for expertise in outdated systems is unusual. However, this week a German railway company posted a job description for an IT administrator with knowledge of operating MS-DOS and Windows 3.11 to oversee their critical railway infrastructure.

The ongoing use of legacy operating systems is an approach seen in various industries. Airplane manufacturers, for instance, continue to use floppy disks to update avionics in older aircraft. Entertainment venues like Chuck E. Cheese used floppy disks for animatronic operations for years, and it wasn't until 2019 that the U.S. military decommissioned the IBM Series-1 computers from the 1970s, once central to nuclear weapons systems management.

This reliance on antiquated technology is not limited to the transportation and defense sectors. Numerous financial institutions also still depend on similarly outdated systems, incurring high maintenance costs and complicating compliance and operational risk management. A recent study from IDC Financial Insights forecasts global banks are on track to spend +$57bn on legacy payments technology by 2028. As the financial industry sees the rise of new OS and software solutions, it prompts one to question whether traditional financial institutions are prepared to fully transition to modern platforms, or if they, like the German railway, will continue to depend on legacy systems.

Regarding the job listing, its removal has sparked curiosity. We wonder whether the position was filled, if the search for a suitable candidate is still underway, or if the company was embarrassed. But for the moment, the German trains are still running on outdated infrastructure…

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Portfolio News

Constrafor celebrates dual recognition in ConTech and FinTech innovation - Constrafor proudly announces its prestigious recognition in two notable lists: the Top 50 2024 ConTech Startups by CEMEX Ventures and the FinTech Innovation Top 50 by GGV Capital, Crunchbase, and 44 other investment firms. These accolades are a testament to the hard work and progress made by Constrafor in merging technology and finance within the construction sector. Read more

Wealth Solutions Report announces second annual Wealth Exemplar Award winners - Congratulations to FTC portfolio company CapIntel on being named as one of the Practice Management Solutions Provider of the Year award winners. The highly selective award program honors enterprises and executives who have contributed to the wealth management industry on an exemplary basis, while recognizing significant transactions that both reflect and shape industry-wide trends. Read more

Property management is a slog. This Midtown startup may have the answer - FTC portfolio company Daisy was featured in Crain's “Chasing Giants” this week, where co-founder and CEO Yotam Cohen discusses how the property management industry is broken, and what Daisy is doing to disrupt it. Read more

Time For An Upgrade?

German railway seeks IT admin to manage MS-DOS and Windows 3.11 systems - Relying on ancient software for critical infrastructure may seem like a safety hazard, but it is quite the opposite. Legacy hardware and operating systems are battle tested, having been extensively probed and patched during their heyday. The same can be said for software written for these platforms – they have been refined to the point that they can execute their intended tasks without incident. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Read more

Wanted: Someone who remembers Windows 3.11 - A German railway is seeking an IT administrator to supervise critical railway infrastructure but who understands MS-DOS and Windows 3.11. It’s not just German railways that run on ancient tech: Some aircraft still use software that must be updated using 5.25” floppy disks, and the U.S. military used 1970s-era IBM computers in its nuclear program until 2019. Read more

Time For An Upgrade?

Generative AI seen as helping to identify M&A targets, Bain says - While only 16% out of a total of 306 M&A practitioners surveyed by the advisory firm said they have relied on generative AI for past deal making, 80% said they expect to deploy it in the coming three years, highlighting the scope for potential changes to how companies do deals. Read more

More tenants can now add rent payments to their credit score - About a third of American households rent, yet in most cases their credit score doesn’t reflect their on-time payments. That’s beginning to change. Renters can increasingly choose to have their timely monthly payments reported to the credit bureaus, with the goal of improving their credit profile to qualify for loans. Read more

TikTok tests feature that could make all videos shoppable - The new feature uses technology to identify objects in a video automatically. Then it encourages viewers to “find similar items on TikTok Shop” by clicking into a page of products. The new business is a top priority for TikTok, which aims to sell $17.5b worth of goods in the US this year. Read more

Apple Card users earned more than $1b in Daily Cash in 2023 - The tech giant also announced that Apple Card has topped more than 12m users, and that nearly 30% of Apple Card customers make two or more payments per month. Plus, more than 1m users are sharing the card via Family Sharing, and nearly 600,000 users are building credit equally with their spouses, partners or another adult. Read more

FTX plans to repay customers in full, drop exchange relaunch - Restructuring advisers have been tracking down assets and trying to untangle a complex web of debt owed to various creditors, including customers who put cash and crypto on the trading platform. FTX’s four largest affiliates together nearly doubled the group’s cash pile to $4.4b at the end of 2023 from about $2.3b in late October. Read more

Mastercard jumps into generative AI race with model it says can boost fraud detection by up to 300% - The company said that its new advanced AI model, Decision Intelligence Pro, will allow banks to better assess suspicious transactions on its network in real-time and determine whether they’re legitimate or not. Read more

A bank merger ‘mirage’ - The OCC plans to scrap a long-running practice of allowing some merger applications to be approved automatically after a comment period. The agency is pairing the change with guidance that indicates which transactions can expect to get timely approval, based on things like supervisory ratings, open enforcement actions and other compliance concerns. Read more

Indian central bank’s clampdown wipes $2.1b off Paytm - The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) this week widened its curbs on Paytm’s Payments Bank, which processes transactions for financial services giant Paytm, barring it from offering many banking services, including accepting fresh deposits and credit transactions across its services. In response, Paytm said it will terminate business with its affiliate and seek partnership with other banks. Read more

Select Financings

Attune - New York based bank customer engagement company formerly known as Lendsmart raised $2.2m in Seed funding led by Tribeca Early Stage Partners. Read more

Axiom - New York based smart contract infrastructure startup raised $20m in Series A funding led by Paradigm and Standard Crypto. Read more

BBO Exchange - Miami based decentralized derivative exchange raised $2.7m in Pre-Seed funding led by Hashed and Arrington Capital. Read more

Benepass - New York based startup helping businesses provide flexible benefits packages to employees raised $20m in new funding led by Portage and Clocktower Technology Ventures. Read more

Compa - California based compensation market data provider raised $10m in Series A funding led by Storm Ventures. Read more

Coris - California based provider of automated underwriting and risk infrastructure software raised $3.7m in Seed funding led by Lux Capital and Exponent Founders Capital. Read more

Crux Climate - New York based clean energy tax credit marketplace raised $18m in Series A funding led by Andreessen Horowitz. Read more

Cube.Exchange - Australia based hybrid crypto trading platform raised $12m in Series A funding led by 6th Man Ventures. Read more

DataSnipper - Netherlands based automation platform for accountants and auditors raised $100m in Series B funding led by Index Ventures. Read more

Finvest - San Francisco based app for investing in U.S. Treasury Bills raised $2.7m in new funding led by Bayhouse Capital. Read more

Incognia - Palo Alto based startup using precise location mapping to detect fraud raised $31m in Series B funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners. Read more

Indemn - New York based insurtech product configuration and underwriting platform raised $1.9m in Pre-Seed funding led by Markd. Read more

Integral - California based forex trading startup raised $30m in new funding led by Vistara Growth. Read more

Leal - Bogota based cashback and rewards product maker raised $5m in Series A funding led by Leap Global Partners and Rakuten Capital. Read more

Marstone - New York based investment and wealth planning firm raised $8m in Series B funding led by Mendon Venture Partners and South Rose Capital. Read more

Mesh - San Francisco based embedded finance solution for digital asset transfers and account aggregation raised $6.5m in new funding led by PayPal Ventures. Read more

Metronome - San Francisco based provider of usage-based billing solutions for software companies raised $43m in Series B funding led by NEA. Read more

MIC Global - New York based microinsurance company raised $6m in Seed funding led by Launchpad Capital. Read more

Portal - San Francisco based decentralized exchange for trading Bitcoin raised $34m in Seed funding led by Coinbase Ventures. Read more

Traidy - Dubai based AI-based stock trading insights startup raised $2m in Pre-Seed funding led by Three Sigma Ventures. Read more

Watershed - San Francisco based enterprise sustainability platform raised $100m in Series C funding led by Greenoaks. Read more

Wisedocs - Toronto based document processing platform for insurance claims raised $9.5m in Series A funding led by Information Venture Partners. Read more


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