Top 10 Fintech News Stories for the Week Ending August 14, 2021

While it was another busy news week (isn’t every week?) there was no blockbuster news story this week. There were lots of funding rounds as usual, we had excellent earnings reports from some of the large public fintech companies and we had news from the world of bank charters. Here are what I consider to be the top 10 most important fintech news stories of the past week.

Chime Financial Raises $750 Million in Latest Funding Round from The Wall Street Journal – This country’s biggest digital bank just raised its largest round ever at an impressive $25 billion as the company sets itself up for an IPO possibly in the first half of 2022.

Fintech just saw an earnings bonanza, as Coinbase and Upstart report over 11-fold revenue growth from CNBC – Both Coinbase and Upstart announced blockbuster earnings this week with astounding revenue growth and strong profits as the newly public companies continue to wow the market.

Circle Wants to Become Chartered Crypto Bank Amid Crackdown from Bloomberg – One of the biggest names in crypto, Circle, has announced they want to become a fully licensed bank although have no immediate plans to file any charter application.

Brex withdraws applications for industrial bank from American Banker – Speaking of charter applications Brex has withdrawn theirs, both the Utak ILC and FDIC applications, as they look to “modify and strengthen our application and resubmit at a later date.” This seems to happen a lot with Nelnet, Square and Rakuten (multiple times) all applying then withdrawing ILC applications.

Argentine fintech Ualá lands $350M at a $2.45B valuation in SoftBank, Tencent-led round from TechCrunch – I am a big fan of Latin American fintech Ualá and CEO Pierpaolo Barbieri. They are one of the most interesting companies in Latin America and they continue to executive really well. Now, they have more firepower after this latest funding round.

Laplanche’s Upgrade Hits $3.3 Billion Valuation With New Funding from Bloomberg – Fintech veteran Renaud Laplanche continues to steadily increase the valuation of Upgrade, now at $3.3 billion, with this $105 million Series E, their largest round to date.

Green Fintech Startup Aspiration Said in Interprivate SPAC Talks from Bloomberg – Yes, we have SPAC news. Green digital bank Aspiration is in talks to go public via a SPAC led by private equity veteran Ahmed Fattouh.

Plaid settled $58 million lawsuit over alleged consumer data sharing from FinLedger – Plaid has settled a class action lawsuit over claims that the company shared banking transaction data with third parties without user consent.

Zilch Expanding into the US by Acquiring NepFin from LendIt Fintech News – UK BNPL leader Zilch is expanding to the US by acquiring NepFin, Albert Periu’s company, and is expected to launch by the end of the year.

Hacker Returns Stolen Cryptocurrency in Heist Reversal from The Wall Street Journal – This takes the cake for the craziest story of the week. A hacker stole $600 million from DeFi platform Poly Network and by Friday had returned pretty much all that money.

  • Peter Renton is the chairman and co-founder of LendIt Fintech, the world’s first and largest digital media and events company focused on fintech. Peter has been writing about fintech since 2010 and he is the author and creator of the Fintech One-on-One Podcast, the first and longest-running fintech interview series. Peter has been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, The New York Times, CNBC, CNN, Fortune, NPR, Fox Business News, the Financial Times, and dozens of other publications.