The news this week was dominated by the crypto crash. There was bad news on many fronts with layoffs, problems at Celsius, and a large drop in the value of most crypto tokens. We had plenty of BNPL news and Brex decided they are no longer suited to serve small businesses. Here are what I consider to be the top ten fintech news stories of the past week.
Celsius Is Crashing, and Crypto Investors Are Spooked from The Wall Street Journal – One of the largest crypto lenders, Celsius, froze redemptions this week and investors realized that their “deposits” with Celsius were, in reality, unsecured loans to the company. More to come on this story. The last public appearance of Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky was actually at our big NYC event last month – so read our coverage to hear his thoughts then.
Bucking trend, some crypto firms go on hiring spree from Finextra – Some crypto companies are moving in an opposite direction and have announced major hiring initiatives. Binance said it is hiring 2,000 people, OKX says it will increase headcount by 1,500 and Kraken is adding 500 employees.
Fintech Giant Klarna Slashes Fundraising Ambition from The Wall Street Journal – We all knew that if Klarna went out to raise money this year it would be at a significantly reduced valuation from the $46 billion of last year. The WSJ is reporting that the new valuation could be as low as $15 billion.
Proptech, meet fintech: HomeLight raises $60M and gobbles up Accept from The Real Deal – While not exactly a fintech, HomeLight helps streamline the homebuying process, they did report something unusual this week: an up-round. Their Series D extension valued the company at $1.7 billion (up from $1.6 billion last September) and they used stock to make another acquisition in the space.
Abra and American Express Partner on Crypto Card from Crowdfund Insider – American Express has been sitting out the crypto rewards trend until now. In their first such offering, they are partnering with Abra to deliver a rewards card with tech developed by i2C.
Every Thursday afternoon, the LendIt Fintech News team and a special guest discuss the news of the week live on LendIt TV, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter. We have now made the show available in podcast format – click on the audio player below.
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.