Another busy news week in the fintech world. Making news this week was FTX expanding into stock trading, Plaid getting into identity verification, Klarna raising money at a lower valuation, Nubank adds 5.7 million new customers in Q1, Robinhood launching self-custodial wallets and more. Here are what I consider to be the top ten fintech news stories of the past week.
Crypto Exchange FTX Expands Into Stock Trading from The Wall Street Journal – Just a week after we discovered FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried owns 7.6% of Robinhood he announced his company is getting into stock trading, Robinhood’s sweet spot. Interestingly, FTX will not be generating revenue via payment for order flow, and so this will be a lossmaking service, at least initially.
Plaid officially expands into identity and income verification, fraud prevention and account funding from TechCrunch – After acquiring Cognito in January this move is not exactly a surprise, but it is still good to get some more detail here. Plaid is morphing into a full-service fintech as their verification tool will be integrated into Plaid Link so customers can link their accounts and verify identity all within a single user experience.
SoftBank-Backed Fintech Giant Klarna Looks for New Funds at Lower Valuation from The Wall Street Journal – With many (most?) publicly traded fintechs off 80% or more from their highs it was to be expected that we would see some serious down rounds. Looks like Klarna will be raising money at a 30% haircut to their previous valuation.
Brazilian neobank giant Nubank reports “strongest quarter” in history as bags 5.7 million customers from AltFi – Nubank reported Q1 earnings this week and it was a banner quarter. They added 5.7 million customers in one quarter, few other fintechs globally can do that in an entire year. They now have 60 million customers, including 57 million in Brazil, a country of 213 million people.
Robinhood to let users hold their own crypto and NFTs as it reaches for growth beyond stock trading from CNBC – Robinhood is going deeper into crypto with the announcement this week that it will let users hold their own crypto and NFTs in self-custodial wallets, going up directly against Metamask and Coinbase.
FDIC, CFPB target crypto firms that make false claims of deposit insurance from American Banker – There are some crypto firms that are implying that their investment or savings product has FDIC backing. Apparently some are even using the FDIC logo. This makes crypto look like the wild west and understandably the FDIC and CFPB want to crack down on this behavior.
Keep Financial raises $9M led by a16z to help employers offer forgivable loans as a retention tool from TechCrunch – Kabbage co-founders, Rob Frohwein and Kathryn Petralia, are back with a new company after selling Kabbage to American Express in 2020. Keep Financial is building a platform to help employers provide employee retention bonuses in the form of forgivable loans. They recently closed their initial $9 million seed round.
2022 Online Bank Ranking: Chime At The Top, Current Coming On Strong from Forbes – Ron Shevlin is back with what is becoming an annual report ranking the top digital banks. Chime comes in first with 14.6 million customers, Current is number two with 5 million and Varo rounds out the top three with 4.3 million customers. Interestingly, Current was the fastest growing of the bunch, more than doubling its customer count in 2021.
Southeast Asian payments infrastructure unicorn Xendit banks $300M from TechCrunch – The largest funding round of the week belonged to Xendit, the Indonesian fintech startup that some are calling the “Stripe of Southeast Asia”. They closed a $300 million led by Coatue and Insight Partners.
LendIt Fintech is now Fintech Nexus from Fintech Nexus – We did a rebrand this week so LendIt Fintech is now Fintech Nexus. This name better fits our mission which has expanded beyond lending since we founded the company in 2013.
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.