Insight, analysis and news about Fintech topics
What's going on with fintech startup exits?
All the SPAC activity around fintechs is kind of normal. If you have not followed this new craze, here is a good recap from CB Insights. The huge amount of money going into fintechs needed an exit of some sort. When VCs give you some cash to build a business, they expect a return. As big as it can be. All of these investments into fintech over the past 10 years were meant to eventually return something. These exits can be an IPO or being acquired by another company. Like all this chatter about Lloyds Banking Group buying the neobank Starling Bank. Sometimes it’s good for the investors but bad for the startup. Like the Simple fiasco with BBVA. A few big fintech public listings are rumoured for this year. And there has been obviously the Ant Group IPO that could have happened. So what’s going on with fintech startup exits?
Venture Capital in Blockchain: Interview with Baptiste Cota
There has been a lot of hype around blockchain technology for years now. Notably because of Bitcoin, ever since Satoshi Nakamoto published his white paper in 2008. What the technology could do that would completely change the world. It was hailed as potentially truly transformative for the financial services industry. Maybe it will in time but so far it has not. These days, it is pretty hard to make sense of the real trends with all this noise around cryptocurrencies. However, there are some excellent use cases beyond that. Blockchain technology is much more than just crypto. And a few people know that and are investing in promising blockchain startups. We asked a few question to Baptiste Cota, Founding Partner at LeadBlock Partners, about what it is like to work in venture capital with a focus on blockchain.
ESG and Fintech: A Perfect Match Made in Heaven?
It’s not just Greta. Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria are increasingly important in the business world. ESG is therefore more and more important in fintech. If you want to be cynical, that’s because it is more and more important for these businesses’ customers. So you need to adapt to continue to sell your stuff. If you feel more positive, it’s because business executives genuinely believe that sustainability is important. Even bank ones. Regardless, it is now evident that people want a clear change when it comes to how companies behave and how money is being invested. It is even more pronounced with the younger generation. They are quite concerned about the world that they are inheriting from their forefathers. Rightly so. ESG and fintech: a perfect match made in heaven?
Behavioural Finance: Interview with Julien Revelle
What is really great about fintech, is that it is here to solve problems. That is the ultimate premise. Take broken things in financial services, and turn them into something much better. But can investor risk assessment be fun? That seems like a tall order. I do not know if you have ever done a mandatory investor profile assessment, but it’s not what you would describe as “fun”. However, as per the “mandatory” bit, it is a requirement. Banks and investment managers would typically use a dull questionnaire. Can you change that and make it better? That’s when Neuroprofiler comes in. Where behavioural finance meets fintech. We have asked a few questions to Julien Revelle, CTO and Co-founder of the fintech startup.
Big Tech in Financial Services
Beware, Big Tech is here to eat your lunch. That is today’s equivalent of the great communist threat during the Cold War. What’s behind “Big Tech” then? Usually, we mean FAMGA: Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Google and Amazon. Some people instead look at FAANG: Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google. Or even GAFA, excluding the much smaller of the group, Netflix. But FAMGA makes more sense because it represents the five largest stocks in the Nasdaq-100 with c.40% of the index of the 100 largest Nasdaq companies. Hence, the Big in Big Tech. They are steadily more active in fintech through patent approvals, partnerships, and investment activity. Banks should be worried. And so should be fintechs. Their eastern cousins, the BAT (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent) have been active in financial services for years and are considered pioneers in most aspect. Let’s see… Big Tech in Financial Services: so what?
Hedge Funds, Reddit, and GameStop: is Fintech democratizing Finance?
Quite a fascinating story that unfolded over the past weeks. A finance drama from films like The Big Short. David vs Goliath in the trading world with a “Rich against poor” vibe. An amazing saga to start 2021. Here is a quick recap if you have not followed. Which is particularly hard since everybody is talking about it. Also, why it actually matters for fintech. In a nutshell, a group on the social media platform Reddit is taking on hedge funds. It is called WallStreetBets, and it is not a couple of guys in their moms' basement. More like 6 million retail investors.
Why banks cannot buy their way into innovation
Recent news that BBVA is shutting down neobank Simple, that it had acquired for $117 million a few years ago, is telling us one thing: banks cannot buy their way into innovation. It is a pity because at the time of the acquisition in 2014, Simple was a neobank at the forefront of the US fintech industry. As we have said before, partnerships between banks and fintechs can be a good idea. But that’s not the same thing as an acquisition though. The execution is slightly more complicated with the latter.
Blockchain Business Leader in Blockchain: Interview with Sukhi Jutla
Finance remains a male-dominated industry. That is in spite of some excellent initiatives around the world. And it is not better for fintech and blockchain, even though they are younger fields. It is rare to find a blockchain entrepreneur who is a woman. However, there are a few notable exceptions. The kind that are raising the hopes that things can and do change. We can have more successful female entrepreneurs that can be role models for future generations. Greater equity and inclusion is within reach, and we therefore wanted to start off the year with a positive story. We asked a few questions to Sukhi Jutla, Co-founder and COO of MarketOrders. She is a blockchain entrepreneur who can be very much defined as a fintech veteran.
Who Created Bitcoin and Why?
What is Bitcoin? Obviously joking here. If you are not familiar with the most popular cryptocurrency, you must be quite disconnected from the world. Which is not a bad thing in all fairness given everything that is happening (Covid-19 much?). But c'mon man, as Joe Biden would say, even your grandma has heard of Bitcoin. It is insanely popular these days. Everybody is talking about it. From TikTok teenagers (and their bad personal advice) to BlackRock executives. You cannot just ignore it any more. For those of us that have been close to the crypto markets since the early days, it has been a dramatic rise. Even more dramatic if you were here when Bitcoin was below $100 and did not buy into it. But is that worse than having bought into it and losing access to your wallet? That’s debatable. But maybe with the recent price rally, you are just wondering: what’s going on with Bitcoin? And you might also be thinking: who created Bitcoin and why?
Top 5 Trends for Fintech in 2021
It is this time of the year. No, not the Mariah Carey's "All I want For Christmas Is You" time of the year. The moment just after that, when the year starts and everybody is trying to make predictions. This time around, it will be the 2021 trends for fintech. It is actually quite fun to stare at your crystal ball and figure out what will happen. At least try to. And then look back and see if you have been completely wrong. Or not. Which is in all fairness a very healthy thing to do, no-one is always right or always wrong. You just try to make educated guesses, but you cannot predict the unpredictable. A year ago, the world was a very different place. You know, a pandemic happened in the meantime. Who had it in their predictions for the year in fintech? Absolutely no-one. Now, let's get down to business: what will be the top 5 trends for fintech in 2021?
2020 Retrospective - Fintech Review
At the beginning of last year, everybody made a few predictions for what 2020 would mean for the fintech industry. Obviously, at that point in time, Covid-19 was only a problem in Wuhan, China. You could see it in the distance, and it appeared well under control. That slightly changed in the following months, and the first lockdowns a bit everywhere. And the second. And the third, so forth and so on. Here we are today. It has been undoubtedly a challenging year for many around the world. However, it was not all bad, particularly for Fintech. What about Fintech Review’s top 5 trends for fintech in 2020? Did any materialise or did we get it completely wrong? Let’s look back and have a brief retrospective.
Private Banking Market: Can Neobanks Crack It?
Is the private banking and wealth management market up for disruption? When the fintech industry first emerged, startups attacked the low-hanging fruits with business and retail payments: the Stripe, GoCardless, etc. These companies are now huge behemoths because this particular fintech segment has quite matured. Fintechs then went after the retail customers, and a bit later the small & medium enterprises (SMEs), with neobank propositions and lending products. Your Monzo, Starling, Funding Circle, and others. What’s next? From a customer cohorts standpoint, trying to secure the large corporate banking relationships, which is tough and complex. Or the high-end of retail customers: the high net-worth (HNW). The tiny percentage of people at the top of the pyramid that have a lot of money. But can neobanks crack the private banking market?