European fintech startup N26 is now accepting customers in the U.S. The company is launching a bank account with a debit card that should provide a better experience compared to traditional retail banks. (more…)
Varo Money Inc. may be on its way to becoming the first full-service all-mobile bank in the U.S. It provides tools that let users monitor their spending and save for special purposes. It is similar to offerings from Simple and Moven which also offer advice on how much is safe to spend by using AI and machine learning to understand a customer’s income and regular payments, like rent. Like them it has worked through a partner bank.
Unlike them, it has applied for its own banking charter; in September 2018 it announced a preliminary approval from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) of its application to become a national bank. (more…)
European challenger banks are going global. Revolut and N26 are set on acquiring local licenses to launch in markets around the world by assembling regulatory SWAT teams. Others, like OakNorth, are licensing their technology out to go global. Regardless of the expansion strategy, it’s not all unicorns and rainbows as these neobanks push on the growth envelope. Challenger banks are quite delayed in their entry to the US market and have bumped into resistance in other geographies, too. Will challenger banks succeed with their global ambitions? (more…)
via FinTech Futures
Envel, a challenger bank created around the use of artificial intelligence (AI) targeting millennials and Gen Zs, is launching a “Driverless Banking” framework that automates the steering of customer finances in real-time to stabilise spending.
The bank’s autonomous framework couples with Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) solution Cambr, while using behavioural insights to centralise money management activities spread across multiple apps, platforms or services. (more…)
via FinTech Futures
The bank will also implement Nymbus’ SmartDigital for internet and mobile banking and SmartPayments for debit card processing and fraud protection. (more…)
Bloomberg: Square, the mobile-payments company founded and led by Jack Dorsey, the interim CEO of Twitter, filed confidentially for an IPO, people with knowledge of the matter said. Square has been working with Goldman Sachs Group, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase on the IPO, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the process is private. (more…)
FastCompany: If you’re a young, female creative type, Etsy is the place to be: In a new report released Thursday, the online marketplace divulged that 30% of its sellers rely solely on their creative endeavors, both on and off Etsy, as their primary source of income. And women make up an overwhelming majority of Etsy’s vendors – 86%, to be exact. (more…)
VentureBeat: PayPal started trading on the Nasdaq this morning at $41.46 per share. As an independently traded company, Paypal is already valued at roughly $50B. Compare that with eBay’s market cap of about $33.64B. After spinning off PayPal, eBay’s stock was trading down at $26.89 this morning. (more…)
BusinessInsider: Our 2015 Silicon Valley 100 list highlights the coolest people and companies in Silicon Valley right now. While only seven companies on our list are in the consumer financial technology (fintech) industry, they’re a wildly successful bunch. According to recent numbers, the US is the leading country in investments in FinTech in the last year (up 200% from the previous year). (more…)
TechCrunch: What if you could get rid of your driver’s license? We’re not there yet, but ShoCard just raised $1.5M from Morado Ventures Partners, AME Cloud Ventures, Enspire Capital and Digital Currency Group to do just that. As a reminder, ShoCard certifies and stores ID documents into the Blockchain, so that you can securely retrieve them later and prove your identity whenever you need to. Its first use case is for bank and credit card identification processes. (more…)
WSJ: Since it opened its website in July 1995, Amazon.com Inc. has grown from a seller of books into one of the world’s biggest retailers. Its growth has been fueled by a consumer shift to online shopping and Amazon’s willingness to sacrifice profits to expand. Here’s a look at 20 years of sales for Amazon and 3 close competitors – Target Corp., Best Buy Co. and Barnes & Noble Inc. – and a look how Wall Street has valued those companies. (more…)
TechCrunch: Affirm, the lending startup co-founded by Max Levchin, is breaking into student loans for coding, design and business bootcamps from General Assembly, Bloc, Kaplan’s Dev Bootcamp and Metis. The company, which raised $275M this past spring, is branching out from its initial market in online retail. They were originally financing purchases at the point-of-sale online with e-commerce companies like mattress retailer Casper. (more…)
TechCrunch: Realty Mogul, a startup that connects investors with real estate projects, announced today that it has raised $35M in Series B funding. The company launched its online marketplace more than 2 years ago with a focus on equity deals funded by individual, accredited investors. (So it was offering a kind of real estate crowdfunding, but one where most people couldn’t invest.) (more…)
TechCrunch: Betterment is billed as a smarter way to invest money. But as a separate investment service, getting cash to Betterment has always been a hurdle. The company today is taking the wraps off a new service that monitors an account holder’s bank account and invests cash just sitting there. Betterment says this service, called SmartDeposit, will give members more control from their money. (more…)
Wired: In 2009, a man named Duncan Chege opened up a modest Internet cafe – if you could even call it that – in Nairobi, Kenya. In the beginning, the cafe, called Vision Computers, had just one machine. After 3 years of committed operation by Chege, that number grew to 8, some of those machines being slow and clunky second-hand desktops. (more…)
TechCrunch: As crowdfunding sites like Tilt and GoFundMe and lending site Funding Circle raise large rounds to take their businesses to the next level, a startup that sits in the same area of web-based fundraising is trying a new approach. CircleUp, a crowdfunding platform for consumer brands to raise money from accredited investors, has closed a $22M fund of its own to back a range of brands on the platform.
TECHCRUNCH: As Apple continues to build out Apple Pay for transactions in retail stores, one of its key partners is making a move to own the payment experience more directly online. American Express today is launching a new feature for cardholders called Amex Express Checkout, which it says will let them pay for goods and services on web, mobile and in apps with a single password that cardholders already have and use to access their Amex accounts — not unlike PayPal’s password-based checkout option.
WSJ: America’s startup-investing frenzy has reached the shopping mall. On the prowl for retail innovation, Simon Property Group, the nation’s largest mall developer, has funneled roughly $20 million into 18 startups, mostly over the past 15 months through its venture-capital arm, Simon Venture Group. In June, Simon invested $1 million in Union Station, an online bridesmaid’s dress rental service. In an early meeting, the two companies brainstormed ways that Union Station—which currently operates a showroom at its New York City headquarters and runs pop-up events around the country—might eventually develop a presence in Simon malls. J. Skyler Fernandes, managing director of Simon Venture Group, has also introduced the startup to roughly a half-dozen possible investors.
TECHINASIA: Meeting Capital Match co-founders Pawel Kuznicki and Kevin Lim, it feels like they are well on their way to bridge the gap between a technology company and big finance. Dressed in button-up shirts and dark trousers, I get the feeling they’re going to advise me about loans rather than discuss setting up a tech startup. It’s a good thing, then, that they are here to do both. (more…)