This fintech segment has seen a wave of fundraising
Welcome to The Exchange! If you received it in your inbox, thank you for subscribing and for your vote of confidence. If you read this as a post on our site, subscribe here so that you can receive it directly in the future. Each week, we’ll take a look at the hottest fintech news from the previous week. This will include everything from funding rounds and trends to analysis of a particular space and hot shots on a particular company or phenomenon. There’s a lot of fintech news out there and it’s our job to stay up to date – and make sense of it – so you can stay up to date. — Mary-Ann And Christina
Hi Hi. Christine and I strayed a bit from our typical fintech coverage this week to do some investigative reporting. We took a look at new chip, an Austin-based accelerator that recently imploded. In our humble opinion, it is definitely worth reading. While it doesn’t focus exclusively on fintech startups, it is the complex story of a struggling accelerator that claimed to help entrepreneurs “succeed.” Some founders say he screwed up, when a group of employees were so unhappy with the way the company was run that they left en masse more than two weeks ago. There’s a lot of back and forth, and while we don’t know for sure what happened behind closed doors, it’s sad to see any organization aiming to serve the startup community find themselves in this situation – especially for founders and employees.
On a purely fintech note, we have seen a flurry of insurtech funding over the past week! TechCrunch reported four such increases alone, including wefox, Obie, bolttech And Figorr. This prompted TC+ editor-in-chief Alex Wilhelm to go a step further and conclude that “despite messy IPOs, there are good reasons to be optimistic about insurtech startups.” — Mary-Ann
Move over Apple, Step launches 5% savings account
For the past few years, every time I looked at the monthly dividend in my bank account, I was like, “The bank could really keep that 6 cents.” Well, neobanks and other fintech companies think we should get better returns too.
This week I wrote about Step, the digital banking service for teens and young adults, which advertised a whopping 5% rate for its savings accounts.
While the rate is important, I want to point out how widely known it is that few Americans could come up with $400 in an emergency, so it’s nice to see Step and others focusing on ways to motivate people to save more.
The news comes about a month after Apple launched its 4.15% savings account rate. Step co-founder and CEO CJ MacDonald told TechCrunch that the company’s goal is always to offer the highest rate; However, you can’t help but wonder if Apple’s entry into the market may have inspired neobanks and other financial organizations to fill the gap.
Find out how Step’s 5% account works. — Christina
As Manish Singh reports: “The founders of ZestMoney have quit the startup, the latest twist in the fate of the Indian fintech whose ability to underwrite small loans to new internet customers has already attracted backing from many high-profile investors, including Goldman Sachs. Lizzie Chapman, Priya Sharma and Ashish Anantharaman, the founders of ZestMoney, informed employees of their decision on Monday. More here.
After recently acquiring another startup, Ribbonreal estate fintech EasyKnock confirmed that it had laid off 10% of its employees. A spokesperson told TechCrunch that the decision “is part of a larger effort to accelerate” the company’s “path to profitability and ensure the company’s long-term viability.”
In the WTF section of our newsletter: The head of Revolut UK told a customer he would be waiting for him with a shotgun.
If it feels like every week some business expense company releases new features, that’s because… that’s pretty much what happens. Here is the last one: Ramp to introduce AI tools for business cost tracking. Also, Fintech Ramp launches AI tools to save companies money, Microsoft CEO says, more as investors.
Truist Invites Clients to Play the “Long Game” of Financial Wellness (TechCrunch covered the news when Truist acquired Long Game in a bid to attract young people in 2022.)
Stripe allows payment by bank for Airbnb
Public Unveils Alpha: Your AI-Based Investing Companion for Smarter Decisions
Financing and M&A
Seen on TechCrunch
Wefox Secures New Funding at $4.5 Billion Valuation as it Aims for Profitability
UK pension start-up Smart Banks $95m
Cold Chain Startup Figorr Raises $1.5M, Supports Rollout of Data-Driven Perishables Insurance
M-KOPA Seizes Over $250M in Debt and Equity for Its Asset Finance Platform
Spiff begins ‘massive core sales commission engine overhaul’ after $50M Series C
Insurtech bolttech secures $196m to $1.6bn from investors like MetLife
Tiger Global-backed Axis launches digital payment platform for Egyptian SMEs months after $8.25m start-up
Percentage lands $30 million investment to connect investors to private credit
Owner-focused insurtech Obie lands $25.5M led by Battery Ventures
Zip Procurement Platform Raises $100M at $1.5B Valuation
Accounting Software Company Tipalti Lands $150M Growth Funding
PayIt makes its first acquisition with the purchase of S3
Avenue One Rental Platform Hits $1 Billion Valuation
Co-branded credit card startup Cardless secures $75 million line of credit
Fintech Maxwell acquires mortgage solutions provider LenderSelect
Once again, thank you for reading and all your support! We are grateful to you. See you next week! xoxoxo, Mary Ann and Christine
Calling all early-stage startups! Apply to join the Startup Battlefield 200 cohort at TechCrunch Disrupt 2023. All finalists get expert training, a VC network, a booth at Disrupt, and the chance to compete for $100,000 in free funds. equity. Applications close May 31. Apply today.