Top 10 Fintech News Stories for the Week Ending March 26, 2022

It was another really busy news week in fintech. We had Apple making a fintech acquisition, Ramp closing a new funding round, Dave getting into crypto with FTX US, Robinhood with a new debit card, Katie Haun launching a new crypto VC and more. Here are what I consider to be the top ten fintech news stories of the past week.

Apple acquires UK open banking startup Credit Kudos from The Block – Apple continues to make inroads into fintech, this time by acquiring the UK open banking startup Credit Kudos. If you know nothing about Credit Kudos check out my interview with their CEO, Freddy Kelly, from 2020.

Ramp confirms new $8.1B valuation after ‘a nearly 10x’ YoY increase in revenue from TechCrunch – Another big round for Ramp as they continue to grow like crazy. They announced $750 million in new funding, of which $200 million was equity led by Founders Fund (for the fourth time). Keep in mind Ramp launched in February 2020.

FTX Invests $100M in Banking App Dave, Forms Partnership for Crypto Payments from CoinDesk – Leading neobank Dave is going to get into crypto, no surprise there. But what is most interesting is they are doing it with FTX US who will be Dave’s exclusive partner. Dave also received a $100 million convertible note from FTX Ventures from their $2 billion fund.

Robinhood’s new debit card will automatically invest in stocks and crypto as you spend from The Verge – Robinhood has announced a new debit card, Robinhood Cash Card, that will allow its users to invest in stocks and crypto by rounding up transactions to the nearest dollar. This matches a popular feature that was pioneered by Acorns and Stash.

Following a16z departure, Katie Haun debuts Haun Ventures with $1.5B in capital to back crypto startups from TechCrunch – Katie Haun led Andreessen’s crypto arm until December last year and she announced this week her new firm, Haun Ventures focused on crypto startups. She is launching with an astounding $1.5 billion war chest across two funds, a $500 million early-stage fund and a $1 billion “acceleration” fund. The money keeps flowing into crypto.

How DeFi should suit up to succeed from LendIt Fintech – This guest post from Daniel Bulaevsky of Klaros Group, argues that for DeFi to succeed it must connect to the traditional financial system. But most crypto companies are not ready for this pivot.

Banks Can Trump Fintech as Zero-Rate Era Ends from The Wall Street Journal – With a rising interest rate environment, the WSJ argues that banks will become more profitable and a more formidable competitor to fintechs.

Will Banks Overtake Fintechs As Interest Rates Rise? Don’t Bet On It from Forbes – In a rebuttal to the WSJ piece Ron Shevlin argues that fintechs have four factors going for them that will allow them to compete with banks effectively: fintechs have better engagement, better user experience, wider credit spectrum, and better marketing.

Fintech startup Jeeves raises $180M, quadruples valuation to $2.1B in half a year from TechCrunch – Another fintech unicorn has been anointed with Jeeves closing a $180 million Series C led by Tencent that values the company at $2.1 billion. Keep in mind they only launched a year ago and last raised $57 million back in September. The corporate card and expense management space is hot.

LendIt unveils a new London Web3 conference in October called Merge from LendIt Fintech – LendIt Fintech will be back to in-person events in London this year with a brand new event called Merge happening in October. Merge is where banking and fintech meet web3 and we launched the event at Rise London this week.

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