Top 10 Fintech News Stories for the Week Ending March 6, 2021

This week had a bit of everything. Departures from the leading big bank fintech initiative, collapse of a fintech darling, another mega-funding round and, of course, SPAC news. Here are what I consider to be the top 10 most important fintech news stories of the past week.

Marcus Co-Founder Leaving for New Walmart Fintech Initiative from Lend Academy – Omer Ismail was one of the main architects of Marcus and its leader until this week. There is no way he jumps ship to Walmart unless they are brewing something very big.

Long Before Greensill Imploded, Credit Suisse Saw Danger from The Wall Street Journal – They were one of the darlings of European fintech, the kings of trade finance, until the business imploded this week.

Square becomes more reflective of Jack Dorsey the person with Tidal buy from Banking Dive – Square had two big pieces of news this week. They launched their Utah industrial bank and they acquired the streaming service Tidal.

Klarna’s Valuation Triples In Six Months To $31 Billion, Minting Two New Fintech Billionaires from Forbes – The worst kept secret in all of fintech became official this week. Klarna joins the other big three BNPL players with a monster valuation.

Insurance Startup Hippo to Go Public in $5 Billion SPAC Merger from The Wall Street Journal – Of course there is SPAC news. Leading insuretech player Hippo is raising $1.2 billion in a merger with the SPAC run by the co-founders of LinkedIn and Zynga.

Income verification is white-hot right now, and Plaid wants in from TechCrunch – Plaid launches its new income verification product this week called Plaid Income giving lenders verified and permissioned data on income and employment status.

Collectors pay big money for a slice of blockchain basketball action from The Financial Times – If you don’t yet understand NFTs you need to spend a few minutes this weekend learning about them. The NBA is leading the pack here with their Top Shots offering.

Crypto Lender’s Wall Street Ascent Is Born of Wife’s Frustration from Bloomberg – I never realized this was all Angela Ceresnie’s doing. She urged Zac Prince to do something about his love of crypto and boom BlockFi was born. Now a juggernaut with $14b in assets.

‘Change in the air’: Competition to serve unbanked at fever pitch from American Banker – There are many new initiatives that have launched recently focused on the unbanked. It feels like we are finally making inroads here.

The MLA and OLPI Merge to Form the American Fintech Council from Lend Academy – The two leading associations in the fintech lending space have merged to form the American Fintech Council, an organization that will have a powerful voice for the industry in Washington.

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