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Last week we covered: Challenges of digitization across incumbent FIs – 3 questions with the Global Head of Sales at Citi, Steve Elms
How has going public via a SPAC impacted MoneyLion? – 3 questions with the co-founder and CEO of MoneyLion, Dee Choubey
In light of MoneyLion’s 9-year-long journey and fresh off its IPO, I spoke with co-founder and CEO of MoneyLion, Dee Choubey, about how being publicly listed has impacted the fintech and what the future has in store for MoneyLion.
How did going public work out for MoneyLion?
Dee Choubey: It was the right decision for us. We were a private company for eight years, in which we'd raised a lot of venture capital money – the SPAC presented an opportunity for us to efficiently raise capital and we saw it as a capital raising exercise. Having said that, a lot of unforeseen circumstances exist – there are always pros and cons to everything. The tech markets and growth stocks have been hurt significantly, with a little bit of repositioning afterward. But our business is doing well, fundamentally, and that's because we were able to access capital at the levels that we did last year very efficiently.
How do the two acquisitions, MALKA and Even Financial, fit into MoneyLion’s ecosystem?
Dee Choubey: In the beginning, we were skeptical because according to statistics, most mergers and acquisitions don't work. But the management teams of MALKA and Even Financial shared our company DNA and we knew them from before as we had worked together in the past. In the case of MALKA, we wanted to create a media arm for our company, so we can tell our own stories. For our existing consumer business which is a neobank: banking, investing, credit advice, marketplace – Even Financial, which acts as a two-sided network, was well-suited. This merger has fueled the expansion of MoneyLion's addressable market – where we can't build the products ourselves, we can now leverage Even Financial’s embedded finance marketplace that includes more than 400 financial institutions and 500 channel partners. By combining the offerings from all three companies, we can provide a suite of products ourselves on a first-party basis and emerge as a company that's incredibly well diversified – more so than most fintechs.
What are MoneyLion’s short-run and long-run future goals?
Dee Choubey: I think in the short term, we're prioritizing margin expansion, and to achieve EBTIDA breakeven, which requires us to be laser-focused on the products that we are working on. Ultimately, in a couple of quarters, the expectation for MoneyLion is to drastically be more of a media platform, where we're creating financial content – users can create their own financial content and monetize that. It's just kind of putting those pieces sequentially together while maintaining the short-term objective. Additionally, we want to continue meeting the standards we've set for ourselves and show our stakeholders that not only is this path leading to efficient growth but it’s profit-making too.
Top stories of the week
The UK watchdogs open investigation on Amazon over listing practices
Amazon is under inspection by the UK watchdogs, Competition and Markets Authority, over suspicions that the company is biased toward certain sellers on its marketplace. The investigation will focus on how Amazon collects third-party seller data, and whether it then uses this information to give itself an unfair advantage about business decisions made by its retail arm. The second point of focus will be how Amazon decides which suppliers are given the preferred first choice in the "Buy Box", and the final point to dissect is how Amazon decides which products are eligible to be sold under the Prime label, giving those sellers free and faster delivery. (BBC)
Apple will now allow drivers to pay for fuel from their cars
Apple has set forth that its Apple CarPlay users can activate fuel station pumps and make contactless in-car payments directly through their vehicle’s navigation screen via a third-party fuel company’s app – iPhone users will need to download the app on their phone to utilize this feature, which will roll out as part of Apple’s latest iOS 16 update, scheduled to roll out later this year. (The Paypers)
BANK OF AMERICA
Bank of America is taking action to conduct sustainable businesses
Bank of America formed a new natural resources and energy-transition investment-banking group, making it the new entrant in the space from the Wall Street corporations – the move by the bank is to commit to aligning its product portfolio with net-zero emissions and to make decarbonization and sustainability available for clients prioritizing that. (Bloomberg)
FinTech V and eToro SPAC merger tumbles
FinTech V, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company, and eToro, the social investing network, have mutually agreed to terminate their previously announced plan of SPAC merger in March 2021. The merger agreement fell short of complying with the closing conditions of the agreement before the deadline of 30 June 2022 – resulting in both parties calling off the merger worth $10.4 billion. (PYMNTS)
Goldman Sachs enters into partnership with Derivative Path to boost transaction banking
Goldman Sachs is collaborating with capital markets technology firm Derivative Path, which will expand Goldman’s addressable market by some 4,700 clients of the tech firm – which are US regional banks and credit unions. Derivative’s clients will leverage Goldman’s foreign exchange transactional services and rate pricing. The partnership is Goldman’s move in the direction to secure a major chunk of market share in the transaction banking sector, which it set foot in 2019. (Reuters)
Meta discontinues Novi crypto digital wallet
Facebook parent Meta is ceasing the operation of its digital wallet for cryptocurrencies, Novi. The wallet was only launched in 2021 but will no longer be available after 1 September 2022 and users will be prohibited to add money to their Novi accounts from 21 July 2022. Novi was part of Meta’s strategic move to invest in cryptocurrencies – and was built as a stand-alone platform that was later integrated into WhatsApp. The closing of Novi hints at a step away from cryptocurrency for Meta amid the current market meltdown. (Finextra)
Meta is still bullish on digital assets
Meta is bullish to provide digital collectibles to its 3 billion global users as the social media group seeks to rejuvenate and expand its growth. Despite falling crypto asset prices and market downturn, the company is putting in work in this area to achieve its long-run future goal of building, monetizing, and leveraging the 3D digital world of the metaverse. (FT)
Shopify hangs back compensation plan
Shopify is pausing its compensation service that it promised its employees in April for the summers this year – which would give them the flexibility to decide how much of their salary is paid in stock and how much in cash. The choice of compensation was a strategic push by Shopify to eliminate discontent among some employees. The move to halt this idea comes as the company is going through a rough patch due to a dip in its stock price as a result of continuing broad market selloff that is thrashing media and tech shares at large. (The Globe and Mail)
Truist boosts minimum wage to $22
Truist Financial will raise its minimum US hourly pay rate to $22, effective October 1 of this year. This is a part of the comprehensive Total Rewards program in an effort to provide incentives to employees and retain the company’s top talent across the organization and various positions. Other than a market-competitive salary, the Total Rewards approach contains a robust wellness program, comprehensive 401(k) benefits, and a pension program. (Nasdaq)
Wells Fargo reports mortgage layoffs, yet again
Wells Fargo is on a layoff spree and this time the bank has announced job cuts of 107 employees in Ankeny, Des Moines, and West Des Moines, because of a downturn in the housing market -- more than doubling the number of workers at the banking giant who have lost jobs in central Iowa so far this year. (Des Moines Register)
Rocket Companies couldn’t have asked for a better time of stock upgrade
Wells Fargo analyst Donald Fandetti upgraded Rocket Companies stock, although he sees negative sentiment peaking, he is also hopeful about the stabilizing and growing margins. This prediction is a sigh of relief for the company’s investors who were walking a rocky path due to the RKT stock slumping this year – falling from a 52-week high of around $19 to roughly $8. (CNBC)
Tweets of the week
Charts of the week
1. Global funding declines by more than 20% for a second straight quarter
2. Themes critical to accelerating innovation and transformation in corporate banking
Is Walmart's 'ONE', the money-management app, the reason why Goldman Sachs employees are exiting? (eFinancialCareers)
Australian BNPL firm Openpay Group is pulling out of the US after only a few months in the country (PYMNTS)
Mambu enters strategic partnership with Visa to amp card payment experiences (Finextra)
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