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Startup Roundup: Goldman Sachs, American Express placing further fintech bets

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Startup Roundup: Goldman Sachs, American Express placing further fintech bets

[x_alert type=”success”]Every week, we write about fintech startups raising money, making partnerships, and generally disrupting finance[/x_alert]

This week, finance’s who’s who soiréed at the Economist’s Buttonwood Gathering. The one question that seemed to underly all the discussions and break out sessions:

  • what about banks?
  • What’s the banking sector’s role going forward when fintech is disrupting from above, below, and laterally?

The Startups: Who’s shaking things up

Inside Monese, the mobile banking app for migrants (Tradestreaming)
The app lets people sign up with just a picture of a passport and a selfie in as little as 3 minutes.

LendKey Enhances Lending-as-a-Service for Local Banks & Credit Unions (Finovate)
Tradestreaming Tearsheet: Even in this newsletter there’s lots of talk about the competition hitting banks. New platforms like LendKey don’t disintermediate them as lenders; instead, they help them create digital offerings and compete. It will be interesting to see how many banks adopt platforms like LendKey or instead partner with the larger online lenders.

Indiegogo Launches Generosity To Compete In Personal Crowdfunding (About.com)
Tradestreaming Tearsheet: After GoFundMe’s (crowdfunding platform for personal campaigns like paying medical bills or tuition) success and raising massive amounts of capital, Indiegogo wants more of the market and relaunches (and rebrands) its own offering, Generosity.

Digital currency is poised to reinvent how startups are funded, led by Chroma Fund (TechRepublic)
Chroma Fund is a crowdfunding site powered by the blockchain, the same underlying technology that powers Bitcoin. Learn how it’s preparing to disrupt startup investing.

From start-up to incumbent: the innovation cycle (The Finanser)
Tradestreaming Tearsheet: Interesting framework to think about growth in the fintech industry and how that maturation unfurls for startups on their way to becoming larger, incumbent players. Useful for startup founders and those investing/partnering with fintech startups.

RushCard Breakdown Affects Thousands of Prepaid Debit Card Users (NYT)
The troubles, lasting much of the past week, illustrate the potential perils for those without access to the banking system.

Co-Founder of Capital One, Nigel Morris, Joins Zopa Board (Crowdfund Insider)
Morris, currently the Managing Partner at QED Investors, is the co-founder of Capital One. QED has invested in well known Fintech companies, including, Credit Karma, Avant Credit, GreenSky and SoFi.

OnDeck Adds New Small Business Lending Options (Finovate)
“The expanded product suite includes broader loan terms, increasing the maximum loan amount from $250,000 to $500,000 and granting borrowers up to 36 months to repay (from 24 months). Lines of credit will be available up to $100,000 (from $20,000) for a monthly fee of $20 and no “draw fees.” And repeat customers will be eligible for annual rates as low as 5.99%, as well as loyalty pricing benefits.”

Early Read on Square’s S-1 Filing (First Annapolis)
Good initial read of the payment firm’s IPO filing – what questions it answers and which ones remain unanswered.

Startups raising money this week

Goldman Sachs leads investment in cloud-based POS startup Financeit (Finextra)
FinanceIt enables businesses to offer payment plans to their customers and Goldman Sachs wants a piece of the online lending fintech firm.

American Express Invests In Bitcoin Venture, Abra, Which Announces U.S., Philippines Launch (Forbes)
Bitcoin startup Abra will soon launch in the US and Philippines, and is rolling out a merchant services API. It also received investment from American Express and Ratan Tata.

Citrus Payments Raises $25M (Let’s Talk Payments)
PE firm Ascent Capital and early investor Sequoia are investing $25M in Citrus’s C round. Citrus “makes digital payments and online checkout processes simpler, faster, safer and easier for an 800 million strong electronically connected user base”.

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