The Week in Review

The Week in Review

Friday January 8, 2020 –

Here are the new and noteworthy stories we have been following this week.

Federally Chartered Banks and Thrifts May Participate in Independent Node Verification Networks and Use Stablecoins for Payment Activities

The OCC has authorized national banks’ and federal savings associations’ to participate in independent node verification networks (INVN) and use stablecoins to conduct payment activities and other bank-permissible functions; according to the OCC, “our letter removes any legal uncertainty about the authority of banks to connect to blockchains as validator nodes and thereby transact stablecoin payments…”

Indian startup Cred raises $81 million

CRED, an India-based startup that incentives responsible credit card payments through rewards has raised $81 million in a Series C financing round, at a valuation of $806 million; the company claims to handle about 20% of all credit card payments and services 5.9 million users.

Lender Affirm Seeks to Raise Almost $935 Million in IPO

Affirm is going public next week with plans to raise about $935 million at a valuation of $9 billion to $11+ billion; according to its SEC filing, Affirm has 6,500 merchants and generated $174 million in quarterly revenue with about 30% coming from Peloton.

Divvy raises $165 million at a $1.6 billion valuation

Divvy, a business expense and spend management provider announced a $165 million funding round at a valuation of $1.6 billion; with this round of funding, Divvy plans to invest  in product development and engineering to accelerate growth.

Green Dot Launches Ultimate Mobile Bank for Americans Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Green Dot Corporation announced the launch of GO2bank, a new mobile bank catering to underbanked and financially stressed consumers; GO2bank’s positioning revolves around improving financial health and wellness with low or no monthly service fees, $200 overdraft protection, and early access to wages and government benefits.

Orange Bank acquires French neo bank Anytime

Orange Bank which was launched by French telecom company Orange in 2017 has acquired French neo bank Anytime, extending its app-based services to the freelance and SME market; Anytime offers business accounts, payments, accounting and expense management tools for small businesses.

Online lender SoFi to go public through merger with Palihapitiya-backed SPAC

SoFi has agreed to go public through a merger with Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp V, a blank-check acquisition company; the deal values SoFi at around $8.65 billion and is expected to provide up to $2.4 billion in cash which the company will use to pay down debt and invest in business expansion.

Banking software start-up Mambu raises $135 million at a $2.1 billion valuation

Germany-based digital banking software provider Mambu has raised $135 million in a new funding round that values the company at $2.1 billion; Mambu plans to use the funding to enhance growth and expand its geographic footprint, with a focus on countries like Brazil, Japan and the US.

BBVA shutters digital banks Simple, Azlo as it looks to PNC deal

According to communication received by customers, BBVA USA has announced the closure of Simple and Azlo; Simple’s customers will migrate to BBVA (and then eventually to PNC) while Azlo’s customers will continue using their existing accounts and services until further notice.

NCR in Talks to Buy Cardtronics

NCR is reportedly considering an acquisition of Cardtronics and has offered $39 per share potentially setting off a bidding war; Cardtronics was in the process of being sold to Apollo and Hudson Executive Capital for $35 per share as disclosed by the company in December.