Bloglikes - Finance en-US Thu, 15 Apr 2021 16:35:12 +0000 Sat, 06 Apr 2013 00:00:00 +0000 FeedWriter These States Will Pay Off Your Student Loan Debt for Moving There

It’s a novel idea for any state that wants to attract skilled professionals—in exchange for moving there, they will pay off your student loan debt. Illinois is doing just that, as they have recently joined Maryland in launching a “SmartBuy” program that pays off your student loans if you get a mortgage in their state.…


Thu, 15 Apr 2021 11:00:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Student Loan Debt Business Finance Health Medical Pharma Credit Student Loans In The United States Mortgage Loan Student Financial Aid Money Forbes Economy Loans Student Debt Finance Personal Finance
Goldman Sachs leads $23M in funding for Brazilian e-commerce startup Olist Olist , a Brazilian e-commerce marketplace integrator, has raised $23 million in a Series D round extension led by new investor Goldman Sachs Asset Management that brings its total Series D financing to $80 million.

Existing backer Redpoint eventures, which first put money in Olist in 2015, also participated in the latest round. With this latest infusion, Olist has now raised over $126 million since its 2015 inception. This round is reportedly its last before the company plans to go public, according to Bloomberg.

SoftBank led the first tranch of Olist’s Series D in November as well as the company’s $46 million Series C in 2019. Valor Capital, Velt Partners, FJ Labs, Península and angel Kevin Efrusy had previously invested in the first tranche of the Series D.

Olist connects small businesses to larger product marketplaces to help entrepreneurs sell their products to a larger customer base. The company was founded with the mission of helping small merchants gain market share across the country through a SaaS licensing model to small brick and mortar businesses.

As of October 2019, Olist had more than 7,000 customers and used a drop-shipping model to send products directly from stores to clients around the country, allowing them to grow with a capital-light model.

Today, Olist says its platform provides tools that support “all the stages of an e-commerce operation” with the goal of helping merchants see “rapid increases in sales volume.” It currently has about 25,000 merchants on its platform.

The startup is no doubt benefiting from the pandemic-fueled e-commerce boom taking place all over the world as more people have turned to online shopping. Latin America, in general, has been home to increased e-commerce adoption. The region’s $85 billion e-commerce market is growing rapidly with projections of it reaching $116.2 billion in 2023.

As evidence of that, Olist says its revenue tripled to a record number in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the previous year, although it did not provide hard figures. It also reportedly doubled revenue in 2020, according to Bloomberg.

Olist Store, the company’s flagship product, gives merchants a way to manage product listings, logistics and store payments. It also offers “a unique sales experience” through channels such as Mercado Livre, B2W and Via Varejo. The product saw a record GMV in the first half of the year, which was up 2.5 times over the same period in the prior year, the company said.

Latin America’s digital transformation is making up for lost time

Last year, Olist launched a new product, Olist Shops, giving users the ability to create a  virtual showcase “in less than 3 minutes” that also offers payment checkout tools and  integration with logistics operators. Shops has interfaces in Portuguese, English, and Spanish, and since its launch, it has attracted more than 200,000 users in 180 countries, according to Olist.

“The pandemic has accelerated digitalizing business processes around the world, thus  spurring e-commerce growth in a surprising way,” said Tiago Dalvi, Olist’s founder and CEO, in a written statement. 

The company plans to use its new capital to invest in technology and products, pursuing new mergers and acquisitions and boosting its internationalization process. This is on top of two acquisitions Olist made last year — Clickspace and Pax Logistica, which gave Olist entry into the heated logistics space with more than 4,000 registered drivers.

Specifically, CFO Eduardo Ferraz said the company is in preliminary discussions with ERPs, retailers, and companies with complementary solutions to its own.

“That is why we also decided to expand the investment in our Series D and bring Goldman Sachs as another relevant investor to our cap table,” he said.

David Castelblanco, managing director and head of Latin America Corporate and Growth Equity Investing for the Goldman Sachs Asset Management, said his firm was impressed with how Olist empowers SMBs to generate more revenue.

“Tiago and the Olist team are incredibly customer oriented and have created an innovative technological solution for their e-commerce clients,” he added.

Olist is operating in an increasingly crowded space. In March, we covered São Paulo-based Nuvemshop ’s $90 million raise that was led by Silicon Valley venture firm Accel. That company has developed an e-commerce platform that aims to allow SMBs and merchants to connect more directly with their consumers. 

Thu, 15 Apr 2021 10:08:28 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs TC Accel Banks Brazil Ceo CFO Companies E-commerce Finance FJ Labs Goldman Sachs Kevin Efrusy Latin America Olist Online Shopping Opera Redpoint Ventures Sao Paulo series D Softbank Valor Capital
Can You Stop Asking Jamie Dimon About Voting Rights And Start Asking Him About That Quarter? Thu, 15 Apr 2021 10:03:10 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Finance ATL Finance Finance Docket Chinese agencies are charging students more than $12,000 to land coveted Wall Street banking internships Chinese career agencies promise to help students land top-tier internships.

Kena Betancur/Getty Images

  • Career coaching firms are helping Chinese students secure coveted Wall Street internships and graduate jobs, Bloomberg reported.
  • Third-party agencies charge $12,000 or more for access to industry mentors and internal referrals.
  • Revenue for career counseling services in the US was valued at $16 billion in 2020.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Chinese students looking to land prestigious internships at investment banks and consulting firms are paying $12,000 or more for services offered by career coaching agencies, according to a Bloomberg report.

Companies typically pair students with finance professionals to provide support with cover letter drafting, networking and, in some cases, internal referrals at top-tier firms such as Goldman Sachs. However the bank denied any relationship with agencies, to Bloomberg.

Beijing-based agency Breadoffer said it charges students $12,000 to land a job at Goldman and $9,000 for a shot at Chinese investment bank Citic Securities.

Chengdu-based DreambigCareer has more than 3,000 finance and consulting professionals on its books and said it has helped Chinese students studying overseas secure more than 6000 coveted roles. The agency charges up to $10,000.

This comes at a time when the pandemic has contracted the Chinese job market. Finance vacancies declined 12% in the country in 2020, according to recruitment website The programs can give ambitious students a leg up when competing against their peers, raising ethical concerns for students, agencies, and the bankers enlisted to provide their services.

Sean Wang, banker and author of "How to Make it as an Investment Banker" told Bloomberg the number of career consultancy programs has ballooned in recent years.

"It opens wide the question of fairness," he told the publication. "If you pay to have someone else write your cover letter, or get a first round interview, is it fair to those job seekers who don't have or can't afford such packages?"

China is expected to produce 9.1 million graduates this year. The annual number of graduates from Chinese colleges has increased by one-third since 2012, a result of the country's education drive, and more are expected to return from overseas as the pandemic continues to overwhelm many nations.

In an already competitive job market, rocketing numbers of young job-seekers will likely only increase the demand for third-party agencies.

The practice is not specific to China; revenue for US job training and career consultancy firms, such as Wall Street Oasis, was valued at $16 billion in 2020, according to market research firm IBISWorld.

Read the original article on Business Insider

[Author: (Anna Cooban)]

Thu, 15 Apr 2021 08:56:48 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs News Careers Finance Wall Street Banking Jobs
Li Ruigang Starts Countdown to IPO of CMC Inc. in Hong Kong ]]> Thu, 15 Apr 2021 07:11:57 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Asia Finance Global News CMC Li Ruigang Pearl Studio TVB Challenger bank N26 to offer insurance products Fintech startup N26 is launching N26 Insurance as it plans to offer insurance products that you can access from the company’s mobile app and website. The first insurance product is a smartphone insurance plan for German customers.

But the startup doesn’t plan to stop there. N26 says it is also working on private liability insurance, home insurance, life insurance, pet insurance and coverage for bikes, electronics and large purchases.

The idea is that you’ll be able to purchase coverage, manage your plans and initiate claims within the N26 app. As N26 already has your personal information, it should be easier to sign up to a new insurance product through N26 compared to creating a new account in a separate app.

The challenger bank isn’t becoming an insurtech company overnight. Instead, it is partnering with other companies, such as Simplesurance, for those products.

“The big thing we’re doing in Q1 and Q2 is a big focus on the marketplace,” co-founder and CEO Valentin Stalf told me a few months ago. “Early on we always tried to integrate the full experience.”

N26 Insurance is the first release of this new API-driven strategy. Partners will be able to integrate their products on their own and N26 will make it easy to share KYC files (‘know your customer’), transfer money between N26 and partners, etc.

“Most fintech startups are super low frequency,” Stalf said. He mentioned mortgage as one financial product that you set up once and never touch again. These companies have high customer acquisition costs, so N26 can help on that front. For instance, if you purchase a bike online, N26 could recommend a bike insurance product after your purchase.

As for phone insurance launching today, prices will vary depending on your phone. If you spent a lot of money on your phone, your insurance plan is going to be more expensive. N26 lets you opt for annual plans to save a bit of money.

Phone insurance also contributes to the freemium strategy of N26. The company offers free and paid accounts that start at €4.90 per month. The most expensive plan, N26 Metal, costs €16.90 per month and includes phone insurance.

Some customers who might want to insure their phone might be tempted to switch to N26 Metal to insure their phone and get more features, such as travel insurance.

N26 started revamping its plans in November 2020 by introducing a new mid-tier plan called N26 You. In Germany, N26 no longer sends you a plastic debit card if you create a free account. You have to pay €4.90 per month.

Offering new products in the app and pushing users toward paid subscriptions should definitely help N26 when it comes to profitability. The startup has grown tremendously over the past few years and the company is focused on consolidating the business as much as possible now.

N26 launches mid-tier subscription plan for €4.90 per month

]]> Thu, 15 Apr 2021 03:00:09 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Apps Europe Finance Startups Battlefield Challenger Bank Fintech Insurtech N26 Neobank Almost half of Shopify's top execs to depart company: CEO Thu, 15 Apr 2021 00:47:24 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs 3486241b-4bf1-5e25-bc06-a5de4f185ba4 Fox-business/tech Fox-business/industries/retail Fox-business/markets/stocks Fox-business/technology/ecommerce Fbn Fbn/markets Article Reuters 3 Ways to Create Digital Banking User Experiences that Build Loyalty In a digital world, UX is key to winning loyalty. Banks and credit unions need to avoid pitfalls and create captivating experiences.

The post 3 Ways to Create Digital Banking User Experiences that Build Loyalty appeared first on The Financial Brand.

Thu, 15 Apr 2021 00:02:13 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Contributed Content Customer Experience Digital Banking Strategies Big Tech Data Data Analytics Digital Design NCR Personal Data UX
2 Coinbase execs are worth nearly $1 billion after barely a year at the crypto company as its direct listing showers wealth on employees Coinbase chief product officer Surojit Chatterjee (left) has a stake in the company worth $657 million. CEO Brian Armstrong (right) has a stake worth $13 billion.


Coinbase, one of the world's most popular and earliest cryptocurrency exchanges, made its public market debut on Wednesday, riding the wave of mainstream investors' growing interest in digital currencies.

Coinbase's highly anticipated direct listing resulted in its shares closing at $328.28 on Wednesday, giving the company a valuation of $85.7 billion - around 10 times what it was last valued at as a private company, according to PitchBook.

That's up 31.3% from Coinbase's reference price of $250. But because it opted for a direct listing, no shares traded at that price, instead opening at a price of $381.

Still, as Coinbase's valuation soared, its top executives and biggest investors got substantially richer.

CEO and cofounder Brian Armstrong's stake - 2.75 million Class A shares and 36.9 million Class B shares - is now worth a combined $13 billion.

Two Coinbase executives, Chief Product Officer Surojit Chatterjee and Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal, both of whom joined the company less than 15 months ago, have stakes worth a combined $957 million.

At Wednesday's closing price, Chatterjee's 2 million Class A shares are worth $657.2 million, while Grewal's 915,331 Class A shares are worth $300 million.

Chatterjee joined Coinbase in January 2020 after having previously been at Google for 11 years. Grewal joined just last summer, leaving his four-year tenure as a vice president and deputy general counsel at Facebook.

Read the original article on

[Author: (Tyler Sonnemaker)]

Wed, 14 Apr 2021 19:50:46 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Finance Markets Tech Insider Coinbase Coinbase IPO Coinbase Direct Listing Coinbase stock price Coinbase valuation Coinbase stock Direct Listings IPO Cryptocurrencies
A Reverse Mortgage Leader’s Biggest Learned Lessons in Connecting with Financial Planners While reverse mortgage professionals at-large view financial planners as ideal referral partners to generate new business, that does not always mean that the planners themselves will be receptive to reaching an accord with a reverse mortgage professional. Similarly to different approaches for different types of borrowers, reverse mortgage loan officers need to learn about the dynamics of what drives financial planners to make certain decisions on behalf of their clients, and this is where the benefit of those experienced in financial planner interactions can benefit those in the industry who can use some guidance.

This is a particular focal point for a discussion featured at RMD’s Sales & Marketing Forum last month, where Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation’s National Reverse Mortgage Director, Harlan Accola, described for RMD some of the training that Fairway’s loan officer corps must go through to adequately engage with financial planners about potential reverse mortgage possibilities for their clients. In addition to a formal training program, Accola also shares helpful details of his own experiences in appealing to these kinds of professionals for such partnerships.

Knowing your audience before walking through their door

In terms of the training programs that Fairway offers on both its origination and partnership practices as well as for its software offerings, one of the key components of relating to financial planners for Accola is to keep in mind that financial planners themselves are a different kind of referral partner. If an originator goes into a meeting with a financial planner with a preconceived notion based on another kind of partnership, that could be a recipe for disaster, he says.

Harlan Accola

“This is a lot different than dealing with Realtors or any other group,” Accola says, not mincing words. “If you don’t know what you’re talking about, please don’t screw up things for the entire industry by walking into a financial planner’s office and trying to talk to them when you’re not informed. Because, they will smell that before you get past the first five minutes, and both you and our industry will be discounted. I tell our people that, as well.”

Having gone to a training session will not be enough, Accola says. Before you step into the office of a financial planner, the reverse mortgage professional should be sure that they understand certain principles related to the things the planner will find important in the course of his or her work. He recalled one instance where a loan officer related having difficulty getting through to an advisor, so in response Accola asked about sequence of returns risk.

“There was silence,” he explains. “If you don’t know some of the basics, you have to learn that stuff. If you don’t know about their industry – and that applies to Realtors, home care professionals, whatever – but it’s much more in-depth with the reverse mortgage/financial planner relationship. If you don’t know what’s going on in their world, and what the difference is between assets under management (AUMs) and an index life policy compared to an annuity, you probably should not be talking to them.”

The best way for a reverse mortgage pro to learn

In terms of best practices for loan originators to become familiar with the concerns of financial planners, Accola says that he knows what does not work: email blasts to hundreds or even thousands of contacts at a time. In terms of what does work, keeping the idea of a mutually beneficial arrangement in mind is key to making an advisor receptive to what a reverse mortgage professional has to say.

“[Financial planners] have no interest in wasting time increasing your business, they’re interested in increasing their business,” he says. “They better be, since that’s what they’re being paid to do: to do a better job for their clients. That’s the first thing, you have to be able to articulate to the advisor why working together can help them with their business.”

Having the ability to prove that a reverse mortgage professional can benefit a planner’s clients is also key, and that’s where the additional understanding about their field comes further into play. At the same time, a professional has to have enough confidence in the reverse mortgage product category itself to be able to correct misperceptions about the product category when an advisor may display them.

“I was just on with an advisor this morning out in Massachusetts, and he said ‘I’ll let you know when I’ve got a client that runs out of money,’” Accola said of the encounter. “I said, ‘no that’s not the deal. We appreciate that and will help any 87-year old widow who’s broke, but that’s not what we’re in the business of doing. We’re in the business of preventing the 87-year old from running out of money. That’s why we do this at 62.’”

Getting across the other use cases and utility of the reverse mortgage product is critical right at the outset, Accola says, since the perception does exist in certain peoples’ minds that reverse mortgages are only for people who are out of money, or close to it.

“This is for anyone who’s over the age of 62,” Accola says. “I don’t care if they’ve got $50,000 or $5 million in the bank, there are applications no matter what. And the quicker that you get the advisor to understand that, the better.”

The power of training and visibility

One of the strategies Fairway has undertaken over much of the past year is through webinars that can provide demonstrable value to both loan originators and financial advisors, Accola says. This is accomplished through having guests, including a well-known financial advisor like Dr. Wade Pfau, serve as part of these educational efforts. When that value is presented for the professional, then the audience will make time for it, Accola says.

“When we’re giving them real value, whether it is the loan officer or the advisor, that’s why the training, [and] education is critically important,” Accola says. “Because if you can’t deliver on that, nobody is going to refer to you any business because they think you’re nice.”

Part of the educational approach is also just increasing the visibility of the reverse mortgage product category, which is where previously reported partnerships between Fairway and NAIFA have come into play, as well as software partnerships with companies like Moneytrax. Having that visibility increases the awareness of the reverse mortgage product category, which Accola describes as a “critically important” piece of the puzzle.

The post A Reverse Mortgage Leader’s Biggest Learned Lessons in Connecting with Financial Planners appeared first on Reverse Mortgage Daily.

Wed, 14 Apr 2021 18:04:08 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Education Featured Lenders Fairway Independent Mortgage Reverse Mortgage Daily
ReverseVision Adopts Amazon Web Services as Cloud Provider Reverse mortgage technology platform ReverseVision announced this week that it has adopted Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its preferred cloud technology provider, which the company describes as a part of its effort to transform its platform of loan origination system (LOS) and management software in order to “establish reverse mortgage loans as mainstream lending programs by bridging the technology gap between reverse and forward lending systems with its flexible, cloud-enabled architecture,” a company announcement said.

Crediting AWS with the flexibility to increase ReverseVision’s agility as well as its ability to scale with the needs of the organization.

“The scalability of AWS makes it possible for ReverseVision to accommodate large volume fluctuations without compromising platform performance,” the announcement said. “Additionally, AWS provides ReverseVision the capacity to build and scale a high-performing API environment that supports dynamic connectivity with lenders’ full tech stacks.”

There has been a demonstrable performance improvement since implementing AWS into the company’s operations according to Jim Magner, ReverseVision’s chief technology officer.

“Moving to AWS is important to ReverseVision’s broader technology strategy of enabling lenders to bring reverse mortgages into their forward mortgage lending workflow,” Magner said. “Older Americans hold over $8.05 trillion in home equity and have a strong need for financial flexibility. Offering reverse mortgage loans alongside traditional loans will expand the options available to the 1.5 million Americans over the age of 62 who take out a mortgage each year.”

AWS has a firmer market position in cloud services according to ReverseVision, with some of its chief competitors being Microsoft’s “Azure” platform, Google and Dell Technologies.

Earlier this year, ReverseVision restructured its technology service plans and pricing matrix in an effort to streamline the entry of lenders into the reverse mortgage business space, while further aligning its offerings with a broader mission of allowing more adequate service to senior customers who use FHA lending programs.

The company also this year that Joe Langner, first hired as the company’s new president in 2020, has been to an expanded role of president and chief executive officer (CEO). Shortly after announcing the promotion, Langner told RMD that ReverseVision will aim to build out its partnerships with third party software companies to leverage those APIs to streamline loan processes, while an expansion of existing offerings is a priority in 2021.

The post ReverseVision Adopts Amazon Web Services as Cloud Provider appeared first on Reverse Mortgage Daily.

Wed, 14 Apr 2021 18:04:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs News LOS CEO AWS
SEC’s Gary Gensler eyes crypto and climate change with confirmation official Wed, 14 Apr 2021 18:00:10 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Ff187968-3472-5b86-94a4-a478910ab2b8 Fox-business/markets/stocks Fox-business/politics/sec Fox-business/politics Fox-business/person/joe-biden Fox-business/politics/climate-change Fox-business/topic/cryptocurrency Fbn Fbn/markets Article FOXBusiness Fred Lucas Dell is spinning out VMware in a deal expected to generate over $9B for the company Dell announced this afternoon that it’s spinning out VMware, a move that has been suspected for some time. Dell, which acquired VMware as part of the massive $67 billion EMC acquisition in 2015, owns approximately 80% of the stock and the company is expected to receive between $9.3 and $9.7 billion when the deal closes later this year.

Even when it was part of EMC, VMware had a special status in that it operates as a separate entity with its own executive team, board of directors and the stock has been sold separately as well.

“Both companies will remain important partners, providing Dell Technologies with a differentiated advantage in how we bring solutions to customers. At the same time, Dell Technologies will continue to modernize its core infrastructure and PC businesses and embrace new opportunities through an open ecosystem to grow in hybrid and private cloud, edge and telecom,” Dell CEO Michael Dell said in a statement.

While there is a lot of CEO speak in that statement, it appears to mean that the move is mostly administrative as the companies will continue to work closely together, even after the spin off is official. Dell will remain as chairman of both companies. What’s more, the company plans to use the cash proceeds from the deal to help pay down the massive debt it still has left over from the EMC deal.

Dell’s debt hangover from $67B EMC deal could put VMware stock in play

This is a breaking story. We will have more soon.

Wed, 14 Apr 2021 16:34:15 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Cloud Enterprise Finance TC Dell Vmware
What SEC Finding Of ‘Potentially Misleading’ Claims Around Investing ESG Issues Means For You Wed, 14 Apr 2021 16:16:19 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Finance In-House Counsel ATL Finance Finance Docket Jonathan Wolf Coinbase IPO Special! The post Coinbase IPO Special! appeared first on The Reformed Broker.

Wed, 14 Apr 2021 15:29:23 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Crypto/Gold
Digital Transformation Experts Debate Future of Banking, Big Tech & Fintech Innovation proponents Ron Shevlin and Jim Marous probe the industry's future as the lines blur between newcomers and traditional banks.

The post Digital Transformation Experts Debate Future of Banking, Big Tech & Fintech appeared first on The Financial Brand.

Wed, 14 Apr 2021 15:26:48 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Featured Content Spotlight
Las Vegas Says Ban Ornamental Grass, Nonfunctional Turf, I Say Rise Up In The War On Lawns Wed, 14 Apr 2021 14:43:49 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Finance Las Vegas Non-native Grass Nonfunctional Turf Ornamental Grass War On Lawns Water Conservation Indian fintech Zeta turns unicorn with SoftBank-led funding Bangalore-based fintech startup Zeta has clinched the much sought-after unicorn status after finalizing a new financing round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, sources familiar with the matter told TechCrunch.

SoftBank Vision Fund 2 has led a ~$250 million Series D round in the five-year-old Indian startup, the sources said. The new round valued the Indian startup, co-founded by high-profile entrepreneur Bhavin Turakhia, at about $1.3 billion, up from $300 million in its maiden external funding (Series C) in 2019.

A SoftBank spokesperson declined to comment. Turakhia didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Five-year-old Zeta helps banks launch modern retail and fintech products. The thesis is that banks — largely operating on antiquated technologies — today don’t have the time and expertise to offer the best experience to hundreds of millions of customers and fintech firms they serve.

Zeta is attempting to help banks either use the startup’s cloud-native, API-first banking stack as its core framework or build services atop it to offer better a experience to all customers — think of improved mobile app and debit and credit features. It also offers API, SDKs and payment gateways to banks to work more efficiently with fintech firms.

The startup has amassed clients in several Asian and Latin American markets.

Turakhia, with his brother Divyank, started his first venture in 1998. Along the way, they sold for $900 million. In 2014, they sold four web companies to Endurance for $160 million. Zeta is the second startup Bhavin has co-founded since then — the other being business messaging platform Flock.

Zeta is the seventh Indian startup to become a unicorn this month. Last week, social commerce Meesho — also backed by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 — fintech firm CRED, e-pharmacy firm PharmEasy, millennials-focused Groww, business messaging platform Gupshup and attained the unicorn status.

TikTok’s rivals in India struggle to cash in on its ban

]]> Wed, 14 Apr 2021 13:29:35 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Asia Finance Funding Recent Funding Startups Cred Groww Gupshup India Meesho PharmEasy Sharechat Softbank SoftBank Vision Fund 2 Zeta Zeta in talks with SoftBank to raise at over $1 billion valuation Banking tech startup Zeta is inching closer to the much sought-after unicorn status as it talks to investors to finalize a new round, sources familiar with the matter told TechCrunch.

SoftBank Vision Fund 2 is in talks to lead a ~$250 million Series D round in the five-year-old startup, the sources said. The investment proposal values the Indian startup, co-founded by high-profile entrepreneur Bhavin Turakhia, at over $1 billion, up from $300 million in its maiden external funding (Series C) in 2019.

The round has yet to close, a third person said.

A SoftBank spokesperson declined to comment.

Five-year-old Zeta helps banks launch modern retail and fintech products. The thesis is that banks — largely operating on antiquated technologies — today don’t have the time and expertise to offer the best experience to hundreds of millions of customers and fintech firms they serve.

Zeta is attempting to help banks either use the startup’s cloud-native, API-first banking stack as its core framework or build services atop it to offer better a experience to all customers — think of improved mobile app and debit and credit features. It also offers API, SDKs and payment gateways to banks to work more efficiently with fintech firms.

The startup has amassed clients in several Asian and Latin American markets.

Turakhia, with his brother Divyank, started his first venture in 1998. Along the way, they sold four web companies to Endurance for $160 million. Zeta is the third startup Bhavin has co-founded since then — the other being business messaging platform Flock and Radix.

If finalized, Zeta could become the seventh Indian startup to turn a unicorn this month. Last week, social commerce Meesho — also backed by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 — fintech firm CRED, e-pharmacy firm PharmEasy, millennials-focused Groww, business messaging platform Gupshup and attained the unicorn status.

The story was updated to note that the round hasn’t closed.

Wed, 14 Apr 2021 13:29:35 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Asia Finance Funding Recent Funding Startups Cred Groww Gupshup India Meesho PharmEasy Sharechat Softbank SoftBank Vision Fund 2 Zeta
Coinbase stock jumps in Nasdaq debut Wed, 14 Apr 2021 13:29:15 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs E96633f8-8205-5605-846d-d0639b04b3f9 Fox-business/markets/stocks Fox-business/markets/ipos Fox-business/markets/us-markets Fbn Fbn/markets Article FOXBusiness Jonathan Garber How Pilot charted a course of not raising too much money A few weeks ago, we wrote about fintech Pilot raising a $100 million Series C that doubled the company’s valuation to $1.2 billion.

Bezos Expeditions — Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ personal investment fund — and Whale Rock Capital joined the round, adding $40 million to a $60 million raise led by Sequoia about one month prior.

That raise came after  a $40 million Series B in April 2019 co-led by Stripe and Index Ventures that valued the company at $355 million.

Both raises were notable and warranted coverage. But sometimes it’s fun to take a peek at the stories behind the raises and dig deeper into the numbers.

So here we go.

Jeff Bezos’ investment fund is backing a startup hoping to be the AWS for SMB accounting

First off, San Francisco-based Pilot — which has a mission of affordably providing back-office services such as bookkeeping to startups and SMBs — apparently had term sheets that offered “2x the $40M” raised in its Series B. But it chose not to raise so much capital. 

I also heard that the same investor that ended up leading a now defunct competitor’s $60 million raise first asked to invest $60 million in Pilot as a follow-on to that Series B prior to making the other investment. While I don’t know for sure, I can only presume that what is being referred to is ScaleFactor’s $60 million Series C raise in August 2019 that was led by Coatue Management. (ScaleFactor crashed and burned last year.)

According to CFO Paul Jun: “There were many periods when Pilot turned away new customers and growth capital instead of absolutely maximizing short-term growth…Pilot prioritized building the foundational investments needed for scalability, reliability and high velocity. When it was presented with the opportunity for additional funding towards further growth in 2019, it declined to do so.”

Co-founder and CEO Waseem Daher elaborates, pointing out that the first company that Pilot’s founding team ran, Ksplice, was bootstrapped before getting acquired by Oracle in 2011. (It’s also worth noting that the founding team are all MIT computer scientists.)

“Ultimately, the reason to raise money is you believe that you can deploy the capital, to grow the company or to basically cause the company to grow at the rate you’d like to grow. And it doesn’t make sense to raise money if you don’t need it, or don’t have a good plan for what to do with it,” Daher told TechCrunch. “Too much capital can be bad because it sort of leads you to bad habits…When you have the money, you spend the money.”

So despite what he describes as “a great deal of institutional interest” in 2019, Pilot opted to raise just $40 million, instead of $80 million to $100 million, because it was the amount of capital the company had confidence that it could deploy successfully.

Pilot CEO Waseem Daher tears down his company’s $60M Series C pitch deck

Also, Jun shared some numbers beyond the recent raise amount and valuation.

  • The company has tripled revenue every year since inception, except for 2020 when it doubled revenue.
  • Pilot claims to have had a cash burn of $800,000 per month in 2020 against a starting balance of $40 million.
  • The startup touts a 60% GAAP gross margin. Daher notes: “We feel really good about having long-term unit economics that will work for this business without resorting to offshoring or outsourcing in a way that could compromise quality and compromise relationships.”

Bottom line is companies don’t have to accept all the capital that’s offered to them. And maybe in some cases, they shouldn’t.

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Coinbase IPO will make bitcoin, crypto a household name: Tech investment expert Wed, 14 Apr 2021 12:16:25 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs 90a61fea-dec5-5fca-8aea-cc9f74192067 Fox-business/markets Fox-business/markets/emerging-markets Fox-business/markets/economy Fox-business/shows/varney-and-co Fox-business/topic/cryptocurrency Fox-business/markets/currencies/bitcoin Fbn Fbn/markets Article FOXBusiness FOX Business Staff Upcoming IRS Deadlines You Don't Want to Miss

The 2020 tax season has been a confusing mélange of missing stimulus check rebates, new credits, and of course, shifting deadlines. Considering a recent IPX 1031 survey, 32% of Americans didn’t know the federal tax deadline was extended to May 17, a refresher on other important IRS deadlines coming in the next two…


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Coinbase CEO says regulation and cybersecurity are 2 of the biggest threats to cryptocurrency Coinbase Founder and CEO Brian Armstrong attends Consensus 2019 at the Hilton Midtown on May 15, 2019 in New York City.

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  • Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said regulation is "right up there with cybersecurity" in crypto risks.
  • Coinbase is about to be the first and largest cryptocurrency firm to go public.
  • But as Coinbase makes it market debut, Armstrong said scrutiny of the company may mount.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said two of the biggest risks to cryptocurrency are cybersecurity and regulation.

The executive spoke with CNBC on Wednesday ahead of his company's public debut via a direct listing. Coinbase is the first major cryptocurrency company to go public, representing the industry's booming growth.

But as the company moves into the public market, Armstrong noted that scrutiny of Coinbase may also mount as people seek to understand the burgeoning business. And because of that, regulation of the industry poses one of the biggest risks to the market, a risk that's "right up there with cybersecurity." In its S-1 filing, the company explicitly listed cyber attacks as a risk factor for the company, given that Coinbase is an online platform that manages a digital currency.

"We're very excited and happy to play by the rules," Armstrong told CNBC, regarding potential regulation. "And basically, we just ask that, hey, we want to be treated on those level playing field with traditional financial services at the very least and not have any kind of punishment for being in the crypto space."

Read more: A phone call from Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong the night before a $100 million deal left one VC feeling 'nauseous.'

The exec added that Coinbase is "very happy to engage" with US lawmakers on "how we can most thoughtfully build this industry and this company." You can watch Armstrong's full interview with CNBC here.

Coinbase will begin trading on the Nasdaq under the ticker "COIN" in a direct listing and has set a reference price of That is set to value the company at about $49 billion ahead of its public market debut.

Cryptocurrency has soared in popularity in recent years. The virtual currency is not issued or processed by the government but is instead managed on so-called blockchains, or encrypted databases. Coinbase is an exchange platform that allows users to manage that digital currency.

Bitcoin remains the most popular form of cryptocurrency - its price soared above $64,000 on Wednesday in the lead-up to Coinbase's public debut, skyrocketing past a $1 trillion market capitalization. It only took Bitcoin 12 years to hit that milestone, which is three times faster than it took Apple to do so.

The cryptocurrency hit record highs in March, a boom that some experts have said was largely driven by stimulus checks. Institutional investors like Tesla and JP Morgan have also gotten involved, boosting Bitcoin's success over the past few months.

Read the original article on Business Insider

[Author: (Katie Canales)]

Wed, 14 Apr 2021 10:09:12 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Tech Insider Finance News Coinbase Cryptocurrency IPO Bitcoin
Coinbase says the entire crypto market could be destabilized if Bitcoin's anonymous creator is ever revealed or sells their $30 billion stake Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong.

Christie Hemm Klok/Getty Images

  • Coinbase will go public on the Nasdaq on Wednesday via a direct listing.
  • In its February filing, the trading platform cites Satoshi Nakamoto's identity as a risk factor.
  • The creator's cache of bitcoins could wreak havoc on the market if Nakamoto sold their collection.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Cryptocurrency trading platform Coinbase - which has a over $100 billion valuation - said Satoshi Nakamoto could topple an over $1 trillion bitcoin market.

Coinbase will go public on Wednesday as a direct listing on the Nasdaq. The company has been assigned a reference price of $250 per share, according to NasdaqTrader.

In the documents the company released in February for its public debut, Coinbase said Satoshi Nakamoto - the pseudonym used by the individual or group of people who developed bitcoin - could cause significant damage to the company.

If the identity of the creator was revealed, it could cause bitcoin prices to deteriorate, according to the filing.

The filing also referenced Nakamoto's personal stash of bitcoins, which totals over 1 million. As of April, one bitcoin was worth over $64,000 - an all-time record.

Nakamoto could negatively affect Coinbase, the company said, and destabilize the entire crypto market if the creator decided to transfer his bitcoins, which are valued at over $30 billion.

Read more: Mark Cuban explains how NFTs could provide new revenue streams for small businesses and creators

The creator was the first entity to ever mine for bitcoins, and Nakamoto's stake in the digital currency accounts for nearly 5% of the entire bitcoin market, as there are only 21 million bitcoins that can be mined. The entire bitcoin market is worth over $1 trillion.

Bitcoin's value has largely been driven by its deflationary tendencies. If 1.1 million bitcoins were released into the market, the digital currency's price would almost surely fall.

Similarly, Bitcoin has been praised for its decentralized nature. The currency is not beholden to any institutions or individuals. If Nakamoto was unmasked, that would place the currency under a single entity, which could discourage traders that bought into the currency for its decentralization.

Coinbase's success is largely tied to Bitcoin's rise

In a nod to the Bitcoin creator, Coinbase listed Nakamoto as one of the recipients of its public filing.

Coinbase can attribute much of its success to Bitcoin and its creator, who in 2009 developed it as the first decentralized digital currency.

In the years since, Bitcoin has largely dominated the cryptocurrency world, rising over 400% in the past year alone to easily remain the largest digital coin by market cap.

Coinbase is poised to continue to benefit from the cryptocurrency's rise. The trading platform is the largest in the US and has over 20 million users.

The company's founder and CEO, Brian Armstrong, referenced the invention of Bitcoin in his letter that was included in the public filing in February.

"When I first read the Bitcoin whitepaper back in 2010, I realized this computer science breakthrough might be the key to unlock this vision of the future," Armstrong said. "Cryptocurrency could provide the core tenets of economic freedom to anyone: property rights, sound money, free trade, and the ability to work how and where they want."

Nakamoto's name first came to public attention after the white paper was released. The paper outlined the principles of a decentralized peer-to-peer digital payment system. In 2011, the creator moved on from the system but has remained a figure of public interest.

There has been much speculation over the years on the creator's identity. Names like the Bitcoin developer Nick Szabo, the entrepreneur Craig Wright, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk have been put forward as potential creators of the currency.

While it is unknown whether Nakamoto will ever choose to transfer their cache of bitcoins, it seems unlikely the creator will ever reveal their identity.

By maintaining anonymity, Nakamoto could avoid legal consequences. The untraceable nature of bitcoin has also led to its use for illegal goods and services on the dark web. In January, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called for more restrictions on digital currencies like bitcoin because of their use in illegal financing.

The unveiling would also violate one of bitcoin's founding principles that was outlined in its white paper. If a creator was unmasked, it would pose a threat to the decentralized nature of the currency - a tenet Nakamoto put at the center of his plans for Bitcoin.

Read the original article on Business Insider

[Author: (Grace Kay)]

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Charles Schwab Tries, Probably Fails To Make Citi Feel Better About That Whole Accidentally Sending People Too Much Money Thing Wed, 14 Apr 2021 10:03:22 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Finance ATL Finance Finance Docket Bernie Madoff, Wall Street financier and Ponzi scheme organizer, has died at age 82 Financier Bernard Madoff arrives at Manhattan Federal court on March 12, 2009 in New York City. Madoff is scheduled to enter a guilty plea on 11 felony counts which under federal law can result in a sentence of about 150 years.

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Bernie Madoff, the Wall Street financier-turned-Ponzi scheme kingpin, has died of natural causes, aged 82, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

He is survived by his wife, Ruth Madoff.

Born in New York City in 1938, Madoff founded a stock brokerage in 1960 that eventually became Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities. The firm specialized in over-the-counter penny stocks, using pink sheet quotes to make markets for traders. Madoff's brokerage then moved on to computerized trades, employing an information technology to organize quotes. The digital market-making service went on to underpin the NASDAQ exchange.

The brokerage bypassed traditional exchange firms to allow traders to directly order from retail brokers, and at one point served as the largest market maker at the NASDAQ. Madoff served as a NASDAQ director for three single-year terms.

The financier developed close friendships with major players in the financial sector and used his network to spark what became the largest case of financial fraud in US history. Madoff signed on numerous wealthy friends as investors in his firm, offered hefty compensation, and garnered recommendations on other investors to fold into the venture. He also warmed up to financial industry regulators, building up the brokerage as a prestigious and respected firm in the lucrative sector. Wealthier and wealthier financiers were drawn into the business seeking the prestige that emanated from Madoff's firm.

The garnering of new capital kicked off Madoff's Ponzi, or pyramid, scheme. New investments would pay off those having already joined, and new clients were encouraged to attract more investors. The scheme granted major profits to those who joined the firm early, and eventually drove billions of dollars in losses for the majority of clients who worked with Madoff's business later on.

No major Wall Street firms invested with Madoff, as they suspected his operations were not legitimate. Others pointed to Madoff's three-person team as proof that the firm couldn't pull in the massive gains they posted.

Investigators estimated that Madoff's scheme began in the early 1980s. The Securities and Exchange Commission conducted several investigations into the business but failed to find any evidence of malpractice. The Central Bank of Ireland missed any warning signs when Madoff's multibillion-dollar fraud began using Irish funds to pad returns.

Madoff was arrested in New York in December 2008 after a whistleblower - who was later identified as one of his sons - said the financier was failing to pay off $7 billion to his clients. Many of Madoff's business partners looked to pull their funds from the business in December as the global financial crisis prompted mass fear around the financial industry's validity. Madoff sought to pay out $173 million in bonuses to his closest partners, but when his sons caught wind of the rewards and confronted their father, he admitted that the entire firm was "just one big lie" and "basically, a giant Ponzi scheme."

Madoff's sons reported their father to federal authorities, and the disgraced financier was arrested and charged with securities fraud on December 11, 2008. He pleaded guilty to 11 federal felonies on March 12, 2009, including securities fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, and perjury.

District Court Judge Denny Chin sentenced Madoff to 150 years in federal prison on June 29, 2009. Madoff's lawyers asked the judge to shorten the sentence to 7, and later 12, years due to his limited life expectancy, but Chin ruled the sentence was appropriate, calling Madoff's crimes "extraordinarily evil."

The size of Madoff's fraud vary from estimate to estimate. Early investigators pegged the fraud's total value at $65 billion, while trustee of assets seized Irving Pickard estimated the amount owed to victims was roughly $57 billion. Former SEC chair Harvey Pitt noted the fraud likely involved between $10 billion and $17 billion.

Pickard was tasked with recovering funds lost in the scheme and returning them to investors. He and his team have already recovered more than $13 billion in lost funds, roughly three-quarters of approved claims, by suing those who profited from Madoff's scheme.

The US government announced in November 2017 it would begin paying out $772.5 million to more than 24,000 victims of Madoff's scheme.

Read the original article on Business Insider

[Author: (Ben Winck,Kelly McLaughlin)]

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Wells Fargo earnings jump as economy bounces back Wed, 14 Apr 2021 09:27:25 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs 8495d8d3-bc5e-5a32-b8bf-d530c66c8a81 Fox-business/markets/earnings Fox-business/markets Fox-business/markets/us-markets Fox-business/markets/economy Fbn Fbn/markets Article The Wall Street Journal Goldman Sachs posts record results as profits jump Wed, 14 Apr 2021 09:26:41 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Ce1d1e1f-2f51-5098-b16f-7eb0bd51cf4c Fox-business/markets Fox-business/topic/banking Fox-business/investing-and-transactions Fox-business/markets/stocks Fox-business/markets/bonds Fox-business/markets/economy Fbn Fbn/markets Article Associated Press Banks make a lot of money when the Fed + Treasury outlaw losses The post Banks make a lot of money when the Fed + Treasury outlaw losses appeared first on The Reformed Broker.

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