The Financial Brand Insights - Fall 2021

acquired by Visa for $5.3 billion; however the U.S, Department of Justice sought to block the deal, saying it would create a monopoly. The deal has since been called off. Plaid is currently valued at over $13 billion.

Department of Financial Protection and Innovation required it to stop, since it does not have a banking license. (Chime relies on two financial institutions including The Bancorp Bank and Stride Bank to provide insured accounts and a debit card.) Regardless of nomenclature, Chime has become the largest U.S. based neobank, with a valuation of nearly $15 billion and 12 million customers. Chime also this year signed the biggest commercial office lease in San Francisco since the pandemic started, taking 200,000 square feet in a financial district tower. Chime has plans for an IPO, according to Reuters .

method for cross-border settlements than longtime incumbent Swift . However, even if Ripple execs told Global Trade Review they are not trying to be a replacement for the Swift network. In December 2020, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged Ripple’s two co-founders with violating investor protection laws, saying they had raised more than $1.3 billion through an unregistered securities offering through sales of XRP. Ripple has countered that, stating XRP is a currency rather than a security. It remains to be seen how this legal battle will affect Ripple’s future relationship with banks, as well as its native cryptocurrency. Key Fact: Ripple is currently in a legal fight with the SEC that could affect its native cryptocurrency and partnerships with banks.

Insuretech Star

Insuretech may not be as “hot” a market as fintech, but there are several disruptive companies in that space. The one that made the CNBC list is Dallas-based Bestow , which aims to revolutionize life insurance and make it easier for consumers to obtain policies. Founded in 2016, Bestow’s goal is to disrupt the normally lengthy and paper-intensive process of obtaining life insurance. Customers can sign up digitally, and the company says it can deliver a quote within minutes. Bestow is clearly seeking customers new to life insurance who may have been intimidated by the process in the past or who are at an age where they are first starting to think about it. The company says 85% of its customers are new to life insurance, and stresses that policies can be obtained without a doctor’s visit, phone screening or other steps that often hinder many from completing the life insurance process, according to Dallas Innovates . Bestow has raised $145 million across several funding rounds to date.

Nubank: Brazilian Powerhouse

Brazil-based Nubank is the biggest challenger bank you’ve never heard of. The company, valued at $25 billion, has 34 million customers across South and Central America and Mexico, significantly more than many of its neobank competitors. Nubank started life in 2013 with a single credit card product and has grown to now offer digital bank accounts and personal loans. It made several acquisitions in 2020 to help accelerate its growth, including software engineering firms Platformaetc and Cognitect , and brokerage platform Easynvest . In the past year it has expanded its platform to include services such as distributing government aid designated for the Covid-19 pandemic and offering a life insurance product. Nubank’s success has led to much attention from some heavy hitters. This month it announced a massive $750 million funding round, with $500 million from Berkshire Hathaway . n

Data-Driven Micro-Lender

Banking the unbanked and serving those with no formal credit history are issues that have moved to the forefront in recent years. California-based TALA aims to fill that void, which many traditional institutions struggle with. The company provides micro-loans of up to $500 to people in Mexico, India, Kenya and the Philippines. Catering to an underserved demographic, most of Tala’s customers have no credit score or banking relationship. The company uses advanced data science to build a “modern credit infrastructure from scratch.” It uses behavioral and other alternative data signals to underwrite customers and says it can deliver an approval and money within ten minutes. “Their credit worthiness is difficult to ascertain, but they have a tremendous amount of purchasing power and potential to harness,” founder Shivani Siroya told VentureBeat last year. TALA is currently valued at $516 million.

All About Data Connections

Plaid is one fintech the general consumer may not have heard of, but nonetheless relies on the company’s technology often in their everyday lives. Plaid’s platform uses APIs to connect hugely popular apps such as Venmo , Robinhood , Acorns , SoFi and many more to bank accounts. It also enables many of the popular budgeting and PFM apps to connect with user bank accounts. As such, millions of consumers rely on it to power their daily financial lives on the back end. Plaid has also attracted a lot of interest from established global financial institutions, with prior investment rounds backed by the likes of Goldman Sachs , Visa , Mastercard and Citi . In early 2020, Plaid announced it would be

Big Blockchain and Crypto Player

Ripple set out to revolutionize cross-border payments, and so far has made considerable strides in that regard. Ripple has two major business units is operates: a cryptocurrency it developed (XRP) and a payment protocol that currently connects more than 200 banks across the globe and uses blockchain technology to power cross-border payments. The latter has been seen by many as a faster and more efficient

29

30

THE FINANCIAL BRAND INSIGHTS FALL 2021

THE FINANCIAL BRAND INSIGHTS FALL 2021

Powered by