Women tend to transform, they tend to change the terms, they tend to bring innovation and diversity. And it is critically important, because that diversity itself, is conducive to innovation, is conducive to changing the way in which you look at things` Christine Lagarde at the Women`s Forum November 2020.
Innovation happens at scale, after a narrative change at scale. One recent and tangible example of this is around ESG investing. And both Lagarde, Greta, and Larry Fink are three advocates and leaders that have moved the needle towards making ESG investing the norm.
Female leadership is very different than male leadership. We are still operating in an era in which the male leadership style is the status quo. The female leadership style (this can be adopted of course by men) is still largely underestimated even though there is tangible evidence that it outperforms. …
Stripe is in the spotlight as they ranked high based on several criteria in the latest Forrester Wave report (along with the European Adyen). They are also in talks to raise additional funding at nearly double the current valuation (current $36Billion, expected $70billion). Stripe raised $600million recently (Apri 2020) and if a fresh round materializes at the talked about valuation level of $70billion, they would be the world’s second-most valuable venture-backed company. If ByteDance divests its majority stake in TikTok by this Friday’s CFIUS deadline, then Stripe would become number one at $70billion.
The Forrester rankings are based on 15 criteria and 5 is the top score. The criteria include the offerings of card payments or alternative online payments, subscription & recurring payment capabilities, currency mgt & settlement, fraud detection, APIs & architecture, 3rd party integration, and more. …
UBI — Universal Basic Income — programs are not as hot as stablecoins and DeFi but there are more and more UBI pilots that are mushrooming around the world. I am noticing pilots that move into implementation and also UBI programs that were launched for a small part of the population and have now grown multiple times.
Most people know of the Swedish experiment that was not considered a great success. From experience and from the academic points of view, values and cultures matter because they shape the perceptions of self-worth, purpose, and value add. …
Goldman has been the one to watch for having the courage to reinvent its business and culture in all adversities. From the subprime crisis days, that Goldman chose to become a commercial bank and later returning the $10Billion bailout money; to offering free access to its analytical tools SecDB to all its clients;  to its infamous `You Can Marcus` ad for its consumer banking business launch, and on and on.
Soon it will be thirty years since I started working on Wall Street — 7 WTC, 37th floor, Salomon Brothers, Fixed income derivatives department. Scary but true. Bloomberg terminals and Excel spreadsheets were then the basics.
The Salomon Brothers culture and entity has been completely absorbed and has disappeared. I have become a thought leader and influencer in Fintech. Bloomberg and Excel have yet to be disrupted.
Bloomberg is strictly a wholesale finance tool, business. Excel is a tool for both retail and businesses.
We all know that Bloomberg could be replicated with one-tenth of the cost (figure referenced by Marc Rubinstein) but it has not happened. Every accelerator and VC will advise against spending resources to put together the next generation of Bloomberg. It remains private, the anti-thesis of open source, and with no sign of `pay as you go` pricing. Surveys show that most users in the investment, financial world, use a very small part of the $20+k services. …
The complexity of migrating and adapting to the Cloud in Banking is a fact. What is worrisome is that the Cloud in Banking remains misunderstood, despite the fact that roughly two thirds of C-suite decision makers are bullish on the Cloud. In reality, a very small percentage of Banks has actually transformed their business by embracing the Cloud in Banking.
European leaders have been providing innovative regulatory frameworks for Banking. …
MakerDAO was the dominant player in the DeFi market for a long time. It was a lending protocol with two tokens, a stablecoin coin pegged to the USD (DAI) and their protocol token (MKR).
These were the days that the entire amount of Ethereum locked in Defi protocols was c. $500,000 (c. March 13, 2020). And then suddenly, the explosion of Defi tokens was upon us. The amount locked in Defi crossed $1billion in June, then crossed $10bilion after mid-September, and now (late October) we are slightly above or below $12bill. We are approaching 9million ETH locked in all the Defi space. …
OpenDoor for Instant IBuying — The US Real Estate Fintech
The SPAC trend continues in the US and Chamath Palihapitiya is one of the leading investors with his IPOA, IPOB,… series. One of the recent Fintech deals was focused on a real estate disruptor in the US, OpenDoor.
With Zillow, being the blue-chip name and already public, I wanted to dig into how OpenDoor`s positioning differs. Technology with all the B2B Software as a Service offerings (Saas) makes it so challenging to create and sustain a moat.
The secret sauce of a fintech business in real estate is not evident because the US real estate market is on the one hand mature but also very fragmented. On top of that, there are several uncertainties and moving pieces of the puzzle due to the current macro-economic environment and the emerging new normal life-style trends. …
Most Fintech grownups are either focused on retail or serving institutional clients. Today I want to highlight Fintechs that are focused both on serving institutional and business needs, and also retail needs. These Fintechs that aim to create unique ecosystems.
Square is one example with its core offering for merchants that is built around its square hardware for payments at point of sale, and a growing software suite. And it`s Cash App for end-consumers.
Coinbase is another one, with its institutional suite for trading cryptocurrencies and its landmark retail Coinbase app.
Both of these examples are fairly seasoned companies. Square was launched 11yrs ago and is already public (since 2015) and Coinbase is 8yrs old and close to going public even though it does not need it ($547million funding and a valuation of $8B). …
The consumer debt levels in the US remain high and Fintech has contributed to this substantially.
Q2 2020 was the first quarter that household debt and credit dropped since 2014! However, 2019 closed with nearly $4.2 trillion in consumer debt (a record high which does Not include mortgages). According to Alicia Katz`s investigation (Deputy editor of The City) this surge is due to ` high-interest personal loans, increasingly offered by online financial technology companies known as “fintechs.”`( excerpt from the Fintech Debt trap )