Welcome to TechCrunch Fintech (formerly The Interchange)! We're back after a brief hiatus, and I can tell you that judging by the volume of pitches I received last week, venture capital investing in the fintech sector is definitely picking up. This week, we look at Plaid's latest step toward an IPO, a BNPL company's financial results, and much more. Let's go!
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The big story
Last week, Plaid announced that it had hired its first-ever president. Notably, former Cloudflare Chief Product Officer Jen Taylor has extensive experience taking a private company IPO – something we expect Plaid to do in the relatively near future. Coincidentally, I was already working on an article “Here are the fintech startups that could go public in 2024”. With the help of F-Prime Capital, I've put together a list of fintechs that have the potential to go public sooner rather than later. Klarna, Chime, Stripe are just a few of those mentioned.
Analysis of the week
Speaking of public companies, buy now, pay later firm Affirm reported earnings last week. Despite revenues being 48% higher, or $591 million, compared to estimates of $521 million, investors remained cautious. After rising 7% on Thursday, shares fell nearly 11% on Friday to close at $43.86. It is important to note, however, that this is not that far from Affirm's 52-week high and is almost double what it was trading at in November. Generally speaking, public fintechs had a better year last year. “Overall market capitalization reached $573 billion at the end of 2023, up from the low of $389 billion in December 2022 – but down from the peak of $1.3 billion in September 2021,” according to an email from F-Prime Capital.
Dollars and cents
Ingrid got a great insight into the announcement that Entrust is buying Onfido, an AI-powered identity verification startup, for over $400 million.
New unicorn alert! Romain reported that accounting software startup Pennylane has become the latest French unicorn with a fundraising of 40 million euros.
Meanwhile, Christine reported that another accounting startup – Finally – had raised $10 million in equity. Based in Miami, Finally aims to help businesses automate accounting and finance functions.
ICYMI: Expense management startup Ramp has acquired AI-powered startup Venue as it expands its procurement offering, and Metronome's usage billing software finds success in AI as that the startup raises $43 million in new capital.
What else do we write
Reliance Industries spin-off Jio Financial Services said it was not negotiating with Paytm to acquire its wallet business, quashing 'speculative' media reports as the company struggled to put out the fire caused by the central bank's repression the previous week.
An Indian parliamentary panel has urged the government to support the growth of domestic fintech players that can offer alternatives to Walmart-backed PhonePe and Google Pay apps, which currently control more than 83% of the country's digital payments market.
PayPal is working on a new consumer app for its mobile customers and has suggested it will be “ready” to take advantage of new EU regulations, the Digital Markets Act (DMA), when it comes into force next month to the “gatekeepers” of technology. like Apple.
Don't miss Tage's in-depth analysis on how African startups are facing the same issues plaguing fintechs in more mature markets like the UK and US.