Finance

The economics and tradeoffs of ad-funded smart city tech

In order to have innovative smart city applications, cities first need to build out the connected infrastructure, which can be a costly, lengthy, and politicized process. Third-parties are helping build infrastructure at no cost to cities by paying for projects entirely through advertising placements on the new equipment. I try to dig into the economics […]

N26 says it now has more than 2M customers

N26 announced today that it now has more than 2 million customers — up from 1.5 million in October. The German fintech startup’s CEO Valentin Stalf was interviewed onstage at Disrupt Berlin with Tandem CEO Ricky Knox, where they discussed the growth of what are sometimes called challenger banks or neobanks — new banks that […]

Spin Analytics automates credit risk modeling for banks

Meet Spin Analytics, a startup that wants to leverage artificial intelligence to automatically write credit risk modeling regulation reports. The company is participating in Startup Battlefield at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin. If you work for a big bank, you know how painful it can be to launch a new product. Every time you start selling a […]

LearnLux raises $2M from Sound Ventures, Marc Benioff to help employees make financial decisions

LearnLux offers businesses access to its financial wellness platform, a digital product that helps employees make important financial decisions.

Robinhood hires 20-year Amazon veteran to CFO role as high-flying startup eyes IPO

Robinhood, the zero-fee stock trading app and cryptocurrency exchange, is bringing on a former Amazon finance exec to help the company prepare for an eventual public debut. The startup has hired Jason Warnick, a former exec at Amazon who was with the company for nearly 20 years, most recently serving as the commerce giant’s VP of […]

October lets 11 public companies borrow money on its platform

French crowd-lending platform October (formerly known as Lendix), wants to educate more people about new ways to borrow money. That’s why the company is launching a project called Grandir Ensemble (grow together). 11 big companies are borrowing €100,000 each on October at a 2.5 percent interest rate. October users will be able to lend as […]

Our 3 favorite startups from Morgan Stanley’s 2nd Multicultural Innovation Lab Demo Day 

The Morgan Stanley Multicultural Innovation Lab, Morgan Stanley’s in-house accelerator focused on companies founded by multicultural and female entrepreneurs, hosted its second Annual Showcase and Demo Day.  The event also featured companies from accelerators HearstLab, Newark Venture Partner Labs and PS27 Ventures.  (Note: I was formerly employed by Morgan Stanley and have no financial ties.) The showcase represented […]

Today in brighter crypto news: SEC says tokens are securities

Crypto news got a little boost last week after a dark month of crashes, stablecoins, and birthdays. The SEC ruled that two ICO issuers, CarrierEQ Inc. and Paragon Coin Inc., were in fact selling securities instead of so-called utility tokens. “Both companies have agreed to return funds to harmed investors, register the tokens as securities, […]

Plastiq raises $27M at 2X+ value to let you pay for anything on credit

“I wasn’t asking to pay in Bitcoin!” Plastiq CEO and co-founder Eliot Buchanan recalls with a laugh. “I went to pay part of my tuition at Harvard and I was told that they didn’t (and never would) accept credit card. It was inconvenient and seemed odd. Credit cards had been around for 50 years.” That […]

Pitching a $99 tax advisory service for the masses, Visor has raised $9 million

The only sure things in this life, according to Ben Franklin, are death and taxes. And a new startup called Visor has just raised $9 million in financing to make one of them as painless as possible. Unlike Nectome, Visor won’t kill anyone, but it may ring the death knell for the high-end tax advisors that most Americans […]