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The Wall Street Journal: Zendesk nears deal to sell to private-equity firms

Zendesk Inc. is close to a deal with a group of buyout firms, according to people familiar with the matter, resurrecting a failed attempt to sell itself in what would be one of the biggest private-equity takeovers of the year......»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchJun 23rd, 2022

Check out these 45 pitch decks fintechs disrupting trading, investing, and banking used to raise millions in funding

Looking for examples of real fintech pitch decks? Check out pitch decks that Qolo, Lance, and other startups used to raise money from VCs. Check out these pitch decks for examples of fintech founders sold their vision.Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech.  Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders sold their vision. See more stories on Insider's business page. Fintech funding has been on a tear.In 2021, fintech funding hit a record $132 billion globally, according to CB Insights, more than double 2020's mark.Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech. Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders are selling their vision and nabbing big bucks in the process. You'll see new financial tech geared at freelancers, fresh twists on digital banking, and innovation aimed at streamlining customer onboarding. Pay-as-you-go compliance for banks, fintechs, and crypto startupsNeepa Patel, Themis' founder and CEOThemisWhen Themis founder and CEO Neepa Patel set out to build a new compliance tool for banks, fintech startups, and crypto companies, she tapped into her own experience managing risk at some of the nation's biggest financial firms. Having worked as a bank regulator at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and in compliance at Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, and the enterprise blockchain company R3, Patel was well-placed to assess the shortcomings in financial compliance software. But Patel, who left the corporate world to begin work on Themis in 2020, drew on more than just her own experience and frustrations to build the startup."It's not just me building a tool based on my personal pain points. I reached out to regulators. I reached out to bank compliance officers and members in the fintech community just to make sure that we're building it exactly how they do their work," Patel told Insider. "That was the biggest problem: No one built a tool that was reflective of how people do their work."Check out the 9-page pitch deck Themis, which offers pay-as-you-go compliance for banks, fintechs, and crypto startups, used to raise $9 million in seed fundingDeploying algorithms and automation to small-business financingJustin Straight and Bernard Worthy, LoanWell co-foundersLoanWellBernard Worthy and Justin Straight, the founders of LoanWell, want to break down barriers to financing for small and medium-size businesses — and they've got algorithms and automation in their tech arsenals that they hope will do it.Worthy, the company's CEO, and Straight, its chief operating and financial officer, are powering community-focused lenders to fill a gap in the SMB financing world by boosting access to loans under $100,000. And the upstart is known for catching the attention, and dollars, of mission-driven investors. LoanWell closed a $3 million seed financing round in December led by Impact America Fund with participation from SoftBank's SB Opportunity Fund and Collab Capital.LoanWell automates the financing process — from underwriting and origination, to money movement and servicing — which shaves down an up-to-90-day process to 30 days or even same-day with some LoanWell lenders, Worthy said. SMBs rely on these loans to process quickly after two years of financial uncertainty. But the pandemic illustrated how time-consuming and expensive SMB financing can be, highlighted by efforts like the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program.Community banks, once the lifeline to capital for many local businesses, continue to shutter. And demands for smaller loan amounts remain largely unmet. More than half of business-loan applicants sought $100,000 or less, according to 2018 data from the Federal Reserve. But the average small-business bank loan was closer to six times that amount, according to the latest data from a now discontinued Federal Reserve survey.Here's the 14-page pitch deck LoanWell used to raise $3 million from investors like SoftBank.Helping small businesses manage their taxesComplYant's founder Shiloh Johnson wants to help people be present in their bookkeeping.ComplYantAfter 14 years in tax accounting, Shiloh Johnson had formed a core philosophy around corporate accounting: everyone deserves to understand their business's money and business owners need to be present in their bookkeeping process.She wanted to help small businesses understand "this is why you need to do what you're doing and why you have to change the way you think about tax and be present in your bookkeeping process," she told Insider. The Los Angeles native wanted small businesses to not only understand business tax no matter their size but also to find the tools they needed to prepare their taxes in one spot. So Johnson developed a software platform that provides just that.The 13-page pitch deck ComplYant used to nab $4 million that details the tax startup's plan to be Turbotax, Quickbooks, and Xero rolled into one for small business ownersHelping LatAm startups get up to speedKamino cofounders Guto Fragoso, Rodrigo Perenha, Benjamin Gleason, and Gonzalo Parejo.KaminoThere's more venture capital flowing into Latin America than ever before, but getting the funds in founders' hands is not exactly a simple process.In 2021, investors funneled $15.3 billion into Latin American companies, more than tripling the previous record of $4.9 billion in 2019. Fintech and e-commerce sectors drove funding, accounting for 39% and 25% of total funding, respectively.  However, for many startup founders in the region who have successfully sold their ideas and gotten investors on board, there's a patchwork of corporate structuring that's needed to access the funds, according to Benjamin Gleason, who was the chief financial officer at Groupon LatAm prior to cofounding Brazil-based fintech Kamino.It's a process Gleason and his three fellow Kamino cofounders have been through before as entrepreneurs and startup execs themselves. Most often, startups have to set up offshore financial accounts outside of Brazil, which "entails creating a Cayman [Islands] holding company, a Delaware LLC, and then connecting it to a local entity here and also opening US bank accounts for the Cayman entity, which is not trivial from a KYC perspective," said Gleason, who founded open-banking fintech Guiabolso in Sao Paulo. His partner, Gonzalo Parejo, experienced the same toils when he founded insurtech Bidu."Pretty much any international investor will usually ask for that," Gleason said, adding that investors typically cite liability issues."It's just a massive amount of bureaucracy, complexity, a lot of time from the founders. All of this just to get the money from the investor that wants to give them the money," he added.Here's the 8-page pitch deck Kamino, a fintech helping LatAm startups with everything from financing to corporate credit cards, used to raise a $6.1M pre-seed round 'A bank for immigrants'Priyank Singh and Rohit Mittal are the cofounders of Stilt.StiltRohit Mittal remembers the difficulties he faced when he first arrived in the United States a decade ago as a master's student at Columbia University.As an immigrant from India, Mittal had no credit score in the US and had difficulty integrating into the financial system. Mittal even struggled to get approved to rent an apartment and couch-surfed until he found a roommate willing to offer him space in his apartment in the New York neighborhood Morningside Heights.That roommate was Priyank Singh, who would go on to become Mittal's cofounder when the two started Stilt, a financial-technology company designed to address the problems Mittal faced when he arrived in the US.Stilt, which calls itself "a bank for immigrants," does not require a social security number or credit history to access its offerings, including unsecured personal loans.Instead of relying on traditional metrics like a credit score, Stilt uses data such as education and employment to predict an individual's future income stability and cash flow before issuing a loan. Stilt has seen its loan volume grow by 500% in the past 12 months, and the startup has loaned to immigrants from 160 countries since its launch. Here are the 15 slides Stilt, which calls itself 'a bank for immigrants,' used to raise a $14 million Series A Saving on vendor invoicesHoward Katzenberg, Glean's CEO and cofounder.GleanWhen it comes to high-flying tech startups, headlines and investors typically tend to focus on industry "disruption" and the total addressable market a company is hoping to reach. Expense cutting as a way to boost growth typically isn't part of the conversation early on, and finance teams are viewed as cost centers relative to sales teams. But one fast-growing area of business payments has turned its focus to managing those costs. Startups like Ramp and established names like Bill.com have made their name offering automated expense-management systems. Now, one new fintech competitor, Glean, is looking to take that further by offering both automated payment services and tailored line-item accounts-payable insights driven by machine-learning models. Glean's CFO and founder, Howard Katzenberg, told Insider that the genesis of Glean was driven by his own personal experience managing the finance teams of startups, including mortgage lender Better.com, which Katzenberg left in 2019, and online small-business lender OnDeck. "As a CFO of high-growth companies, I spent a lot of time focused on revenue and I had amazing dashboards in real time where I could see what is going on top of the funnel, what's going on with conversion rates, what's going on in terms of pricing and attrition," Katzenberg told Insider. See the 15-slide pitch deck Glean, a startup using machine learning to find savings in vendor invoices, used to raise $10.8 million in seed fundingBetter use of payroll dataAtomic's Head of Markets, Lindsay Davis.AtomicEmployees at companies large and small know the importance — and limitations — of how firms manage their payrolls. A new crop of startups are building the API pipes that connect companies and their employees to offer a greater level of visibility and flexibility when it comes to payroll data and employee verification. On Thursday, one of those names, Atomic, announced a $40 million Series B fundraising round co-led by Mercato Partners and Greylock, alongside Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and ATX Capital. The round follows Atomic's Series A round announced in October, when the startup raised a $22 million Series A from investors including Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and Greylock.Payroll startup Atomic just raised a $40 million Series B. Here's an internal deck detailing the fintech's approach to the red-hot payments space.Data science for commercial insuranceTanner Hackett, founder and CEO of Counterpart.CounterpartThere's been no shortage of funds flowing into insurance-technology companies over the past few years. Private-market funding to insurtechs soared to $15.4 billion in 2021, a 90% increase compared to 2020. Some of the most well-known consumer insurtech names — from Oscar (which focuses on health insurance) to Metromile (which focuses on auto) — launched on the public markets last year, only to fall over time or be acquired as investors questioned the sustainability of their business models. In the commercial arena, however, the head of one insurtech company thinks there is still room to grow — especially for those catering to small businesses operating in an entirely new, pandemic-defined environment. "The bigger opportunity is in commercial lines," Tanner Hackett, the CEO of management liability insurer Counterpart, told Insider."Everywhere I poke, I'm like, 'Oh my goodness, we're still in 1.0, and all the other businesses I've built were on version three.' Insurance is still in 1.0, still managing from spreadsheets and PDFs," added Hackett, who also previously co-founded Button, which focuses on mobile marketing. See the 8-page pitch deck Counterpart, a startup disrupting commercial insurance with data science, used to raise a $30 million Series BCrypto staking made easyEthan and Eric Parker, founders of crypto-investing app Giddy.GiddyFrom the outside looking in, cryptocurrency can seem like a world of potential, but also one of complexity. That's because digital currencies, which can be traded, invested in, and moved like traditional currencies, operate on decentralized blockchain networks that can be quite technical in nature. Still, they offer the promise of big gains and have been thrusted into the mainstream over the years, converting Wall Street stalwarts and bankers.But for the everyday investor, a fear of missing out is settling in. That's why brothers Ethan and Eric Parker built Giddy, a mobile app that enables users to invest in crypto, earn passive income on certain crypto holdings via staking, and get into the red-hot space of decentralized finance, or DeFi."What we're focusing on is giving an opportunity for people who otherwise couldn't access DeFi because it's just technically too difficult," Eric Parker, CEO at Giddy, told Insider. Here's the 7-page pitch deck Giddy, an app that lets users invest in DeFi, used to raise an $8 million seed roundAccess to commercial real-estate investing LEX Markets cofounders and co-CEOs Drew Sterrett and Jesse Daugherty.LEX MarketsDrew Sterrett was structuring real-estate deals while working in private equity when he realized the inefficiencies that existed in the market. Only high-net worth individuals or accredited investors could participate in commercial real-estate deals. If they ever wanted to leave a partnership or sell their stake in a property, it was difficult to find another investor to replace them. Owners also struggled to sell minority stakes in their properties and didn't have many good options to recapitalize an asset if necessary.In short, the market had a high barrier to entry despite the fact it didn't always have enough participants to get deals done quickly. "Most investors don't have access to high-quality commercial real-estate investments. How do we have the oldest and largest asset class in the world and one of the largest wealth creators with no public and liquid market?" Sterrett told Insider. "It sort of seems like a no-brainer, and that this should have existed 50 or 60 years ago."This 15-page pitch deck helped LEX Markets, a startup making investing in commercial real estate more accessible, raise $15 millionHelping streamline how debts are repaidMethod Financial cofounders Jose Bethancourt and Marco del Carmen.Method FinancialWhen Jose Bethancourt graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2019, he faced the same question that confronts over 43 million Americans: How would he repay his student loans?The problem led Bethancourt on a nearly two-year journey that culminated in the creation of a startup aimed at making it easier for consumers to more seamlessly pay off all kinds of debt.  Initially, Bethancourt and fellow UT grad Marco del Carmen built GradJoy, an app that helped users better understand how to manage student loan repayment and other financial habits. GradJoy was accepted into Y Combinator in the summer of 2019. But the duo quickly realized the real benefit to users would be helping them move money to make payments instead of simply offering recommendations."When we started GradJoy, we thought, 'Oh, we'll just give advice — we don't think people are comfortable with us touching their student loans,' and then we realized that people were saying, 'Hey, just move the money — if you think I should pay extra, then I'll pay extra.' So that's kind of the movement that we've seen, just, everybody's more comfortable with fintechs doing what's best for them," Bethancourt told Insider. Here is the 11-slide pitch deck Method Financial, a Y Combinator-backed fintech making debt repayment easier, used to raise $2.5 million in pre-seed fundingSmarter insurance for multifamily propertiesItai Ben-Zaken, cofounder and CEO of Honeycomb.HoneycombA veteran of the online-insurance world is looking to revolutionize the way the industry prices risk for commercial properties with the help of artificial intelligence.Insurance companies typically send inspectors to properties before issuing policies to better understand how the building is maintained and identify potential risks or issues with it. It's a process that can be time-consuming, expensive, and inefficient, making it hard to justify for smaller commercial properties, like apartment and condo buildings.Insurtech Honeycomb is looking to fix that by using AI to analyze a combination of third-party data and photos submitted by customers through the startup's app to quickly identify any potential risks at a property and more accurately price policies."That whole physical inspection thing had really good things in it, but it wasn't really something that is scalable and, it's also expensive," Itai Ben-Zaken, Honeycomb's cofounder and CEO, told Insider. "The best way to see a property right now is Google street view. Google street view is usually two years old."Here's the 10-page Series A pitch deck used by Honeycomb, a startup that wants to revolutionize the $26 billion market for multifamily property insuranceRetirement accounts for cryptoTodd Southwick, CEO and co-founder of iTrustCapital.iTrustCapitalTodd Southwick and Blake Skadron stuck to a simple mandate when they were building out iTrustCapital, a $1.3 billion fintech that strives to offer cryptocurrencies to the masses via dedicated individual retirement accounts."We wanted to make a product that we would feel happy recommending for our parents to use," Southwick, the CEO of iTrustCapital, told Insider. That guiding framework resulted in a software system that helped to digitize and automate the traditionally clunky and paper-based process of setting up an IRA for alternative assets, Southwick said. "We saw a real opportunity within the self-directed IRAs because we knew at that point in time, there was a fairly small segment of people that was willing to deal with the inconvenience of having to set up an IRA" for crypto, Southwick said. The process often involved phone calls to sales reps and over-the-counter trading desks, paper and fax machines, and days of wait time.iTrustCapital allows customers to buy and sell cryptocurrencies using tax-advantaged IRAs with no monthly account fees. The startup provides access to 25 cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ethereum, and dogecoin — charging a 1% transaction fee on crypto trades — as well as gold and silver.iTrustCapital, a fintech simplifying how to set up a crypto retirement account, used this 8-page pitch deck to raise a $125 million Series AA new way to assess creditworthinessPinwheel founders Curtis Lee, Kurt Lin, and Anish Basu.PinwheelGrowing up, Kurt Lin never saw his father get frustrated. A "traditional, stoic figure," Lin said his father immigrated to the United States in the 1970s. Becoming part of the financial system proved even more difficult than assimilating into a new culture.Lin recalled visiting bank after bank with his father as a child, watching as his father's applications for a mortgage were denied due to his lack of credit history. "That was the first time in my life I really saw him crack," Lin told Insider. "The system doesn't work for a lot of people — including my dad," he added. Lin would find a solution to his father's problem years later while working with Anish Basu, and Curtis Lee on an automated health savings account. The trio realized the payroll data integrations they were working on could be the basis of a product that would help lenders work with consumers without strong credit histories."That's when the lightbulb hit," said Lin, Pinwheel's CEO.In 2018, Lin, Basu, and Lee founded Pinwheel, an application-programming interface that shares payroll data to help both fintechs and traditional lenders serve consumers with limited or poor credit, who have historically struggled to access financial products. Here's the 9-page deck that Pinwheel, a fintech helping lenders tap into payroll data to serve consumers with little to no credit, used to raise a $50 million Series BA new data feed for bond tradingMark Lennihan/APFor years, the only way investors could figure out the going price of a corporate bond was calling up a dealer on the phone. The rise of electronic trading has streamlined that process, but data can still be hard to come by sometimes. A startup founded by a former Goldman Sachs exec has big plans to change that. BondCliQ is a fintech that provides a data feed of pre-trade pricing quotes for the corporate bond market. Founded by Chris White, the creator of Goldman Sachs' defunct corporate-bond-trading system, BondCliQ strives to bring transparency to a market that has traditionally kept such data close to the vest. Banks, which typically serve as the dealers of corporate bonds, have historically kept pre-trade quotes hidden from other dealers to maintain a competitive advantage.But tech advancements and the rise of electronic marketplaces have shifted power dynamics into the hands of buy-side firms, like hedge funds and asset managers. The investors are now able to get a fuller picture of the market by aggregating price quotes directly from dealers or via vendors.Here's the 9-page pitch deck that BondCliQ, a fintech looking to bring more data and transparency to bond trading, used to raise its Series AA trading app for activismAntoine Argouges, CEO and founder of Tulipshare.TulipshareAn up-and-coming fintech is taking aim at some of the world's largest corporations by empowering retail investors to push for social and environmental change by pooling their shareholder rights.London-based Tulipshare lets individuals in the UK invest as little as one pound in publicly-traded company stocks. The upstart combines individuals' shareholder rights with other like-minded investors to advocate for environmental, social, and corporate governance change at firms like JPMorgan, Apple, and Amazon.The goal is to achieve a higher number of shares to maximize the number of votes that can be submitted at shareholder meetings. Already a regulated broker-dealer in the UK, Tulipshare recently applied for registration as a broker-dealer in the US. "If you ask your friends and family if they've ever voted on shareholder resolutions, the answer will probably be close to zero," CEO and founder Antoine Argouges told Insider. "I started Tulipshare to utilize shareholder rights to bring about positive corporate change that has an impact on people's lives and our planet — what's more powerful than money to change the system we live in?"Check out the 14-page pitch deck from Tulipshare, a trading app that lets users pool their shareholder votes for activism campaignsThe back-end tech for beautyDanielle Cohen-Shohet, CEO and founder of GlossGeniusGlossGeniusDanielle Cohen-Shohet might have started as a Goldman Sachs investment analyst, but at her core she was always a coder.After about three years at Goldman Sachs, Cohen-Shohet left the world of traditional finance to code her way into starting her own company in 2016. "There was a period of time where I did nothing, but eat, sleep, and code for a few weeks," Cohen-Shohet told Insider. Her technical edge and knowledge of the point-of-sale payment space led her to launch a software company focused on providing behind-the-scenes tech for beauty and wellness small businesses.Cohen-Shohet launched GlossGenius in 2017 to provide payments tech for hair stylists, nail technicians, blow-out bars, and other small businesses in the space.Here's the 11-page deck GlossGenius, a startup that provides back-end tech for the beauty industry, used to raise $16 millionPrivate market data on the blockchainPat O'Meara, CEO of Inveniam.InveniamFor investors in publicly-traded stocks, there's typically no shortage of company data to guide investment decisions. Company financials are easily accessible and vetted by teams of regulators, lawyers, and accountants.But in the private markets — which encompass assets that range from real estate to private credit and private equity — that isn't always the case. Within real estate, for example, valuations of a specific slice of property are often the product of heavily-worked Excel models and a lot of institutional knowledge, leaving them susceptible to manual error at many points along the way.Inveniam, founded in 2017, is a software company that tokenizes the business data of private companies on the blockchain. Using a distributed ledger allows Inveniam to keep track of who is touching the data and what they are doing to it. Check out the 16-page pitch deck for Inveniam, a blockchain-based startup looking to be the Refinitiv of private-market dataHelping freelancers with their taxesJaideep Singh is the CEO and co-founder of FlyFin, an AI-driven tax preparation software program for freelancers.FlyFinSome people, particularly those with families or freelancing businesses, spend days searching for receipts for tax season, making tax preparation a time consuming and, at times, taxing experience. That's why in 2020 Jaideep Singh founded FlyFin, an artificial-intelligence tax preparation program for freelancers that helps people, as he puts it, "fly through their finances." FlyFin is set up to connect to a person's bank accounts, allowing the AI program to help users monitor for certain expenses that can be claimed on their taxes like business expenditures, the interest on mortgages, property taxes, or whatever else that might apply. "For most individuals, people have expenses distributed over multiple financial institutions. So we built an AI platform that is able to look at expenses, understand the individual, understand your profession, understand the freelance population at large, and start the categorization," Singh told Insider.Check out the 7-page pitch deck a startup helping freelancers manage their taxes used to nab $8 million in funding Shopify for embedded financeProductfy CEO and founder, Duy Vo.ProductfyProductfy is looking to break into embedded finance by becoming the Shopify of back-end banking services.Embedded finance — integrating banking services in non-financial settings — has taken hold in the e-commerce world. But Productfy is going after a different kind of customer in churches, universities, and nonprofits.The San Jose, Calif.-based upstart aims to help non-finance companies offer their own banking products. Productfy can help customers launch finance features in as little as a week and without additional engineering resources or background knowledge of banking compliance or legal requirements, Productfy founder and CEO Duy Vo told Insider. "You don't need an engineer to stand up Shopify, right? You can be someone who's just creating art and you can use Shopify to build your own online store," Vo said, adding that Productfy is looking to take that user experience and replicate it for banking services.Here's the 15-page pitch deck Productfy, a fintech looking to be the Shopify of embedded finance, used to nab a $16 million Series AReal-estate management made easyAgora founders Noam Kahan, CTO, Bar Mor, CEO, and Lior Dolinski, CPO.AgoraFor alternative asset managers of any type, the operations underpinning sales and investor communications are a crucial but often overlooked part of the business. Fund managers love to make bets on markets, not coordinate hundreds of wire transfers to clients each quarter or organize customer-relationship-management databases.Within the $10.6 trillion global market for professionally managed real-estate investing, that's where Tel Aviv and New York-based startup Agora hopes to make its mark.Founded in 2019, Agora offers a set of back-office, investor relations, and sales software tools that real-estate investment managers can plug into their workflows. On Wednesday, Agora announced a $9 million seed round, led by Israel-based venture firm Aleph, with participation from River Park Ventures and Maccabee Ventures. The funding comes on the heels of an October 2020 pre-seed fund raise worth $890,000, in which Maccabee also participated.Here's the 15-slide pitch deck that Agora, a startup helping real-estate investors manage communications and sales with their clients, used to raise a $9 million seed roundCheckout made easyBolt's Ryan Breslow.Ryan BreslowAmazon has long dominated e-commerce with its one-click checkout flows, offering easier ways for consumers to shop online than its small-business competitors.Bolt gives small merchants tools to offer the same easy checkouts so they can compete with the likes of Amazon.The startup raised its $393 million Series D to continue adding its one-click checkout feature to merchants' own websites in October.Bolt markets to merchants themselves. But a big part of Bolt's pitch is its growing network of consumers — currently over 5.6 million — that use its features across multiple Bolt merchant customers. Roughly 5% of Bolt's transactions were network-driven in May, meaning users that signed up for a Bolt account on another retailer's website used it elsewhere. The network effects were even more pronounced in verticals like furniture, where 49% of transactions were driven by the Bolt network."The network effect is now unleashed with Bolt in full fury, and that triggered the raise," Bolt's founder and CEO Ryan Breslow told Insider.Here's the 12-page deck that one-click checkout Bolt used to outline its network of 5.6 million consumers and raise its Series DHelping small banks lendCollateralEdge's Joel Radtke, cofounder, COO, and president, and Joe Beard, cofounder and CEO.CollateralEdgeFor large corporations with a track record of tapping the credit markets, taking out debt is a well-structured and clear process handled by the nation's biggest investment banks and teams of accountants. But smaller, middle-market companies — typically those with annual revenues ranging up to $1 billion — are typically served by regional and community banks that don't always have the capacity to adequately measure the risk of loans or price them competitively. Per the National Center for the Middle Market, 200,000 companies fall into this range, accounting for roughly 33% of US private sector GDP and employment.Dallas-based fintech CollateralEdge works with these banks — typically those with between $1 billion and $50 billion in assets — to help analyze and price slices of commercial and industrial loans that previously might have gone unserved by smaller lenders.On October 20th, CollateralEdge announced a $3.5 million seed round led by Dallas venture fund Perot Jain with participation from Kneeland Youngblood (a founder of the healthcare-focused private-equity firm Pharos Capital) and other individual investors.Here's the 10-page deck CollateralEdge, a fintech streamlining how small banks lend to businesses, used to raise a $3.5 million seed round Quantum computing made easyQC Ware CEO Matt Johnson.QC WareEven though banks and hedge funds are still several years out from adding quantum computing to their tech arsenals, that hasn't stopped Wall Street giants from investing time and money into the emerging technology class. And momentum for QC Ware, a startup looking to cut the time and resources it takes to use quantum computing, is accelerating. The fintech secured a $25 million Series B on September 29 co-led by Koch Disruptive Technologies and Covestro with participation from D.E. Shaw, Citi, and Samsung Ventures.QC Ware, founded in 2014, builds quantum algorithms for the likes of Goldman Sachs (which led the fintech's Series A), Airbus, and BMW Group. The algorithms, which are effectively code bases that include quantum processing elements, can run on any of the four main public-cloud providers.Quantum computing allows companies to do complex calculations faster than traditional computers by using a form of physics that runs on quantum bits as opposed to the traditional 1s and 0s that computers use. This is especially helpful in banking for risk analytics or algorithmic trading, where executing calculations milliseconds faster than the competition can give firms a leg up. Here's the 20-page deck QC Ware, a fintech making quantum computing more accessible, used to raised its $25 million Series BSimplifying quant modelsKirat Singh and Mark Higgins, Beacon's cofounders.BeaconA fintech that helps financial institutions use quantitative models to streamline their businesses and improve risk management is catching the attention, and capital, of some of the country's biggest investment managers.Beacon Platform, founded in 2014, is a fintech that builds applications and tools to help banks, asset managers, and trading firms quickly integrate quantitative models that can help with analyzing risk, ensuring compliance, and improving operational efficiency. The company raised its Series C on Wednesday, scoring a $56 million investment led by Warburg Pincus with support from Blackstone Innovations Investments, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic. Blackstone, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic are also users of Beacon's tech, as are the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Shell New Energies, a division of Royal Dutch Shell, among others.The fintech provides a shortcut for firms looking to use quantitative modelling and data science across various aspects of their businesses, a process that can often take considerable resources if done solo.Here's the 20-page pitch deck Beacon, a fintech helping Wall Street better analyze risk and data, used to raise $56 million from Warburg Pincus, Blackstone, and PIMCOInvoice financing for SMBsStacey Abrams and Lara Hodgson, Now cofounders.NowAbout a decade ago, politician Stacey Abrams and entrepreneur Lara Hodgson were forced to fold their startup because of a kink in the supply chain — but not in the traditional sense.Nourish, which made spill-proof bottled water for children, had grown quickly from selling to small retailers to national ones. And while that may sound like a feather in the small business' cap, there was a hang-up."It was taking longer and longer to get paid, and as you can imagine, you deliver the product and then you wait and you wait, but meanwhile you have to pay your employees and you have to pay your vendors," Hodgson told Insider. "Waiting to get paid was constraining our ability to grow."While it's not unusual for small businesses to grapple with working capital issues, the dust was still settling from the Great Recession. Abrams and Hodgson couldn't secure a line of credit or use financing tools like factoring to solve their problem. The two entrepreneurs were forced to close Nourish in 2012, but along the way they recognized a disconnect in the system.  "Why are we the ones borrowing money, when in fact we're the lender here because every time you send an invoice to a customer, you've essentially extended a free loan to that customer by letting them pay later," Hodgson said. "And the only reason why we were going to need to possibly borrow money was because we had just given ours away for free to Whole Foods," she added.Check out the 7-page deck that Now, Stacey Abrams' fintech that wants to help small businesses 'grow fearlessly', used to raise $29 millionInsurance goes digitalJamie Hale, CEO and cofounder of Ladder.LadderFintechs looking to transform how insurance policies are underwritten, issued, and experienced by customers have grown as new technology driven by digital trends and artificial intelligence shape the market. And while verticals like auto, homeowner's, and renter's insurance have seen their fair share of innovation from forward-thinking fintechs, one company has taken on the massive life-insurance market. Founded in 2017, Ladder uses a tech-driven approach to offer life insurance with a digital, end-to-end service that it says is more flexible, faster, and cost-effective than incumbent players.Life, annuity, and accident and health insurance within the US comprise a big chunk of the broader market. In 2020, premiums written on those policies totaled some $767 billion, compared to $144 billion for auto policies and $97 billion for homeowner's insurance.Here's the 12-page deck that Ladder, a startup disrupting the 'crown jewel' of the insurance market, used to nab $100 millionEmbedded payments for SMBsThe Highnote team.HighnoteBranded cards have long been a way for merchants with the appropriate bank relationships to create additional revenue and build customer loyalty. The rise of embedded payments, or the ability to shop and pay in a seamless experience within a single app, has broadened the number of companies looking to launch branded cards.Highnote is a startup that helps small to mid-sized merchants roll out their own debit and pre-paid digital cards. The fintech emerged from stealth on Tuesday to announce it raised $54 million in seed and Series A funding.Here's the 12-page deck Highnote, a startup helping SMBs embed payments, used to raise $54 million in seed and Series A fundingAn alternative auto lenderDaniel Chu, CEO and founder of Tricolor.TricolorAn alternative auto lender that caters to thin- and no-credit Hispanic borrowers is planning a national expansion after scoring a $90 million investment from BlackRock-managed funds. Tricolor is a Dallas-based auto lender that is a community development financial institution. It uses a proprietary artificial-intelligence engine that decisions each customer based on more than 100 data points, such as proof of income. Half of Tricolor's customers have a FICO score, and less than 12% have scores above 650, yet the average customer has lived in the US for 15 years, according to the deck.A 2017 survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found 31.5% of Hispanic households had no mainstream credit compared to 14.4% of white households. "For decades, the deck has been stacked against low income or credit invisible Hispanics in the United States when it comes to the purchase and financing of a used vehicle," Daniel Chu, founder and CEO of Tricolor, said in a statement announcing the raise.An auto lender that caters to underbanked Hispanics used this 25-page deck to raise $90 million from BlackRock investorsA new way to access credit The TomoCredit team.TomoCreditKristy Kim knows first-hand the challenge of obtaining credit in the US without an established credit history. Kim, who came to the US from South Korea, couldn't initially get access to credit despite having a job in investment banking after graduating college. "I was in my early twenties, I had a good income, my job was in investment banking but I could not get approved for anything," Kim told Insider. "Many young professionals like me, we deserve an opportunity to be considered but just because we didn't have a Fico, we weren't given a chance to even apply," she added.Kim started TomoCredit in 2018 to help others like herself gain access to consumer credit. TomoCredit spent three years building an internal algorithm to underwrite customers based on cash flow, rather than a credit score.TomoCredit, a fintech that lends to thin- and no-credit borrowers, used this 17-page pitch deck to raise its $10 million Series AAn IRA for alternativesHenry Yoshida is the co-founder and CEO of retirement fintech startup Rocket Dollar.Rocket DollarFintech startup Rocket Dollar, which helps users invest their individual retirement account (IRA) dollars into alternative assets, just raised $8 million for its Series A round, the company announced on Thursday.Park West Asset Management led the round, with participation from investors including Hyphen Capital, which focuses on backing Asian American entrepreneurs, and crypto exchange Kraken's venture arm. Co-founded in 2018 by CEO Henry Yoshida, CTO Rick Dude, and VP of marketing Thomas Young, Rocket Dollar now has over $350 million in assets under management on its platform. Yoshida sold his first startup, a roboadvisor called Honest Dollar, to Goldman Sachs' investment management division for an estimated $20 million.Yoshida told Insider that while ultra-high net worth investors have been investing self-directed retirement account dollars into alternative assets like real estate, private equity, and cryptocurrency, average investors have not historically been able to access the same opportunities to invest IRA dollars in alternative assets through traditional platforms.Here's the 34-page pitch deck a fintech that helps users invest their retirement savings in crypto and real estate assets used to nab $8 millionConnecting startups and investorsHum Capital cofounder and CEO Blair Silverberg.Hum CapitalBlair Silverberg is no stranger to fundraising.For six years, Silverberg was a venture capitalist at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Private Credit Investments making bets on startups."I was meeting with thousands of founders in person each year, watching them one at a time go through this friction where they're meeting a ton of investors, and the investors are all asking the same questions," Silverberg told Insider. He switched gears about three years ago, moving to the opposite side of the metaphorical table, to start Hum Capital, which uses artificial intelligence to match investors with startups looking to fundraise.On August 31, the New York-based fintech announced its $9 million Series A. The round was led by Future Ventures with participation from Webb Investment Network, Wavemaker Partners, and Partech. This 11-page pitch deck helped Hum Capital, a fintech using AI to match investors with startups, raise a $9 million Series A.Payments infrastructure for fintechsQolo CEO and co-founder Patricia Montesi.QoloThree years ago, Patricia Montesi realized there was a disconnect in the payments world. "A lot of new economy companies or fintech companies were looking to mesh up a lot of payment modalities that they weren't able to," Montesi, CEO and co-founder of Qolo, told Insider.Integrating various payment capabilities often meant tapping several different providers that had specializations in one product or service, she added, like debit card issuance or cross-border payments. "The way people were getting around that was that they were creating this spider web of fintech," she said, adding that "at the end of it all, they had this mess of suppliers and integrations and bank accounts."The 20-year payments veteran rounded up a group of three other co-founders — who together had more than a century of combined industry experience — to start Qolo, a business-to-business fintech that sought out to bundle back-end payment rails for other fintechs.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that provides payments infrastructure for other fintechs used to raise a $15 million Series ASoftware for managing freelancersWorksome cofounder and CEO Morten Petersen.WorksomeThe way people work has fundamentally changed over the past year, with more flexibility and many workers opting to freelance to maintain their work-from-home lifestyles.But managing a freelance or contractor workforce is often an administrative headache for employers. Worksome is a startup looking to eliminate all the extra work required for employers to adapt to more flexible working norms.Worksome started as a freelancer marketplace automating the process of matching qualified workers with the right jobs. But the team ultimately pivoted to a full suite of workforce management software, automating administrative burdens required to hire, pay, and account for contract workers.In May, Worksome closed a $13 million Series A backed by European angel investor Tommy Ahlers and Danish firm Lind & Risør.Here's the 21-slide pitch deck used by a startup that helps firms like Carlsberg and Deloitte manage freelancersPersonal finance is only a text awayYinon Ravid, the chief executive and cofounder of Albert.AlbertThe COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the growing preference of mobile banking as customers get comfortable managing their finances online.The financial app Albert has seen a similar jump in activity. Currently counting more than six million members, deposits in Albert's savings offering doubled from the start of the pandemic in March 2020 to May of this year, from $350 million to $700 million, according to new numbers released by the company. Founded in 2015, Albert offers automated budgeting and savings tools alongside guided investment portfolios. It's looked to differentiate itself through personalized features, like the ability for customers to text human financial experts.Budgeting and saving features are free on Albert. But for more tailored financial advice, customers pay a subscription fee that's a pay-what-you-can model, between $4 and $14 a month. And Albert's now banking on a new tool to bring together its investing, savings, and budgeting tools.Fintech Albert used this 10-page pitch deck to raise a $100 million Series C from General Atlantic and CapitalGRethinking debt collection Jason Saltzman, founder and CEO of ReliefReliefFor lenders, debt collection is largely automated. But for people who owe money on their credit cards, it can be a confusing and stressful process.  Relief is looking to change that. Its app automates the credit-card debt collection process for users, negotiating with lenders and collectors to settle outstanding balances on their behalf. The fintech just launched and closed a $2 million seed round led by Collaborative Ventures. Relief's fundraising experience was a bit different to most. Its pitch deck, which it shared with one investor via Google Slides, went viral. It set out to raise a $1 million seed round, but ended up doubling that and giving some investors money back to make room for others.Check out a 15-page pitch deck that went viral and helped a credit-card debt collection startup land a $2 million seed roundBlockchain for private-markets investing Carlos Domingo is cofounder and CEO of Securitize.SecuritizeSecuritize, founded in 2017 by the tech industry veterans Carlos Domingo and Jamie Finn, is bringing blockchain technology to private-markets investing. The company raised $48 million in Series B funding on June 21 from investors including Morgan Stanley and Blockchain Capital.Securitize helps companies crowdfund capital from individual and institutional investors by issuing their shares in the form of blockchain tokens that allow for more efficient settlement, record keeping, and compliance processes. Morgan Stanley's Tactical Value fund, which invests in private companies, made its first blockchain-technology investment when it coled the Series B, Securitize CEO Carlos Domingo told Insider.Here's the 11-page pitch deck a blockchain startup looking to revolutionize private-markets investing used to nab $48 million from investors like Morgan StanleyE-commerce focused business bankingMichael Rangel, cofounder and CEO, and Tyler McIntyre, cofounder and CTO of Novo.Kristelle Boulos PhotographyBusiness banking is a hot market in fintech. And it seems investors can't get enough.Novo, the digital banking fintech aimed at small e-commerce businesses, raised a $40.7 million Series A led by Valar Ventures in June. Since its launch in 2018, Novo has signed up 100,000 small businesses. Beyond bank accounts, it offers expense management, a corporate card, and integrates with e-commerce infrastructure players like Shopify, Stripe, and Wise.Founded in 2018, Novo was based in New York City, but has since moved its headquarters to Miami. Here's the 12-page pitch deck e-commerce banking startup Novo used to raise its $40 million Series ABlockchain-based credit score tech John Sun, Anna Fridman, and Adam Jiwan are the cofounders of fintech startup Spring Labs.Spring LabsA blockchain-based fintech startup that is aiming to disrupt the traditional model of evaluating peoples' creditworthiness recently raised $30 million in a Series B funding led by credit reporting giant TransUnion.Four-year-old Spring Labs aims to create a private, secure data-sharing model to help credit agencies better predict the creditworthiness of people who are not in the traditional credit bureau system. The founding team of three fintech veterans met as early employees of lending startup Avant.Existing investors GreatPoint Ventures and August Capital also joined in on the most recent round.  So far Spring Labs has raised $53 million from institutional rounds.TransUnion, a publicly-traded company with a $20 billion-plus market cap, is one of the three largest consumer credit agencies in the US. After 18 months of dialogue and six months of due diligence, TransAmerica and Spring Labs inked a deal, Spring Labs CEO and cofounder Adam Jiwan told Insider.Here's the 10-page pitch deck blockchain-based fintech Spring Labs used to snag $30 million from investors including credit reporting giant TransUnionDigital banking for freelancersJGalione/Getty ImagesLance is a new digital bank hoping to simplify the life of those workers by offering what it calls an "active" approach to business banking. "We found that every time we sat down with the existing tools and resources of our accountants and QuickBooks and spreadsheets, we just ended up getting tangled up in the whole experience of it," Lance cofounder and CEO Oona Rokyta told Insider. Lance offers subaccounts for personal salaries, withholdings, and savings to which freelancers can automatically allocate funds according to custom preset levels. It also offers an expense balance that's connected to automated tax withholdings.In May, Lance announced the closing of a $2.8 million seed round that saw participation from Barclays, BDMI, Great Oaks Capital, Imagination Capital, Techstars, DFJ Frontier, and others.Here's the 21-page pitch deck Lance, a digital bank for freelancers, used to raise a $2.8 million seed round from investors including BarclaysDigital tools for independent financial advisorsJason Wenk, founder and CEO of AltruistAltruistJason Wenk started his career at Morgan Stanley in investment research over 20 years ago. Now, he's running a company that is hoping to broaden access to financial advice for less-wealthy individuals. The startup raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Insight Partners with participation from investors Vanguard and Venrock. The round brings the Los Angeles-based startup's total funding to just under $67 million.Founded in 2018, Altruist is a digital brokerage built for independent financial advisors, intended to be an "all-in-one" platform that unites custodial functions, portfolio accounting, and a client-facing portal. It allows advisors to open accounts, invest, build models, report, trade (including fractional shares), and bill clients through an interface that can advisors time by eliminating mundane operational tasks.Altruist aims to make personalized financial advice less expensive, more efficient, and more inclusive through the platform, which is designed for registered investment advisors (RIAs), a growing segment of the wealth management industry. Here's the pitch deck for Altruist, a wealth tech challenging custodians Fidelity and Charles Schwab, that raised $50 million from Vanguard and InsightPayments and operations support HoneyBook cofounders Dror Shimoni, Oz Alon, and Naama Alon.HoneyBookWhile countless small businesses have been harmed by the pandemic, self-employment and entrepreneurship have found ways to blossom as Americans started new ventures.Half of the US population may be freelance by 2027, according to a study commissioned by remote-work hiring platform Upwork. HoneyBook, a fintech startup that provides payment and operations support for freelancers, in May raised $155 million in funding and achieved unicorn status with its $1 billion-plus valuation.Durable Capital Partners led the Series D funding with other new investors including renowned hedge fund Tiger Global, Battery Ventures, Zeev Ventures, and 01 Advisors. Citi Ventures, Citigroup's startup investment arm that also backs fintech robo-advisor Betterment, participated as an existing investor in the round alongside Norwest Venture partners. The latest round brings the company's fundraising total to $227 million to date.Here's the 21-page pitch deck a Citi-backed fintech for freelancers used to raise $155 million from investors like hedge fund Tiger GlobalFraud prevention for lenders and insurersFiordaliso/Getty ImagesOnboarding new customers with ease is key for any financial institution or retailer. The more friction you add, the more likely consumers are to abandon the entire process.But preventing fraud is also a priority, and that's where Neuro-ID comes in. The startup analyzes what it calls "digital body language," or, the way users scroll, type, and tap. Using that data, Neuro-ID can identify fraudulent users before they create an account. It's built for banks, lenders, insurers, and e-commerce players."The train has left the station for digital transformation, but there's a massive opportunity to try to replicate all those communications that we used to have when we did business in-person, all those tells that we would get verbally and non-verbally on whether or not someone was trustworthy," Neuro-ID CEO Jack Alton told Insider.Founded in 2014, the startup's pitch is twofold: Neuro-ID can save companies money by identifying fraud early, and help increase user conversion by making the onboarding process more seamless. In December Neuro-ID closed a $7 million Series A, co-led by Fin VC and TTV Capital, with participation from Canapi Ventures. With 30 employees, Neuro-ID is using the fresh funding to grow its team and create additional tools to be more self-serving for customers.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that analyzes consumers' digital behavior to fight fraud used to raise a $7 million Series AAI-powered tools to spot phony online reviews Saoud Khalifah, founder and CEO of Fakespot.FakespotMarketplaces like Amazon and eBay host millions of third-party sellers, and their algorithms will often boost items in search based on consumer sentiment, which is largely based on reviews. But many third-party sellers use fake reviews often bought from click farms to boost their items, some of which are counterfeit or misrepresented to consumers.That's where Fakespot comes in. With its Chrome extension, it warns users of sellers using potentially fake reviews to boost sales and can identify fraudulent sellers. Fakespot is currently compatible with Amazon, BestBuy, eBay, Sephora, Steam, and Walmart."There are promotional reviews written by humans and bot-generated reviews written by robots or review farms," Fakespot founder and CEO Saoud Khalifah told Insider. "Our AI system has been built to detect both categories with very high accuracy."Fakespot's AI learns via reviews data available on marketplace websites, and uses natural-language processing to identify if reviews are genuine. Fakespot also looks at things like whether the number of positive reviews are plausible given how long a seller has been active.Fakespot, a startup that helps shoppers detect robot-generated reviews and phony sellers on Amazon and Shopify, used this pitch deck to nab a $4 million Series ANew twists on digital bankingZach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradleyHMBradleyConsumers are getting used to the idea of branch-less banking, a trend that startup digital-only banks like Chime, N26, and Varo have benefited from. The majority of these fintechs target those who are underbanked, and rely on usage of their debit cards to make money off interchange. But fellow startup HMBradley has a different business model. "Our thesis going in was that we don't swipe our debit cards all that often, and we don't think the customer base that we're focusing on does either," Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley, told Insider. "A lot of our customer base uses credit cards on a daily basis."Instead, the startup is aiming to build clientele with stable deposits. As a result, the bank is offering interest-rate tiers depending on how much a customer saves of their direct deposit.Notably, the rate tiers are dependent on the percentage of savings, not the net amount. "We'll pay you more when you save more of what comes in," Bruhnke said. "We didn't want to segment customers by how much money they had. So it was always going to be about a percentage of income. That was really important to us."Check out the 14-page pitch deck fintech HMBradley, a neobank offering interest rates as high as 3%, used to raise an $18.25 million Series ARead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 17th, 2022

Elon Musk Should Have Been Stopped Long Before He Came for Twitter

Is Elon Musk serious about buying Twitter? Given his track record for trolling and half-baked provocations, I doubt it. Dubious offers happen, but CEOs of public companies with multibillion-dollar market caps don’t typically propose them. Musk often uses Twitter to deflect attention from serious negative news about him and his companies and now he says… Is Elon Musk serious about buying Twitter? Given his track record for trolling and half-baked provocations, I doubt it. Dubious offers happen, but CEOs of public companies with multibillion-dollar market caps don’t typically propose them. Musk often uses Twitter to deflect attention from serious negative news about him and his companies and now he says he wants to own the social megaphone. I think Musk’s tender offer to buy Twitter will fall apart because everyone, including government regulators, should be on to his games. Twitter, as we know, adopted a poison pill defense against Musk on April 15. The move makes it nearly impossible for him to buy enough Twitter shares on his own to gain control. Musk could try to fight it in court, but “no court has overturned a poison pill in the last 30 years,” according to Columbia University law professor John C. Coffee Jr. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Even so, Musk would have a much harder time making a pitch for Twitter if the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had properly sidelined him the last time he attempted such antics. When the SEC settled with Musk in 2018 for casually tweeting about taking Tesla private at $420, the commission ordered him to step down as Tesla’s chairman but allowed him to continue as CEO. Musk continued to be Tesla’s largest shareholder, with approximately 21.7% of Tesla’s outstanding shares at that time. Former SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said Musk’s penalty “reaffirms an important principle embodied in our disclosure-based federal securities laws. Specifically, when companies and corporate insiders make statements, they must act responsibly, including endeavoring to ensure the statements are not false or misleading and do not omit information a reasonable investor would consider important in making an investment decision.” After the settlement, Musk’s ownership share grew — to 23.1% by the end of June 2021, according to Tesla’s proxy. If the SEC had barred him from the CEO job he’d perhaps own fewer Tesla shares that he could use as collateral for a Twitter takeover. Musk was able to exercise a significant portion of vested stock options in the last half of 2021 as Tesla CEO, reaping billions in profits. He later sold enough to bring his ownership percentage down to about 17% by the end of the year. When he exercises the rest of the stock options he’s been awarded since 2018, he could bring the percentage ownership back up to nearly 24%. Missed opportunities The SEC should have also barred Musk from serving as an officer or director of any public company, a so-called D&O bar, back in 2018. Since financial penalties have minimal impact on multi-billionaires, in its original complaint the SEC originally sought a full D&O bar against Musk. The agency does so in more than 70% of its cases involving individual defendants. In the end, Musk’s lawyers helped him avoid that penalty, and regulators relented, perhaps because of Musk’s unusually close association with Tesla. If regulators had taken those punitive steps, Musk’s options for acquiring another public company like Twitter would be severely limited. Afterall, waging a proxy fight–one that starts with Musk taking a board seat and then gaining control by winning friends and influencing other board members who then vote him Ruler for Life–doesn’t seem to be his style. In fact, he quickly changed his mind about taking a Twitter board seat when it was offered. When Musk settled with the SEC in August 2018 over his unserious bid to take Tesla private, more than 22 million people, including journalists and media organizations, followed him on Twitter. Since then, his cult of personality has exploded. He now has more than 82 million Twitter followers and continues to bypass traditional media channels by obsessively tweeting to defend himself or clap back at perceived enemies like the SEC, journalists, and Tesla whistleblowers. News coverage of Musk, his companies, and his crypto investments, is now primarily driven by his tweets. Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 7, 2018 Because the SEC, and Department of Justice, didn’t stifle Musk’s shenanigans when they had the chance, he’s been free as a bird to tweet long and loud about whatever multi-billion dollar deal he’s hatching up. The lax penalties meant that he never stopped tweeting dismissively about government regulators, the settlement, and its constraints. He repeatedly risks contempt charges over his disputes with the SEC over those 2018 tweets. Musk’s lawyer even accused the SEC of harassing his client with repeated enforcement activity since the SEC’s sanctions, according to this Tesla filing. Causes for concern According to the Wall Street Journal, the DOJ and SEC are now investigating stock sales by Elon Musk and his brother Kimbal, who serves on the Tesla board. The investigation was again prompted by a Musk tweet. The day before brother Elon tweeted a poll asking whether he should sell 10% of his holdings Kimbal Musk sold $108 million of his own shares. Musk also began selling shortly after the tweet. Those investigations come amid other legal problems for Musk and his companies, including a judgment of racial discrimination requiring Tesla to pay $15 million to a former contractor, a California lawsuit alleging discrimination at a Tesla factory, and a Department of Justice investigation at SpaceX over alleged discriminatory hiring practices. Even some deals that Musk has fully consummated haven’t gone well. With Tesla’s 2016 acquisition of Solar City, analysts didn’t see a strategic or business rationale at the time. Shareholders also objected to what they believed was a non-arm’s length transaction mired in the appearance of conflicts of interest because the two companies were entangled at a personal and business level for Musk. Shareholders eventually sued, claiming Musk coerced the company’s board into the deal. They asked a Delaware court to order Musk to pay Tesla $13 billion in damages. A decision in the case is due soon. In his Twitter bid Musk repeats his 2018 intention “to retain as many shareholders as is allowed by the law in a private company”. How was he going to do that for Tesla? A “special purpose fund” would enable any shareholder to retain its Tesla investment. Ann Lipton, a law professor at Tulane University wrote in 2018 that wouldn’t work and nothing has changed since. Word on the street Twitter investor sentiment is on a roller coaster, up and down with each new Musk tweet or announcement in the last two weeks. Twitter’s stock jumped up over $50 with news of Musk’s initial 9.1% stake and then fell back to $45.08 on April 14, closing significantly below Musk’s offer of $54.20 a share before the extended holiday weekend. Twitter opened slightly higher at the start of this week but still nearly 15% below Musk’s bid. By midday Tuesday it was sinking again with ongoing doubts about Musk’s funding and the news that several private equity firms were contemplating a stake, but most as a “white knight” to rescue Twitter from Musk. Twitter users, what Musk has referred to as a “de facto town square”, are arguably an important arbiter of the viability of the deal. Sentiment analysis using Google Trends, Brand24, and Social Search on the key dates of the Twitter acquisition campaign, shows the “de facto town square” doesn’t believe Musk either. Negative sentiment overtook positive on April 9 when Musk decided not to join the Twitter board and then spiked dramatically negative on April 14 when he admitted he was not sure he’ll “actually be able to acquire it.” Dennis Howlett, a Twitter early adopter and retired co-founder of Diginomica, is fed up. “The SEC needs to rein in this man’s child-like behavior. His actions have made Twitter toxic. No right-minded investor would try to buy it now.” As for me, I agree with historian and culture critic Ruth Ben-Ghiat, who said in a recent interview that there’s only one way to stop a personality cult that repeatedly ignores the rule of law. “It takes prosecution and conviction to deflate their personality cults.”.....»»

Category: topSource: timeApr 20th, 2022

Check out these 44 pitch decks fintechs disrupting trading, investing, and banking used to raise millions in funding

Looking for examples of real fintech pitch decks? Check out pitch decks that Qolo, Lance, and other startups used to raise money from VCs. Check out these pitch decks for examples of fintech founders sold their vision.Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech.  Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders sold their vision. See more stories on Insider's business page. Fintech funding has been on a tear.In 2021, fintech funding hit a record $132 billion globally, according to CB Insights, more than double 2020's mark.Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech. Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders are selling their vision and nabbing big bucks in the process. You'll see new financial tech geared at freelancers, fresh twists on digital banking, and innovation aimed at streamlining customer onboarding. Deploying algorithms and automation to small-business financingJustin Straight and Bernard Worthy, LoanWell co-foundersLoanWellBernard Worthy and Justin Straight, the founders of LoanWell, want to break down barriers to financing for small and medium-size businesses — and they've got algorithms and automation in their tech arsenals that they hope will do it.Worthy, the company's CEO, and Straight, its chief operating and financial officer, are powering community-focused lenders to fill a gap in the SMB financing world by boosting access to loans under $100,000. And the upstart is known for catching the attention, and dollars, of mission-driven investors. LoanWell closed a $3 million seed financing round in December led by Impact America Fund with participation from SoftBank's SB Opportunity Fund and Collab Capital.LoanWell automates the financing process — from underwriting and origination, to money movement and servicing — which shaves down an up-to-90-day process to 30 days or even same-day with some LoanWell lenders, Worthy said. SMBs rely on these loans to process quickly after two years of financial uncertainty. But the pandemic illustrated how time-consuming and expensive SMB financing can be, highlighted by efforts like the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program.Community banks, once the lifeline to capital for many local businesses, continue to shutter. And demands for smaller loan amounts remain largely unmet. More than half of business-loan applicants sought $100,000 or less, according to 2018 data from the Federal Reserve. But the average small-business bank loan was closer to six times that amount, according to the latest data from a now discontinued Federal Reserve survey.Here's the 14-page pitch deck LoanWell used to raise $3 million from investors like SoftBank.Helping small businesses manage their taxesComplYant's founder Shiloh Johnson wants to help people be present in their bookkeeping.ComplYantAfter 14 years in tax accounting, Shiloh Johnson had formed a core philosophy around corporate accounting: everyone deserves to understand their business's money and business owners need to be present in their bookkeeping process.She wanted to help small businesses understand "this is why you need to do what you're doing and why you have to change the way you think about tax and be present in your bookkeeping process," she told Insider. The Los Angeles native wanted small businesses to not only understand business tax no matter their size but also to find the tools they needed to prepare their taxes in one spot. So Johnson developed a software platform that provides just that.The 13-page pitch deck ComplYant used to nab $4 million that details the tax startup's plan to be Turbotax, Quickbooks, and Xero rolled into one for small business ownersHelping LatAm startups get up to speedKamino cofounders Guto Fragoso, Rodrigo Perenha, Benjamin Gleason, and Gonzalo Parejo.KaminoThere's more venture capital flowing into Latin America than ever before, but getting the funds in founders' hands is not exactly a simple process.In 2021, investors funneled $15.3 billion into Latin American companies, more than tripling the previous record of $4.9 billion in 2019. Fintech and e-commerce sectors drove funding, accounting for 39% and 25% of total funding, respectively.  However, for many startup founders in the region who have successfully sold their ideas and gotten investors on board, there's a patchwork of corporate structuring that's needed to access the funds, according to Benjamin Gleason, who was the chief financial officer at Groupon LatAm prior to cofounding Brazil-based fintech Kamino.It's a process Gleason and his three fellow Kamino cofounders have been through before as entrepreneurs and startup execs themselves. Most often, startups have to set up offshore financial accounts outside of Brazil, which "entails creating a Cayman [Islands] holding company, a Delaware LLC, and then connecting it to a local entity here and also opening US bank accounts for the Cayman entity, which is not trivial from a KYC perspective," said Gleason, who founded open-banking fintech Guiabolso in Sao Paulo. His partner, Gonzalo Parejo, experienced the same toils when he founded insurtech Bidu."Pretty much any international investor will usually ask for that," Gleason said, adding that investors typically cite liability issues."It's just a massive amount of bureaucracy, complexity, a lot of time from the founders. All of this just to get the money from the investor that wants to give them the money," he added.Here's the 8-page pitch deck Kamino, a fintech helping LatAm startups with everything from financing to corporate credit cards, used to raise a $6.1M pre-seed round 'A bank for immigrants'Priyank Singh and Rohit Mittal are the cofounders of Stilt.StiltRohit Mittal remembers the difficulties he faced when he first arrived in the United States a decade ago as a master's student at Columbia University.As an immigrant from India, Mittal had no credit score in the US and had difficulty integrating into the financial system. Mittal even struggled to get approved to rent an apartment and couch-surfed until he found a roommate willing to offer him space in his apartment in the New York neighborhood Morningside Heights.That roommate was Priyank Singh, who would go on to become Mittal's cofounder when the two started Stilt, a financial-technology company designed to address the problems Mittal faced when he arrived in the US.Stilt, which calls itself "a bank for immigrants," does not require a social security number or credit history to access its offerings, including unsecured personal loans.Instead of relying on traditional metrics like a credit score, Stilt uses data such as education and employment to predict an individual's future income stability and cash flow before issuing a loan. Stilt has seen its loan volume grow by 500% in the past 12 months, and the startup has loaned to immigrants from 160 countries since its launch. Here are the 15 slides Stilt, which calls itself 'a bank for immigrants,' used to raise a $14 million Series A Saving on vendor invoicesHoward Katzenberg, Glean's CEO and cofounder.GleanWhen it comes to high-flying tech startups, headlines and investors typically tend to focus on industry "disruption" and the total addressable market a company is hoping to reach. Expense cutting as a way to boost growth typically isn't part of the conversation early on, and finance teams are viewed as cost centers relative to sales teams. But one fast-growing area of business payments has turned its focus to managing those costs. Startups like Ramp and established names like Bill.com have made their name offering automated expense-management systems. Now, one new fintech competitor, Glean, is looking to take that further by offering both automated payment services and tailored line-item accounts-payable insights driven by machine-learning models. Glean's CFO and founder, Howard Katzenberg, told Insider that the genesis of Glean was driven by his own personal experience managing the finance teams of startups, including mortgage lender Better.com, which Katzenberg left in 2019, and online small-business lender OnDeck. "As a CFO of high-growth companies, I spent a lot of time focused on revenue and I had amazing dashboards in real time where I could see what is going on top of the funnel, what's going on with conversion rates, what's going on in terms of pricing and attrition," Katzenberg told Insider. See the 15-slide pitch deck Glean, a startup using machine learning to find savings in vendor invoices, used to raise $10.8 million in seed fundingBetter use of payroll dataAtomic's Head of Markets, Lindsay Davis.AtomicEmployees at companies large and small know the importance — and limitations — of how firms manage their payrolls. A new crop of startups are building the API pipes that connect companies and their employees to offer a greater level of visibility and flexibility when it comes to payroll data and employee verification. On Thursday, one of those names, Atomic, announced a $40 million Series B fundraising round co-led by Mercato Partners and Greylock, alongside Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and ATX Capital. The round follows Atomic's Series A round announced in October, when the startup raised a $22 million Series A from investors including Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and Greylock.Payroll startup Atomic just raised a $40 million Series B. Here's an internal deck detailing the fintech's approach to the red-hot payments space.Data science for commercial insuranceTanner Hackett, founder and CEO of Counterpart.CounterpartThere's been no shortage of funds flowing into insurance-technology companies over the past few years. Private-market funding to insurtechs soared to $15.4 billion in 2021, a 90% increase compared to 2020. Some of the most well-known consumer insurtech names — from Oscar (which focuses on health insurance) to Metromile (which focuses on auto) — launched on the public markets last year, only to fall over time or be acquired as investors questioned the sustainability of their business models. In the commercial arena, however, the head of one insurtech company thinks there is still room to grow — especially for those catering to small businesses operating in an entirely new, pandemic-defined environment. "The bigger opportunity is in commercial lines," Tanner Hackett, the CEO of management liability insurer Counterpart, told Insider."Everywhere I poke, I'm like, 'Oh my goodness, we're still in 1.0, and all the other businesses I've built were on version three.' Insurance is still in 1.0, still managing from spreadsheets and PDFs," added Hackett, who also previously co-founded Button, which focuses on mobile marketing. See the 8-page pitch deck Counterpart, a startup disrupting commercial insurance with data science, used to raise a $30 million Series BCrypto staking made easyEthan and Eric Parker, founders of crypto-investing app Giddy.GiddyFrom the outside looking in, cryptocurrency can seem like a world of potential, but also one of complexity. That's because digital currencies, which can be traded, invested in, and moved like traditional currencies, operate on decentralized blockchain networks that can be quite technical in nature. Still, they offer the promise of big gains and have been thrusted into the mainstream over the years, converting Wall Street stalwarts and bankers.But for the everyday investor, a fear of missing out is settling in. That's why brothers Ethan and Eric Parker built Giddy, a mobile app that enables users to invest in crypto, earn passive income on certain crypto holdings via staking, and get into the red-hot space of decentralized finance, or DeFi."What we're focusing on is giving an opportunity for people who otherwise couldn't access DeFi because it's just technically too difficult," Eric Parker, CEO at Giddy, told Insider. Here's the 7-page pitch deck Giddy, an app that lets users invest in DeFi, used to raise an $8 million seed roundAccess to commercial real-estate investing LEX Markets cofounders and co-CEOs Drew Sterrett and Jesse Daugherty.LEX MarketsDrew Sterrett was structuring real-estate deals while working in private equity when he realized the inefficiencies that existed in the market. Only high-net worth individuals or accredited investors could participate in commercial real-estate deals. If they ever wanted to leave a partnership or sell their stake in a property, it was difficult to find another investor to replace them. Owners also struggled to sell minority stakes in their properties and didn't have many good options to recapitalize an asset if necessary.In short, the market had a high barrier to entry despite the fact it didn't always have enough participants to get deals done quickly. "Most investors don't have access to high-quality commercial real-estate investments. How do we have the oldest and largest asset class in the world and one of the largest wealth creators with no public and liquid market?" Sterrett told Insider. "It sort of seems like a no-brainer, and that this should have existed 50 or 60 years ago."This 15-page pitch deck helped LEX Markets, a startup making investing in commercial real estate more accessible, raise $15 millionHelping streamline how debts are repaidMethod Financial cofounders Jose Bethancourt and Marco del Carmen.Method FinancialWhen Jose Bethancourt graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2019, he faced the same question that confronts over 43 million Americans: How would he repay his student loans?The problem led Bethancourt on a nearly two-year journey that culminated in the creation of a startup aimed at making it easier for consumers to more seamlessly pay off all kinds of debt.  Initially, Bethancourt and fellow UT grad Marco del Carmen built GradJoy, an app that helped users better understand how to manage student loan repayment and other financial habits. GradJoy was accepted into Y Combinator in the summer of 2019. But the duo quickly realized the real benefit to users would be helping them move money to make payments instead of simply offering recommendations."When we started GradJoy, we thought, 'Oh, we'll just give advice — we don't think people are comfortable with us touching their student loans,' and then we realized that people were saying, 'Hey, just move the money — if you think I should pay extra, then I'll pay extra.' So that's kind of the movement that we've seen, just, everybody's more comfortable with fintechs doing what's best for them," Bethancourt told Insider. Here is the 11-slide pitch deck Method Financial, a Y Combinator-backed fintech making debt repayment easier, used to raise $2.5 million in pre-seed fundingSmarter insurance for multifamily propertiesItai Ben-Zaken, cofounder and CEO of Honeycomb.HoneycombA veteran of the online-insurance world is looking to revolutionize the way the industry prices risk for commercial properties with the help of artificial intelligence.Insurance companies typically send inspectors to properties before issuing policies to better understand how the building is maintained and identify potential risks or issues with it. It's a process that can be time-consuming, expensive, and inefficient, making it hard to justify for smaller commercial properties, like apartment and condo buildings.Insurtech Honeycomb is looking to fix that by using AI to analyze a combination of third-party data and photos submitted by customers through the startup's app to quickly identify any potential risks at a property and more accurately price policies."That whole physical inspection thing had really good things in it, but it wasn't really something that is scalable and, it's also expensive," Itai Ben-Zaken, Honeycomb's cofounder and CEO, told Insider. "The best way to see a property right now is Google street view. Google street view is usually two years old."Here's the 10-page Series A pitch deck used by Honeycomb, a startup that wants to revolutionize the $26 billion market for multifamily property insuranceRetirement accounts for cryptoTodd Southwick, CEO and co-founder of iTrustCapital.iTrustCapitalTodd Southwick and Blake Skadron stuck to a simple mandate when they were building out iTrustCapital, a $1.3 billion fintech that strives to offer cryptocurrencies to the masses via dedicated individual retirement accounts."We wanted to make a product that we would feel happy recommending for our parents to use," Southwick, the CEO of iTrustCapital, told Insider. That guiding framework resulted in a software system that helped to digitize and automate the traditionally clunky and paper-based process of setting up an IRA for alternative assets, Southwick said. "We saw a real opportunity within the self-directed IRAs because we knew at that point in time, there was a fairly small segment of people that was willing to deal with the inconvenience of having to set up an IRA" for crypto, Southwick said. The process often involved phone calls to sales reps and over-the-counter trading desks, paper and fax machines, and days of wait time.iTrustCapital allows customers to buy and sell cryptocurrencies using tax-advantaged IRAs with no monthly account fees. The startup provides access to 25 cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ethereum, and dogecoin — charging a 1% transaction fee on crypto trades — as well as gold and silver.iTrustCapital, a fintech simplifying how to set up a crypto retirement account, used this 8-page pitch deck to raise a $125 million Series AA new way to assess creditworthinessPinwheel founders Curtis Lee, Kurt Lin, and Anish Basu.PinwheelGrowing up, Kurt Lin never saw his father get frustrated. A "traditional, stoic figure," Lin said his father immigrated to the United States in the 1970s. Becoming part of the financial system proved even more difficult than assimilating into a new culture.Lin recalled visiting bank after bank with his father as a child, watching as his father's applications for a mortgage were denied due to his lack of credit history. "That was the first time in my life I really saw him crack," Lin told Insider. "The system doesn't work for a lot of people — including my dad," he added. Lin would find a solution to his father's problem years later while working with Anish Basu, and Curtis Lee on an automated health savings account. The trio realized the payroll data integrations they were working on could be the basis of a product that would help lenders work with consumers without strong credit histories."That's when the lightbulb hit," said Lin, Pinwheel's CEO.In 2018, Lin, Basu, and Lee founded Pinwheel, an application-programming interface that shares payroll data to help both fintechs and traditional lenders serve consumers with limited or poor credit, who have historically struggled to access financial products. Here's the 9-page deck that Pinwheel, a fintech helping lenders tap into payroll data to serve consumers with little to no credit, used to raise a $50 million Series BA new data feed for bond tradingMark Lennihan/APFor years, the only way investors could figure out the going price of a corporate bond was calling up a dealer on the phone. The rise of electronic trading has streamlined that process, but data can still be hard to come by sometimes. A startup founded by a former Goldman Sachs exec has big plans to change that. BondCliQ is a fintech that provides a data feed of pre-trade pricing quotes for the corporate bond market. Founded by Chris White, the creator of Goldman Sachs' defunct corporate-bond-trading system, BondCliQ strives to bring transparency to a market that has traditionally kept such data close to the vest. Banks, which typically serve as the dealers of corporate bonds, have historically kept pre-trade quotes hidden from other dealers to maintain a competitive advantage.But tech advancements and the rise of electronic marketplaces have shifted power dynamics into the hands of buy-side firms, like hedge funds and asset managers. The investors are now able to get a fuller picture of the market by aggregating price quotes directly from dealers or via vendors.Here's the 9-page pitch deck that BondCliQ, a fintech looking to bring more data and transparency to bond trading, used to raise its Series AA trading app for activismAntoine Argouges, CEO and founder of Tulipshare.TulipshareAn up-and-coming fintech is taking aim at some of the world's largest corporations by empowering retail investors to push for social and environmental change by pooling their shareholder rights.London-based Tulipshare lets individuals in the UK invest as little as one pound in publicly-traded company stocks. The upstart combines individuals' shareholder rights with other like-minded investors to advocate for environmental, social, and corporate governance change at firms like JPMorgan, Apple, and Amazon.The goal is to achieve a higher number of shares to maximize the number of votes that can be submitted at shareholder meetings. Already a regulated broker-dealer in the UK, Tulipshare recently applied for registration as a broker-dealer in the US. "If you ask your friends and family if they've ever voted on shareholder resolutions, the answer will probably be close to zero," CEO and founder Antoine Argouges told Insider. "I started Tulipshare to utilize shareholder rights to bring about positive corporate change that has an impact on people's lives and our planet — what's more powerful than money to change the system we live in?"Check out the 14-page pitch deck from Tulipshare, a trading app that lets users pool their shareholder votes for activism campaignsThe back-end tech for beautyDanielle Cohen-Shohet, CEO and founder of GlossGeniusGlossGeniusDanielle Cohen-Shohet might have started as a Goldman Sachs investment analyst, but at her core she was always a coder.After about three years at Goldman Sachs, Cohen-Shohet left the world of traditional finance to code her way into starting her own company in 2016. "There was a period of time where I did nothing, but eat, sleep, and code for a few weeks," Cohen-Shohet told Insider. Her technical edge and knowledge of the point-of-sale payment space led her to launch a software company focused on providing behind-the-scenes tech for beauty and wellness small businesses.Cohen-Shohet launched GlossGenius in 2017 to provide payments tech for hair stylists, nail technicians, blow-out bars, and other small businesses in the space.Here's the 11-page deck GlossGenius, a startup that provides back-end tech for the beauty industry, used to raise $16 millionPrivate market data on the blockchainPat O'Meara, CEO of Inveniam.InveniamFor investors in publicly-traded stocks, there's typically no shortage of company data to guide investment decisions. Company financials are easily accessible and vetted by teams of regulators, lawyers, and accountants.But in the private markets — which encompass assets that range from real estate to private credit and private equity — that isn't always the case. Within real estate, for example, valuations of a specific slice of property are often the product of heavily-worked Excel models and a lot of institutional knowledge, leaving them susceptible to manual error at many points along the way.Inveniam, founded in 2017, is a software company that tokenizes the business data of private companies on the blockchain. Using a distributed ledger allows Inveniam to keep track of who is touching the data and what they are doing to it. Check out the 16-page pitch deck for Inveniam, a blockchain-based startup looking to be the Refinitiv of private-market dataHelping freelancers with their taxesJaideep Singh is the CEO and co-founder of FlyFin, an AI-driven tax preparation software program for freelancers.FlyFinSome people, particularly those with families or freelancing businesses, spend days searching for receipts for tax season, making tax preparation a time consuming and, at times, taxing experience. That's why in 2020 Jaideep Singh founded FlyFin, an artificial-intelligence tax preparation program for freelancers that helps people, as he puts it, "fly through their finances." FlyFin is set up to connect to a person's bank accounts, allowing the AI program to help users monitor for certain expenses that can be claimed on their taxes like business expenditures, the interest on mortgages, property taxes, or whatever else that might apply. "For most individuals, people have expenses distributed over multiple financial institutions. So we built an AI platform that is able to look at expenses, understand the individual, understand your profession, understand the freelance population at large, and start the categorization," Singh told Insider.Check out the 7-page pitch deck a startup helping freelancers manage their taxes used to nab $8 million in funding Shopify for embedded financeProductfy CEO and founder, Duy Vo.ProductfyProductfy is looking to break into embedded finance by becoming the Shopify of back-end banking services.Embedded finance — integrating banking services in non-financial settings — has taken hold in the e-commerce world. But Productfy is going after a different kind of customer in churches, universities, and nonprofits.The San Jose, Calif.-based upstart aims to help non-finance companies offer their own banking products. Productfy can help customers launch finance features in as little as a week and without additional engineering resources or background knowledge of banking compliance or legal requirements, Productfy founder and CEO Duy Vo told Insider. "You don't need an engineer to stand up Shopify, right? You can be someone who's just creating art and you can use Shopify to build your own online store," Vo said, adding that Productfy is looking to take that user experience and replicate it for banking services.Here's the 15-page pitch deck Productfy, a fintech looking to be the Shopify of embedded finance, used to nab a $16 million Series AReal-estate management made easyAgora founders Noam Kahan, CTO, Bar Mor, CEO, and Lior Dolinski, CPO.AgoraFor alternative asset managers of any type, the operations underpinning sales and investor communications are a crucial but often overlooked part of the business. Fund managers love to make bets on markets, not coordinate hundreds of wire transfers to clients each quarter or organize customer-relationship-management databases.Within the $10.6 trillion global market for professionally managed real-estate investing, that's where Tel Aviv and New York-based startup Agora hopes to make its mark.Founded in 2019, Agora offers a set of back-office, investor relations, and sales software tools that real-estate investment managers can plug into their workflows. On Wednesday, Agora announced a $9 million seed round, led by Israel-based venture firm Aleph, with participation from River Park Ventures and Maccabee Ventures. The funding comes on the heels of an October 2020 pre-seed fund raise worth $890,000, in which Maccabee also participated.Here's the 15-slide pitch deck that Agora, a startup helping real-estate investors manage communications and sales with their clients, used to raise a $9 million seed roundCheckout made easyBolt's Ryan Breslow.Ryan BreslowAmazon has long dominated e-commerce with its one-click checkout flows, offering easier ways for consumers to shop online than its small-business competitors.Bolt gives small merchants tools to offer the same easy checkouts so they can compete with the likes of Amazon.The startup raised its $393 million Series D to continue adding its one-click checkout feature to merchants' own websites in October.Bolt markets to merchants themselves. But a big part of Bolt's pitch is its growing network of consumers — currently over 5.6 million — that use its features across multiple Bolt merchant customers. Roughly 5% of Bolt's transactions were network-driven in May, meaning users that signed up for a Bolt account on another retailer's website used it elsewhere. The network effects were even more pronounced in verticals like furniture, where 49% of transactions were driven by the Bolt network."The network effect is now unleashed with Bolt in full fury, and that triggered the raise," Bolt's founder and CEO Ryan Breslow told Insider.Here's the 12-page deck that one-click checkout Bolt used to outline its network of 5.6 million consumers and raise its Series DHelping small banks lendCollateralEdge's Joel Radtke, cofounder, COO, and president, and Joe Beard, cofounder and CEO.CollateralEdgeFor large corporations with a track record of tapping the credit markets, taking out debt is a well-structured and clear process handled by the nation's biggest investment banks and teams of accountants. But smaller, middle-market companies — typically those with annual revenues ranging up to $1 billion — are typically served by regional and community banks that don't always have the capacity to adequately measure the risk of loans or price them competitively. Per the National Center for the Middle Market, 200,000 companies fall into this range, accounting for roughly 33% of US private sector GDP and employment.Dallas-based fintech CollateralEdge works with these banks — typically those with between $1 billion and $50 billion in assets — to help analyze and price slices of commercial and industrial loans that previously might have gone unserved by smaller lenders.On October 20th, CollateralEdge announced a $3.5 million seed round led by Dallas venture fund Perot Jain with participation from Kneeland Youngblood (a founder of the healthcare-focused private-equity firm Pharos Capital) and other individual investors.Here's the 10-page deck CollateralEdge, a fintech streamlining how small banks lend to businesses, used to raise a $3.5 million seed round Quantum computing made easyQC Ware CEO Matt Johnson.QC WareEven though banks and hedge funds are still several years out from adding quantum computing to their tech arsenals, that hasn't stopped Wall Street giants from investing time and money into the emerging technology class. And momentum for QC Ware, a startup looking to cut the time and resources it takes to use quantum computing, is accelerating. The fintech secured a $25 million Series B on September 29 co-led by Koch Disruptive Technologies and Covestro with participation from D.E. Shaw, Citi, and Samsung Ventures.QC Ware, founded in 2014, builds quantum algorithms for the likes of Goldman Sachs (which led the fintech's Series A), Airbus, and BMW Group. The algorithms, which are effectively code bases that include quantum processing elements, can run on any of the four main public-cloud providers.Quantum computing allows companies to do complex calculations faster than traditional computers by using a form of physics that runs on quantum bits as opposed to the traditional 1s and 0s that computers use. This is especially helpful in banking for risk analytics or algorithmic trading, where executing calculations milliseconds faster than the competition can give firms a leg up. Here's the 20-page deck QC Ware, a fintech making quantum computing more accessible, used to raised its $25 million Series BSimplifying quant modelsKirat Singh and Mark Higgins, Beacon's cofounders.BeaconA fintech that helps financial institutions use quantitative models to streamline their businesses and improve risk management is catching the attention, and capital, of some of the country's biggest investment managers.Beacon Platform, founded in 2014, is a fintech that builds applications and tools to help banks, asset managers, and trading firms quickly integrate quantitative models that can help with analyzing risk, ensuring compliance, and improving operational efficiency. The company raised its Series C on Wednesday, scoring a $56 million investment led by Warburg Pincus with support from Blackstone Innovations Investments, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic. Blackstone, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic are also users of Beacon's tech, as are the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Shell New Energies, a division of Royal Dutch Shell, among others.The fintech provides a shortcut for firms looking to use quantitative modelling and data science across various aspects of their businesses, a process that can often take considerable resources if done solo.Here's the 20-page pitch deck Beacon, a fintech helping Wall Street better analyze risk and data, used to raise $56 million from Warburg Pincus, Blackstone, and PIMCOInvoice financing for SMBsStacey Abrams and Lara Hodgson, Now cofounders.NowAbout a decade ago, politician Stacey Abrams and entrepreneur Lara Hodgson were forced to fold their startup because of a kink in the supply chain — but not in the traditional sense.Nourish, which made spill-proof bottled water for children, had grown quickly from selling to small retailers to national ones. And while that may sound like a feather in the small business' cap, there was a hang-up."It was taking longer and longer to get paid, and as you can imagine, you deliver the product and then you wait and you wait, but meanwhile you have to pay your employees and you have to pay your vendors," Hodgson told Insider. "Waiting to get paid was constraining our ability to grow."While it's not unusual for small businesses to grapple with working capital issues, the dust was still settling from the Great Recession. Abrams and Hodgson couldn't secure a line of credit or use financing tools like factoring to solve their problem. The two entrepreneurs were forced to close Nourish in 2012, but along the way they recognized a disconnect in the system.  "Why are we the ones borrowing money, when in fact we're the lender here because every time you send an invoice to a customer, you've essentially extended a free loan to that customer by letting them pay later," Hodgson said. "And the only reason why we were going to need to possibly borrow money was because we had just given ours away for free to Whole Foods," she added.Check out the 7-page deck that Now, Stacey Abrams' fintech that wants to help small businesses 'grow fearlessly', used to raise $29 millionInsurance goes digitalJamie Hale, CEO and cofounder of Ladder.LadderFintechs looking to transform how insurance policies are underwritten, issued, and experienced by customers have grown as new technology driven by digital trends and artificial intelligence shape the market. And while verticals like auto, homeowner's, and renter's insurance have seen their fair share of innovation from forward-thinking fintechs, one company has taken on the massive life-insurance market. Founded in 2017, Ladder uses a tech-driven approach to offer life insurance with a digital, end-to-end service that it says is more flexible, faster, and cost-effective than incumbent players.Life, annuity, and accident and health insurance within the US comprise a big chunk of the broader market. In 2020, premiums written on those policies totaled some $767 billion, compared to $144 billion for auto policies and $97 billion for homeowner's insurance.Here's the 12-page deck that Ladder, a startup disrupting the 'crown jewel' of the insurance market, used to nab $100 millionEmbedded payments for SMBsThe Highnote team.HighnoteBranded cards have long been a way for merchants with the appropriate bank relationships to create additional revenue and build customer loyalty. The rise of embedded payments, or the ability to shop and pay in a seamless experience within a single app, has broadened the number of companies looking to launch branded cards.Highnote is a startup that helps small to mid-sized merchants roll out their own debit and pre-paid digital cards. The fintech emerged from stealth on Tuesday to announce it raised $54 million in seed and Series A funding.Here's the 12-page deck Highnote, a startup helping SMBs embed payments, used to raise $54 million in seed and Series A fundingAn alternative auto lenderDaniel Chu, CEO and founder of Tricolor.TricolorAn alternative auto lender that caters to thin- and no-credit Hispanic borrowers is planning a national expansion after scoring a $90 million investment from BlackRock-managed funds. Tricolor is a Dallas-based auto lender that is a community development financial institution. It uses a proprietary artificial-intelligence engine that decisions each customer based on more than 100 data points, such as proof of income. Half of Tricolor's customers have a FICO score, and less than 12% have scores above 650, yet the average customer has lived in the US for 15 years, according to the deck.A 2017 survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found 31.5% of Hispanic households had no mainstream credit compared to 14.4% of white households. "For decades, the deck has been stacked against low income or credit invisible Hispanics in the United States when it comes to the purchase and financing of a used vehicle," Daniel Chu, founder and CEO of Tricolor, said in a statement announcing the raise.An auto lender that caters to underbanked Hispanics used this 25-page deck to raise $90 million from BlackRock investorsA new way to access credit The TomoCredit team.TomoCreditKristy Kim knows first-hand the challenge of obtaining credit in the US without an established credit history. Kim, who came to the US from South Korea, couldn't initially get access to credit despite having a job in investment banking after graduating college. "I was in my early twenties, I had a good income, my job was in investment banking but I could not get approved for anything," Kim told Insider. "Many young professionals like me, we deserve an opportunity to be considered but just because we didn't have a Fico, we weren't given a chance to even apply," she added.Kim started TomoCredit in 2018 to help others like herself gain access to consumer credit. TomoCredit spent three years building an internal algorithm to underwrite customers based on cash flow, rather than a credit score.TomoCredit, a fintech that lends to thin- and no-credit borrowers, used this 17-page pitch deck to raise its $10 million Series AAn IRA for alternativesHenry Yoshida is the co-founder and CEO of retirement fintech startup Rocket Dollar.Rocket DollarFintech startup Rocket Dollar, which helps users invest their individual retirement account (IRA) dollars into alternative assets, just raised $8 million for its Series A round, the company announced on Thursday.Park West Asset Management led the round, with participation from investors including Hyphen Capital, which focuses on backing Asian American entrepreneurs, and crypto exchange Kraken's venture arm. Co-founded in 2018 by CEO Henry Yoshida, CTO Rick Dude, and VP of marketing Thomas Young, Rocket Dollar now has over $350 million in assets under management on its platform. Yoshida sold his first startup, a roboadvisor called Honest Dollar, to Goldman Sachs' investment management division for an estimated $20 million.Yoshida told Insider that while ultra-high net worth investors have been investing self-directed retirement account dollars into alternative assets like real estate, private equity, and cryptocurrency, average investors have not historically been able to access the same opportunities to invest IRA dollars in alternative assets through traditional platforms.Here's the 34-page pitch deck a fintech that helps users invest their retirement savings in crypto and real estate assets used to nab $8 millionConnecting startups and investorsHum Capital cofounder and CEO Blair Silverberg.Hum CapitalBlair Silverberg is no stranger to fundraising.For six years, Silverberg was a venture capitalist at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Private Credit Investments making bets on startups."I was meeting with thousands of founders in person each year, watching them one at a time go through this friction where they're meeting a ton of investors, and the investors are all asking the same questions," Silverberg told Insider. He switched gears about three years ago, moving to the opposite side of the metaphorical table, to start Hum Capital, which uses artificial intelligence to match investors with startups looking to fundraise.On August 31, the New York-based fintech announced its $9 million Series A. The round was led by Future Ventures with participation from Webb Investment Network, Wavemaker Partners, and Partech. This 11-page pitch deck helped Hum Capital, a fintech using AI to match investors with startups, raise a $9 million Series A.Payments infrastructure for fintechsQolo CEO and co-founder Patricia Montesi.QoloThree years ago, Patricia Montesi realized there was a disconnect in the payments world. "A lot of new economy companies or fintech companies were looking to mesh up a lot of payment modalities that they weren't able to," Montesi, CEO and co-founder of Qolo, told Insider.Integrating various payment capabilities often meant tapping several different providers that had specializations in one product or service, she added, like debit card issuance or cross-border payments. "The way people were getting around that was that they were creating this spider web of fintech," she said, adding that "at the end of it all, they had this mess of suppliers and integrations and bank accounts."The 20-year payments veteran rounded up a group of three other co-founders — who together had more than a century of combined industry experience — to start Qolo, a business-to-business fintech that sought out to bundle back-end payment rails for other fintechs.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that provides payments infrastructure for other fintechs used to raise a $15 million Series ASoftware for managing freelancersWorksome cofounder and CEO Morten Petersen.WorksomeThe way people work has fundamentally changed over the past year, with more flexibility and many workers opting to freelance to maintain their work-from-home lifestyles.But managing a freelance or contractor workforce is often an administrative headache for employers. Worksome is a startup looking to eliminate all the extra work required for employers to adapt to more flexible working norms.Worksome started as a freelancer marketplace automating the process of matching qualified workers with the right jobs. But the team ultimately pivoted to a full suite of workforce management software, automating administrative burdens required to hire, pay, and account for contract workers.In May, Worksome closed a $13 million Series A backed by European angel investor Tommy Ahlers and Danish firm Lind & Risør.Here's the 21-slide pitch deck used by a startup that helps firms like Carlsberg and Deloitte manage freelancersPersonal finance is only a text awayYinon Ravid, the chief executive and cofounder of Albert.AlbertThe COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the growing preference of mobile banking as customers get comfortable managing their finances online.The financial app Albert has seen a similar jump in activity. Currently counting more than six million members, deposits in Albert's savings offering doubled from the start of the pandemic in March 2020 to May of this year, from $350 million to $700 million, according to new numbers released by the company. Founded in 2015, Albert offers automated budgeting and savings tools alongside guided investment portfolios. It's looked to differentiate itself through personalized features, like the ability for customers to text human financial experts.Budgeting and saving features are free on Albert. But for more tailored financial advice, customers pay a subscription fee that's a pay-what-you-can model, between $4 and $14 a month. And Albert's now banking on a new tool to bring together its investing, savings, and budgeting tools.Fintech Albert used this 10-page pitch deck to raise a $100 million Series C from General Atlantic and CapitalGRethinking debt collection Jason Saltzman, founder and CEO of ReliefReliefFor lenders, debt collection is largely automated. But for people who owe money on their credit cards, it can be a confusing and stressful process.  Relief is looking to change that. Its app automates the credit-card debt collection process for users, negotiating with lenders and collectors to settle outstanding balances on their behalf. The fintech just launched and closed a $2 million seed round led by Collaborative Ventures. Relief's fundraising experience was a bit different to most. Its pitch deck, which it shared with one investor via Google Slides, went viral. It set out to raise a $1 million seed round, but ended up doubling that and giving some investors money back to make room for others.Check out a 15-page pitch deck that went viral and helped a credit-card debt collection startup land a $2 million seed roundBlockchain for private-markets investing Carlos Domingo is cofounder and CEO of Securitize.SecuritizeSecuritize, founded in 2017 by the tech industry veterans Carlos Domingo and Jamie Finn, is bringing blockchain technology to private-markets investing. The company raised $48 million in Series B funding on June 21 from investors including Morgan Stanley and Blockchain Capital.Securitize helps companies crowdfund capital from individual and institutional investors by issuing their shares in the form of blockchain tokens that allow for more efficient settlement, record keeping, and compliance processes. Morgan Stanley's Tactical Value fund, which invests in private companies, made its first blockchain-technology investment when it coled the Series B, Securitize CEO Carlos Domingo told Insider.Here's the 11-page pitch deck a blockchain startup looking to revolutionize private-markets investing used to nab $48 million from investors like Morgan StanleyE-commerce focused business bankingMichael Rangel, cofounder and CEO, and Tyler McIntyre, cofounder and CTO of Novo.Kristelle Boulos PhotographyBusiness banking is a hot market in fintech. And it seems investors can't get enough.Novo, the digital banking fintech aimed at small e-commerce businesses, raised a $40.7 million Series A led by Valar Ventures in June. Since its launch in 2018, Novo has signed up 100,000 small businesses. Beyond bank accounts, it offers expense management, a corporate card, and integrates with e-commerce infrastructure players like Shopify, Stripe, and Wise.Founded in 2018, Novo was based in New York City, but has since moved its headquarters to Miami. Here's the 12-page pitch deck e-commerce banking startup Novo used to raise its $40 million Series ABlockchain-based credit score tech John Sun, Anna Fridman, and Adam Jiwan are the cofounders of fintech startup Spring Labs.Spring LabsA blockchain-based fintech startup that is aiming to disrupt the traditional model of evaluating peoples' creditworthiness recently raised $30 million in a Series B funding led by credit reporting giant TransUnion.Four-year-old Spring Labs aims to create a private, secure data-sharing model to help credit agencies better predict the creditworthiness of people who are not in the traditional credit bureau system. The founding team of three fintech veterans met as early employees of lending startup Avant.Existing investors GreatPoint Ventures and August Capital also joined in on the most recent round.  So far Spring Labs has raised $53 million from institutional rounds.TransUnion, a publicly-traded company with a $20 billion-plus market cap, is one of the three largest consumer credit agencies in the US. After 18 months of dialogue and six months of due diligence, TransAmerica and Spring Labs inked a deal, Spring Labs CEO and cofounder Adam Jiwan told Insider.Here's the 10-page pitch deck blockchain-based fintech Spring Labs used to snag $30 million from investors including credit reporting giant TransUnionDigital banking for freelancersJGalione/Getty ImagesLance is a new digital bank hoping to simplify the life of those workers by offering what it calls an "active" approach to business banking. "We found that every time we sat down with the existing tools and resources of our accountants and QuickBooks and spreadsheets, we just ended up getting tangled up in the whole experience of it," Lance cofounder and CEO Oona Rokyta told Insider. Lance offers subaccounts for personal salaries, withholdings, and savings to which freelancers can automatically allocate funds according to custom preset levels. It also offers an expense balance that's connected to automated tax withholdings.In May, Lance announced the closing of a $2.8 million seed round that saw participation from Barclays, BDMI, Great Oaks Capital, Imagination Capital, Techstars, DFJ Frontier, and others.Here's the 21-page pitch deck Lance, a digital bank for freelancers, used to raise a $2.8 million seed round from investors including BarclaysDigital tools for independent financial advisorsJason Wenk, founder and CEO of AltruistAltruistJason Wenk started his career at Morgan Stanley in investment research over 20 years ago. Now, he's running a company that is hoping to broaden access to financial advice for less-wealthy individuals. The startup raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Insight Partners with participation from investors Vanguard and Venrock. The round brings the Los Angeles-based startup's total funding to just under $67 million.Founded in 2018, Altruist is a digital brokerage built for independent financial advisors, intended to be an "all-in-one" platform that unites custodial functions, portfolio accounting, and a client-facing portal. It allows advisors to open accounts, invest, build models, report, trade (including fractional shares), and bill clients through an interface that can advisors time by eliminating mundane operational tasks.Altruist aims to make personalized financial advice less expensive, more efficient, and more inclusive through the platform, which is designed for registered investment advisors (RIAs), a growing segment of the wealth management industry. Here's the pitch deck for Altruist, a wealth tech challenging custodians Fidelity and Charles Schwab, that raised $50 million from Vanguard and InsightPayments and operations support HoneyBook cofounders Dror Shimoni, Oz Alon, and Naama Alon.HoneyBookWhile countless small businesses have been harmed by the pandemic, self-employment and entrepreneurship have found ways to blossom as Americans started new ventures.Half of the US population may be freelance by 2027, according to a study commissioned by remote-work hiring platform Upwork. HoneyBook, a fintech startup that provides payment and operations support for freelancers, in May raised $155 million in funding and achieved unicorn status with its $1 billion-plus valuation.Durable Capital Partners led the Series D funding with other new investors including renowned hedge fund Tiger Global, Battery Ventures, Zeev Ventures, and 01 Advisors. Citi Ventures, Citigroup's startup investment arm that also backs fintech robo-advisor Betterment, participated as an existing investor in the round alongside Norwest Venture partners. The latest round brings the company's fundraising total to $227 million to date.Here's the 21-page pitch deck a Citi-backed fintech for freelancers used to raise $155 million from investors like hedge fund Tiger GlobalFraud prevention for lenders and insurersFiordaliso/Getty ImagesOnboarding new customers with ease is key for any financial institution or retailer. The more friction you add, the more likely consumers are to abandon the entire process.But preventing fraud is also a priority, and that's where Neuro-ID comes in. The startup analyzes what it calls "digital body language," or, the way users scroll, type, and tap. Using that data, Neuro-ID can identify fraudulent users before they create an account. It's built for banks, lenders, insurers, and e-commerce players."The train has left the station for digital transformation, but there's a massive opportunity to try to replicate all those communications that we used to have when we did business in-person, all those tells that we would get verbally and non-verbally on whether or not someone was trustworthy," Neuro-ID CEO Jack Alton told Insider.Founded in 2014, the startup's pitch is twofold: Neuro-ID can save companies money by identifying fraud early, and help increase user conversion by making the onboarding process more seamless. In December Neuro-ID closed a $7 million Series A, co-led by Fin VC and TTV Capital, with participation from Canapi Ventures. With 30 employees, Neuro-ID is using the fresh funding to grow its team and create additional tools to be more self-serving for customers.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that analyzes consumers' digital behavior to fight fraud used to raise a $7 million Series AAI-powered tools to spot phony online reviews Saoud Khalifah, founder and CEO of Fakespot.FakespotMarketplaces like Amazon and eBay host millions of third-party sellers, and their algorithms will often boost items in search based on consumer sentiment, which is largely based on reviews. But many third-party sellers use fake reviews often bought from click farms to boost their items, some of which are counterfeit or misrepresented to consumers.That's where Fakespot comes in. With its Chrome extension, it warns users of sellers using potentially fake reviews to boost sales and can identify fraudulent sellers. Fakespot is currently compatible with Amazon, BestBuy, eBay, Sephora, Steam, and Walmart."There are promotional reviews written by humans and bot-generated reviews written by robots or review farms," Fakespot founder and CEO Saoud Khalifah told Insider. "Our AI system has been built to detect both categories with very high accuracy."Fakespot's AI learns via reviews data available on marketplace websites, and uses natural-language processing to identify if reviews are genuine. Fakespot also looks at things like whether the number of positive reviews are plausible given how long a seller has been active.Fakespot, a startup that helps shoppers detect robot-generated reviews and phony sellers on Amazon and Shopify, used this pitch deck to nab a $4 million Series ANew twists on digital bankingZach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradleyHMBradleyConsumers are getting used to the idea of branch-less banking, a trend that startup digital-only banks like Chime, N26, and Varo have benefited from. The majority of these fintechs target those who are underbanked, and rely on usage of their debit cards to make money off interchange. But fellow startup HMBradley has a different business model. "Our thesis going in was that we don't swipe our debit cards all that often, and we don't think the customer base that we're focusing on does either," Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley, told Insider. "A lot of our customer base uses credit cards on a daily basis."Instead, the startup is aiming to build clientele with stable deposits. As a result, the bank is offering interest-rate tiers depending on how much a customer saves of their direct deposit.Notably, the rate tiers are dependent on the percentage of savings, not the net amount. "We'll pay you more when you save more of what comes in," Bruhnke said. "We didn't want to segment customers by how much money they had. So it was always going to be about a percentage of income. That was really important to us."Check out the 14-page pitch deck fintech HMBradley, a neobank offering interest rates as high as 3%, used to raise an $18.25 million Series ARead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderApr 18th, 2022

Check out these 43 pitch decks fintechs disrupting trading, investing, and banking used to raise millions in funding

Looking for examples of real fintech pitch decks? Check out pitch decks that Qolo, Lance, and other startups used to raise money from VCs. Check out these pitch decks for examples of fintech founders sold their vision.Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech.  Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders sold their vision. See more stories on Insider's business page. Fintech funding has been on a tear.In 2021, fintech funding hit a record $132 billion globally, according to CB Insights, more than double 2020's mark.Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech. Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders are selling their vision and nabbing big bucks in the process. You'll see new financial tech geared at freelancers, fresh twists on digital banking, and innovation aimed at streamlining customer onboarding. Helping small businesses manage their taxesComplYant's founder Shiloh Johnson wants to help people be present in their bookkeeping.ComplYantAfter 14 years in tax accounting, Shiloh Johnson had formed a core philosophy around corporate accounting: everyone deserves to understand their business's money and business owners need to be present in their bookkeeping process.She wanted to help small businesses understand "this is why you need to do what you're doing and why you have to change the way you think about tax and be present in your bookkeeping process," she told Insider. The Los Angeles native wanted small businesses to not only understand business tax no matter their size but also to find the tools they needed to prepare their taxes in one spot. So Johnson developed a software platform that provides just that.The 13-page pitch deck ComplYant used to nab $4 million that details the tax startup's plan to be Turbotax, Quickbooks, and Xero rolled into one for small business ownersHelping LatAm startups get up to speedKamino cofounders Gut Fragoso, Rodrigo Perenha, Benjamin Gleason, and Gonzalo Parejo.KaminoThere's more venture capital flowing into Latin America than ever before, but getting the funds in founders' hands is not exactly a simple process.In 2021, investors funneled $15.3 billion into Latin American companies, more than tripling the previous record of $4.9 billion in 2019. Fintech and e-commerce sectors drove funding, accounting for 39% and 25% of total funding, respectively.  However, for many startup founders in the region who have successfully sold their ideas and gotten investors on board, there's a patchwork of corporate structuring that's needed to access the funds, according to Benjamin Gleason, who was the chief financial officer at Groupon LatAm prior to cofounding Brazil-based fintech Kamino.It's a process Gleason and his three fellow Kamino cofounders have been through before as entrepreneurs and startup execs themselves. Most often, startups have to set up offshore financial accounts outside of Brazil, which "entails creating a Cayman [Islands] holding company, a Delaware LLC, and then connecting it to a local entity here and also opening US bank accounts for the Cayman entity, which is not trivial from a KYC perspective," said Gleason, who founded open-banking fintech Guiabolso in Sao Paulo. His partner, Gonzalo Parejo, experienced the same toils when he founded insurtech Bidu."Pretty much any international investor will usually ask for that," Gleason said, adding that investors typically cite liability issues."It's just a massive amount of bureaucracy, complexity, a lot of time from the founders. All of this just to get the money from the investor that wants to give them the money," he added.Here's the 8-page pitch deck Kamino, a fintech helping LatAm startups with everything from financing to corporate credit cards, used to raise a $6.1M pre-seed round 'A bank for immigrants'Priyank Singh and Rohit Mittal are the cofounders of Stilt.StiltRohit Mittal remembers the difficulties he faced when he first arrived in the United States a decade ago as a master's student at Columbia University.As an immigrant from India, Mittal had no credit score in the US and had difficulty integrating into the financial system. Mittal even struggled to get approved to rent an apartment and couch-surfed until he found a roommate willing to offer him space in his apartment in the New York neighborhood Morningside Heights.That roommate was Priyank Singh, who would go on to become Mittal's cofounder when the two started Stilt, a financial-technology company designed to address the problems Mittal faced when he arrived in the US.Stilt, which calls itself "a bank for immigrants," does not require a social security number or credit history to access its offerings, including unsecured personal loans.Instead of relying on traditional metrics like a credit score, Stilt uses data such as education and employment to predict an individual's future income stability and cash flow before issuing a loan. Stilt has seen its loan volume grow by 500% in the past 12 months, and the startup has loaned to immigrants from 160 countries since its launch. Here are the 15 slides Stilt, which calls itself 'a bank for immigrants,' used to raise a $14 million Series A Saving on vendor invoicesHoward Katzenberg, Glean's CEO and cofounder.GleanWhen it comes to high-flying tech startups, headlines and investors typically tend to focus on industry "disruption" and the total addressable market a company is hoping to reach. Expense cutting as a way to boost growth typically isn't part of the conversation early on, and finance teams are viewed as cost centers relative to sales teams. But one fast-growing area of business payments has turned its focus to managing those costs. Startups like Ramp and established names like Bill.com have made their name offering automated expense-management systems. Now, one new fintech competitor, Glean, is looking to take that further by offering both automated payment services and tailored line-item accounts-payable insights driven by machine-learning models. Glean's CFO and founder, Howard Katzenberg, told Insider that the genesis of Glean was driven by his own personal experience managing the finance teams of startups, including mortgage lender Better.com, which Katzenberg left in 2019, and online small-business lender OnDeck. "As a CFO of high-growth companies, I spent a lot of time focused on revenue and I had amazing dashboards in real time where I could see what is going on top of the funnel, what's going on with conversion rates, what's going on in terms of pricing and attrition," Katzenberg told Insider. See the 15-slide pitch deck Glean, a startup using machine learning to find savings in vendor invoices, used to raise $10.8 million in seed fundingBetter use of payroll dataAtomic's Head of Markets, Lindsay Davis.AtomicEmployees at companies large and small know the importance — and limitations — of how firms manage their payrolls. A new crop of startups are building the API pipes that connect companies and their employees to offer a greater level of visibility and flexibility when it comes to payroll data and employee verification. On Thursday, one of those names, Atomic, announced a $40 million Series B fundraising round co-led by Mercato Partners and Greylock, alongside Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and ATX Capital. The round follows Atomic's Series A round announced in October, when the startup raised a $22 million Series A from investors including Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and Greylock.Payroll startup Atomic just raised a $40 million Series B. Here's an internal deck detailing the fintech's approach to the red-hot payments space.Data science for commercial insuranceTanner Hackett, founder and CEO of Counterpart.CounterpartThere's been no shortage of funds flowing into insurance-technology companies over the past few years. Private-market funding to insurtechs soared to $15.4 billion in 2021, a 90% increase compared to 2020. Some of the most well-known consumer insurtech names — from Oscar (which focuses on health insurance) to Metromile (which focuses on auto) — launched on the public markets last year, only to fall over time or be acquired as investors questioned the sustainability of their business models. In the commercial arena, however, the head of one insurtech company thinks there is still room to grow — especially for those catering to small businesses operating in an entirely new, pandemic-defined environment. "The bigger opportunity is in commercial lines," Tanner Hackett, the CEO of management liability insurer Counterpart, told Insider."Everywhere I poke, I'm like, 'Oh my goodness, we're still in 1.0, and all the other businesses I've built were on version three.' Insurance is still in 1.0, still managing from spreadsheets and PDFs," added Hackett, who also previously co-founded Button, which focuses on mobile marketing. See the 8-page pitch deck Counterpart, a startup disrupting commercial insurance with data science, used to raise a $30 million Series BCrypto staking made easyEthan and Eric Parker, founders of crypto-investing app Giddy.GiddyFrom the outside looking in, cryptocurrency can seem like a world of potential, but also one of complexity. That's because digital currencies, which can be traded, invested in, and moved like traditional currencies, operate on decentralized blockchain networks that can be quite technical in nature. Still, they offer the promise of big gains and have been thrusted into the mainstream over the years, converting Wall Street stalwarts and bankers.But for the everyday investor, a fear of missing out is settling in. That's why brothers Ethan and Eric Parker built Giddy, a mobile app that enables users to invest in crypto, earn passive income on certain crypto holdings via staking, and get into the red-hot space of decentralized finance, or DeFi."What we're focusing on is giving an opportunity for people who otherwise couldn't access DeFi because it's just technically too difficult," Eric Parker, CEO at Giddy, told Insider. Here's the 7-page pitch deck Giddy, an app that lets users invest in DeFi, used to raise an $8 million seed roundAccess to commercial real-estate investing LEX Markets cofounders and co-CEOs Drew Sterrett and Jesse Daugherty.LEX MarketsDrew Sterrett was structuring real-estate deals while working in private equity when he realized the inefficiencies that existed in the market. Only high-net worth individuals or accredited investors could participate in commercial real-estate deals. If they ever wanted to leave a partnership or sell their stake in a property, it was difficult to find another investor to replace them. Owners also struggled to sell minority stakes in their properties and didn't have many good options to recapitalize an asset if necessary.In short, the market had a high barrier to entry despite the fact it didn't always have enough participants to get deals done quickly. "Most investors don't have access to high-quality commercial real-estate investments. How do we have the oldest and largest asset class in the world and one of the largest wealth creators with no public and liquid market?" Sterrett told Insider. "It sort of seems like a no-brainer, and that this should have existed 50 or 60 years ago."This 15-page pitch deck helped LEX Markets, a startup making investing in commercial real estate more accessible, raise $15 millionHelping streamline how debts are repaidMethod Financial cofounders Jose Bethancourt and Marco del Carmen.Method FinancialWhen Jose Bethancourt graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2019, he faced the same question that confronts over 43 million Americans: How would he repay his student loans?The problem led Bethancourt on a nearly two-year journey that culminated in the creation of a startup aimed at making it easier for consumers to more seamlessly pay off all kinds of debt.  Initially, Bethancourt and fellow UT grad Marco del Carmen built GradJoy, an app that helped users better understand how to manage student loan repayment and other financial habits. GradJoy was accepted into Y Combinator in the summer of 2019. But the duo quickly realized the real benefit to users would be helping them move money to make payments instead of simply offering recommendations."When we started GradJoy, we thought, 'Oh, we'll just give advice — we don't think people are comfortable with us touching their student loans,' and then we realized that people were saying, 'Hey, just move the money — if you think I should pay extra, then I'll pay extra.' So that's kind of the movement that we've seen, just, everybody's more comfortable with fintechs doing what's best for them," Bethancourt told Insider. Here is the 11-slide pitch deck Method Financial, a Y Combinator-backed fintech making debt repayment easier, used to raise $2.5 million in pre-seed fundingSmarter insurance for multifamily propertiesItai Ben-Zaken, cofounder and CEO of Honeycomb.HoneycombA veteran of the online-insurance world is looking to revolutionize the way the industry prices risk for commercial properties with the help of artificial intelligence.Insurance companies typically send inspectors to properties before issuing policies to better understand how the building is maintained and identify potential risks or issues with it. It's a process that can be time-consuming, expensive, and inefficient, making it hard to justify for smaller commercial properties, like apartment and condo buildings.Insurtech Honeycomb is looking to fix that by using AI to analyze a combination of third-party data and photos submitted by customers through the startup's app to quickly identify any potential risks at a property and more accurately price policies."That whole physical inspection thing had really good things in it, but it wasn't really something that is scalable and, it's also expensive," Itai Ben-Zaken, Honeycomb's cofounder and CEO, told Insider. "The best way to see a property right now is Google street view. Google street view is usually two years old."Here's the 10-page Series A pitch deck used by Honeycomb, a startup that wants to revolutionize the $26 billion market for multifamily property insuranceRetirement accounts for cryptoTodd Southwick, CEO and co-founder of iTrustCapital.iTrustCapitalTodd Southwick and Blake Skadron stuck to a simple mandate when they were building out iTrustCapital, a $1.3 billion fintech that strives to offer cryptocurrencies to the masses via dedicated individual retirement accounts."We wanted to make a product that we would feel happy recommending for our parents to use," Southwick, the CEO of iTrustCapital, told Insider. That guiding framework resulted in a software system that helped to digitize and automate the traditionally clunky and paper-based process of setting up an IRA for alternative assets, Southwick said. "We saw a real opportunity within the self-directed IRAs because we knew at that point in time, there was a fairly small segment of people that was willing to deal with the inconvenience of having to set up an IRA" for crypto, Southwick said. The process often involved phone calls to sales reps and over-the-counter trading desks, paper and fax machines, and days of wait time.iTrustCapital allows customers to buy and sell cryptocurrencies using tax-advantaged IRAs with no monthly account fees. The startup provides access to 25 cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ethereum, and dogecoin — charging a 1% transaction fee on crypto trades — as well as gold and silver.iTrustCapital, a fintech simplifying how to set up a crypto retirement account, used this 8-page pitch deck to raise a $125 million Series AA new way to assess creditworthinessPinwheel founders Curtis Lee, Kurt Lin, and Anish Basu.PinwheelGrowing up, Kurt Lin never saw his father get frustrated. A "traditional, stoic figure," Lin said his father immigrated to the United States in the 1970s. Becoming part of the financial system proved even more difficult than assimilating into a new culture.Lin recalled visiting bank after bank with his father as a child, watching as his father's applications for a mortgage were denied due to his lack of credit history. "That was the first time in my life I really saw him crack," Lin told Insider. "The system doesn't work for a lot of people — including my dad," he added. Lin would find a solution to his father's problem years later while working with Anish Basu, and Curtis Lee on an automated health savings account. The trio realized the payroll data integrations they were working on could be the basis of a product that would help lenders work with consumers without strong credit histories."That's when the lightbulb hit," said Lin, Pinwheel's CEO.In 2018, Lin, Basu, and Lee founded Pinwheel, an application-programming interface that shares payroll data to help both fintechs and traditional lenders serve consumers with limited or poor credit, who have historically struggled to access financial products. Here's the 9-page deck that Pinwheel, a fintech helping lenders tap into payroll data to serve consumers with little to no credit, used to raise a $50 million Series BA new data feed for bond tradingMark Lennihan/APFor years, the only way investors could figure out the going price of a corporate bond was calling up a dealer on the phone. The rise of electronic trading has streamlined that process, but data can still be hard to come by sometimes. A startup founded by a former Goldman Sachs exec has big plans to change that. BondCliQ is a fintech that provides a data feed of pre-trade pricing quotes for the corporate bond market. Founded by Chris White, the creator of Goldman Sachs' defunct corporate-bond-trading system, BondCliQ strives to bring transparency to a market that has traditionally kept such data close to the vest. Banks, which typically serve as the dealers of corporate bonds, have historically kept pre-trade quotes hidden from other dealers to maintain a competitive advantage.But tech advancements and the rise of electronic marketplaces have shifted power dynamics into the hands of buy-side firms, like hedge funds and asset managers. The investors are now able to get a fuller picture of the market by aggregating price quotes directly from dealers or via vendors.Here's the 9-page pitch deck that BondCliQ, a fintech looking to bring more data and transparency to bond trading, used to raise its Series AA trading app for activismAntoine Argouges, CEO and founder of Tulipshare.TulipshareAn up-and-coming fintech is taking aim at some of the world's largest corporations by empowering retail investors to push for social and environmental change by pooling their shareholder rights.London-based Tulipshare lets individuals in the UK invest as little as one pound in publicly-traded company stocks. The upstart combines individuals' shareholder rights with other like-minded investors to advocate for environmental, social, and corporate governance change at firms like JPMorgan, Apple, and Amazon.The goal is to achieve a higher number of shares to maximize the number of votes that can be submitted at shareholder meetings. Already a regulated broker-dealer in the UK, Tulipshare recently applied for registration as a broker-dealer in the US. "If you ask your friends and family if they've ever voted on shareholder resolutions, the answer will probably be close to zero," CEO and founder Antoine Argouges told Insider. "I started Tulipshare to utilize shareholder rights to bring about positive corporate change that has an impact on people's lives and our planet — what's more powerful than money to change the system we live in?"Check out the 14-page pitch deck from Tulipshare, a trading app that lets users pool their shareholder votes for activism campaignsThe back-end tech for beautyDanielle Cohen-Shohet, CEO and founder of GlossGeniusGlossGeniusDanielle Cohen-Shohet might have started as a Goldman Sachs investment analyst, but at her core she was always a coder.After about three years at Goldman Sachs, Cohen-Shohet left the world of traditional finance to code her way into starting her own company in 2016. "There was a period of time where I did nothing, but eat, sleep, and code for a few weeks," Cohen-Shohet told Insider. Her technical edge and knowledge of the point-of-sale payment space led her to launch a software company focused on providing behind-the-scenes tech for beauty and wellness small businesses.Cohen-Shohet launched GlossGenius in 2017 to provide payments tech for hair stylists, nail technicians, blow-out bars, and other small businesses in the space.Here's the 11-page deck GlossGenius, a startup that provides back-end tech for the beauty industry, used to raise $16 millionPrivate market data on the blockchainPat O'Meara, CEO of Inveniam.InveniamFor investors in publicly-traded stocks, there's typically no shortage of company data to guide investment decisions. Company financials are easily accessible and vetted by teams of regulators, lawyers, and accountants.But in the private markets — which encompass assets that range from real estate to private credit and private equity — that isn't always the case. Within real estate, for example, valuations of a specific slice of property are often the product of heavily-worked Excel models and a lot of institutional knowledge, leaving them susceptible to manual error at many points along the way.Inveniam, founded in 2017, is a software company that tokenizes the business data of private companies on the blockchain. Using a distributed ledger allows Inveniam to keep track of who is touching the data and what they are doing to it. Check out the 16-page pitch deck for Inveniam, a blockchain-based startup looking to be the Refinitiv of private-market dataHelping freelancers with their taxesJaideep Singh is the CEO and co-founder of FlyFin, an AI-driven tax preparation software program for freelancers.FlyFinSome people, particularly those with families or freelancing businesses, spend days searching for receipts for tax season, making tax preparation a time consuming and, at times, taxing experience. That's why in 2020 Jaideep Singh founded FlyFin, an artificial-intelligence tax preparation program for freelancers that helps people, as he puts it, "fly through their finances." FlyFin is set up to connect to a person's bank accounts, allowing the AI program to help users monitor for certain expenses that can be claimed on their taxes like business expenditures, the interest on mortgages, property taxes, or whatever else that might apply. "For most individuals, people have expenses distributed over multiple financial institutions. So we built an AI platform that is able to look at expenses, understand the individual, understand your profession, understand the freelance population at large, and start the categorization," Singh told Insider.Check out the 7-page pitch deck a startup helping freelancers manage their taxes used to nab $8 million in funding Shopify for embedded financeProductfy CEO and founder, Duy Vo.ProductfyProductfy is looking to break into embedded finance by becoming the Shopify of back-end banking services.Embedded finance — integrating banking services in non-financial settings — has taken hold in the e-commerce world. But Productfy is going after a different kind of customer in churches, universities, and nonprofits.The San Jose, Calif.-based upstart aims to help non-finance companies offer their own banking products. Productfy can help customers launch finance features in as little as a week and without additional engineering resources or background knowledge of banking compliance or legal requirements, Productfy founder and CEO Duy Vo told Insider. "You don't need an engineer to stand up Shopify, right? You can be someone who's just creating art and you can use Shopify to build your own online store," Vo said, adding that Productfy is looking to take that user experience and replicate it for banking services.Here's the 15-page pitch deck Productfy, a fintech looking to be the Shopify of embedded finance, used to nab a $16 million Series AReal-estate management made easyAgora founders Noam Kahan, CTO, Bar Mor, CEO, and Lior Dolinski, CPO.AgoraFor alternative asset managers of any type, the operations underpinning sales and investor communications are a crucial but often overlooked part of the business. Fund managers love to make bets on markets, not coordinate hundreds of wire transfers to clients each quarter or organize customer-relationship-management databases.Within the $10.6 trillion global market for professionally managed real-estate investing, that's where Tel Aviv and New York-based startup Agora hopes to make its mark.Founded in 2019, Agora offers a set of back-office, investor relations, and sales software tools that real-estate investment managers can plug into their workflows. On Wednesday, Agora announced a $9 million seed round, led by Israel-based venture firm Aleph, with participation from River Park Ventures and Maccabee Ventures. The funding comes on the heels of an October 2020 pre-seed fund raise worth $890,000, in which Maccabee also participated.Here's the 15-slide pitch deck that Agora, a startup helping real-estate investors manage communications and sales with their clients, used to raise a $9 million seed roundCheckout made easyBolt's Ryan Breslow.Ryan BreslowAmazon has long dominated e-commerce with its one-click checkout flows, offering easier ways for consumers to shop online than its small-business competitors.Bolt gives small merchants tools to offer the same easy checkouts so they can compete with the likes of Amazon.The startup raised its $393 million Series D to continue adding its one-click checkout feature to merchants' own websites in October.Bolt markets to merchants themselves. But a big part of Bolt's pitch is its growing network of consumers — currently over 5.6 million — that use its features across multiple Bolt merchant customers. Roughly 5% of Bolt's transactions were network-driven in May, meaning users that signed up for a Bolt account on another retailer's website used it elsewhere. The network effects were even more pronounced in verticals like furniture, where 49% of transactions were driven by the Bolt network."The network effect is now unleashed with Bolt in full fury, and that triggered the raise," Bolt's founder and CEO Ryan Breslow told Insider.Here's the 12-page deck that one-click checkout Bolt used to outline its network of 5.6 million consumers and raise its Series DHelping small banks lendCollateralEdge's Joel Radtke, cofounder, COO, and president, and Joe Beard, cofounder and CEO.CollateralEdgeFor large corporations with a track record of tapping the credit markets, taking out debt is a well-structured and clear process handled by the nation's biggest investment banks and teams of accountants. But smaller, middle-market companies — typically those with annual revenues ranging up to $1 billion — are typically served by regional and community banks that don't always have the capacity to adequately measure the risk of loans or price them competitively. Per the National Center for the Middle Market, 200,000 companies fall into this range, accounting for roughly 33% of US private sector GDP and employment.Dallas-based fintech CollateralEdge works with these banks — typically those with between $1 billion and $50 billion in assets — to help analyze and price slices of commercial and industrial loans that previously might have gone unserved by smaller lenders.On October 20th, CollateralEdge announced a $3.5 million seed round led by Dallas venture fund Perot Jain with participation from Kneeland Youngblood (a founder of the healthcare-focused private-equity firm Pharos Capital) and other individual investors.Here's the 10-page deck CollateralEdge, a fintech streamlining how small banks lend to businesses, used to raise a $3.5 million seed round Quantum computing made easyQC Ware CEO Matt Johnson.QC WareEven though banks and hedge funds are still several years out from adding quantum computing to their tech arsenals, that hasn't stopped Wall Street giants from investing time and money into the emerging technology class. And momentum for QC Ware, a startup looking to cut the time and resources it takes to use quantum computing, is accelerating. The fintech secured a $25 million Series B on September 29 co-led by Koch Disruptive Technologies and Covestro with participation from D.E. Shaw, Citi, and Samsung Ventures.QC Ware, founded in 2014, builds quantum algorithms for the likes of Goldman Sachs (which led the fintech's Series A), Airbus, and BMW Group. The algorithms, which are effectively code bases that include quantum processing elements, can run on any of the four main public-cloud providers.Quantum computing allows companies to do complex calculations faster than traditional computers by using a form of physics that runs on quantum bits as opposed to the traditional 1s and 0s that computers use. This is especially helpful in banking for risk analytics or algorithmic trading, where executing calculations milliseconds faster than the competition can give firms a leg up. Here's the 20-page deck QC Ware, a fintech making quantum computing more accessible, used to raised its $25 million Series BSimplifying quant modelsKirat Singh and Mark Higgins, Beacon's cofounders.BeaconA fintech that helps financial institutions use quantitative models to streamline their businesses and improve risk management is catching the attention, and capital, of some of the country's biggest investment managers.Beacon Platform, founded in 2014, is a fintech that builds applications and tools to help banks, asset managers, and trading firms quickly integrate quantitative models that can help with analyzing risk, ensuring compliance, and improving operational efficiency. The company raised its Series C on Wednesday, scoring a $56 million investment led by Warburg Pincus with support from Blackstone Innovations Investments, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic. Blackstone, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic are also users of Beacon's tech, as are the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Shell New Energies, a division of Royal Dutch Shell, among others.The fintech provides a shortcut for firms looking to use quantitative modelling and data science across various aspects of their businesses, a process that can often take considerable resources if done solo.Here's the 20-page pitch deck Beacon, a fintech helping Wall Street better analyze risk and data, used to raise $56 million from Warburg Pincus, Blackstone, and PIMCOInvoice financing for SMBsStacey Abrams and Lara Hodgson, Now cofounders.NowAbout a decade ago, politician Stacey Abrams and entrepreneur Lara Hodgson were forced to fold their startup because of a kink in the supply chain — but not in the traditional sense.Nourish, which made spill-proof bottled water for children, had grown quickly from selling to small retailers to national ones. And while that may sound like a feather in the small business' cap, there was a hang-up."It was taking longer and longer to get paid, and as you can imagine, you deliver the product and then you wait and you wait, but meanwhile you have to pay your employees and you have to pay your vendors," Hodgson told Insider. "Waiting to get paid was constraining our ability to grow."While it's not unusual for small businesses to grapple with working capital issues, the dust was still settling from the Great Recession. Abrams and Hodgson couldn't secure a line of credit or use financing tools like factoring to solve their problem. The two entrepreneurs were forced to close Nourish in 2012, but along the way they recognized a disconnect in the system.  "Why are we the ones borrowing money, when in fact we're the lender here because every time you send an invoice to a customer, you've essentially extended a free loan to that customer by letting them pay later," Hodgson said. "And the only reason why we were going to need to possibly borrow money was because we had just given ours away for free to Whole Foods," she added.Check out the 7-page deck that Now, Stacey Abrams' fintech that wants to help small businesses 'grow fearlessly', used to raise $29 millionInsurance goes digitalJamie Hale, CEO and cofounder of Ladder.LadderFintechs looking to transform how insurance policies are underwritten, issued, and experienced by customers have grown as new technology driven by digital trends and artificial intelligence shape the market. And while verticals like auto, homeowner's, and renter's insurance have seen their fair share of innovation from forward-thinking fintechs, one company has taken on the massive life-insurance market. Founded in 2017, Ladder uses a tech-driven approach to offer life insurance with a digital, end-to-end service that it says is more flexible, faster, and cost-effective than incumbent players.Life, annuity, and accident and health insurance within the US comprise a big chunk of the broader market. In 2020, premiums written on those policies totaled some $767 billion, compared to $144 billion for auto policies and $97 billion for homeowner's insurance.Here's the 12-page deck that Ladder, a startup disrupting the 'crown jewel' of the insurance market, used to nab $100 millionEmbedded payments for SMBsThe Highnote team.HighnoteBranded cards have long been a way for merchants with the appropriate bank relationships to create additional revenue and build customer loyalty. The rise of embedded payments, or the ability to shop and pay in a seamless experience within a single app, has broadened the number of companies looking to launch branded cards.Highnote is a startup that helps small to mid-sized merchants roll out their own debit and pre-paid digital cards. The fintech emerged from stealth on Tuesday to announce it raised $54 million in seed and Series A funding.Here's the 12-page deck Highnote, a startup helping SMBs embed payments, used to raise $54 million in seed and Series A fundingAn alternative auto lenderDaniel Chu, CEO and founder of Tricolor.TricolorAn alternative auto lender that caters to thin- and no-credit Hispanic borrowers is planning a national expansion after scoring a $90 million investment from BlackRock-managed funds. Tricolor is a Dallas-based auto lender that is a community development financial institution. It uses a proprietary artificial-intelligence engine that decisions each customer based on more than 100 data points, such as proof of income. Half of Tricolor's customers have a FICO score, and less than 12% have scores above 650, yet the average customer has lived in the US for 15 years, according to the deck.A 2017 survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found 31.5% of Hispanic households had no mainstream credit compared to 14.4% of white households. "For decades, the deck has been stacked against low income or credit invisible Hispanics in the United States when it comes to the purchase and financing of a used vehicle," Daniel Chu, founder and CEO of Tricolor, said in a statement announcing the raise.An auto lender that caters to underbanked Hispanics used this 25-page deck to raise $90 million from BlackRock investorsA new way to access credit The TomoCredit team.TomoCreditKristy Kim knows first-hand the challenge of obtaining credit in the US without an established credit history. Kim, who came to the US from South Korea, couldn't initially get access to credit despite having a job in investment banking after graduating college. "I was in my early twenties, I had a good income, my job was in investment banking but I could not get approved for anything," Kim told Insider. "Many young professionals like me, we deserve an opportunity to be considered but just because we didn't have a Fico, we weren't given a chance to even apply," she added.Kim started TomoCredit in 2018 to help others like herself gain access to consumer credit. TomoCredit spent three years building an internal algorithm to underwrite customers based on cash flow, rather than a credit score.TomoCredit, a fintech that lends to thin- and no-credit borrowers, used this 17-page pitch deck to raise its $10 million Series AAn IRA for alternativesHenry Yoshida is the co-founder and CEO of retirement fintech startup Rocket Dollar.Rocket DollarFintech startup Rocket Dollar, which helps users invest their individual retirement account (IRA) dollars into alternative assets, just raised $8 million for its Series A round, the company announced on Thursday.Park West Asset Management led the round, with participation from investors including Hyphen Capital, which focuses on backing Asian American entrepreneurs, and crypto exchange Kraken's venture arm. Co-founded in 2018 by CEO Henry Yoshida, CTO Rick Dude, and VP of marketing Thomas Young, Rocket Dollar now has over $350 million in assets under management on its platform. Yoshida sold his first startup, a roboadvisor called Honest Dollar, to Goldman Sachs' investment management division for an estimated $20 million.Yoshida told Insider that while ultra-high net worth investors have been investing self-directed retirement account dollars into alternative assets like real estate, private equity, and cryptocurrency, average investors have not historically been able to access the same opportunities to invest IRA dollars in alternative assets through traditional platforms.Here's the 34-page pitch deck a fintech that helps users invest their retirement savings in crypto and real estate assets used to nab $8 millionConnecting startups and investorsHum Capital cofounder and CEO Blair Silverberg.Hum CapitalBlair Silverberg is no stranger to fundraising.For six years, Silverberg was a venture capitalist at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Private Credit Investments making bets on startups."I was meeting with thousands of founders in person each year, watching them one at a time go through this friction where they're meeting a ton of investors, and the investors are all asking the same questions," Silverberg told Insider. He switched gears about three years ago, moving to the opposite side of the metaphorical table, to start Hum Capital, which uses artificial intelligence to match investors with startups looking to fundraise.On August 31, the New York-based fintech announced its $9 million Series A. The round was led by Future Ventures with participation from Webb Investment Network, Wavemaker Partners, and Partech. This 11-page pitch deck helped Hum Capital, a fintech using AI to match investors with startups, raise a $9 million Series A.Payments infrastructure for fintechsQolo CEO and co-founder Patricia Montesi.QoloThree years ago, Patricia Montesi realized there was a disconnect in the payments world. "A lot of new economy companies or fintech companies were looking to mesh up a lot of payment modalities that they weren't able to," Montesi, CEO and co-founder of Qolo, told Insider.Integrating various payment capabilities often meant tapping several different providers that had specializations in one product or service, she added, like debit card issuance or cross-border payments. "The way people were getting around that was that they were creating this spider web of fintech," she said, adding that "at the end of it all, they had this mess of suppliers and integrations and bank accounts."The 20-year payments veteran rounded up a group of three other co-founders — who together had more than a century of combined industry experience — to start Qolo, a business-to-business fintech that sought out to bundle back-end payment rails for other fintechs.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that provides payments infrastructure for other fintechs used to raise a $15 million Series ASoftware for managing freelancersWorksome cofounder and CEO Morten Petersen.WorksomeThe way people work has fundamentally changed over the past year, with more flexibility and many workers opting to freelance to maintain their work-from-home lifestyles.But managing a freelance or contractor workforce is often an administrative headache for employers. Worksome is a startup looking to eliminate all the extra work required for employers to adapt to more flexible working norms.Worksome started as a freelancer marketplace automating the process of matching qualified workers with the right jobs. But the team ultimately pivoted to a full suite of workforce management software, automating administrative burdens required to hire, pay, and account for contract workers.In May, Worksome closed a $13 million Series A backed by European angel investor Tommy Ahlers and Danish firm Lind & Risør.Here's the 21-slide pitch deck used by a startup that helps firms like Carlsberg and Deloitte manage freelancersPersonal finance is only a text awayYinon Ravid, the chief executive and cofounder of Albert.AlbertThe COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the growing preference of mobile banking as customers get comfortable managing their finances online.The financial app Albert has seen a similar jump in activity. Currently counting more than six million members, deposits in Albert's savings offering doubled from the start of the pandemic in March 2020 to May of this year, from $350 million to $700 million, according to new numbers released by the company. Founded in 2015, Albert offers automated budgeting and savings tools alongside guided investment portfolios. It's looked to differentiate itself through personalized features, like the ability for customers to text human financial experts.Budgeting and saving features are free on Albert. But for more tailored financial advice, customers pay a subscription fee that's a pay-what-you-can model, between $4 and $14 a month. And Albert's now banking on a new tool to bring together its investing, savings, and budgeting tools.Fintech Albert used this 10-page pitch deck to raise a $100 million Series C from General Atlantic and CapitalGRethinking debt collection Jason Saltzman, founder and CEO of ReliefReliefFor lenders, debt collection is largely automated. But for people who owe money on their credit cards, it can be a confusing and stressful process.  Relief is looking to change that. Its app automates the credit-card debt collection process for users, negotiating with lenders and collectors to settle outstanding balances on their behalf. The fintech just launched and closed a $2 million seed round led by Collaborative Ventures. Relief's fundraising experience was a bit different to most. Its pitch deck, which it shared with one investor via Google Slides, went viral. It set out to raise a $1 million seed round, but ended up doubling that and giving some investors money back to make room for others.Check out a 15-page pitch deck that went viral and helped a credit-card debt collection startup land a $2 million seed roundBlockchain for private-markets investing Carlos Domingo is cofounder and CEO of Securitize.SecuritizeSecuritize, founded in 2017 by the tech industry veterans Carlos Domingo and Jamie Finn, is bringing blockchain technology to private-markets investing. The company raised $48 million in Series B funding on June 21 from investors including Morgan Stanley and Blockchain Capital.Securitize helps companies crowdfund capital from individual and institutional investors by issuing their shares in the form of blockchain tokens that allow for more efficient settlement, record keeping, and compliance processes. Morgan Stanley's Tactical Value fund, which invests in private companies, made its first blockchain-technology investment when it coled the Series B, Securitize CEO Carlos Domingo told Insider.Here's the 11-page pitch deck a blockchain startup looking to revolutionize private-markets investing used to nab $48 million from investors like Morgan StanleyE-commerce focused business bankingMichael Rangel, cofounder and CEO, and Tyler McIntyre, cofounder and CTO of Novo.Kristelle Boulos PhotographyBusiness banking is a hot market in fintech. And it seems investors can't get enough.Novo, the digital banking fintech aimed at small e-commerce businesses, raised a $40.7 million Series A led by Valar Ventures in June. Since its launch in 2018, Novo has signed up 100,000 small businesses. Beyond bank accounts, it offers expense management, a corporate card, and integrates with e-commerce infrastructure players like Shopify, Stripe, and Wise.Founded in 2018, Novo was based in New York City, but has since moved its headquarters to Miami. Here's the 12-page pitch deck e-commerce banking startup Novo used to raise its $40 million Series ABlockchain-based credit score tech John Sun, Anna Fridman, and Adam Jiwan are the cofounders of fintech startup Spring Labs.Spring LabsA blockchain-based fintech startup that is aiming to disrupt the traditional model of evaluating peoples' creditworthiness recently raised $30 million in a Series B funding led by credit reporting giant TransUnion.Four-year-old Spring Labs aims to create a private, secure data-sharing model to help credit agencies better predict the creditworthiness of people who are not in the traditional credit bureau system. The founding team of three fintech veterans met as early employees of lending startup Avant.Existing investors GreatPoint Ventures and August Capital also joined in on the most recent round.  So far Spring Labs has raised $53 million from institutional rounds.TransUnion, a publicly-traded company with a $20 billion-plus market cap, is one of the three largest consumer credit agencies in the US. After 18 months of dialogue and six months of due diligence, TransAmerica and Spring Labs inked a deal, Spring Labs CEO and cofounder Adam Jiwan told Insider.Here's the 10-page pitch deck blockchain-based fintech Spring Labs used to snag $30 million from investors including credit reporting giant TransUnionDigital banking for freelancersJGalione/Getty ImagesLance is a new digital bank hoping to simplify the life of those workers by offering what it calls an "active" approach to business banking. "We found that every time we sat down with the existing tools and resources of our accountants and QuickBooks and spreadsheets, we just ended up getting tangled up in the whole experience of it," Lance cofounder and CEO Oona Rokyta told Insider. Lance offers subaccounts for personal salaries, withholdings, and savings to which freelancers can automatically allocate funds according to custom preset levels. It also offers an expense balance that's connected to automated tax withholdings.In May, Lance announced the closing of a $2.8 million seed round that saw participation from Barclays, BDMI, Great Oaks Capital, Imagination Capital, Techstars, DFJ Frontier, and others.Here's the 21-page pitch deck Lance, a digital bank for freelancers, used to raise a $2.8 million seed round from investors including BarclaysDigital tools for independent financial advisorsJason Wenk, founder and CEO of AltruistAltruistJason Wenk started his career at Morgan Stanley in investment research over 20 years ago. Now, he's running a company that is hoping to broaden access to financial advice for less-wealthy individuals. The startup raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Insight Partners with participation from investors Vanguard and Venrock. The round brings the Los Angeles-based startup's total funding to just under $67 million.Founded in 2018, Altruist is a digital brokerage built for independent financial advisors, intended to be an "all-in-one" platform that unites custodial functions, portfolio accounting, and a client-facing portal. It allows advisors to open accounts, invest, build models, report, trade (including fractional shares), and bill clients through an interface that can advisors time by eliminating mundane operational tasks.Altruist aims to make personalized financial advice less expensive, more efficient, and more inclusive through the platform, which is designed for registered investment advisors (RIAs), a growing segment of the wealth management industry. Here's the pitch deck for Altruist, a wealth tech challenging custodians Fidelity and Charles Schwab, that raised $50 million from Vanguard and InsightPayments and operations support HoneyBook cofounders Dror Shimoni, Oz Alon, and Naama Alon.HoneyBookWhile countless small businesses have been harmed by the pandemic, self-employment and entrepreneurship have found ways to blossom as Americans started new ventures.Half of the US population may be freelance by 2027, according to a study commissioned by remote-work hiring platform Upwork. HoneyBook, a fintech startup that provides payment and operations support for freelancers, in May raised $155 million in funding and achieved unicorn status with its $1 billion-plus valuation.Durable Capital Partners led the Series D funding with other new investors including renowned hedge fund Tiger Global, Battery Ventures, Zeev Ventures, and 01 Advisors. Citi Ventures, Citigroup's startup investment arm that also backs fintech robo-advisor Betterment, participated as an existing investor in the round alongside Norwest Venture partners. The latest round brings the company's fundraising total to $227 million to date.Here's the 21-page pitch deck a Citi-backed fintech for freelancers used to raise $155 million from investors like hedge fund Tiger GlobalFraud prevention for lenders and insurersFiordaliso/Getty ImagesOnboarding new customers with ease is key for any financial institution or retailer. The more friction you add, the more likely consumers are to abandon the entire process.But preventing fraud is also a priority, and that's where Neuro-ID comes in. The startup analyzes what it calls "digital body language," or, the way users scroll, type, and tap. Using that data, Neuro-ID can identify fraudulent users before they create an account. It's built for banks, lenders, insurers, and e-commerce players."The train has left the station for digital transformation, but there's a massive opportunity to try to replicate all those communications that we used to have when we did business in-person, all those tells that we would get verbally and non-verbally on whether or not someone was trustworthy," Neuro-ID CEO Jack Alton told Insider.Founded in 2014, the startup's pitch is twofold: Neuro-ID can save companies money by identifying fraud early, and help increase user conversion by making the onboarding process more seamless. In December Neuro-ID closed a $7 million Series A, co-led by Fin VC and TTV Capital, with participation from Canapi Ventures. With 30 employees, Neuro-ID is using the fresh funding to grow its team and create additional tools to be more self-serving for customers.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that analyzes consumers' digital behavior to fight fraud used to raise a $7 million Series AAI-powered tools to spot phony online reviews Saoud Khalifah, founder and CEO of Fakespot.FakespotMarketplaces like Amazon and eBay host millions of third-party sellers, and their algorithms will often boost items in search based on consumer sentiment, which is largely based on reviews. But many third-party sellers use fake reviews often bought from click farms to boost their items, some of which are counterfeit or misrepresented to consumers.That's where Fakespot comes in. With its Chrome extension, it warns users of sellers using potentially fake reviews to boost sales and can identify fraudulent sellers. Fakespot is currently compatible with Amazon, BestBuy, eBay, Sephora, Steam, and Walmart."There are promotional reviews written by humans and bot-generated reviews written by robots or review farms," Fakespot founder and CEO Saoud Khalifah told Insider. "Our AI system has been built to detect both categories with very high accuracy."Fakespot's AI learns via reviews data available on marketplace websites, and uses natural-language processing to identify if reviews are genuine. Fakespot also looks at things like whether the number of positive reviews are plausible given how long a seller has been active.Fakespot, a startup that helps shoppers detect robot-generated reviews and phony sellers on Amazon and Shopify, used this pitch deck to nab a $4 million Series ANew twists on digital bankingZach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradleyHMBradleyConsumers are getting used to the idea of branch-less banking, a trend that startup digital-only banks like Chime, N26, and Varo have benefited from. The majority of these fintechs target those who are underbanked, and rely on usage of their debit cards to make money off interchange. But fellow startup HMBradley has a different business model. "Our thesis going in was that we don't swipe our debit cards all that often, and we don't think the customer base that we're focusing on does either," Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley, told Insider. "A lot of our customer base uses credit cards on a daily basis."Instead, the startup is aiming to build clientele with stable deposits. As a result, the bank is offering interest-rate tiers depending on how much a customer saves of their direct deposit.Notably, the rate tiers are dependent on the percentage of savings, not the net amount. "We'll pay you more when you save more of what comes in," Bruhnke said. "We didn't want to segment customers by how much money they had. So it was always going to be about a percentage of income. That was really important to us."Check out the 14-page pitch deck fintech HMBradley, a neobank offering interest rates as high as 3%, used to raise an $18.25 million Series ARead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMar 28th, 2022

BTFD Arrives: Futures Rebound, Europe Surges While Asia Slumps On Evergrande Fears

BTFD Arrives: Futures Rebound, Europe Surges While Asia Slumps On Evergrande Fears Even though China was closed for a second day, and even though the Evergrande drama is nowhere closer to a resolution with a bond default imminent and with Beijing mute on how it will resolve the potential "Lehman moment" even as rating agency S&P chimed in saying a default is likely and it does not expect China’s government “to provide any direct support” to the privately owned developer, overnight the BTFD crew emerged in full force, and ramped futures amid growing speculation that Beijing will rescue the troubled developer... Algos about to go on a rampage — zerohedge (@zerohedge) September 21, 2021 ... pushing spoos almost 100 points higher from their Monday lows, and European stock were solidly in the green - despite Asian stocks hitting a one-month low - as investors tried to shake off fears of contagion from a potential collapse of China’s Evergrande, although gains were capped by concerns the Federal Reserve could set out a timeline to taper its stimulus at its meeting tomorrow. The dollar dropped from a one-month high, Treasury yields rose and cryptos rebounded from yesterday's rout. To be sure, the "this is not a Lehman moment" crowed was out in full force, as indicated by this note from Mizuho analysts who wrote that “while street wisdom is that Evergrande is not a ‘Lehman risk’, it is by no stretch of the imagination any meaningful comfort. It could end up being China’s proverbial house of cards ... with cross-sector headwinds already felt in materials/commodities.” At 7:00 a.m. ET, S&P 500 e-minis were up 34.00 points, or 0.79% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis 110.25 points, or 0.73%, while futures tracking the Dow  jumped 0.97%, a day after the index tumbled 1.8% in its worst day since late-July,  suggesting a rebound in sentiment after concerns about contagion from China Evergrande Group’s upcoming default woes roiled markets Monday. Dip-buyers in the last hour of trading Monday helped the S&P 500 pare some losses, though the index still posted the biggest drop since May. The bounce also came after the S&P 500 dropped substantially below its 50-day moving average - which had served as a resilient floor for the index this year - on Monday, its first major breach in more than six months. Freeport-McMoRan mining stocks higher with a 3% jump, following a 3.2% plunge in the S&P mining index a day earlier as copper prices hit a one-month low. Interest rate-sensitive banking stocks also bounced, tracking a rise in Treasury yields. Here are some of the biggest U.S. movers today: U.S.-listed Chinese stocks start to recover from Monday’s slump in premarket trading as the global selloff moderates. Alibaba (BABA US), Baidu (BIDU US), Nio (NIO US), Tencent Music (TME US)and Bilibili (BILI US) are among the gainers Verrica Pharma (VRCA US) plunges 30% in premarket trading after failing to get FDA approval for VP-102 for the treatment of molluscum contagiosum ReWalk Robotics (RWLK US) shares jump 43% in U.S. premarket trading amid a spike in volume in the stock. Being discussed on StockTwits Aprea Therapeutics gains 21% in U.S. premarket trading after the company reported complete remission in a bladder cancer patient in Phase 1/2 clinical trial of eprenetapopt in combination with pembrolizumab Lennar (LEN US) shares fell 3% in Monday postmarket trading after the homebuilder forecast 4Q new orders below analysts’ consensus hurt by unprecedented supply chain challenges ConocoPhillips (COP US) ticks higher in U.S. premarket trading after it agreed to buy Shell’s  Permian Basin assets for $9.5 billion in cash, accelerating the consolidation of the largest U.S. oil patch SmileDirect (SDC US) slightly higher in premarket trading after it said on Monday that it plans to enter France with an initial location in Paris KAR Global (KAR US) shares fell 4.6% in post-market trading on Monday after the company withdrew is full-year financial outlook citing disruption caused by chip shortage Sportradar (SRAD US) shares jumped 4.5% in Monday postmarket trading, after the company said basketball legend Michael Jordan will serve as a special adviser to its board and also increase his investment in the sports betting and entertainment services provider, effective immediately Orbital Energy Group (OEG US) gained 6% postmarket Monday after a unit won a contract  to construct 1,910 miles of rural broadband network in Virginia. Terms were not disclosed “So much of this information is already known that we don’t think it will necessary set off a wave of problems,” John Bilton, head of global multi-asset strategy at JPMorgan Asset Management, said on Bloomberg TV. “I’m more concerned about knock-on sentiment at a time when investor sentiment is a bit fragile. But when we look at the fundamentals -- the general growth, and direction in the wider economy -- we still feel reasonably confident that the situation will right itself.” Aside from worries over Evergrande’s ability to make good on $300 billion of liabilities, investors are also positioning for the two-day Fed meeting starting Tuesday, where policy makers are expected to start laying the groundwork for paring stimulus.  Europe's Stoxx 600 index climbed more than 1%, rebounding from the biggest slump in two months, with energy companies leading the advance and all industry sectors in the green. Royal Dutch Shell rose after the company offered shareholders a payout from the sale of shale oil fields. Universal Music Group BV shares soared in their stock market debut after being spun off from Vivendi SE. European airlines other travel-related stocks rise for a second day following the U.S. decision to soon allow entry to most foreign air travelers as long as they’re fully vaccinated against Covid-19; British Airways parent IAG soars as much as 6.9%, extending Monday’s 11% jump. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Stagecoach shares jump as much as 24% after the company confirmed it is in takeover talks with peer National Express. Shell climbs as much as 4.4% after selling its Permian Basin assets to ConocoPhillips for $9.5 billion. Bechtle gains as much as 4.3% after UBS initiated coverage at buy. Husqvarna tumbles as much as 9% after the company said it is suing Briggs & Stratton in the U.S. for failing to deliver sufficient lawn mower engines for the 2022 season. Kingfisher slides as much as 6.4% after the DIY retailer posted 1H results and forecast higher profits this fiscal year. The mood was decidedly more sour earlier in the session, when Asian stocks fell for a second day amid continued concerns over China’s property sector, with Japan leading regional declines as the market reopened after a holiday. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was down 0.5%, headed for its lowest close since Aug. 30, with Alibaba and SoftBank the biggest drags. China Evergrande Group slid deeper in equity and credit markets Tuesday after S&P said the developer is on the brink of default. Markets in China, Taiwan and South Korea were closed for holidays. Worries over contagion risk from the Chinese developer’s debt problems and Beijing’s ongoing crackdowns, combined with concern over Federal Reserve tapering, sent global stocks tumbling Monday. The MSCI All-Country World Index fell 1.6%, the most since July 19. Japan’s stocks joined the selloff Tuesday as investor concerns grew over China’s real-estate sector as well as Federal Reserve tapering, with the Nikkei 225 sliding 2.2% - its biggest drop in three months, catching up with losses in global peers after a holiday - after a four-week rally boosted by expectations for favorable economic policies from a new government. Electronics makers were the biggest drag on the Topix, which declined 1.7%. SoftBank Group and Fast Retailing were the largest contributors to a 2.2% loss in the Nikkei 225. Japanese stocks with high China exposure including Toto and Nippon Paint also dropped. “The outsized reaction in global markets may be a function of having too many uncertainties bunched into this period,” Eugene Leow, a macro strategist at DBS Bank Ltd., wrote in a note. “It probably does not help that risk taking (especially in equities) has gone on for an extended period and may be vulnerable to a correction.” “The proportion of Japan’s exports to China is greater than those to the U.S. or Europe, making it sensitive to any slowdown worries in the Chinese economy,” said Hideyuki Ishiguro, a senior strategist at Nomura Asset Management in Tokyo. “The stock market has yet to fully price in the possibility of a bankruptcy by Evergrande Group.” The Nikkei 225 has been the best-performing major stock gauge in the world this month, up 6.2%, buoyed by expectations for favorable policies from a new government and an inflow of foreign cash. The Topix is up 5.3% so far in September. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index inched lower and the greenback fell versus most of its Group-of-10 peers as a selloff in global stocks over the past two sessions abated; the euro hovered while commodity currencies led by the Norwegian krone were the best performers amid an advance in crude oil prices. Sweden’s krona was little changed after the Riksbank steered clear of signaling any post-pandemic tightening, as it remains unconvinced that a recent surge in inflation will last. The pound bucked a three-day losing streak as global risk appetite revived, while investors look to Thursday’s Bank of England meeting for policy clues. The yen erased earlier gains as signs that risk appetite is stabilizing damped demand for haven assets. At the same time, losses were capped due to uncertainty over China’s handling of the Evergrande debt crisis. In rates, Treasuries were lower, although off worst levels of the day as U.S. stock futures recover around half of Monday’s losses while European equities trade with a strong bid tone. Yields are cheaper by up to 2.5bp across long-end of the curve, steepening 5s30s spread by 1.2bp; 10-year yields around 1.3226%, cheaper by 1.5bp on the day, lagging bunds and gilts by 1bp-2bp. The long-end of the curve lags ahead of $24b 20-year bond reopening. Treasury will auction $24b 20-year bonds in first reopening at 1pm ET; WI yield ~1.82% is below auction stops since January and ~3bp richer than last month’s new-issue result In commodities, crude futures rose, with the front month WTI up 1.5% near $71.50. Brent stalls near $75. Spot gold trades a narrow range near $1,765/oz. Base metals are mostly in the green with LME aluminum the best performer Looking at the day ahead now, and data releases include US housing starts and building permits for August, along with the UK public finances for September. From central banks, we’ll hear from ECB Vice President de Guindos. Otherwise, the General Debate will begin at the UN General Assembly, and the OECD publishes their Interim Economic Outlook. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 1.0% to 4,392.75 STOXX Europe 600 up 1.1% to 459.10 MXAP down 0.5% to 200.25 MXAPJ up 0.2% to 640.31 Nikkei down 2.2% to 29,839.71 Topix down 1.7% to 2,064.55 Hang Seng Index up 0.5% to 24,221.54 Shanghai Composite up 0.2% to 3,613.97 Sensex up 0.4% to 58,751.30 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.4% to 7,273.83 Kospi up 0.3% to 3,140.51 Brent Futures up 1.6% to $75.13/bbl Gold spot down 0.1% to $1,761.68 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 93.19 German 10Y yield fell 5.0 bps to -0.304% Euro little changed at $1.1729 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Lael Brainard is a leading candidate to be the Federal Reserve’s banking watchdog and is also being discussed for more prominent Biden administration appointments, including to replace Fed chairman Jerome Powell and, potentially, for Treasury secretary if Janet Yellen leaves Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will this week face the challenge of convincing investors that plans to scale back asset purchases aren’t a runway to raising interest rates for the first time since 2018 ECB Vice President Luis de Guindos says there is “good news” with respect to the euro-area recovery after a strong development in the second and third quarter The ECB is likely to continue purchasing junk-rated Greek sovereign debt even after the pandemic crisis has passed, according to Governing Council member and Greek central bank chief Yannis Stournaras U.K. government borrowing was well below official forecasts in the first five months of the fiscal year, providing a fillip for Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak as he prepares for a review of tax and spending next month U.K. Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng warned the next few days will be challenging as the energy crisis deepens, and meat producers struggle with a crunch in carbon dioxide supplies The U.K.’s green bond debut broke demand records for the nation’s debt as investors leaped on the long-anticipated sterling asset. The nation is offering a green bond maturing in 2033 via banks on Tuesday at 7.5 basis points over the June 2032 gilt. It has not given an exact size target for the sale, which has attracted a record of more than 90 billion pounds ($123 billion) in orders Germany cut planned debt sales in the fourth quarter by 4 billion euros ($4.7 billion), suggesting the surge in borrowing triggered by the coronavirus pandemic is receding Contagion from China Evergrande Group has started to engulf even safer debt in Asia, sparking the worst sustained selloff of the securities since April. Premiums on Asian investment-grade dollar bonds widened 2-3 basis points Tuesday, according to credit traders, after a jump of 3.4 basis points on Monday Swiss National Bank policy makers watching the effects of negative interest rates on the economy are worrying about the real-estate bubble that their policy is helping to foster Global central banks need to set out clear strategies for coping with inflation risks as the world economy experiences faster-than-expected cost increases amid an uneven recovery from the pandemic, the OECD said A quick look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equities traded cautiously following the recent downbeat global risk appetite due to Evergrande contagion concerns which resulted in the worst day for Wall Street since May, with the region also contending with holiday-thinned conditions due to the ongoing closures in China, South Korea and Taiwan. ASX 200 (+0.2%) was indecisive with a rebound in the mining-related sectors counterbalanced by underperformance in utilities, financials and tech, while there were also reports that the Byron Bay area in New South Wales will be subject to a seven-day lockdown from this evening. Nikkei 225 (-1.8%) was heavily pressured and relinquished the 30k status as it played catch up to the contagion downturn on return from the extended weekend with recent detrimental currency inflows also contributing to the losses for exporters. Hang Seng (-0.3%) was choppy amid the continued absence of mainland participants with markets second-guessing whether Chinese authorities will intervene in the event of an Evergrande collapse, while shares in the world’s most indebted developer fluctuated and wiped out an early rebound, although affiliate Evergrande Property Services and other property names fared better after Sun Hung Kai disputed reports of China pressuring Hong Kong developers and with Guangzhou R&F Properties boosted by reports major shareholders pledged funds in the Co. which is also selling key assets to Country Garden. Finally, 10yr JGBs were higher amid the underperformance in Japanese stocks and with the Japan Securities Dealers Association recently noting that global funds purchased the most ultra-long Japanese bonds since 2014, although upside was limited amid softer demand at the enhanced liquidity auction for 2yr-20yr maturities and with the BoJ kickstarting its two-day policy meeting. Top Asian News Richest Banker Says Evergrande Is China’s ‘Lehman Moment’ Hong Kong Tycoons, Casino Giants Find Respite in Stock Rebound Taliban Add More Male Ministers, Say Will Include Women Later Asian Stocks Drop to Lowest Level This Month; Japan Leads Losses European equities (Stoxx 600 +1.1%) trade on a firmer footing attempting to recoup some of yesterday’s losses with not much in the way of incremental newsflow driving the upside. Despite the attempt to claw back some of the prior session’s lost ground, the Stoxx 600 is still lower by around 1.6% on the week. The Asia-Pac session was one characterised by caution and regional market closures with China remaining away from market. Focus remains on whether Evergrande will meet USD 83mln in interest payments due on Thursday and what actions Chinese authorities could take to limit the contagion from the company in the event of further troubles. Stateside, futures are also on a firmer footing with some slight outperformance in the RTY (+1.2%) vs. peers (ES +0.8%). Again, there is not much in the way of fresh positivity driving the upside and instead gains are likely more a by-product of dip-buying; attention for the US is set to become increasingly geared towards tomorrow’s FOMC policy announcement. Sectors in Europe are firmer across the board with outperformance in Oil & Gas names amid a recovery in the crude complex and gains in Shell (+4.4%) after news that the Co. is to sell its Permian Basin assets to ConocoPhillips (COP) for USD 9.5bln in cash. Other outperforming sectors include Tech, Insurance and Basic Resources. IAG (+4.1%) and Deutsche Lufthansa (+3.8%) both sit at the top of the Stoxx 600 as the Co.’s continue to enjoy the fallout from yesterday’s decision by the US to allow travel from vaccinated EU and UK passengers. Swatch (-0.7%) is lagging in the luxury space following a downgrade at RBC, whilst data showed Swiss watch exports were +11.5% Y/Y in August (prev. 29.1%). Finally, National Express (+7.7%) is reportedly considering a takeover of Stagecoach (+21.4%), which is valued at around GBP 370mln. Top European News U.K. Warns of Challenging Few Days as Energy Crisis Deepens Germany Trims Planned Debt Sales as Pandemic Impact Recedes U.K.’s Green Bond Debut Draws Record Demand of $123 Billion Goldman Plans $1.5 Billion Petershill Partners IPO in London In FX, all the signs are constructive for a classic turnaround Tuesday when it comes to Loonie fortunes as broad risk sentiment improves markedly, WTI consolidates within a firm range around Usd 71/brl compared to yesterday’s sub-Usd 70 low and incoming results from Canada’s general election indicate victory for the incumbent Liberal party that will secure a 3rd term for PM Trudeau. Hence, it’s better the devil you know as such and Usd/Cad retreated further from its stop-induced spike to just pips short of 1.2900 to probe 1.2750 at one stage before bouncing ahead of new house price data for August. Conversely, the Swedish Krona seems somewhat reluctant to get carried away with the much better market mood after the latest Riksbank policy meeting only acknowledged significantly stronger than expected inflation data in passing, and the repo rate path remained rooted to zero percent for the full forecast horizon as a consequence. However, Eur/Sek has slipped back to test 10.1600 bids/support following an initial upturn to almost 10.1800, irrespective of a rise in unemployment. NOK/AUD/NZD - No such qualms for the Norwegian Crown as Brent hovers near the top of a Usd 75.18-74.20/brl band and the Norges Bank is widely, if not universally tipped to become the first major Central Bank to shift into tightening mode on Thursday, with Eur/Nok hugging the base of a 10.1700-10.2430 range. Elsewhere, the Aussie and Kiwi look relieved rather than rejuvenated in their own right given dovish RBA minutes, a deterioration in Westpac’s NZ consumer sentiment and near reversal in credit card spending from 6.9% y/y in July to -6.3% last month. Instead, Aud/Usd and Nzd/Usd have rebounded amidst the recovery in risk appetite that has undermined their US rival to top 0.7380 and 0.7050 respectively at best. GBP/CHF/EUR/JPY/DXY - Sterling is latching on to the ongoing Dollar retracement and more supportive backdrop elsewhere to pare losses under 1.3700, while the Franc continues its revival to 0.9250 or so and almost 1.0850 against the Euro even though the SNB is bound to check its stride at the upcoming policy review, and the single currency is also forming a firmer base above 1.1700 vs the Buck. Indeed, the collective reprieve in all components of the Greenback basket, bar the Yen on diminished safe-haven demand, has pushed the index down to 93.116 from 93.277 at the earlier apex, and Monday’s elevated 93.455 perch, while Usd/Jpy is straddling 109.50 and flanked by decent option expiry interest either side. On that note, 1.4 bn resides at the 109.00 strike and 1.1 bn between 109.60-70, while there is 1.6 bn in Usd/Cad bang on 1.2800. EM - Some respite across the board in wake of yesterday’s mauling at the hands of risk-off positioning in favour of the Usd, while the Czk has also been underpinned by more hawkish CNB commentary as Holub echoes the Governor by advocating a 50 bp hike at the end of September and a further 25-50 bp in November. In commodities, WTI and Brent are firmer in the European morning post gains in excess of 1.0%, though the benchmarks are off highs after an early foray saw Brent Nov’21 eclipse USD 75.00/bbl, for instance. While there has been newsflow for the complex, mainly from various energy ministers, there hasn’t been much explicitly for crude to change the dial; thus, the benchmarks are seemingly moving in tandem with broader risk sentiment (see equities). In terms of the energy commentary, the Qatar minister said they are not thinking of re-joining OPEC+ while the UAE minister spoke on the gas situation. On this, reports in Russian press suggests that Russia might allow Rosneft to supply 10bcm of gas to Europe per year under an agency agreement with Gazprom “as an experiment”, developments to this will be closely eyed for any indication that it could serve to ease the current gas situation. Looking ahead, we have the weekly private inventory report which is expected to post a headline draw of 2.4mln and draws, albeit of a smaller magnitude, are expected for distillate and gasoline as well. Moving to metals, spot gold is marginally firmer while silver outperforms with base-metals picking up across the board from the poor performance seen yesterday that, for instance, saw LME copper below the USD 9k mark. Note, the action is more of a steadying from yesterday’s downside performance than any notable upside, with the likes of copper well within Monday’s parameters. US Event Calendar 8:30am: Aug. Building Permits MoM, est. -1.8%, prior 2.6%, revised 2.3% 8:30am: Aug. Housing Starts MoM, est. 1.0%, prior -7.0% 8:30am: Aug. Building Permits, est. 1.6m, prior 1.64m, revised 1.63m 8:30am: Aug. Housing Starts, est. 1.55m, prior 1.53m 8:30am: 2Q Current Account Balance, est. -$190.8b, prior -$195.7b DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Global markets slumped across the board yesterday in what was one of the worst days of the year as an array of concerns about the outlook gathered pace. The crisis at Evergrande and in the Chinese real estate sector was the catalyst most people were talking about, but truth be told, the market rout we’re seeing is reflecting a wider set of risks than just Chinese property, and comes after increasing questions have been asked about whether current valuations could still be justified, with talk of a potential correction picking up. Remember that 68% of respondents to my survey last week (link here) thought they’d be at least a 5% correction in equity markets before year end. So this has been front and centre of people’s mind even if the catalyst hasn’t been clear. We’ve all known about Evergrande’s woes and how big it was for a while but it wasn’t until Friday’s story of the Chinese regulatory crackdown extending into property that crystallised the story into having wider implications. As I noted in my chart of the day yesterday link here Chinese USD HY had been widening aggressively over the last couple of months but IG has been pretty rock solid. There were still no domestic signs of contagion by close of business Friday. However as it stands, there will likely be by the reopening post holidays tomorrow which reflects how quickly the story has evolved even without much new news. Before we get to the latest on this, note that we’ve still got a bumper couple of weeks on the calendar to get through, including the Fed decision tomorrow, which comes just as a potential government shutdown and debt ceiling fight are coming into view, alongside big debates on how much spending the Democrats will actually manage to pass. There has been some respite overnight with S&P 500 futures +0.58% higher and 10y UST yields up +1.5bps to 1.327%. Crude oil prices are also up c. 1%. On Evergrande, S&P Global Ratings has said that the company is on the brink of default and that it’s failure is unlikely to result in a scenario where China will be compelled to step in. The report added that they see China stepping in only if “there is a far-reaching contagion causing multiple major developers to fail and posing systemic risks to the economy.” The Hang Seng (-0.32%) is lower but the Hang Seng Properties index is up (+1.59%) and bouncing off the 5 plus year lows it hit yesterday. Elsewhere the ASX (+0.30%) and India’s Nifty (+0.35%) have also advanced. Chinese and South Korean markets are closed for a holiday but the Nikkei has reopened and is -1.80% and catching down to yesterday’s global move. Looking at yesterday’s moves in more depth, the gathering storm clouds saw the S&P 500 shed -1.70% in its worst day since May 12, with cyclical industries leading the declines and with just 10% of S&P 500 index members gaining. There was a late rally at the end of the US trading session that saw equity indices bounce off their lows, with the S&P 500 (-2.87%) and NASDAQ (-3.42%) both looking like they were going to register their worst days since October 2020 and late-February 2021 respectively. However, yesterday was still the 5th worst day for the S&P 500 in 2021. Reflecting the risk-off tone, small caps suffered in particular with the Russell 2000 falling -2.44%, whilst tech stocks were another underperformer as the NASDAQ lost -2.19% and the FANG+ index of 10 megacap tech firms saw an even bigger -3.16% decline. For Europe it was much the same story, with the STOXX 600 (-1.67%) and other bourses including the DAX (-2.31%) seeing significant losses amidst the cyclical underperformance. It was the STOXX 600’s worst performance since mid-July and the 6th worst day of the year overall. Unsurprisingly, there was also a significant spike in volatility, with the VIX index climbing +4.9pts to 25.7 – its highest closing level since mid-May – after trading above 28.0pts midday. In line with the broader risk-off move, especially sovereign bonds rallied strongly as investors downgraded their assessment of the economic outlook and moved to price out the chances of near-term rate hikes. By the close of trade, yields on 10yr Treasuries had fallen -5.1bps to 1.311%, with lower inflation breakevens (-4.1bps) leading the bulk of the declines. Meanwhile in Europe, yields on 10yr bunds (-4.0bps), OATs (-2.6bps) and BTPs (-0.9bps) similarly fell back, although there was a widening in spreads between core and periphery as investors turned more cautious. Elsewhere, commodities took a hit as concerns grew about the economic outlook, with Bloomberg’s Commodity Spot Index (-1.53%) losing ground for a third consecutive session. That said, European natural gas prices (+15.69%) were the massive exception once again, with the latest surge taking them above the peak from last Wednesday, and thus bringing the price gains since the start of August to +84.80%. Here in the UK, Business Secretary Kwarteng said that he didn’t expect an emergency regarding the energy supply, but also said that the government wouldn’t bail out failed companies. Meanwhile, EU transport and energy ministers are set to meet from tomorrow for an informal meeting, at which the massive spike in prices are likely to be discussed. Overnight, we have the first projections of the Canadian federal election with CBC News projecting that the Liberals will win enough seats to form a government for the third time albeit likely a minority government. With the counting still underway, Liberals are currently projected to win 156 seats while Conservatives are projected to win 120 seats. Both the parties are currently projected to win a seat less than last time. The Canadian dollar is up +0.44% overnight as the results remove some election uncertainty. Turning to the pandemic, the main news yesterday was that the US is set to relax its travel rules for foreign arrivals. President Biden announced the move yesterday, mandating that all adult visitors show proof of vaccination before entering the country. Airline stocks outperformed strongly in response, with the S&P 500 airlines (+1.55%) being one of the few industry groups that actually advanced yesterday. Otherwise, we heard from Pfizer and BioNTech that their vaccine trials on 5-11 year olds had successfully produced an antibody response among that age group. The dose was just a third of that used in those aged 12 and above, and they said they planned to share the data with regulators “as soon as possible”. Furthermore, they said that trials for the younger cohorts (2-5 and 6m-2) are expected as soon as Q4. In Germany, there are just 5 days left until the election now, and the last Insa poll before the vote showed a slight tightening in the race, with the centre-left SPD down a point to 25%, whilst the CDU/CSU bloc were up 1.5 points to 22%. Noticeably, that would also put the race back within the +/- 2.5% margin of error. The Greens were unchanged in third place on 15%. Staying with politics and shifting back to the US, there was news last night that Congressional Democratic leaders are looking to tie the suspension of the US debt ceiling vote to the spending bill that is due by the end of this month. If the spending bill is not enacted it would trigger a government shutdown, and if the debt ceiling is not raised it would cause defaults on federal payments as soon as October. Senate Majority Leader Schumer said the House will pass a spending bill that will fund the government through December 3rd and that the “legislation to avoid a government shutdown will also include a suspension of the debt limit through December 2022.” Republicans may balk at the second measure, given that it would take the issue off the table until after the 2022 midterm elections in November of that year. There wasn’t a great deal of data out yesterday, though German producer price inflation rose to +12.0% in August (vs. +11.1% expected), marking the fastest pace since December 1974. Separately in the US, the NAHB’s housing market index unexpectedly rose to 76 in September (vs. 75 expected), the first monthly increase since April. To the day ahead now, and data releases include US housing starts and building permits for August, along with the UK public finances for September. From central banks, we’ll hear from ECB Vice President de Guindos. Otherwise, the General Debate will begin at the UN General Assembly, and the OECD will be publishing their Interim Economic Outlook. Tyler Durden Tue, 09/21/2021 - 07:45.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 21st, 2021

Expedia nears deal to sell stake to Silver Lake and Apollo

Expedia Group Inc. is in advanced talks to sell a stake to private-equity firms Silver Lake and Apollo Global Management Inc. after the widespread travel bans caused by the coronavirus pandemic ravaged the online-booking company’s business......»»

Category: topSource: foxnewsApr 21st, 2020

Here are all the famous people Jeffrey Epstein was connected to

Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein's ex-girlfriend and madam, was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Tuesday for sex-trafficking girls for the late disgraced financier. American financier Jeffrey Epstein (L) and then-real-estate developer Donald Trump (R) pose together at the Mar-a-Lago estate, Palm Beach, Florida, 1997.Davidoff Studios/Getty Images Jeffrey Epstein was known for jet-setting with the likes of Bill Gates, President Bill Clinton, and Prince Andrew. Wall Street billionaire Leon Black paid Epstein at least $50 million in consulting and other fees, The New York Times reported. Epstein was found dead of an apparent suicide in a Manhattan jail on August 10, 2020, as he awaited trial on charges of sex trafficking minors. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Former L Brands CEO Les Wexner may have been Jeffrey Epstein's only confirmed client, but he was far from the only billionaire paying the convicted sex offender.Epstein, who pleaded guilty to charges of solicitation of prostitution and procurement of minors for prostitution in Florida in 2007, ran a years-long "trafficking pyramid scheme" from the US Virgin Islands, prosecutors alleged in a lawsuit against the former wealth manager's estate in January 2020.Meanwhile, the convicted sex offender maintained a vast social and professional network both on and off the Islands, which even included the wife of the US Virgin Islands' former governor. In October 2020, Wall Street billionaire Leon Black acknowledged to The New York Times through a spokesperson that he hired Epstein as an advisor and paid Epstein at least $50 million in consulting and other fees between 2012 and 2017.Epstein, a former hedge-fund manager, kept his client list under wraps, but he often bragged of his elite social circle that included presidents and Hollywood stars."I invest in people — be it politics or science," Epstein was known to say, according to New York Magazine. "It's what I do."Epstein, 66, died by apparent suicide in a Manhattan jail on August 10, 2020, as he awaited trial on charges of sex trafficking of minors. He had been in police custody since his arrest on July 6, shortly after exiting his private jet in New Jersey's Teterboro Airport. He pleaded not guilty on July 8 and was being held without bail in New York City, where he was already on suicide watch after an earlier reported suicide attempt that had led to his hospitalization, at the time of his death. Here's what we know about the famous people who crossed paths with Epstein.Socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein's ex-girlfriend and madam, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for sex-trafficking young girls for Epstein.Epstein with Maxwell.Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan via Getty ImagesMaxwell is a British socialite and the daughter of media tycoon Robert Maxwell.She started dating Epstein shortly after moving to New York in 1991, Business Insider previously reported. After they broke up, court documents allege that Maxwell started recruiting underage girls for him to have sex with.The FBI began investigating Maxwell's relationship with Epstein in 2019 as the British heiress hit out with armed guards in the United States or the United Kingdom.Maxwell was ultimately found in New Hampshire, where she was arrested on charges of sex trafficking and perjury in New Hampshire on July 2, 2020.A federal jury in December 2021 convicted the former socialite of five sex trafficking and conspiracy charges. Prosecutors alleged Maxwell worked with Epstein to "recruit, groom, and ultimately abuse" children. In June 2022, a federal judge sentenced Maxwell to 20 years in prison for trafficking girls to have sex with Epstein and sexually abusing them herself. She was also fined $750,000, the judge said, and will have to remain on probation for five years following her time in prison.  Outgoing L Brands CEO Les Wexner is Epstein's only confirmed client.AP Photo/Matt SullivanEpstein became a trusted confidant of Wexner's while Epstein managed the CEO's fortune, according to Vanity Fair. Wexner has a net worth of $7.15 billion, Bloomberg reported. The magazine reported that Wexner allowed Epstein to take an active role in L Brands, which owns Bath & Body Works, Express, and Victoria's Secret.In 1989, Wexner used a trust to buy an Upper East Side townhouse that is believed to be the largest private residence in Manhattan for $13.2 million, Vanity Fair reported. Epstein moved in after Wexner and his wife, Abigail Koppel, moved to Ohio in 1996. Wexner's trust transferred ownership of the house to Epstein in 2011 for $0, Bloomberg reported.Wexner later fired Epstein as his money manager. "Mr. Wexner severed ties with Mr. Epstein more than a decade ago," an L Brands spokesperson told Forbes in July 2019.In February, L Brands announced that Wexner would step down after nearly six decades as the company's CEO. L Brands also announced that it would sell the majority stake in Victoria's Secret to private equity firm Sycamore Partners and spin-off Bath & Body Works into a separate company. The company has been marred in controversy following reports of the mistreatment of models and plummeting sales.More information about Wexner's relationship with Epstein may soon be revealed after US District Judge Loretta Preska ordered that Wexner's correspondence with Epstein's former lawyer Alan Dershowitz be unsealed as a part of Dershowitz and Giuffre's defamation suits against each other, Business Insider reported on August 11.Former President Donald Trump once considered Epstein a friend.From left, Donald Trump and his girlfriend (and future wife), former model Melania Knauss, financier (and future convicted sex offender) Jeffrey Epstein, and British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell pose together at the Mar-a-Lago club, Palm Beach, Florida, February 12, 2000.Davidoff Studios/Getty ImagesThe future president claimed in 2002 that he had a long friendship with Epstein. "I've known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy," Trump said, according to New York Magazine. "He's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life."According to Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, Trump now believes the crimes Epstein was charged with are "completely unconscionable and obviously criminal." She also labeled them "disgusting," according to a July report from the Associated Press."The president told me this morning he hasn't talked to Epstein, he doesn't think he's talked to him or seen him in 10 or 15 years," Conway added.Prince Andrew and Epstein were close friends, the Guardian reported in 2015.WPA Pool / Getty ImagesMaxwell introduced Epstein and the Duke of York in the 1990s, the Guardian reported, and the two became close friends.The Duke is the son of the UK's Queen Elizabeth. He has also been criticized for frequently taking flights on the taxpayer's dime while serving as the country's special representative for international trade. This earned him the nickname "Airmiles Andy," according to the Washington Post.Court documents reviewed by the Guardian allege that Epstein instructed Virginia Roberts Giuffre, a 15-year-old employee at Trump's Mar-a-Largo resort, to have sex with Prince Andrew on three separate occasions. Buckingham Palace said in 2015 that the allegations against Prince Andrew were "false and without any foundation," according to the Guardian.According to a July 22 article from NY Magazine's Intelligencer, a number of royals and royal connections were among Epstein's contacts. That includes Prince Andrew's then-wife, Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York; and Charles Althorp, Princess Diana's brother. According to Intelligencer, all three were named in Epstein's black book; Ferguson and Prince Andrew were also named in his private jet log.In a interview with the BBC in November, Prince Andrew said his relationship with Epstein brought him "opportunities," and that his slowness in ditching Epstein as a friend was because of his tendency to be "too honorable." The interview was widely criticized over Prince Andrew's lack of sympathy with Epstein's victims and his defense of his friendship with the convicted sex offender, Business Insider reported.Prince Andrew resigned from public royal duties in November, Business Insider reported.Former President Bill Clinton traveled with Epstein in 2002 and 2003, a Clinton representative confirmed.Andrew Chin/Getty Images, Rick Friedman Photography/Corbis via Getty ImagesA statement released in July 2019 by Clinton spokesperson Angel Ureña said the former president traveled to Europe, Asia, and twice to Africa on Epstein's private jet. Clinton's staff and Secret Service agents also went on these trips, which were to further the work of the Clinton Foundation, according to the statement.Court documents unsealed on July 31 show Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre testified that Clinton also visited Epstein's island — something the former president has denied.Last year, Clinton told New York Magazine through a spokesperson that Epstein was "both a highly successful financier and a committed philanthropist with a keen sense of global markets and an in-depth knowledge of twenty-first-century science."Ureña also said that Clinton and Epstein hadn't spoken in "well over a decade" and that Clinton "knows nothing about the terrible crimes" Epstein was charged with.Actor Kevin Spacey and comedian Chris Tucker also took trips with Epstein.Kevin Spacey attends the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City.Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Tony Awards ProductionsEpstein, Clinton, Spacey, and Tucker spent a week in 2002 touring AIDS project sites in South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, and Mozambique for the Clinton Foundation, according to a New York Magazine report.Spacey was also charged with sexual assault, but in December, The New York Times reported that the case had been dropped by the plaintiff's estate. The plaintiff, a 62-year-old massage therapist, had died in September.Former Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta worked with Epstein's legal team to arrange a plea deal after Epstein was charged with solicitation of prostitution and procurement of minors for prostitution in Florida in 2007.Alexander Acosta.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesAn investigation by the Miami Herald revealed that Acosta, then a US attorney, had enough evidence against Epstein to request a life sentence. Instead, he reportedly met with one of Epstein's lawyers, who happened to be a former colleague of Acosta's.In the resulting plea deal, Epstein served 13 months in a private wing of a county prison, which he was allowed to leave six days a week to work in his office.Business Insider previously reported that Acosta said he was "pleased that NY prosecutors are moving forward with a case based on new evidence," on Twitter.—Secretary Acosta (@SecretaryAcosta) July 9, 2019Acosta resigned on July 12, 2019.Film publicist Peggy Siegal planned a star-studded dinner party for Epstein and Prince Andrew at Epstein's New York mansion in 2010.Evan Agostini/Invision/AP ImagesSiegal, known for hosting events to promote films including "The Big Short," "Argo," and "The Revenant" to Oscar voters, invited Epstein to screenings after he was released from prison in 2010, according to The New York Times."I was a kind of plugged-in girl around town who knew a lot of people," Siegal told The New York Times. "And I think that's what he wanted from me, a kind of social goings-on about New York."Siegal also planned a dinner party for Epstein and Prince Andrew at his Upper East Side home. The event was attended by Katie Couric, George Stephanopoulos, and Chelsea Handler. "The invitation was positioned as, 'Do you want to have dinner with Prince Andrew?'" Siegal said. Many of the guests didn't know who the host was or about his criminal history, The New York Times reported.A spokesperson for Siegal told Business Insider that Siegal's relationship with Epstein was social, not professional. Siegal told The New York Times that she ended her relationship with Epstein at the height of the #MeToo era in 2017.Netflix, FX and Annapurna Pictures severed their ties with Siegal in July 2019 after her connection to Epstein became public, Variety reported.Epstein also told the Times that he spoke often with Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.Saudi Arabia Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends the G20 opening ceremony at the Hangzhou International Expo Center on September 4, 2016 in Hangzhou, China. World leaders are gathering for the 11th G20 Summit from September 4-5.Nicolas Asfouri - Pool/Getty ImagesEpstein said that MBS had visited Epstein's Manhattan mansion many times and had a framed photo of the crown prince hanging on the wall, according to New York Times reporter James B. Stewart.Representatives of MBS did not respond to Business Insider's request for comment.According to the New York Times, Epstein claimed to have advised Tesla CEO Elon Musk.Tesla CEO Elon Musk was photographed at a 2014 Oscars after-party next to Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite accused of being Epstein's madam in media reports and legal documents.Kevin Mazur/VF14/Contributor/Getty ImagesIn an interview published in the New York Times on August 12, Epstein claimed that Elon Musk had sought him out to help manage the trouble he had gotten into with the SEC a year earlier, in August 2018.Epstein told reporter James B. Stewart that he had promised to keep his work for Tesla private because of his prior conviction. Epstein also warned that both Musk and Tesla would deny their connection to Epstein if it ever became public, the Times reported. In a statement to Business Insider, a spokesperson for Musk denied Epstein's claims of having served as an adviser to the CEO.Musk and Maxwell were photographed at an Oscars after-party hosted by former Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter on March 2, 2014, in West Hollywood. The same Musk spokesperson told Business Insider that "Ghislaine simply inserted herself behind him in a photo he was posing for without his knowledge."Musk has confirmed crossing paths with Epstein at least once, Business Insider reported. Musk, Epstein, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg were all guests at a dinner hosted by LinkedIn CEO Reid Hoffman sometime after he was released from jail in 2008.MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito quietly worked with Epstein to secure anonymous donations, Vanity Fair reported.Phillip Faraone/Getty ImagesIto worked with other directors and staff at the MIT Media Lab to quietly receive large anonymous donations from Epstein after he was convicted of soliciting underage girls for prostitution, a New Yorker exposé published on September 6 reports. The article contains emails sent between Ito and Epstein.The emails show Epstein also worked as an in-between for other wealthy donors, including Bill Gates and Leon Black, and that Epstein had a role in determining what his donations would be used for at MIT, contradicting previous statements from Ito and the university.Ito resigned from his posts at MIT, The New York Times Company, and the MacArthur Foundation on September 7, Business Insider reported.Epstein worked as a go-between for the MIT Media Lab and Bill Gates to arrange donations, Vanity Fair reported.Bill Gates speaks ahead of former U.S. President Barack Obama at the Gates Foundation Inaugural Goalkeepers event on September 20, 2017 in New York City.Yana Paskova/Getty ImagesEmails obtained and published by The New Yorker show former MIT Media Lab Director Joi Ito wrote that Gates was "directed by" Epstein to donate $2 million to the research lab in October 2014.Gates also met with Epstein at least once in New York in 2013, and flew on one of his private planes to Palm Beach, Business Insider previously reported. "Bill attended a meeting in New York with others focused on philanthropy. While Epstein was present, he never provided services of any type to Bill," a Gates spokesperson told Business Insider.A spokesperson for Gates told Business Insider that "Epstein was introduced to Bill Gates as someone who was interested in helping grow philanthropy. Although Epstein pursued Bill Gates aggressively, any account of a business partnership or personal relationship between the two is simply not true. And any claim that Epstein directed any programmatic or personal grantmaking for Bill Gates is completely false."A New York Times investigation published in October found that Gates met with Epstein multiple times after Epstein's conviction in 2011, including at least three meetings at Epstein's Manhattan townhouse. Following the publication of that story, a spokesperson for Gates said Gates regretted the association, but Gates himself hadn't publicly addressed it until November, Business Insider's Aaron Holmes reported.Gates said at The New York Times' Dealbook Conference in November that he believed "billions of dollars" would come from his meetings with Jeffrey Epstein. "I made a mistake in judgment in thinking those discussions would go to global health," Gates said. "That money never appeared.""I gave him the benefit of my association," Gates said.Reid Hoffman defended Ito after news of Epstein's connections to the MIT Media Lab broke.REUTERS/Brian SnyderA "few years ago," Epstein attended a dinner Hoffman hosted to honor an MIT neuroscientist, Vanity Fair reported in July. Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk were also in attendance. Both denied having had ongoing relationships with Epstein to Vanity Fair through spokespeople.Hoffman also implicated himself in the cover up of Epstein's donations to the MIT Media Lab. As pressure mounted on Media Lab director Joi Ito to resign, Hoffman defended Ito to author and fellow MIT Media Lab Disobedience Award jury member Anand Giridharadas in a private email, Giridharadas tweeted in September. "Hoffman basically hid behind bureaucracy and the old 'ongoing investigation' excuse," Giridharadas said in the now-unavailable tweet. "He said it would be complicated to release the correspondence publicly because other names might get dragged in. Someone should tell him about redaction."According to Giridharadas, Hoffman wrote in a second email that Giridharadas was making the situation "all about you" by threatening to resign. In the end, Giridharadas resigned from the Disobedience Award jury.Hoffman not only sits on the Disobedience Award's jury, but funds it personally, according to the Media Lab's website. In 2017, MIT awarded Epstein and other donors "orbs" to thank them for their support, according to The Boston Globe. The orb looks similar to the trophy given to winners of the Disobedience Award.A lawsuit has also shined light on Epstein's connection to former U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. John P. de Jongh while he was in office.U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. John P. de Jongh participates in a meeting dealing with healthcare at the Southern Governors' Association convention in Little Rock, Ark., Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014.AP Photo/Danny JohnstonGov. John P. de Jongh's wife Cecile de Jongh served on the board of Epstein's Financial Trust Co. for most of her husband's time in office, Business Insider's Becky Peterson and John Cook reported. Cecile de Jongh held the titles of secretary and vice president in her decade-long tenure with the company, even staying on board after Epstein was first charged with sexual assault in 2007.Prosecutors in the US Virgin Islands alleged that Epstein was trafficking women and children through the US territory during that same time, as stated in a January lawsuit. The lawsuit describes one 15-year-old victim who was "forced into sexual acts with Epstein and others and then attempted to escape by swimming off the Little St. James island."In a statement, a lawyer representing Epstein's estate told Business Insider that some of the allegations in the lawsuit were inaccurate — particularly allegations that the estate to this day engages in "a course of conduct aimed at concealing the criminal activities of the Epstein Enterprise.""The Estate is being administered in accordance with the laws of the US Virgin Islands and under the supervision of the Superior Court of the US Virgin Islands," the statement said.Barclays CEO Jes Staley is under investigation by British authorities because of his friendship with Epstein.Jes Staley, CEO Barclays, arrives at Downing Street for a meeting in London on January 11, 2018. Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May mets with business leaders from the financial services sector at Downing Street. / AFP PHOTO / Tolga Akmen (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images)TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty ImagesStaley had a "professional relationship" with Epstein that dated back to "early in his career," Barclays said in a statement. "In the summer of 2019, in light of the renewed media interest in the relationship, Mr. Staley volunteered and gave to certain executives, and the Chairman, an explanation of his relationship with Mr. Epstein," Barclays stated. "Mr. Staley also confirmed to the Board that he has had no contact whatsoever with Mr. Epstein at any time since taking up his role as Barclays Group CEO in December 2015."The relationship is the subject of an investigation by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority, according to the bank.Apollo Global Management CEO Leon Black hired Epstein as an advisor.Leon Black.LUCY NICHOLSON/ReutersIn August 2019, Black said that he had only consulted Epstein on financial matters "from time to time" and that his relationship with the convicted sex offender was "limited," Business Insider previously reported.However, Black had engaged Epstein as an advisor and paid him at least $50 million, The New York Times reported on October 12. Two of the Times' sources said the total may actually be closer to $75 million.The two financiers also regularly dined together at Epstein's New York mansion, per the Times report.A spokesperson for Black confirmed that between 2012 and 2017, Black had received "personal trusts and estates planning advice as well as family office philanthropy and investment services from several financial and legal advisors" including Epstein. A spokesperson for Black also told the Times that the relationship ended after a "fee dispute" in 2018.Black "continues to be appalled by the conduct that led to the criminal charges" against Epstein, the spokesperson said, adding that Black "deeply regrets having any involvement" with Epstein.   If you are a survivor of sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or visit their website to receive confidential support.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 28th, 2022

These 44 pitch decks helped fintechs disrupting trading, investing, and banking raise millions in funding

Looking for examples of real fintech pitch decks? Check out pitch decks that Qolo, Lance, and other startups used to raise money from VCs. Check out these pitch decks for examples of fintech founders sold their vision.Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech.  Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders sold their vision. See more stories on Insider's business page. Fintech funding has been on a tear.In 2021, fintech funding hit a record $132 billion globally, according to CB Insights, more than double 2020's mark.Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech. Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders are selling their vision and nabbing big bucks in the process. You'll see new financial tech geared at freelancers, fresh twists on digital banking, and innovation aimed at streamlining customer onboarding. New twists on digital bankingZach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradleyHMBradleyConsumers are getting used to the idea of branch-less banking, a trend that startup digital-only banks like Chime, N26, and Varo have benefited from. The majority of these fintechs target those who are underbanked, and rely on usage of their debit cards to make money off interchange. But fellow startup HMBradley has a different business model. "Our thesis going in was that we don't swipe our debit cards all that often, and we don't think the customer base that we're focusing on does either," Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley, told Insider. "A lot of our customer base uses credit cards on a daily basis."Instead, the startup is aiming to build clientele with stable deposits. As a result, the bank is offering interest-rate tiers depending on how much a customer saves of their direct deposit.Notably, the rate tiers are dependent on the percentage of savings, not the net amount. "We'll pay you more when you save more of what comes in," Bruhnke said. "We didn't want to segment customers by how much money they had. So it was always going to be about a percentage of income. That was really important to us."Check out the 14-page pitch deck fintech HMBradley, a neobank offering interest rates as high as 3%, used to raise an $18.25 million Series APersonal finance is only a text awayYinon Ravid, the chief executive and cofounder of Albert.AlbertThe COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the growing preference of mobile banking as customers get comfortable managing their finances online.The financial app Albert has seen a similar jump in activity. Currently counting more than six million members, deposits in Albert's savings offering doubled from the start of the pandemic in March 2020 to May of this year, from $350 million to $700 million, according to new numbers released by the company. Founded in 2015, Albert offers automated budgeting and savings tools alongside guided investment portfolios. It's looked to differentiate itself through personalized features, like the ability for customers to text human financial experts.Budgeting and saving features are free on Albert. But for more tailored financial advice, customers pay a subscription fee that's a pay-what-you-can model, between $4 and $14 a month. And Albert's now banking on a new tool to bring together its investing, savings, and budgeting tools.Fintech Albert used this 10-page pitch deck to raise a $100 million Series C from General Atlantic and CapitalG 'A bank for immigrants'Priyank Singh and Rohit Mittal are the cofounders of Stilt.StiltRohit Mittal remembers the difficulties he faced when he first arrived in the United States a decade ago as a master's student at Columbia University.As an immigrant from India, Mittal had no credit score in the US and had difficulty integrating into the financial system. Mittal even struggled to get approved to rent an apartment and couch-surfed until he found a roommate willing to offer him space in his apartment in the New York neighborhood Morningside Heights.That roommate was Priyank Singh, who would go on to become Mittal's cofounder when the two started Stilt, a financial-technology company designed to address the problems Mittal faced when he arrived in the US.Stilt, which calls itself "a bank for immigrants," does not require a social security number or credit history to access its offerings, including unsecured personal loans.Instead of relying on traditional metrics like a credit score, Stilt uses data such as education and employment to predict an individual's future income stability and cash flow before issuing a loan. Stilt has seen its loan volume grow by 500% in the past 12 months, and the startup has loaned to immigrants from 160 countries since its launch. Here are the 15 slides Stilt, which calls itself 'a bank for immigrants,' used to raise a $14 million Series AAn IRA for alternativesHenry Yoshida is the co-founder and CEO of retirement fintech startup Rocket Dollar.Rocket DollarFintech startup Rocket Dollar, which helps users invest their individual retirement account (IRA) dollars into alternative assets, just raised $8 million for its Series A round, the company announced on Thursday.Park West Asset Management led the round, with participation from investors including Hyphen Capital, which focuses on backing Asian American entrepreneurs, and crypto exchange Kraken's venture arm. Co-founded in 2018 by CEO Henry Yoshida, CTO Rick Dude, and VP of marketing Thomas Young, Rocket Dollar now has over $350 million in assets under management on its platform. Yoshida sold his first startup, a roboadvisor called Honest Dollar, to Goldman Sachs' investment management division for an estimated $20 million.Yoshida told Insider that while ultra-high net worth investors have been investing self-directed retirement account dollars into alternative assets like real estate, private equity, and cryptocurrency, average investors have not historically been able to access the same opportunities to invest IRA dollars in alternative assets through traditional platforms.Here's the 34-page pitch deck a fintech that helps users invest their retirement savings in crypto and real estate assets used to nab $8 millionA trading app for activismAntoine Argouges, CEO and founder of TulipshareTulipshareAn up-and-coming fintech is taking aim at some of the world's largest corporations by empowering retail investors to push for social and environmental change by pooling their shareholder rights.London-based Tulipshare lets individuals in the UK invest as little as one pound in publicly-traded company stocks. The upstart combines individuals' shareholder rights with other like-minded investors to advocate for environmental, social, and corporate governance change at firms like JPMorgan, Apple, and Amazon.The goal is to achieve a higher number of shares to maximize the number of votes that can be submitted at shareholder meetings. Already a regulated broker-dealer in the UK, Tulipshare recently applied for registration as a broker-dealer in the US. "If you ask your friends and family if they've ever voted on shareholder resolutions, the answer will probably be close to zero," CEO and founder Antoine Argouges told Insider. "I started Tulipshare to utilize shareholder rights to bring about positive corporate change that has an impact on people's lives and our planet — what's more powerful than money to change the system we live in?"Check out the 14-page pitch deck from Tulipshare, a trading app that lets users pool their shareholder votes for activism campaignsDigital tools for independent financial advisorsJason Wenk, founder and CEO of AltruistAltruistJason Wenk started his career at Morgan Stanley in investment research over 20 years ago. Now, he's running a company that is hoping to broaden access to financial advice for less-wealthy individuals. The startup raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Insight Partners with participation from investors Vanguard and Venrock. The round brings the Los Angeles-based startup's total funding to just under $67 million.Founded in 2018, Altruist is a digital brokerage built for independent financial advisors, intended to be an "all-in-one" platform that unites custodial functions, portfolio accounting, and a client-facing portal. It allows advisors to open accounts, invest, build models, report, trade (including fractional shares), and bill clients through an interface that can advisors time by eliminating mundane operational tasks.Altruist aims to make personalized financial advice less expensive, more efficient, and more inclusive through the platform, which is designed for registered investment advisors (RIAs), a growing segment of the wealth management industry. Here's the pitch deck for Altruist, a wealth tech challenging custodians Fidelity and Charles Schwab, that raised $50 million from Vanguard and InsightRethinking debt collection Jason Saltzman, founder and CEO of ReliefReliefFor lenders, debt collection is largely automated. But for people who owe money on their credit cards, it can be a confusing and stressful process.  Relief is looking to change that. Its app automates the credit-card debt collection process for users, negotiating with lenders and collectors to settle outstanding balances on their behalf. The fintech just launched and closed a $2 million seed round led by Collaborative Ventures. Relief's fundraising experience was a bit different to most. Its pitch deck, which it shared with one investor via Google Slides, went viral. It set out to raise a $1 million seed round, but ended up doubling that and giving some investors money back to make room for others.Check out a 15-page pitch deck that went viral and helped a credit-card debt collection startup land a $2 million seed roundHelping small banks lendTKCollateralEdgeFor large corporations with a track record of tapping the credit markets, taking out debt is a well-structured and clear process handled by the nation's biggest investment banks and teams of accountants. But smaller, middle-market companies — typically those with annual revenues ranging up to $1 billion — are typically served by regional and community banks that don't always have the capacity to adequately measure the risk of loans or price them competitively. Per the National Center for the Middle Market, 200,000 companies fall into this range, accounting for roughly 33% of US private sector GDP and employment.Dallas-based fintech CollateralEdge works with these banks — typically those with between $1 billion and $50 billion in assets — to help analyze and price slices of commercial and industrial loans that previously might have gone unserved by smaller lenders.On October 20th, CollateralEdge announced a $3.5 million seed round led by Dallas venture fund Perot Jain with participation from Kneeland Youngblood (a founder of the healthcare-focused private-equity firm Pharos Capital) and other individual investors.Here's the 10-page deck CollateralEdge, a fintech streamlining how small banks lend to businesses, used to raise a $3.5 million seed roundA new way to assess creditworthinessPinwheel founders Curtis Lee, Kurt Lin, and Anish Basu.PinwheelGrowing up, Kurt Lin never saw his father get frustrated. A "traditional, stoic figure," Lin said his father immigrated to the United States in the 1970s. Becoming part of the financial system proved even more difficult than assimilating into a new culture.Lin recalled visiting bank after bank with his father as a child, watching as his father's applications for a mortgage were denied due to his lack of credit history. "That was the first time in my life I really saw him crack," Lin told Insider. "The system doesn't work for a lot of people — including my dad," he added. Lin would find a solution to his father's problem years later while working with Anish Basu, and Curtis Lee on an automated health savings account. The trio realized the payroll data integrations they were working on could be the basis of a product that would help lenders work with consumers without strong credit histories."That's when the lightbulb hit," said Lin, Pinwheel's CEO.In 2018, Lin, Basu, and Lee founded Pinwheel, an application-programming interface that shares payroll data to help both fintechs and traditional lenders serve consumers with limited or poor credit, who have historically struggled to access financial products. Here's the 9-page deck that Pinwheel, a fintech helping lenders tap into payroll data to serve consumers with little to no credit, used to raise a $50 million Series BAn alternative auto lenderTricolorAn alternative auto lender that caters to thin- and no-credit Hispanic borrowers is planning a national expansion after scoring a $90 million investment from BlackRock-managed funds. Tricolor is a Dallas-based auto lender that is a community development financial institution. It uses a proprietary artificial-intelligence engine that decisions each customer based on more than 100 data points, such as proof of income. Half of Tricolor's customers have a FICO score, and less than 12% have scores above 650, yet the average customer has lived in the US for 15 years, according to the deck.A 2017 survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found 31.5% of Hispanic households had no mainstream credit compared to 14.4% of white households. "For decades, the deck has been stacked against low income or credit invisible Hispanics in the United States when it comes to the purchase and financing of a used vehicle," Daniel Chu, founder and CEO of Tricolor, said in a statement announcing the raise.An auto lender that caters to underbanked Hispanics used this 25-page deck to raise $90 million from BlackRock investors A new way to access credit The TomoCredit teamTomoCreditKristy Kim knows first-hand the challenge of obtaining credit in the US without an established credit history. Kim, who came to the US from South Korea, couldn't initially get access to credit despite having a job in investment banking after graduating college. "I was in my early twenties, I had a good income, my job was in investment banking but I could not get approved for anything," Kim told Insider. "Many young professionals like me, we deserve an opportunity to be considered but just because we didn't have a Fico, we weren't given a chance to even apply," she added.Kim started TomoCredit in 2018 to help others like herself gain access to consumer credit. TomoCredit spent three years building an internal algorithm to underwrite customers based on cash flow, rather than a credit score.TomoCredit, a fintech that lends to thin- and no-credit borrowers, used this 17-page pitch deck to raise its $10 million Series AHelping streamline how debts are repaidMethod Financial cofounders Jose Bethancourt and Marco del Carmen.Method FinancialWhen Jose Bethancourt graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2019, he faced the same question that confronts over 43 million Americans: How would he repay his student loans?The problem led Bethancourt on a nearly two-year journey that culminated in the creation of a startup aimed at making it easier for consumers to more seamlessly pay off all kinds of debt.  Initially, Bethancourt and fellow UT grad Marco del Carmen built GradJoy, an app that helped users better understand how to manage student loan repayment and other financial habits. GradJoy was accepted into Y Combinator in the summer of 2019. But the duo quickly realized the real benefit to users would be helping them move money to make payments instead of simply offering recommendations."When we started GradJoy, we thought, 'Oh, we'll just give advice — we don't think people are comfortable with us touching their student loans,' and then we realized that people were saying, 'Hey, just move the money — if you think I should pay extra, then I'll pay extra.' So that's kind of the movement that we've seen, just, everybody's more comfortable with fintechs doing what's best for them," Bethancourt told Insider. Here is the 11-slide pitch deck Method Financial, a Y Combinator-backed fintech making debt repayment easier, used to raise $2.5 million in pre-seed fundingQuantum computing made easyQC Ware CEO Matt Johnson.QC WareEven though banks and hedge funds are still several years out from adding quantum computing to their tech arsenals, that hasn't stopped Wall Street giants from investing time and money into the emerging technology class. And momentum for QC Ware, a startup looking to cut the time and resources it takes to use quantum computing, is accelerating. The fintech secured a $25 million Series B on September 29 co-led by Koch Disruptive Technologies and Covestro with participation from D.E. Shaw, Citi, and Samsung Ventures.QC Ware, founded in 2014, builds quantum algorithms for the likes of Goldman Sachs (which led the fintech's Series A), Airbus, and BMW Group. The algorithms, which are effectively code bases that include quantum processing elements, can run on any of the four main public-cloud providers.Quantum computing allows companies to do complex calculations faster than traditional computers by using a form of physics that runs on quantum bits as opposed to the traditional 1s and 0s that computers use. This is especially helpful in banking for risk analytics or algorithmic trading, where executing calculations milliseconds faster than the competition can give firms a leg up. Here's the 20-page deck QC Ware, a fintech making quantum computing more accessible, used to raised its $25 million Series BSimplifying quant modelsKirat Singh and Mark Higgins, Beacon's cofounders.BeaconA fintech that helps financial institutions use quantitative models to streamline their businesses and improve risk management is catching the attention, and capital, of some of the country's biggest investment managers.Beacon Platform, founded in 2014, is a fintech that builds applications and tools to help banks, asset managers, and trading firms quickly integrate quantitative models that can help with analyzing risk, ensuring compliance, and improving operational efficiency. The company raised its Series C on Wednesday, scoring a $56 million investment led by Warburg Pincus with support from Blackstone Innovations Investments, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic. Blackstone, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic are also users of Beacon's tech, as are the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Shell New Energies, a division of Royal Dutch Shell, among others.The fintech provides a shortcut for firms looking to use quantitative modelling and data science across various aspects of their businesses, a process that can often take considerable resources if done solo.Here's the 20-page pitch deck Beacon, a fintech helping Wall Street better analyze risk and data, used to raise $56 million from Warburg Pincus, Blackstone, and PIMCOA new data feed for bond tradingMark Lennihan/APFor years, the only way investors could figure out the going price of a corporate bond was calling up a dealer on the phone. The rise of electronic trading has streamlined that process, but data can still be hard to come by sometimes. A startup founded by a former Goldman Sachs exec has big plans to change that. BondCliQ is a fintech that provides a data feed of pre-trade pricing quotes for the corporate bond market. Founded by Chris White, the creator of Goldman Sachs' defunct corporate-bond-trading system, BondCliQ strives to bring transparency to a market that has traditionally kept such data close to the vest. Banks, which typically serve as the dealers of corporate bonds, have historically kept pre-trade quotes hidden from other dealers to maintain a competitive advantage.But tech advancements and the rise of electronic marketplaces have shifted power dynamics into the hands of buy-side firms, like hedge funds and asset managers. The investors are now able to get a fuller picture of the market by aggregating price quotes directly from dealers or via vendors.Here's the 9-page pitch deck that BondCliQ, a fintech looking to bring more data and transparency to bond trading, used to raise its Series AFraud prevention for lenders and insurersFiordaliso/Getty ImagesOnboarding new customers with ease is key for any financial institution or retailer. The more friction you add, the more likely consumers are to abandon the entire process.But preventing fraud is also a priority, and that's where Neuro-ID comes in. The startup analyzes what it calls "digital body language," or, the way users scroll, type, and tap. Using that data, Neuro-ID can identify fraudulent users before they create an account. It's built for banks, lenders, insurers, and e-commerce players."The train has left the station for digital transformation, but there's a massive opportunity to try to replicate all those communications that we used to have when we did business in-person, all those tells that we would get verbally and non-verbally on whether or not someone was trustworthy," Neuro-ID CEO Jack Alton told Insider.Founded in 2014, the startup's pitch is twofold: Neuro-ID can save companies money by identifying fraud early, and help increase user conversion by making the onboarding process more seamless. In December Neuro-ID closed a $7 million Series A, co-led by Fin VC and TTV Capital, with participation from Canapi Ventures. With 30 employees, Neuro-ID is using the fresh funding to grow its team and create additional tools to be more self-serving for customers.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that analyzes consumers' digital behavior to fight fraud used to raise a $7 million Series AAI-powered tools to spot phony online reviews FakespotMarketplaces like Amazon and eBay host millions of third-party sellers, and their algorithms will often boost items in search based on consumer sentiment, which is largely based on reviews. But many third-party sellers use fake reviews often bought from click farms to boost their items, some of which are counterfeit or misrepresented to consumers.That's where Fakespot comes in. With its Chrome extension, it warns users of sellers using potentially fake reviews to boost sales and can identify fraudulent sellers. Fakespot is currently compatible with Amazon, BestBuy, eBay, Sephora, Steam, and Walmart."There are promotional reviews written by humans and bot-generated reviews written by robots or review farms," Fakespot founder and CEO Saoud Khalifah told Insider. "Our AI system has been built to detect both categories with very high accuracy."Fakespot's AI learns via reviews data available on marketplace websites, and uses natural-language processing to identify if reviews are genuine. Fakespot also looks at things like whether the number of positive reviews are plausible given how long a seller has been active.Fakespot, a startup that helps shoppers detect robot-generated reviews and phony sellers on Amazon and Shopify, used this pitch deck to nab a $4 million Series AHelping fintechs manage dataProper Finance co-founders Travis Gibson (left) and Kyle MaloneyProper FinanceAs the flow of data becomes evermore crucial for fintechs, from the strappy startup to the established powerhouse, a thorny issue in the back office is becoming increasingly complex.Even though fintechs are known for their sleek front ends, the back end is often quite the opposite. Behind that streamlined interface can be a mosaic of different partner integrations — be it with banks, payments players and networks, or software vendors — with a channel of data running between them. Two people who know that better than the average are Kyle Maloney and Travis Gibson, two former employees of Marqeta, a fintech that provides other fintechs with payments processing and card issuance. "Take an established neobank for example. They'll likely have one or two card issuers, two to three bank partners, ACH processing for direct deposits and payouts, mobile check deposits, peer-to-peer payments, and lending," Gibson told Insider. Here's the 12-page pitch deck a startup helping fintechs manage their data used to score a $4.3 million seed from investors like Redpoint Ventures and Y CombinatorE-commerce focused business bankingMichael Rangel, cofounder and CEO, and Tyler McIntyre, cofounder and CTO of Novo.Kristelle Boulos PhotographyBusiness banking is a hot market in fintech. And it seems investors can't get enough.Novo, the digital banking fintech aimed at small e-commerce businesses, raised a $40.7 million Series A led by Valar Ventures in June. Since its launch in 2018, Novo has signed up 100,000 small businesses. Beyond bank accounts, it offers expense management, a corporate card, and integrates with e-commerce infrastructure players like Shopify, Stripe, and Wise.Founded in 2018, Novo was based in New York City, but has since moved its headquarters to Miami. Here's the 12-page pitch deck e-commerce banking startup Novo used to raise its $40 million Series AShopify for embedded financeProductfy CEO and founder, Duy VoProductfyProductfy is looking to break into embedded finance by becoming the Shopify of back-end banking services.Embedded finance — integrating banking services in non-financial settings — has taken hold in the e-commerce world. But Productfy is going after a different kind of customer in churches, universities, and nonprofits.The San Jose, Calif.-based upstart aims to help non-finance companies offer their own banking products. Productfy can help customers launch finance features in as little as a week and without additional engineering resources or background knowledge of banking compliance or legal requirements, Productfy founder and CEO Duy Vo told Insider. "You don't need an engineer to stand up Shopify, right? You can be someone who's just creating art and you can use Shopify to build your own online store," Vo said, adding that Productfy is looking to take that user experience and replicate it for banking services.Here's the 15-page pitch deck Productfy, a fintech looking to be the Shopify of embedded finance, used to nab a $16 million Series ADeploying algorithms and automation to small-business financingJustin Straight and Bernard Worthy, LoanWell co-foundersLoanWellBernard Worthy and Justin Straight, the founders of LoanWell, want to break down barriers to financing for small and medium-size businesses — and they've got algorithms and automation in their tech arsenals that they hope will do it.Worthy, the company's CEO, and Straight, its chief operating and financial officer, are powering community-focused lenders to fill a gap in the SMB financing world by boosting access to loans under $100,000. And the upstart is known for catching the attention, and dollars, of mission-driven investors. LoanWell closed a $3 million seed financing round in December led by Impact America Fund with participation from SoftBank's SB Opportunity Fund and Collab Capital.LoanWell automates the financing process — from underwriting and origination, to money movement and servicing — which shaves down an up-to-90-day process to 30 days or even same-day with some LoanWell lenders, Worthy said. SMBs rely on these loans to process quickly after two years of financial uncertainty. But the pandemic illustrated how time-consuming and expensive SMB financing can be, highlighted by efforts like the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program.Community banks, once the lifeline to capital for many local businesses, continue to shutter. And demands for smaller loan amounts remain largely unmet. More than half of business-loan applicants sought $100,000 or less, according to 2018 data from the Federal Reserve. But the average small-business bank loan was closer to six times that amount, according to the latest data from a now discontinued Federal Reserve survey.Here's the 14-page pitch deck LoanWell used to raise $3 million from investors like SoftBank.Branded cards for SMBsJennifer Glaspie-Lundstrom is the cofounder and CEO of Tandym.TandymJennifer Glaspie-Lundstrom is no stranger to the private-label credit-card business. As a former Capital One exec, she worked in both the card giant's co-brand partnerships division and its tech organization during her seven years at the company.Now, Glaspie-Lundstrom is hoping to use that experience to innovate a sector that was initially created in malls decades ago.Glaspie-Lundstrom is the cofounder and CEO of Tandym, which offers private-label digital credit cards to merchants. Store and private-label credit cards aren't a new concept, but Tandym is targeting small- and medium-sized merchants with less than $1 billion in annual revenue. Glaspie-Lundstrom said that group often struggles to offer private-label credit due to the expense of working with legacy players."What you have is this example of a very valuable product type that merchants love and their customers love, but a huge, untapped market that has heretofore been unserved, and so that's what we're doing with Tandym," Glaspi-Lundstrom told Insider.A former Capital One exec used this deck to raise $60 million for a startup helping SMBs launch their own branded credit cardsCatering to 'micro businesses'Stefanie Sample is the founder and CEO of FundidFundidStartups aiming to simplify the often-complex world of corporate cards have boomed in recent years.Business-finance management startup Brex was last valued at $12.3 billion after raising $300 million last year. Startup card provider Ramp announced an $8.1 billion valuation in March after growing its revenue nearly 10x in 2021. Divvy, a small business card provider, was acquired by Bill.com in May 2021 for approximately $2.5 billion.But despite how hot the market has gotten, Stefanie Sample said she ended up working in the space by accident. Sample is the founder and CEO of Fundid, a new fintech that provides credit and lending products to small businesses.This May, Fundid announced a $3.25 million seed round led by Nevcaut Ventures. Additional investors include the Artemis Fund and Builders and Backers. The funding announcement capped off the company's first year: Sample introduced the Fundid concept in April 2021, launched its website in May, and began raising capital in August."I never meant to do Fundid," Sample told Insider. "I never meant to do something that was venture-backed."Read the 12-page deck used by Fundid, a fintech offering credit and lending tools for 'micro businesses'Embedded payments for SMBsThe Highnote teamHighnoteBranded cards have long been a way for merchants with the appropriate bank relationships to create additional revenue and build customer loyalty. The rise of embedded payments, or the ability to shop and pay in a seamless experience within a single app, has broadened the number of companies looking to launch branded cards.Highnote is a startup that helps small to mid-sized merchants roll out their own debit and pre-paid digital cards. The fintech emerged from stealth on Tuesday to announce it raised $54 million in seed and Series A funding.Here's the 12-page deck Highnote, a startup helping SMBs embed payments, used to raise $54 million in seed and Series A fundingHelping small businesses manage their taxesComplYant's founder Shiloh Jackson wants to help people be present in their bookkeeping.ComplYantAfter 14 years in tax accounting, Shiloh Johnson had formed a core philosophy around corporate accounting: everyone deserves to understand their business's money and business owners need to be present in their bookkeeping process.She wanted to help small businesses understand "this is why you need to do what you're doing and why you have to change the way you think about tax and be present in your bookkeeping process," she told Insider. The Los Angeles native wanted small businesses to not only understand business tax no matter their size but also to find the tools they needed to prepare their taxes in one spot. So Johnson developed a software platform that provides just that.The 13-page pitch deck ComplYant used to nab $4 million that details the tax startup's plan to be Turbotax, Quickbooks, and Xero rolled into one for small business ownersAutomating accounting ops for SMBsDecimal CEO Matt Tait.DecimalSmall- and medium-sized businesses can rely on any number of payroll, expense management, bill pay, and corporate-card startups promising to automate parts of their financial workflow. Smaller firms have adopted this corporate-financial software en masse, boosting growth throughout the pandemic for relatively new entrants like Ramp and massive, industry stalwarts like Intuit. But it's no easy task to connect all of those tools into one, seamless process. And while accounting operations might be far from where many startup founders want to focus their time, having efficient back-end finances does mean time — and capital — freed up to spend elsewhere. For Decimal CEO Matt Tait, there's ample opportunity in "the boring stuff you have to do to survive as a company," he told Insider. Launched in 2020, Decimal provides a back-end tech layer that small- and medium-sized businesses can use to integrate their accounting and business-management software tools in one place.On Wednesday, Decimal announced a $9 million seed fundraising round led by Minneapolis-based Arthur Ventures, alongside Service Providers Capital and other angel investors. See the 13-page pitch deck for Decimal, a startup automating accounting ops for small businessesInvoice financing for SMBsStacey Abrams and Lara Hodgson, Now co-foundersNowAbout a decade ago, politician Stacey Abrams and entrepreneur Lara Hodgson were forced to fold their startup because of a kink in the supply chain — but not in the traditional sense.Nourish, which made spill-proof bottled water for children, had grown quickly from selling to small retailers to national ones. And while that may sound like a feather in the small business' cap, there was a hang-up."It was taking longer and longer to get paid, and as you can imagine, you deliver the product and then you wait and you wait, but meanwhile you have to pay your employees and you have to pay your vendors," Hodgson told Insider. "Waiting to get paid was constraining our ability to grow."While it's not unusual for small businesses to grapple with working capital issues, the dust was still settling from the Great Recession. Abrams and Hodgson couldn't secure a line of credit or use financing tools like factoring to solve their problem. The two entrepreneurs were forced to close Nourish in 2012, but along the way they recognized a disconnect in the system.  "Why are we the ones borrowing money, when in fact we're the lender here because every time you send an invoice to a customer, you've essentially extended a free loan to that customer by letting them pay later," Hodgson said. "And the only reason why we were going to need to possibly borrow money was because we had just given ours away for free to Whole Foods," she added.Check out the 7-page deck that Now, Stacey Abrams' fintech that wants to help small businesses 'grow fearlessly', used to raise $29 millionCheckout made easyRyan Breslow.Ryan BreslowAmazon has long dominated e-commerce with its one-click checkout flows, offering easier ways for consumers to shop online than its small-business competitors.Bolt gives small merchants tools to offer the same easy checkouts so they can compete with the likes of Amazon.The startup raised its $393 million Series D to continue adding its one-click checkout feature to merchants' own websites in October.Bolt markets to merchants themselves. But a big part of Bolt's pitch is its growing network of consumers — currently over 5.6 million — that use its features across multiple Bolt merchant customers. Roughly 5% of Bolt's transactions were network-driven in May, meaning users that signed up for a Bolt account on another retailer's website used it elsewhere. The network effects were even more pronounced in verticals like furniture, where 49% of transactions were driven by the Bolt network."The network effect is now unleashed with Bolt in full fury, and that triggered the raise," Bolt's founder and CEO Ryan Breslow told Insider.Here's the 12-page deck that one-click checkout Bolt used to outline its network of 5.6 million consumers and raise its Series DPayments infrastructure for fintechsQolo CEO and co-founder Patricia MontesiQoloThree years ago, Patricia Montesi realized there was a disconnect in the payments world. "A lot of new economy companies or fintech companies were looking to mesh up a lot of payment modalities that they weren't able to," Montesi, CEO and co-founder of Qolo, told Insider.Integrating various payment capabilities often meant tapping several different providers that had specializations in one product or service, she added, like debit card issuance or cross-border payments. "The way people were getting around that was that they were creating this spider web of fintech," she said, adding that "at the end of it all, they had this mess of suppliers and integrations and bank accounts."The 20-year payments veteran rounded up a group of three other co-founders — who together had more than a century of combined industry experience — to start Qolo, a business-to-business fintech that sought out to bundle back-end payment rails for other fintechs.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that provides payments infrastructure for other fintechs used to raise a $15 million Series ABetter use of payroll dataAtomic's Head of Markets, Lindsay DavisAtomicEmployees at companies large and small know the importance — and limitations — of how firms manage their payrolls. A new crop of startups are building the API pipes that connect companies and their employees to offer a greater level of visibility and flexibility when it comes to payroll data and employee verification. On Thursday, one of those names, Atomic, announced a $40 million Series B fundraising round co-led by Mercato Partners and Greylock, alongside Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and ATX Capital. The round follows Atomic's Series A round announced in October, when the startup raised a $22 million Series A from investors including Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and Greylock.Payroll startup Atomic just raised a $40 million Series B. Here's an internal deck detailing the fintech's approach to the red-hot payments space.Saving on vendor invoicesHoward Katzenberg, Glean's CEO and cofounderGleanWhen it comes to high-flying tech startups, headlines and investors typically tend to focus on industry "disruption" and the total addressable market a company is hoping to reach. Expense cutting as a way to boost growth typically isn't part of the conversation early on, and finance teams are viewed as cost centers relative to sales teams. But one fast-growing area of business payments has turned its focus to managing those costs. Startups like Ramp and established names like Bill.com have made their name offering automated expense-management systems. Now, one new fintech competitor, Glean, is looking to take that further by offering both automated payment services and tailored line-item accounts-payable insights driven by machine-learning models. Glean's CFO and founder, Howard Katzenberg, told Insider that the genesis of Glean was driven by his own personal experience managing the finance teams of startups, including mortgage lender Better.com, which Katzenberg left in 2019, and online small-business lender OnDeck. "As a CFO of high-growth companies, I spent a lot of time focused on revenue and I had amazing dashboards in real time where I could see what is going on top of the funnel, what's going on with conversion rates, what's going on in terms of pricing and attrition," Katzenberg told Insider. See the 15-slide pitch deck Glean, a startup using machine learning to find savings in vendor invoices, used to raise $10.8 million in seed fundingReal-estate management made easyAgora founders Noam Kahan, CTO, Bar Mor, CEO, and Lior Dolinski, CPOAgoraFor alternative asset managers of any type, the operations underpinning sales and investor communications are a crucial but often overlooked part of the business. Fund managers love to make bets on markets, not coordinate hundreds of wire transfers to clients each quarter or organize customer-relationship-management databases.Within the $10.6 trillion global market for professionally managed real-estate investing, that's where Tel Aviv and New York-based startup Agora hopes to make its mark.Founded in 2019, Agora offers a set of back-office, investor relations, and sales software tools that real-estate investment managers can plug into their workflows. On Wednesday, Agora announced a $9 million seed round, led by Israel-based venture firm Aleph, with participation from River Park Ventures and Maccabee Ventures. The funding comes on the heels of an October 2020 pre-seed fund raise worth $890,000, in which Maccabee also participated.Here's the 15-slide pitch deck that Agora, a startup helping real-estate investors manage communications and sales with their clients, used to raise a $9 million seed roundAccess to commercial real-estate investing LEX Markets cofounders and co-CEOs Drew Sterrett and Jesse Daugherty.LEX MarketsDrew Sterrett was structuring real-estate deals while working in private equity when he realized the inefficiencies that existed in the market. Only high-net worth individuals or accredited investors could participate in commercial real-estate deals. If they ever wanted to leave a partnership or sell their stake in a property, it was difficult to find another investor to replace them. Owners also struggled to sell minority stakes in their properties and didn't have many good options to recapitalize an asset if necessary.In short, the market had a high barrier to entry despite the fact it didn't always have enough participants to get deals done quickly. "Most investors don't have access to high-quality commercial real-estate investments. How do we have the oldest and largest asset class in the world and one of the largest wealth creators with no public and liquid market?" Sterrett told Insider. "It sort of seems like a no-brainer, and that this should have existed 50 or 60 years ago."This 15-page pitch deck helped LEX Markets, a startup making investing in commercial real estate more accessible, raise $15 millionInsurance goes digitalJamie Hale, CEO and cofounder of LadderLadderFintechs looking to transform how insurance policies are underwritten, issued, and experienced by customers have grown as new technology driven by digital trends and artificial intelligence shape the market. And while verticals like auto, homeowner's, and renter's insurance have seen their fair share of innovation from forward-thinking fintechs, one company has taken on the massive life-insurance market. Founded in 2017, Ladder uses a tech-driven approach to offer life insurance with a digital, end-to-end service that it says is more flexible, faster, and cost-effective than incumbent players.Life, annuity, and accident and health insurance within the US comprise a big chunk of the broader market. In 2020, premiums written on those policies totaled some $767 billion, compared to $144 billion for auto policies and $97 billion for homeowner's insurance.Here's the 12-page deck that Ladder, a startup disrupting the 'crown jewel' of the insurance market, used to nab $100 millionData science for commercial insuranceTanner Hackett, founder and CEO of CounterpartCounterpartThere's been no shortage of funds flowing into insurance-technology companies over the past few years. Private-market funding to insurtechs soared to $15.4 billion in 2021, a 90% increase compared to 2020. Some of the most well-known consumer insurtech names — from Oscar (which focuses on health insurance) to Metromile (which focuses on auto) — launched on the public markets last year, only to fall over time or be acquired as investors questioned the sustainability of their business models. In the commercial arena, however, the head of one insurtech company thinks there is still room to grow — especially for those catering to small businesses operating in an entirely new, pandemic-defined environment. "The bigger opportunity is in commercial lines," Tanner Hackett, the CEO of management liability insurer Counterpart, told Insider."Everywhere I poke, I'm like, 'Oh my goodness, we're still in 1.0, and all the other businesses I've built were on version three.' Insurance is still in 1.0, still managing from spreadsheets and PDFs," added Hackett, who also previously co-founded Button, which focuses on mobile marketing. See the 8-page pitch deck Counterpart, a startup disrupting commercial insurance with data science, used to raise a $30 million Series BSmarter insurance for multifamily propertiesItai Ben-Zaken, cofounder and CEO of Honeycomb.HoneycombA veteran of the online-insurance world is looking to revolutionize the way the industry prices risk for commercial properties with the help of artificial intelligence.Insurance companies typically send inspectors to properties before issuing policies to better understand how the building is maintained and identify potential risks or issues with it. It's a process that can be time-consuming, expensive, and inefficient, making it hard to justify for smaller commercial properties, like apartment and condo buildings.Insurtech Honeycomb is looking to fix that by using AI to analyze a combination of third-party data and photos submitted by customers through the startup's app to quickly identify any potential risks at a property and more accurately price policies."That whole physical inspection thing had really good things in it, but it wasn't really something that is scalable and, it's also expensive," Itai Ben-Zaken, Honeycomb's cofounder and CEO, told Insider. "The best way to see a property right now is Google street view. Google street view is usually two years old."Here's the 10-page Series A pitch deck used by Honeycomb, a startup that wants to revolutionize the $26 billion market for multifamily property insuranceHelping freelancers with their taxesJaideep Singh is the CEO and co-founder of FlyFin, an AI-driven tax preparation software program for freelancers.FlyFinSome people, particularly those with families or freelancing businesses, spend days searching for receipts for tax season, making tax preparation a time consuming and, at times, taxing experience. That's why in 2020 Jaideep Singh founded FlyFin, an artificial-intelligence tax preparation program for freelancers that helps people, as he puts it, "fly through their finances." FlyFin is set up to connect to a person's bank accounts, allowing the AI program to help users monitor for certain expenses that can be claimed on their taxes like business expenditures, the interest on mortgages, property taxes, or whatever else that might apply. "For most individuals, people have expenses distributed over multiple financial institutions. So we built an AI platform that is able to look at expenses, understand the individual, understand your profession, understand the freelance population at large, and start the categorization," Singh told Insider.Check out the 7-page pitch deck a startup helping freelancers manage their taxes used to nab $8 million in fundingDigital banking for freelancersJGalione/Getty ImagesLance is a new digital bank hoping to simplify the life of those workers by offering what it calls an "active" approach to business banking. "We found that every time we sat down with the existing tools and resources of our accountants and QuickBooks and spreadsheets, we just ended up getting tangled up in the whole experience of it," Lance cofounder and CEO Oona Rokyta told Insider. Lance offers subaccounts for personal salaries, withholdings, and savings to which freelancers can automatically allocate funds according to custom preset levels. It also offers an expense balance that's connected to automated tax withholdings.In May, Lance announced the closing of a $2.8 million seed round that saw participation from Barclays, BDMI, Great Oaks Capital, Imagination Capital, Techstars, DFJ Frontier, and others.Here's the 21-page pitch deck Lance, a digital bank for freelancers, used to raise a $2.8 million seed round from investors including BarclaysSoftware for managing freelancersWorksome cofounder and CEO Morten Petersen.WorksomeThe way people work has fundamentally changed over the past year, with more flexibility and many workers opting to freelance to maintain their work-from-home lifestyles.But managing a freelance or contractor workforce is often an administrative headache for employers. Worksome is a startup looking to eliminate all the extra work required for employers to adapt to more flexible working norms.Worksome started as a freelancer marketplace automating the process of matching qualified workers with the right jobs. But the team ultimately pivoted to a full suite of workforce management software, automating administrative burdens required to hire, pay, and account for contract workers.In May, Worksome closed a $13 million Series A backed by European angel investor Tommy Ahlers and Danish firm Lind & Risør.Here's the 21-slide pitch deck used by a startup that helps firms like Carlsberg and Deloitte manage freelancersPayments and operations support HoneyBook cofounders Dror Shimoni, Oz Alon, and Naama Alon.HoneyBookWhile countless small businesses have been harmed by the pandemic, self-employment and entrepreneurship have found ways to blossom as Americans started new ventures.Half of the US population may be freelance by 2027, according to a study commissioned by remote-work hiring platform Upwork. HoneyBook, a fintech startup that provides payment and operations support for freelancers, in May raised $155 million in funding and achieved unicorn status with its $1 billion-plus valuation.Durable Capital Partners led the Series D funding with other new investors including renowned hedge fund Tiger Global, Battery Ventures, Zeev Ventures, and 01 Advisors. Citi Ventures, Citigroup's startup investment arm that also backs fintech robo-advisor Betterment, participated as an existing investor in the round alongside Norwest Venture partners. The latest round brings the company's fundraising total to $227 million to date.Here's the 21-page pitch deck a Citi-backed fintech for freelancers used to raise $155 million from investors like hedge fund Tiger GlobalPay-as-you-go compliance for banks, fintechs, and crypto startupsNeepa Patel, Themis' founder and CEOThemisWhen Themis founder and CEO Neepa Patel set out to build a new compliance tool for banks, fintech startups, and crypto companies, she tapped into her own experience managing risk at some of the nation's biggest financial firms. Having worked as a bank regulator at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and in compliance at Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, and the enterprise blockchain company R3, Patel was well-placed to assess the shortcomings in financial compliance software. But Patel, who left the corporate world to begin work on Themis in 2020, drew on more than just her own experience and frustrations to build the startup."It's not just me building a tool based on my personal pain points. I reached out to regulators. I reached out to bank compliance officers and members in the fintech community just to make sure that we're building it exactly how they do their work," Patel told Insider. "That was the biggest problem: No one built a tool that was reflective of how people do their work."Check out the 9-page pitch deck Themis, which offers pay-as-you-go compliance for banks, fintechs, and crypto startups, used to raise $9 million in seed fundingConnecting startups and investorsHum Capital cofounder and CEO Blair SilverbergHum CapitalBlair Silverberg is no stranger to fundraising.For six years, Silverberg was a venture capitalist at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Private Credit Investments making bets on startups."I was meeting with thousands of founders in person each year, watching them one at a time go through this friction where they're meeting a ton of investors, and the investors are all asking the same questions," Silverberg told Insider. He switched gears about three years ago, moving to the opposite side of the metaphorical table, to start Hum Capital, which uses artificial intelligence to match investors with startups looking to fundraise.On August 31, the New York-based fintech announced its $9 million Series A. The round was led by Future Ventures with participation from Webb Investment Network, Wavemaker Partners, and Partech. This 11-page pitch deck helped Hum Capital, a fintech using AI to match investors with startups, raise a $9 million Series A.Helping LatAm startups get up to speedKamino cofounders Gut Fragoso, Rodrigo Perenha, Benjamin Gleason, and Gonzalo ParejoKaminoThere's more venture capital flowing into Latin America than ever before, but getting the funds in founders' hands is not exactly a simple process.In 2021, investors funneled $15.3 billion into Latin American companies, more than tripling the previous record of $4.9 billion in 2019. Fintech and e-commerce sectors drove funding, accounting for 39% and 25% of total funding, respectively.  However, for many startup founders in the region who have successfully sold their ideas and gotten investors on board, there's a patchwork of corporate structuring that's needed to access the funds, according to Benjamin Gleason, who was the chief financial officer at Groupon LatAm prior to cofounding Brazil-based fintech Kamino.It's a process Gleason and his three fellow Kamino cofounders have been through before as entrepreneurs and startup execs themselves. Most often, startups have to set up offshore financial accounts outside of Brazil, which "entails creating a Cayman [Islands] holding company, a Delaware LLC, and then connecting it to a local entity here and also opening US bank accounts for the Cayman entity, which is not trivial from a KYC perspective," said Gleason, who founded open-banking fintech Guiabolso in Sao Paulo. His partner, Gonzalo Parejo, experienced the same toils when he founded insurtech Bidu."Pretty much any international investor will usually ask for that," Gleason said, adding that investors typically cite liability issues."It's just a massive amount of bureaucracy, complexity, a lot of time from the founders. All of this just to get the money from the investor that wants to give them the money," he added.Here's the 8-page pitch deck Kamino, a fintech helping LatAm startups with everything from financing to corporate credit cards, used to raise a $6.1M pre-seed roundThe back-end tech for beautyDanielle Cohen-Shohet, CEO and founder of GlossGeniusGlossGeniusDanielle Cohen-Shohet might have started as a Goldman Sachs investment analyst, but at her core she was always a coder.After about three years at Goldman Sachs, Cohen-Shohet left the world of traditional finance to code her way into starting her own company in 2016. "There was a period of time where I did nothing, but eat, sleep, and code for a few weeks," Cohen-Shohet told Insider. Her technical edge and knowledge of the point-of-sale payment space led her to launch a software company focused on providing behind-the-scenes tech for beauty and wellness small businesses.Cohen-Shohet launched GlossGenius in 2017 to provide payments tech for hair stylists, nail technicians, blow-out bars, and other small businesses in the space.Here's the 11-page deck GlossGenius, a startup that provides back-end tech for the beauty industry, used to raise $16 millionRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJun 22nd, 2022

DEFCON 2... Or Cutting Off The Nose To Spite The Face

DEFCON 2... Or Cutting Off The Nose To Spite The Face By Peter Tchir of Academy Securities I had difficulty choosing a title for today. DEFCON 2 made a lot of sense as I’m increasingly worried about the economy and the market – for this summer. On the one hand I’m so perplexed by the messaging that the Fed is prepared to trigger a recession in its fight with inflation that I can’t help but think about cutting off your nose to spite the face. I could almost see Powell starting the press conference with “this is going to hurt me more than it is going to hurt you,” which based on my experience, is rarely true. Inflation - Food To expect monetary policy to reduce food prices seems like a stretch. We all must consume some basic level of food regardless of our income level. Sure, maybe the rich eat more Kraft dinners with fancy ketchup [apologies to the Barenaked Ladies], but food consumption seems relatively inelastic. Maybe lowering the cost of fuel will help reduce the cost of food [shipping, the farmer's use of diesel, etc.], but I'm not sure that will happen quickly enough [or be impactful enough] to help the average consumer in the meantime. Many of those consumers are now facing higher costs of funding - anything from credit cards to ARMs, or any new loan that they are looking at. The supply chain disruption in primarily wheat [and other basic groins due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine] is real and is likely to lost into next year. The longer that lasts, the more stockpiles will be eroded. That is a problem not impacted much one way or the other by interest rates. The shortage of fertilizer [a topic of conversation] will admittedly be helped by reduced energy prices [if the Fed achieves that], but again, I'm not sure this provides much near-term relief, Food, which may or may not be accurately reflected in official inflation measures [when I write may or may not I mean definitely not, but don't want to sound too aggressive] is unlikely to see price declines to the point where the consumer is helped materially. While the official data may or may not be accurate, the consumers know the "real world'' costs and that is affecting their behavior, their sentiment, their outlook, and ultimately their spending, I remain extremely worried about food inflation. Inflation - Energy I'm not sure that even the "after school" specials that used to air on broadcast TV [that always had a morality message] could come up with a plot where the "hero" beats up on the "villain" for most of the show, only to realize that the "villain" has something they need, Then the "hero" reaches out to the "villain" to strike a "mutually" beneficial deal and the "villain," which is so overjoyed to become part of the "good team," immediately acquiesces to that and ignores all the previous messaging, Weirdly, it is a plot too unbelievable for a children's special, but one that "we" (collectively] seem to think will work with Iron, Venezuela, and the Saudis. I won't even touch on the "side plot" of the long-overlooked friend, eagerly waiting for o word of encouragement from the "hero" and ready to step up and deliver, finding itself being treated worse than the "villain" at a time of need. If you missed the Academv Podcast that was "dropped" (I think that's the cool term for it] on Friday, I highly recommend listening to it, General Kearney [ret,] leads the conversation, along with Rachel Washburn, Michael Rodriguez [from an ESG perspective], and me, on nuclear proliferation, the nuclear geopolitical landscape, and also, crucially important, thoughts on the future of nuclear energy, But I've digressed, as those energy issues are really more issues related to D.C. and policy rather than anything controlled by interest rates and Fed policy, But maybe after all I didn't digress that much because I don't see how Fed policy helps reduce energy prices, other than if they are "successful” in derailing the economy. Again, much like food, individuals can only tinker with their need for energy. All of this has a limited impact on overall consumption: keeping the house warmer in the summer, colder in the carpooling a winter, carpooling a bit more, being more organized on errands, convincing the bosses that WFH is good for the environment, etc. Higher energy costs are already causing the demand shrinkage from consumers and I don't see any direct way that higher rates will help reduce gas demand or prices, unless, again, the Fed is "successful" in making the economy worse by a significant margin. On the other side of the coin, higher interest rates seem likely to increase the cost of new production and storage. Any company tying up working capital or expanding production is now experiencing higher interest costs and logic dictates that they will try and pass some of those costs on or not embark on some projects due to the higher cost of funds, So, the rate hikes’ direct impact on energy prices is to probably push them higher as the production and distribution systems face higher costs. Reducing Energy Prices, aka, Hitting the Economy Hard If interest rates are going to reduce energy prices it is going to come from cratering demand for anything and everything that uses energy that can be affected by interest rates! Housing/Real Estate/Construction. I have no idea how much energy goes into building a new home, but I assume a non-trivial amount, The materials that go into constructing a building can be energy intensive [copper piping, etc,], The transportation of these materials to the building site is also expensive, We are already seeing negative data in the housing sector [new home permits are down, expectations for new home sales are declining, the Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index is at its lowest level in a decade [except very briefly in March 2020 during the Covid lockdowns], I'm sure I could find more dato pointing to housing slowing, but maybe highlighting that the Bankrate.com 5/1 ARM national average is at 4.1% versus 2.75% at the start of the year, is sufficient, We could look at 30-year mortgages and really shock you, but I think that the 5/1 is as interesting as the rate environment because it demonstrates that there is little relief anywhere along the curve for those needing new mortgages. Autos. Annualized total U.S, auto sales [published by WARD'S automotive] have fallen recently. This measure has been "choppy" to say the least as auto sales have clearly been hit by supply issues. For many makes and models, I'm hearing the wait time is 6 months for a car where you pick the features and it is built to your specifications [which had become the "normal" way of buying cars]. So, maybe, just maybe, the sales here are still being impacted by that, but I’d have to guess that rising auto loan costs are playing a role as well. The Manheim used vehicle value index is still very high, but has stabilized of late. If that stabilization is related to higher loan costs, then it is bad for the auto industry. If it is related to new cars and trucks being more readily available, it isn't a great sign, since that means the new auto sales indications cannot be entirely explained away by supply constraints. My understanding, given the steel and other components, is a lot of energy goes into producing a new automobile. So, I guess it is "good" news that slowing auto sales [and presumably production] will curb energy demand? Consumer Purchases and Delivery, Everywhere you turn there are stories and anecdotes about consumer purchasing slowing down, CONsumer CONfidence [as discussed last weekend] is atrocious! Not only does energy go into the production of the goods that the consumer was purchasing, but with home delivery being such a feature of today's purchasing behavior, energy consumption should go down as delivery services slow down [and as they continue to become more efficient - a process spurred on by higher gas prices]. I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry. Higher interest rates will "help" reduce demand for autos, housing, and general consumer consumption, Apparently, that is good, because it reduces demand for energy and energy inflation [as well as inflation for those products]. I can see that, but I cannot help but think that we need to Be Careful What You Wish For! A Special Place in Hell for Inventories I fear that inventories were a big part of the rise in inflation and would contribute to stabilizing prices [all else being equal] and that recent rate hikes are going to turn a "normal" normalization into something far more dangerous, Manufacturing and Trade Inventories grew from 2014 until COVID at a steady pace, This seemed to correlate nicely with the growing U.S. and global economy. They dropped with supply chain issues, but were back to pre-COVID levels by last summer. Then, from late last summer until the end of April [most recent data point for this series], these inventories grew rapidly! Companies worried about supply chain issues overstocked. This could lead to much lower future orders. Companies shifting to "just in case" from "just in time" need higher inventories, so that part would be stable, but costs of carrying inventory have increased, Maybe companies used straight line extrapolation to accumulate inventory to meet expected consumer demand. That is bad for inventories if the demand isn't materializing! It is extra bad if consumers pulled forward demand in response to their supply chain concerns, meaning that any simplistic estimate of future demand [always problematic, though easy] is even further off the mark as the extrapolation was based on a faulty premise [which is not thinking consumers responded to supply chain issues]. We may have an inventory overhang in the economy. While inventories are significantly higher than pre-COVID levels, the number of people working has still not returned to pre-COVID levels, Yeah, I get that it is far easier to "spend now, pay later" than it used to be through a variety of fintech solutions [ignoring rising interest costs] and that the "wealth effect" and "gambling" culture allows for more spending per job [or maybe it did a few months ago, but not now?] Maybe I'm just a stick in the mud, but... When I look at this chart, I see the correlation between total number of people working and inventory has been completely dislocated! [It also makes me question some of the supply chain issues we allegedly have]. Again, this potential inventory overhang is "amazing" if you want to slow orders and "fix" inflation by having to work off excess inventory rather than adding more. Apologies, if you're tired of reading my snarky comments about things being "good" for inflation fighting. I'm tired of writing them, but cannot think of what else to do. But the Economy is So Resilient? More on this later,,. The "Disruptive Portfolio" Wealth Destruction We have examined the concept of Disruptive Portfolio Construction and continue to think that this is playing a major role in how markets are trading, but increasingly this creates a potential shock to the economy, Let's start with crypto, Bitcoin briefly dropped below $19,000 Saturday morning. I have no idea where it will be by the time you are reading this, but I am targeting $10,000 or less for bitcoin within a month or so. First the "altcoins" [some of which are derisively referred to as "sh*t-coins"] are a complete mess. Solana is down 88% from its November 2021 highs and is roughly back to where it "debuted" in June 2012. Dogecoin, which I think was originally created as a joke, but rose to 70 cents [I think the weekend of Elon Musk's Saturday Night Live appearance] is back to 5 cents, which I guess is still good for something that was originally created as a joke. Ethereum, a "smart contract" that has some use cases very different than bitcoin and was often talked about as a superior product, is down 80% from its November 2021 highs. Under the Bloomberg CRYP page there are 25 things listed as "Crypto Assets". Maybe if I looked at each one I'd find some with a different story, but somehow, I doubt it. Okay, I lied, I couldn't resist, I had never heard of Polkadot, but it looks like it was launched in April 2021 at $40, declined to $11, rallied to $54 in November 2021, and is now down to $7 [at least the name is still cute]. But bitcoin is the story I’m looking at because it is the biggest and the one that seems to have the most direct ties to the broader market. Crypto, to me, is often about adoption. It was why I got bullish a couple of years ago and caught at least part of the wave. Back then, every day some new, easier, better way to own crypto was being announced. Companies and famous billionaires were putting it on their corporate balance sheets. FOMO was everywhere with people racing to put ever higher targets on its future price and those who didn't have anyone to jump on to the bandwagon with were hiring people who could put on an ever-higher price target with a straight face. That ended a while ago and we are in the "disadoption" phase [spellcheck says disadoption isn't a word, but I'm sticking with it]. Or as I wrote the other day, which the FT picked up on, we have moved from FOMO [Fear Of Missing Out] to FOHO [Fear of Holding On]. Even more concerning is a world where HODLING [originally either a mistype of HOLDING that gained traction or short for Holding On for Dear Life] is more prevalent and many people are now unable to exit their positions even if they wanted to. There are some serious "plumbing" issues right now in the crypto space. Maybe the decentralized nature of crypto will work and be extremely resilient [I cannot fully discount that possibility] but maybe, just maybe, there is a reason banks and exchanges have regulators who enforce rules to protect everyone [yes, I can already see the flame mail accusing me of FUD and not understanding how self-regulating is better, etc, but then all I do is spend about 10 minutes looking at some of the shills out there and fall back to thinking "adult supervision" might be wise]. Stablecoins. Stablecoins are what I would call a "thunk" layer in programming language, It is an intermediate layer between two things, in this case, cryptocurrencies and fiat, Terra/LUNA got wiped out, but it was an "algo" based stablecoin which many, in hindsight, say was a flawed design [clearly it was], but that didn't stop it from growing to $20 billion with some big-name investors engaged. Tether is the one garnering a lot of attention now. It is still the largest stablecoin and it did survive on "attack" of sorts after the Terra/LUNA fiasco. The issue with Tether is that it purports to be fully backed by "safe" assets, yet will not produce audited financials. The disarray in stablecoins should at the very least slow adoption. Freezing Accounts. Celsius blocked withdrawals 5 days ago and as of the time I'm typing this, it was still frozen. Babel Finance announced Friday that it would stop withdrawals. I found this one particularly interesting, as in May, according to news reports, it raised $80 million in a Series B financing, valuing it at $2 billion. Maybe needing to suspend withdrawals isn't a big issue, or maybe it is a sign of how rapidly things can change in the space? Right now, I’d be more worried about extracting value from the system rather than adding to the system. Yes, these are isolated cases [so far] and there are some big players in the space which presumably are not at risk of such an event, but having lived through WorldCom and Enron, and then the mortgage fiasco of 2008, I'm heavily skewed to believing that the piping issues will spread and get worse before they get better. Industry Layoffs. In a rapidly evolving industry, one with so much potential, it makes me nervous how quickly we are seeing layoffs announced publicly or finding out about them privately. Maybe I'm cynical, but to me that signals that the insiders aren't seeing adoption increase, which for anything as momentum dependent as crypto has been, seems like a signal for more pain. The big question is how many of the "whales" and big "hodlers" will buy here to stabilize their existing holdings or whether some level of risk management is deemed prudent. You cannot go more than two minutes talking to a true believer without "generational wealth" being mentioned [trust me, I've tried]. At what point does wanting to stay really rich become the goal rather than trying for generational wealth, even if it means converting back ("cringe") to something as miserable as fiat? I expect more wealth destruction in crypto and that will hurt the economy! The wealth itself is gone, curbing spending [I'm already noticing how much I miss the Lambo photos all over social media]. The jobs are now disappearing, curbing spending. The advertising will likely slow down [though not having to watch Matt Damon or LeBron wax on about crypto might be a good thing for our sanity]. But seriously, ad dollars from this lucrative source [I'm assuming it's lucrative given how often ads appear in my social stream, during major sporting events, and even in an arena [or two] could be drying up just as retailers are also struggling. It seems that every week there is a conference somewhere dedicated to crypto [with Miami and Austin seemingly becoming a non-stop crypto conference/party]. This could turn out to hurt many companies and even some cities, Semiconductor purchases could decline. Mining rigs have been a big user of semiconductors, All you have to do is pull up a chart of bitcoin versus some select semi-conductor manufacturers and the correlation is obvious, Energy usage could decline. If mining slows [as a function of lower prices and less activity] then we might see less energy used by the crypto mining industry [the public miners are in some cases down almost 90% from their November 2021 highs, presumably because the industry is less profitable]. Ultimately this could reduce energy prices and semiconductor prices/backlogs, which would generally be good for the broader economy and would help the Fed on their inflation fight, but could hurt some individual firms that rely on this industry. My outlook for crypto is that we have more downside in sight and that will hurt broader markets and might do far more damage to the economy than many of the crypto haters realize. It is fine to dislike crypto, but it is naïve not to realize how much wealth was there helping spending and how impactful a slowdown on this industry could be! Which brings me briefly to "disruptive" stocks. The wealth created by these companies was simply astounding, Whether remaining in the hands of private equity or coming public through IPOs or via a SPAC, there was incredible wealth generated, Investors were rewarded, but so were the founders, sponsors, and employees! There was great wealth created as these innovators and disruptors [along with a mix of more traditional companies] were rewarded. I am extremely concerned about the employee wealth lost. I cannot imagine the personal wealth destruction that has occurred for many, especially mid-level to mildly senior employees. Just enough of a taste of the equity exposure to do well.  Many have restrictions so have not exited and many had options, not all of which were struck at zero, so they may be back to zero, That wealth lost has to translate into lower economic activity, especially as the losses seem more persistent than they might have been a few months ago! But investors have also been hit hard, and possibly harder than most people factor in. I will use ARKK here to illustrate an important point and why a subset of investors is in far more financial difficulty than might be apparent [assuming "traditional" portfolio construction]. ARKK, not accounting for dividends, is back to where it traded in the aftermath of the COVID shutdowns in March 2020. The number of shares outstanding have almost tripled since then. Yes, the number of shares traded daily is large and they frequently change hands, but on average, this shows that some large number of shares were issued as the fund price rallied. Many of those investors [on average] were originally reworded, but now, on average, those shares are somewhere between small losses and serious carnage. ARKK is down to $7.7 billion in AUM as of Friday from a peak of $28 billion in March 2021. The bulk of that change in market cap can be attributed to performance as shares outstanding are still near their peak. I highlight ARKK because I don't feel like talking about individual companies, the portfolio has changed so much, the performance is more generic than company specific, and ETFs are often just the observable "tip of the iceberg" of major trends that are more difficult to observe, but are still happening, TQQQ, the triple leveraged QQQ, exhibits a similar pattern and all the gambling stocks are doing poorly, which I attribute to incredible wealth destruction for a subset of investors, The three groups that I believe were most hurt are: Relatively young people, who took a very aggressive approach to trading/gambling [with relatively small amounts of money] that they can make back via their job earnings over time [or they might now need a job if they were living off of the trading/gambling money]. I don't see a material economic impact from this group, It may even encourage workforce participation, Aggressive disruptive investors. Many people went all-in on some version of a disruptive portfolio [I didn't even bring up those who treated mega-tech stocks as a bank account with dividends and upside], There could be some serious wealth lost here that will affect the economy [and is likely already affecting the economy], Employees, some of whom also adopted disruptive portfolios. As the likelihood of a near-term rebound recedes, there will be wealth preservation as a focus. The number of IPOs and SPACs that are not just below their all-time highs, but below their launch prices, is scary, and that really hurts the employees, or at least those who couldn't sell, didn't sell, or sold, but diversified into a disruptive portfolio. This is all deflationary (which I’m told is a good thing] but I cannot see how this is a good thing for the economy or broader markets! But the Economy is So Resilient? I challenge this. If we have an inventory overhang, the economy may grind to a halt far quicker than many are expecting. If banks start tightening lending practices [clear evidence this is occurring and will likely get worse than better] we will see credit contraction and that will feed into the economy, rapidly. We have NEVER gone from low rates and QE to higher rates and QT successfully [we haven't had many attempts, but I remain convinced that QE is very different than rate cuts and that it affects asset prices quite directly - see Stop Trying to Translate Balance Sheet to BPS. The wealth effect must be bad overall and devastating to some segments. My view is that: Things definitely hit faster than people realized. Often the inflection point has already occurred while many are still applying straight line extrapolation to what they perceive to be the still “existing" trend. "Gumming" up the piping often leads to more problems, rather than a quick solution [and I completely believe the current high levels of volatility in markets and lack of depth in liquidity is a form of gumming up the pipes]. If the problem hits the financial sector it is too late (unless immediate/strong support from central banks is provided). So far, the banking sector is looking good, though Europe is lagging the U.S, in that respect. The ECB came up with half-hearted efforts to reduce Italian bond yields relative to others. The JGB stuck to their yield curve targeting, but markets will soon just expect that to get reversed at their next meeting. Finally, the Fed, unlike in March 2020, will have difficulty reversing course and helping. The good news is so far this isn’t hitting the banking system, but I am watching this sector closely, especially in Europe. Risk happens fast! It's a phrase often said, but often ignored. I'm not ignoring it right now. Commodity Wars? This is a bigger question, and one that is coming up more frequently, but have we entered into a global "war" to secure natural resources? I think that, increasingly, this is the reality we live in and that will be inflationary, just like reshoring, onshoring, securing supply chains, and “transforming“ energy production/ distribution, etc., will all be inflationary longer-term as well, But I've taken up too much space already today and that isn’t a question that needs to be answered to drive my current thinking, Bottom Line I am including what I wrote last week because it largely worked and my views haven't materially changed, I added some color and exactness on the views while definitely shifting from DEFCON 3 to DEFC0N2. I want to own Treasuries here at the wide end of the range, but for the first time, I'm scared that we could break out of this range (big problem]. The 10-year finished almost unchanged on the week, going from 3.16% last Friday to close at 3.23% (it did gap to 3.48% on Tuesday]. The swings in the 2-year were even more "insane" given the level and maturity. So, as recession talk heats up, yields should go down, but I’d spend a bit of option premium protecting against a rapid gap to higher yields. Credit spreads should outperform equities here, though both may be weak, (Verbatim from last week]. Equities could be hit by the double whammy of earnings concerns and multiple reduction. I am told there is a lot of support, but I think that we see new lows this week unless central banks change their tune, which seems incredibly unlikely). I still find it mind boggling that we prefer recession to inflation. Crypto should remain under pressure. I think bitcoin will be sub $20k< before it reaches $35k. Now I think it will be $12,000 before $24,000. Have a great Father's Day and enjoy the Juneteenth long weekend! (Though, I have to admit, I kind of wish markets were open on Monday because this is the trading environment that deep down, I have to admit, I enjoy!] Tyler Durden Tue, 06/21/2022 - 07:20.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJun 21st, 2022

Futures, Cryptos Surge As Dip Buying Turns Into "Nasty Squeeze"

Futures, Cryptos Surge As Dip Buying Turns Into "Nasty Squeeze" Following a relentless rout that erased nearly $2 trillion in market value from the S&P 500 last week, US equity futures have surged, extending their Monday holiday gains just as predicted on Sunday when we said that a "Nasty Squeeze" was on Deck following last week's "Second Largest Ever" shorting by hedge funds. Nasdaq 100 futures rose as much as 2.2% before trading 1.7% higher as major US tech and internet stocks advanced, poised to extend Friday’s gains; shares of Tesla and Twitter also rose following billionaire Elon Musk’s comments at the Qatar Economic Forum; S&P 500 futures gained 1.8%; the cash market was closed on Monday for a holiday. Asian and European stocks also advanced as did bitcoin which jumped above $21K after sliding below $18K briefly on Saturday. Meanwhile Treasuries and the US Dollar retreated. US stocks came under renewed pressure last week, with the S&P plunged into bear market territory amid surging inflation and fears that aggressive rate hikes by the Federal Reserve will push the economy into a recession. The S&P 500 is set for an 11% drop in June, poised for the worst month since March 2020, which marked the lows of the pandemic selloff. Sentiment was somewhat boosted by Biden’s Monday comments on the economy in which he said that a recession isn't "inevitable" (what else will he say) but strategists have warned of more volatility ahead. “Even if the mid-term investing landscape remains blurry to most market operators at the beginning of this summer season, some investors looking for opportunities to buy shares at a discounted price have been reassured,” said Pierre Veyret, a technical analyst at ActivTrades. “The fact central banks are moving quickly towards a super hawkish stance in order to tame inflation is also perceived as good news by some.” In premarket trading, bank stocks also pushed higher amid a broader rebound in risk assets. In corporate news, HSBC has lost two senior investment bankers in Asia as global banks compete for financial technology talent and dealmaking slows. Meanwhile, the UK’s Payment Systems Regulator will focus a pair of market reviews on the rising card fees charged by Visa and Mastercard. Tech names were also solidly higher; notable movers included Apple +2.4%, Microsoft +2%, Amazon.com +2.6%, Alphabet +2.6%, Meta Platforms +2.1%, Nvidia +3.1% premarket; all six stocks closed higher on Friday, while US markets were closed for a holiday on Monday. Stocks related to cryptocurrencies were also indicating a rally as the price of Bitcoin continues to hold above $20,000 amid a tentative recovery and hopes that prices have bottomed. Meanwhile, Revlon surged as much as 27% in premarket trading, extending Friday’s rally after the cosmetics firm filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Here are some other notable premarket movers: Tesla (TSLA US) and Twitter (TWTR US) shares rose in premarket trading on Tuesday after billionaire Elon Musk said the CEO label at the social media firm was less important than driving the product and that Tesla will cut its salaried workforce by about 10% over  the next three months. Tesla rose 3.1% and Twitter was up 1.2% in premarket trading Revlon shares surge as much as 27% in US premarket trading, extending Friday’s rally after the cosmetics firm filed for bankruptcy. Major US technology and internet stocks advanced in premarket trading on Tuesday, poised to extend Friday’s gains. Apple (AAPL US) +2.4%, Microsoft (MSFT US) +2%, Amazon.com (AMZN US) +2.6%, Alphabet (GOOGL US) +2.6% Spirit (SAVE US) shares jump 13% in US premarket trading, to $24, after JetBlue (JBLU US) raised its offer to $33.50 per share from $31.50 on June 6, the latest move in a multi-billion dollar takeover contest with rival Frontier (ULCC US). Arrival shares jump 8.6% in US premarket trading after the electric- vehicle maker announced that its zero-emission van has achieved EU certification and received European Whole Vehicle Type Approval. US-listed Chinese stocks are mostly higher in premarket trading, tracking a two-day 2.3% rise in the Hang Seng Tech Index. Alibaba (BABA US) +4.6%, Baidu (BIDU US) +3.5%, Pinduoduo (PDD US)+3.3% Stocks related to cryptocurrencies rise on Tuesday in US premarket trading as the price of Bitcoin continues to hold above $20,000 amid a tentative recovery and hopes that prices have bottomed. Riot Blockchain (RIOT US) +5.6%, Coinbase (COIN US) +4.7%, MicroStrategy (MSTR US) +5% Citi cuts ratings on International Paper Co. and WestRock to neutral from buy, citing increasing questions about demand as supply additions loom. International Paper falls 1.1% in premarket trading, WestRock -1.5% Keep an eye on Maxar shares as Wells Fargo said the stock is its top pick in the burgeoning space sector, initiating it at overweight, Rocket Lab at equal-weight and Virgin Galactic at underweight. Adobe (ADBE US) shares may be in focus today as the stock was downgraded to equal-weight and given Street-low $362 target from $591 by Morgan Stanley, on expectation of a slowing structural growth profile for the computer software company. After unexpectedly accelerating to a fresh 40-year high in May, US consumer price growth is seen slowing, with a Bloomberg survey of economists predicting 6.5% by the fourth quarter and to 3.5% by the middle of next year. Yet fears are rampant that Federal Reserve policy makers intent on cooling price pressures will go too far and trigger an economic slowdown. Strategists at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. warned equities may have further to fall to fully price in the risk of recession, reflecting wider skepticism about Tuesday’s rebound. “We think equities will struggle to rebound sustainably until earnings expectations reset lower and/or central banks turn more dovish, which seems unlikely for now,” said Emmanuel Cau, head of European equity strategy at Barclays Plc. European stocks also extended their recent recovery, with the region’s benchmark Stoxx 600 Index rising 1%, led by gains in basic resources and chemical companies’ shares. Consumer discretionary, chemicals and autos also trade well. CAC 40 outperforms. Leonardo jumps as much as 9.7% in Milan trading after its DRS unit agreed to buy Israeli radar-maker RADA Electronic in an all-stock transaction. Valneva rises as much as 23% after CEO Franck Grimaud said the company’s Lyme disease vaccine has the potential of becoming a “blockbuster” with sales of more than 1 billion euros. K+S and OCI shares gain after JPMorgan said valuations are “compelling” and fundamentals remain positive. European fertilizer shares had dropped recently because of rising gas prices. OCI rises as much as 4.6%; K+S +6.3% Air Liquide climbs as much as 3.9%, after the French industrial gas company signed a long-term power purchase agreement with Vattenfall. Mithra rises as much as 21% after the pharmaceutical company said it received subscription commitments for 3.87m new shares at an issue price of EU6.07 apiece, representing a 5% discount to last close. Richemont and Swatch advance after Swiss watch exports for the month of May showed strong demand versus the year-earlier period in the US and Japan as well as in European countries such as France and the UK. Luxury peers also trading higher in a wider rebound. Richemont gains as much as 2.8%, Swatch +2.8%, Hermes +3.3%, LVMH +3.7% European apparel retail shares drop after JPMorgan downgrades Asos, About You, Boohoo and Primark owner AB Foods to neutral from overweight, citing the cost of living crisis with cracks emerging in discretionary spending. Asos declines as much as 5.1%, Boohoo -4.8%, About You -4.3%, AB Foods -3.2% Proximus and Telenet slide after a statement by the Belgian telecom regulator showed that new entrant Citymesh partnered with Romanian carrier Digi Communications and acquired spectrum across various bands. Proximus shares fall as much as 7.8%, Telenet -3.9% Earlier in the session, MSCI’s Asia-Pacific index snapped an eight-day slide to add more than 1% as Asian equities headed for their biggest gain this month. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed as much as 1.8%, set to snap an eight-day losing streak, with financial and tech stocks among the biggest contributors to its advance. The US president spoke overnight after a conversation with former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, as the White House and congressional Democrats are in talks on legislation that aims to fight inflation. Benchmarks in Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong led gains in the region. Australia’s index advanced for the first time in days after central bank chief Philip Lowe signaled he will only raise interest rates by 25-to-50 basis points at the July meeting. Chinese shares edged lower after recent gains.  “It’s a respite, not a rebound,” said Charu Chanana, a market strategist at Saxo Capital Markets. “We are still in a bear market that is facing a double whammy of Fed tightening and building recession fears, and the second-quarter earnings season is likely to be particularly painful for the markets” due to cost pressures, she added.  Valuations for the MSCI Asia gauge have continued to slide toward pandemic lows, with the index down 18% this year. Still, it’s outperforming a measure of global shares, supported by a rally in Chinese equities this month as the country emerges from Covid-triggered lockdowns. Japanese stocks advanced as investors weighed the impact of the yen’s weakness and the extent of the recent selloff. The Topix Index rose 2% to 1,856.20 as of market close Tokyo time, while the Nikkei advanced 1.8% to 26,246.31. Sony Group Corp. contributed the most to the Topix Index gain, increasing 4%. Out of 2,170 shares in the index, 2,023 rose and 108 fell, while 39 were unchanged. “Stocks that are expected to have an upward revision from the weak yen may be firm,” said Mitsushige Akino, a senior executive officer at Ichiyoshi Asset Management. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index rose 1.4% to close at 6,523.80, snapping a seven day losing steak. The benchmark was led by gains in banks and miners, with the financials sub-gauge rising the most since March 10.  In early trade, Australia’s central bank Governor Philip Lowe said he didn’t see a recession on the horizon for the nation.  In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index rose 1.1% to 10,701.59 India’s benchmark share index posted its biggest two-day advance since May 30, boosted by a recovery in information technology stocks and as investors looked for bargains after a sharp selloff last week.  The S&P BSE Sensex rose 1.8% to close at 52,532.07 in Mumbai, taking its two-day advance to 2.3%. The NSE Nifty 50 Index advanced 1.9%. All of the 19 sectoral indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. gained, led by a measure of oil & gas companies. “Crude prices have corrected by almost 10% from its recent peak, providing some breather to the Indian market,” Motilal Oswal Financial analyst Siddhartha Khemka wrote in a note.   Reliance Industries contributed the most to the Sensex’s gain, increasing 1.6%. All but one of 30 shares in the Sensex index rose. Of the top ten performers on the measure, half were information technology companies, led by Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. that clocked its biggest advance this month.  In rates, treasuries were cheaper across the curve as trading resumed after Monday’s US holiday; cash USTs bear steepened, but trim losses after cheapening ~5bps at the Asia reopen.  Long-end leads losses with stock futures rising after last week’s rout. US yields are ere cheaper by as much as 6bp at long end, steepening 2s10s by nearly 3bp, 5s30s by nearly 4bp; 10-year, higher by ~5bp at 3.27% lags bund and gilts by 3bp and 4.5bp while Italian bonds outperform Treasuries by 12bp in the sector. Bunds and gilts outperform Treasuries, while Italian bonds extend recent gains after ECB’s Olli Rehn reiterated determination to combat unwarranted spikes in borrowing costs for some of the region’s most vulnerable economies.  That said the ECB has yet to disclose said measures, a move which most agree will lead to selling the news. Gilts bull flatten, 10y yields drop 4bps after stalling near 2.6%. Bunds are comparatively quiet. Shorter-maturity Australian bonds rallied after central bank chief Philip Lowe said interest rates are likely to rise by 50 basis points at most in July. Money markets subsequently scrapped bets he would track the Federal Reserve with a 75 basis-point move. Japanese government bonds were mixed after a five-year note sale that drew the weakest demand in more than two years in the aftermath of wild price swings in futures that have made some traders uneasy about their exposure to cash bonds. In FX, Bloomberg dollar spot index fell 0.3% as the greenback weakened against all of its Group-of-10 peers apart from the yen. JPY is the weakest in G-10, plunging to a fresh 24 year low of 136. NOK and SEK outperform. The euro advanced and European bonds rallied, led by the front end even as ECB Governing Council Member Peter Kazimir said negative rates must be history by September. Governing Council member Olli Rehn separetely said that “there has been good reason to expedite the normalization of monetary policy”. The pound extended gains amid broad dollar weakness while UK government bonds inched up. BOE Chief Economist Huw Pill said policy makers would sacrifice growth in order to bring down inflation, saying there’s a risk of prices developing a “self-sustaining momentum. In commodities, WTI drifted 2.3% higher to trade near $112. Most base metals trade in the green; LME zinc rises 2.8%, outperforming peers. LME aluminum lags, dropping 0.3%. Spot gold is little changed at $1,838/oz. Bitcoin is bid and above the USD 21k mark, after last week's slip to a sub-USD 18k low. Elon Musk says he intends to personally support Dogecoin, via BBG TV. Coinbase (COIN) says connectivity issues across Coinbase and Coinbase Pro could cause failed trades and delayed transactions; issue was subsequently resolved. To the day ahead now, and data releases include US existing home sale for May, as well as the Chicago Fed’s national activity index for the same month. Otherwise, central bank speakers include the Fed’s Barkin and Mester, the ECB’s Rehn and the BoE’s Pill. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 1.9% to 3,744.50 STOXX Europe 600 up 1.0% to 411.06 MXAP up 1.5% to 158.77 MXAPJ up 1.5% to 528.18 Nikkei up 1.8% to 26,246.31 Topix up 2.0% to 1,856.20 Hang Seng Index up 1.9% to 21,559.59 Shanghai Composite down 0.3% to 3,306.72 Sensex up 2.2% to 52,741.19 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 1.4% to 6,523.81 Kospi up 0.7% to 2,408.93 German 10Y yield little changed at 1.76% Euro up 0.5% to $1.0567 Brent Futures up 1.2% to $115.53/bbl Brent Futures up 1.2% to $115.52/bbl Gold spot down 0.2% to $1,835.31 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.61% to 104.06 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg UK rail workers began Britain’s biggest rail strike in three decades after unions rejected a last-minute offer from train companies, bringing services nationwide to a near standstill. Britain’s local authorities say they can’t afford to pay a mandated increase in the legal minimum wage over the next year without a £400 million cash injection from the national government A majority of European businesses are worried about their ability to meet employee demands for higher wages amid the current spike in inflation, according to a regional survey by Intrum AB Companies in Germany, the UK, France, Spain and Italy are the most distressed since August 2020, according to the Weil European Distress Index. The study aggregates data from more than 3,750 listed European firms A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks gained across amid a broad constructive global risk tone despite a lack of fresh macro drivers and the recent holiday closure in the US, with Bitcoin and Chinese commodity prices also stabilising after the recent tumultuous price action. ASX 200 was led higher by the energy sector and after RBA's Lowe effectively ruled out a 75bps hike next month. Nikkei 225 outperformed and reclaimed the 26,000 level amid a predominantly weaker currency. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp. were positive with sentiment in Hong Kong underpinned by news the SAR is to propose a quarantine-free business travel corridor with mainland China, while mainland bourses lagged with the US ban on imports from Xinjiang taking effect from today. Japan's PM Kishida says rapid JPY weakening is a source of concern, must closely watch FX moves and consider monetary policy and FX measures separately. Top Asian News Chinese Developer Accepts Wheat, Garlic as Payment to Woo Buyers China Junk Bond Selloff in New Phase With Record Fosun Rout Gold Steady as Traders Weigh Central Bank Plans to Hike Rates Australian Tesla-Supplier Eyes First Lithium Exports Over- Optimism Among China Steel-Makers Behind Iron Ore’s Plunge European bourses are firmer and building on Monday's upside, Euro Stoxx 50 +1.1%; thus far, newsflow has largely focused on familiar themes. Additionally, participants are awaiting the return of the US after Monday's market holiday. Currently, ES +1.7% with the region incrementally outperforming European peers. Elon Musk says there a still a few unresolved matters with Twitter (TWTR) including the number of spam users, via BBG TV; still awaiting a resolution, very significant. Adds, they are reducing the salaried workforce of Tesla (TSLA) by circa. 10% over the next three-months. Top European News French President Macron will invite all parties able to form a group in the new parliament for talks on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to Reuters. BDI revises down 2022 German GDP forecasts: 1.5% (prev. 3.5%); return to pre-COVID level expected at end-2022 at the earliest Central Banks ECB’s Lane said very high inflation means there is a risk inflation psychology could take hold and said the larger increment for rate increase in September does not represent a red alert assessment of inflation. Lane also commented that he doesn’t see a situation where they would need to revisit the plan for a July decision and there is no preview beyond September of what will be the appropriate pace of tightening, according to Reuters. ECB’s Villeroy said the new instrument should be available as much as necessary to make the no-limit commitment to protect the Euro very clear and the more credible such an instrument is, the less it may have to be used in practice. Villeroy added the new instrument will have rules but there will be elements of judgement also and said they would not necessarily need to hold purchases of government or private sector securities to maturity, according to Reuters. ECB's Rehn says EZ inflation pressured are broader and stronger; very likely the September move is more than 25bp in magnitude. BoE's Pill says if there is evidence of persistent price pressures, the MPC is certainly prepared to act, expects further tightening in the coming months, need to consider the exchange rate when assessing inflationary pressures. Worries that using monetary policy to stabilise the FX rate in the short-term would be a distraction from the BoE's goals. HKMA purchases HKD 9.6bln from the market, as the HKD hits the weak-end of the trading range. FX Euro firm as risk revival continues and ECB’s Rehn says 50bp hike in September is highly probable, EUR/USD eyeing 1.0600 after breaching 1.0550, but could be capped by 1bln option expiry interest between 1.0575-85. Sterling rebounds ahead of CBI industrial trends and after BoE chief economist Pill underlines willingness to act if price pressures prove persistent; Pound probes 1.2300 vs Dollar as DXY slips further from recent peaks through 104.000. Loonie and Nokkie boosted by firmer crude prices, as former awaits Canadian retail sales data; USD/CAD close to 1.2900 vs circa 1.3078 double top, EUR/NOK sub-10.4000 within 104.4200+/10.3400 range. Kiwi and Aussie underpinned by improvement in risk appetite, but hampered as NZ consumer sentiment slides to record low and RBA Governor Lowe pushes back on the amount of 2022 tightening priced in at present; NZD/USD hovers above 0.6350 and AUD/USD shy of 0.7000. Franc and Yen remain divergent with SNB and BoJ policy paths, latter largely ignoring latest verbal intervention; USD/CHF pivots 0.9650 and USD/JPY back above 135.00. Israel PM Bennett and Foreign Minister Lapid agreed on dissolving the Knesset and going for an early election, while the vote will take place next week and Lapid will become PM once the vote passes, according to Walla News. Fixed Income Debt divergent and erratic awaiting the return of US cash markets from long holiday weekend. Bunds hold within 143.05-144.01 range and Gilts between 111.11-68 parameters. Treasury futures retreat and curve flits from marginal flattening to steepening ahead of US existing home sales and more Fed speak via Mester and Barkin Commodities WTI and Brent are bid amid broader risk sentiment with newsflow focusing on familiar themes primarily around the reduction in Russia's gas supply to Europe. Thus far, Brent has tested but failed to connivingly breach the USD 116.00/bbl mark ahead of touted USD 116.37/bbl resistance. US Treasury Secretary Yellen said she does not see resuming the Keystone XL oil pipeline as a short-term measure that can address high oil prices, while she added it would take years to have an impact. Yellen also commented that evidence is mixed on the level of pass-through from a gasoline tax holiday to lower prices and said that an exception or ban on insurance for certain Russian oil shipments would effectively provide a price cap on oil, according to Reuters. Brazilian Economy Minister Guedes said Brazil is part of the western energy security, particularly for Europe, while he added that privatising and moving Petrobras to Novo Mercado would increase its market cap from BRL 450bln to BRL 750bln. Guedes added that they will conduct new measures again if the war in Ukraine is escalating, according to Reuters. PetroEcuador may have to stop exports if protests continue and it declared a force majeure to avoid contract penalties, according to Reuters. Vitol CEO says markets are faced with underinvestment and falling production capacity for crude and there is a relatively tight refining situation, via Reuters; if China exports some more products, the tightness felt today won't be felt. Denmark's energy agency declared an 'early warning' stage of gas supply preparedness, according to Reuters. German regulator says they are not in a hurry to declare the highest gas emergency level yet, via Reuters citing BR; however, Sweden declares an "early warning" stage of gas supply preparedness for Western and Southern parts of the nation. Codelco's union presidents ratified the start of a national strike beginning on Wednesday, according to Reuters; an update which, alongside broader risk, is supporting LME Copper. US Event Calendar 08:30: May Chicago Fed Nat Activity Index, est. 0.47, prior 0.47 10:00: May Existing Home Sales MoM, est. -3.7%, prior -2.4% 10:00: May Home Resales with Condos, est. 5.4m, prior 5.61m Central Banks 11:00: Fed’s Barkin Interviewed During NABE Event 12:00: Fed’s Mester Speaks at Women in Leadership Event 15:30: Fed’s Barkin Speaks in Richmond DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap I’ll be publishing my latest monthly chartbook later today so keep an eye out for it. It will include the slides for last week’s webinar on the default study “The end of the ultra-low default world”. See here for the webinar replay and here for the original default study. Welcome to the longest day of the year although most in markets will already say we've had numerous of those already so far this year. Actually if you're outside of London, trying to get in it could be a very, very long day as the UK is today gripped by the first of three alternate day rail strikes. There is a tube strike today thrown in for good measure. It does seem industrial relations with the government are on a knife edge across the UK as at least 3 million workers across different professions are considering industrial action at the moment over pay and working conditions. So this could become a much bigger story if tensions are not eased. With inflation this high it's not easy to see how they can be without big pay rises being offered. However on this day of wall to wall sun (sorry to the Southern Hemisphere readers), there has been a little more light than dark in markets over the last 24 hours after what was the worst week for global equities since March 2020. The next major event(s) to look forward to are Fed Chair Powell’s congressional testimonies from tomorrow. To be honest though, its been a fairly quiet start to the week given the US holiday yesterday, with the biggest news instead being a fresh rise in European sovereign bond yields after President Lagarde reiterated the ECB’s intentions to start hiking next month, and also shone a bit more light on their plans to deal with any potential fragmentation. We’ll start with those remarks from Lagarde, who appeared in a hearing at the European Parliament yesterday and spoke strongly against any potential fragmentation in the Euro Area. Indeed, she said that “we need to be absolutely certain” that monetary policy was being transmitted to the different Euro Area countries and went as far to say that it was “right at the core of the mandate”, whilst adding “anybody who doubts that determination will be making a big mistake”. So not quite “whatever it takes” but along the same lines. Given the ECB has promised to deal with any fragmentation, that should make life easier for them when it comes to raising rates, and European sovereign bond yields responded accordingly yesterday. Looking at the specific moves, yields on 10yr bunds (+9.0bps), OATs (+11.8bps) and BTPs (+12.3bps) all moved noticeably higher, although by the standards of last week that seemed quite modest given that 10yr bund yields had seen absolute moves of 11bps in either direction on 3 out of 5 days last week. When it came to bonds though, it was UK gilts who were one of the biggest underperformers yesterday after we heard from one of the more hawkish members of the Bank of England’s MPC. Catherine Mann (who was in the minority that favoured of a 50bps move last week) said in a speech that “the incoming data on inflation show increasingly domestic embeddedness, persistence, and momentum”. Furthermore, she also warned about the risk of embedded domestic inflation being “further boosted by inflation imported via a Sterling depreciation”. Against that backdrop, 10yr gilt yields rose by +10.6bps to close above 2.6% for the first time since 2014, whilst overnight index swaps are continuing to price in a more aggressive response from the BoE after the next meeting, with 50bp moves priced in for each of the next 3 meetings, which would be the fastest pace of hikes since they gained operational independence in 1997. In spite of the sovereign bond selloff, equities put in a much better performance yesterday, with the STOXX 600 (+0.91%) seeing a broad-based advance that was supported by all the main sector groups. Other indices on the continent also moved higher, including the FTSE 100 (+1.50%), the DAX (+1.06%) and the FTSE MIB (+0.99%). The worst performer on a relative basis was France’s CAC 40 (+0.64%), which struggled following the news that President Macron had lost his parliamentary majority, which will make passing his agenda much more difficult in the coming years. See our economists’ piece on the topic here. With the US holiday we only had futures to look at, but those on the S&P 500 had moved around +1% higher by the time of the European close. They are +1.62% higher this morning with the NASDAQ 100 futures (+1.71%) also meaningfully higher. Meanwhile, Fed funds futures were again moving in the direction of pricing in a more aggressive path of rate hikes, with the implied rate by the December meeting up +7.18bps to 3.625%, albeit still beneath their closing peak of 3.72% just before the Fed meeting, which meant that Treasury futures were also pointing to fresh declines yesterday as well. Asian equity markets are relatively buoyant this morning with the Nikkei (+1.76%) leading the pack followed by the Hang Seng (+1.42%). In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite (+0.18%) and CSI (+0.12%) are also trading in positive territory whilst the Kospi (+1.03%) is sharply higher in early trade. Elsewhere, the meeting minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) released this morning indicated that the central bank is leaning towards more monetary policy tightening over the coming months. The minutes also revealed that inflation was expected to increase to 7% by the end of the year due to pandemic-related supply chain disruptions, before coming back towards the 2-3% inflation range in 2023. Meanwhile, the RBA Governor Philip highlighted that interest rates were still "very low" but watered-down expectations of 75bps rate hikes thus signaling a 25 or 50bps move at the July meeting. On the FX side, the Aussie Dollar did witness a sharp dip during the RBA Governor’s Q&A session but is reversing losses, trading +0.35% at 0.697 per US dollar, as I type. Elsewhere the Japanese yen has remained under pressure at 135.03 per dollar, not far off a 24-year low of 135.58 hit early last week. Separately, oil prices are higher this morning with Brent futures (+1.04%) at $115.32/bbl and WTI futures increasing +1.79% to $111.52/bbl. To the day ahead now, and data releases include US existing home sale for May, as well as the Chicago Fed’s national activity index for the same month. Otherwise, central bank speakers include the Fed’s Barkin and Mester, the ECB’s Rehn and the BoE’s Pill. Tyler Durden Tue, 06/21/2022 - 08:02.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJun 21st, 2022

The Bill Gurley Chronicles: Part 2

The Bill Gurley Chronicles: Part 2 By Alex of the Macro Ops Substack What if there was a way to distill all the knowledge that someone’s written over the last 25 years into one, easy-to-read document? And what if that person was a famous venture capital investor known for betting big on companies like Uber, Snapchat, Twitter, Discord, Dropbox, Instagram, and Zillow (to name a few)?  Well, that’s what I’ve done with Bill Gurley’s blog Above The Crowd.  Gurley is a legendary venture capital investor and partner at Benchmark Capital. His blog oozes valuable insights on VC investing, valuations, growth, and marketplace businesses.  This document is past two to the one-stop-shop summary of every blog post Gurley’s ever written, part 1 can be found here. February 2, 2004: The Rise Of Open-Standard Radio: Why 802.11 Is Under-Hyped (Link) Summary: WiFi will dominate wireless communications for the same reason Ethernet dominated networking and x86 dominated computing: high switching costs. This wide-scale adoption causes capital to flow into the standard as companies look to differentiate on top of the existing platform. In doing so, it further entrenches the “open-standard” incumbent.  Favorite Quote: “Open standards obtain a high “stickiness” factor with customers as a result of compatibility. Once customers invest in a standard, they are likely to purchase more and more supporting infrastructure. As their supporting infrastructure grows, their switching costs rise dramatically with respect to competitive alternate architectures. Customers are no longer tied simply to the core technology, but also to the numerous peripherals and applications on which they are now dependent. All of these things make challenging an accepted open standard a very difficult exercise.” March 24, 2004: All Things IP: The Future Of Communications In America (Link) Summary: South Korea and Japan are leading the world in broadband speed and connectivity. South Korea, for example, sports 80% broadband adoption. The US on the other hand, less than 50%. Different players battle for the future of US communication. Free services like Skype offer high-quality VoIP calls. But it’s the cable companies, with their mega-cable infrastructure, that lead the way. At the end of the day follow the money. Comcast went after Disney not because of distribution, but because of content. Favorite Quote: “Now, while voice should be free, that doesn’t mean that it will be free. The two conditions outlined above are nontrivial. First and foremost, it is not at all clear that we have enough competition in the U.S. broadband market. Innovations in the wireless market, particularly recent innovations around mesh architectures, have the opportunity to change this. As of right now, however, many users simply lack choice. Additionally, the many state municipalities around the country are eager to place their hands on VoIP. A poorly executed policy could in fact “increase” the long term pricing on voice services for all users (for example, would you really tax a free service?).” May 6, 2004: Entrepreneurialism And Protectionism Don’t Mix (Link)  Summary: Protectionism and entrepreneurialism don’t work together. One prides itself on open dissemination of ideas, talent and problems (entrepreneurialism). The other (protectionism) desires to keep what’s theirs and turn a blind eye to competition. There are seven reasons why these two ideologies don’t mix: it hurts the economy (comparative advantage), start-ups don’t receive government subsidies (that encourage protectionism), disincentivizes diversity, more start-ups start with a global presence, the hot markets are ex-US, it goes against our global open standards (WiFi, etc.) and its inconsistent with the entrepreneurial mindset.  Favorite Quote: “It is hard to imagine a successful entrepreneur arguing that he or she deserves a job over someone else that is equally skilled and willing to work for a lower wage. The entire spirit of entrepreneurialism is based on finding ways to do something better, faster, and cheaper. It is the whole nature of the game. If someone can do something better somewhere else, it simply means it’s time to innovate again – with intellect and technology, not politics.” October 19, 2004: The Revolutionary Business Of Multiplayer Gaming (Link)  Summary: Multiplayer gaming is an incredible business featuring five “Buffett-Like” business characteristics: recurring revenue (subscription pricing), competitive moats (switching costs), network effects/increasing returns, real competition with others and high brand engagement. Those that fail to realize the importance (and power) of the video game business model (40%+ operating margins) will miss a huge investment opportunity.  Favorite Quote: “Some skeptics argue that MMOG is still a “niche” business and that the same half-million users are migrating from Everquest to Ultima Online to City of Heroes. Under this theory, MMOGs will never be mass market and will never really “matter” in the $20 billion interactive entertainment business. However, with billion dollar businesses now dotting the NASDAQ, it becomes harder and harder to invoke such skepticism. And if new paradigms, architectures, and broadband speeds allow for titles that meet the needs of a wider demographic, ignoring MMOGs may be equivalent to ignoring the successor to television.” March 11, 2005: Believe It Or Not: Your State Leaders May Be Acting To Slow The Proliferation Of Broadband (Link) Summary: In 2005, rumors circulated that laws would pass eliminating a city’s right to offer telecommunications services to its citizens. Gurley suggested states should say “no way” to this offering, and opined six reasons why (straight from the post):  The primary reason for the proposition is to reduce or eliminate competition for incumbent telcos An oligopoly doesn’t make a marketplace Taking rights from municipalities will have negative overall impact on American innovation  Even if a city has no intention of deploying wireless services, it is still in that city’s best interest to retain the right to do so In 2005, isn’t it reasonable for a city to choose to offer broadband as a community service?  A founding American principle — localized government whenever possible Favorite Quote: “In what is ostensibly the cornerstone “democracy” on the planet, one would think that the citizens in each of America’s cities could simply “vote” on the services they believe make sense for their city to provide.  Running a wireless network in a city like Topeka, Kansas simply has no overriding impact on the state as a whole.  As Thomas Jefferson aptly wrote in a letter to William Jarvis in 1820, “I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform them.”” March 21, 2005: The State Of Texas Refuses To Block Municipal Broadband (Link) Summary: Gurley’s post before this one did its job and Texas removed the harsh language around cities offering broadband access to its citizens. According to Gurley, the battle moved to Colorado.  Favorite Quote: “This proposed bill, in its original form, would prohibit a city from helping any new carrier whatsoever get started.  It’s a pure and blatant anti-competitive move.  It’s been modified slightly, but it is still one of the harshest proposals of any state, and once again created only to help the incumbent carriers by removing competition.  Consumers do not benefit from this language.” March 24, 2005: Texas Two Step – Backwards (Link) Summary: After celebrating the removal of restrictive broadband language three days prior, Texas reinserted the notion. What’s crazy is that the member who reinserted the language, Robert Puente, serves in a district where a large telco company has its headquarters. Hmm …  Favorite Quote: “It is shocking that these local reps really don’t care if broadband deployment in America continues to fall further and further behind the rest of the world.  Just shocking.” June 2, 2005: Texas Sets Key Precedent For Other States In Refusing To Ban Municipal Wireless (Link) Summary: It’s interesting that fixed broadband incumbents in Texas are so opposed to wireless broadband. The incumbents claim wireless is a weaker form of their product. But if it’s so weak, why do they want it banned from their state? Why won’t they let natural competition run its course? If it is indeed weak, there shouldn’t be a reason to impose sanctions and restrictions.  Favorite Quote: “The reason the pro-broadband movement was successful is because they organized, they gathered the real data on the success of municipal wireless deployments, and they were able to inform the citizens about this effort by the incumbents and their key legislators to use regulation to restrict competition.  They leveraged the Internet, blogs, and mailing lists, and made a huge difference.  The tech community also played a role with the AEA, the Broadband Coalition, and TechNet all speaking out against this effort to intentional slow technical progress.  These lessons and resources are now focusing on other states to ensure the Texas outcome.” July 12, 2005: DVD Glut (Link) Summary: Gurley saw the rise of TiVo and its effect on the DVD industry. Why would people pay for DVDs when they can record their favorite movies on TV and watch them whenever they want? There is no practical use for DVDs outside nostalgia and collection.  Favorite Quote: “Could it be that people are watching Shrek 2 on Tivo and saving that on Tivo for future viewing?  Could it be that other activities, such as Internet usage, is infringing on DVD time?” July 19, 2005: Do VCs Help In Building A Technology Platform? (Link) Summary: There are two important implications for venture capital’s lack of investment in Microsoft’s .NET platform. First, VCs are investing on the Open Platform. This is likely due to (what Gurley calls) “a more benign” platform. Such a platform allows for more creativity and application. Second, VCs aren’t investing in .NET applications because Microsoft’s simply going up the software vertical (owning each spot). There is a lack of opportunity within the existing .NET framework.  Favorite Quote: “Venture Capitalists look to the public markets for clues on where to go next.  There is no point in investing in technologies that don’t lead to liquidity events.  What the article stresses is that the majority of VC money these days is being spent on top of the Open Source platform rather than the Microsoft’s .Net platform.” July 22, 2005: Wifi Nation… (Link) Summary: This article gives us an excuse to talk about Innovator’s Dilemma. Clayton Christensen coined the term in his book with the same title. Wikipedia defines the term as, “the new entrant is deep into the S-curve and providing significant value to the new product. By the time the new product becomes interesting to the incumbent’s customers it is too late for the incumbent to react to the new product.” In short, WiFi is disrupting the incumbent broadband and their end consumers. Also, WiFi isn’t built for the incumbents. It’s built for the next generation.  Favorite Quote: “What you will see, and what many continue to deny, is that Metro-scale Wifi isn’t a theory, its a reality.  The networks are live.  They perform way better than EVDO or any cellular alternative. They are cheaper to deploy.  AND, there is huge momentum around more and more networks.” Years: 2006 – 2008 April 5, 2006: Why SOX Will Lead To The Demise Of U.S. Markets (Link) Summary: Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) killed the small and micro-cap public market spirit. Like most regulations, the creators of SOX thought their stipulations would preserve the growth of public markets. Instead it stunted growth. SOX is an expensive requirement for smaller public companies. The costs disincentivize companies from going public. In return, US capital markets offer less opportunities than global companions. Will this lead to more money flowing overseas? Favorite Quote: “Ironically, the two gentlemen that created SOX did it with the intention of “preserving” U.S. capital market leadership. Their fear was that people viewed our markets as too risky, and so they created SOX to ensure that investors would “trust” our markets.” April, 2006: As Wifi Grows, So Do The PR Attacks (Link) Summary: There will always be haters when new technology replaces old, resentful incumbents. Can you blame them? WiFi completely destroyed their business model. Of course they’re going to run sham campaigns. But that’s the beauty of the Innovator’s Dilemma. WiFi doesn’t care about fixed broadband and incumbents. It’s serving its new wave of customers who want something incumbents can’t offer. Look for this in other up-and-coming technologies.  Favorite Quote: “Better performance than EVDO at a much lower cost.  You won’t stop this with an AP article.  Are their issues?  Sure, but I drop 5 cell calls a day in Silicon Valley and that technology (cellular voice) is over 25 years old.”  April 27, 2006: MMOs (MMORPGs) Continue To Rock (Link) Summary: Gurley again emphasizes the importance of MMO video games — particularly out of Asia. In fact, he mentions that Nexon (Japanese gaming company) plans to file on the JSE. Gurley believes the JSE filing is directly correlated with Sarbanes Oxley (from the article above). Regardless, the real winners in the video game industry are coming from Asia. Winning games will be based on community and entertainment, rather than pure competition. It’s no wonder Fortnite is so popular today. Gurley gave us clues almost 20 years ago.  Favorite Quote: “Many of the rising stars of multi-player interactive entertainment are more social than interactive. They also target much broader demographics than gaming ever dreamed of hitting. Consider three sites targeted at younger children and teens that are all doing extremely well — NeoPets, HabboHotel, and GaiaOnline (Benchmark is an investor in HabboHotel).” June 19, 2008: Back To Blogging (Maybe)… (Link) Summary: Gurley returned from his writing break to mention a few of his favorite reading sources. Gurley notes that he reads each of these websites every morning:  TechCrunch GigaOm Marc Andressen’s Blog Favorite Quote: “The bottom line is I have been really busy. Busy with our investments here at Benchmark, and busy with three growing kids at home.  But in the end, I am quite fond of writing, and I have been inspired by some of the great writing of others.” June 30, 2008: Bleak VC Quarter? Why? (Link) Summary: June 2008 marked another dreary quarter for venture capital. Not one single VC-backed company went public. At first glance, this seems bad for venture capital. But looking deeper, it’s not venture capital that’s the issue. It’s the public market. Between regulations and SOX costs, small companies are opting to remain private at record numbers. As Gurley notes, fund managers want high growth and capital appreciation. But these small growth companies don’t want the issues of being a public company.  Favorite Quote: “This passionate desire to be public is completely gone in Silicon Valley. For reasons you could easily list – Sarbanes Oxley; 12b1 trading rules; shareholder litigation; option pricing scandals; personal liability on 10-Q filing signatures – it is simply not much fun being a public executive.” July 22, 2008: BAILOUT What? (Link) Summary: Fascinating how relevant this quote is for 2020. What we’ve seen from the US government during the COVID pandemic is a double-downed effort on its bailout precautions. Even going so far as to buy bond ETFs on the open market! Capitalism requires failure. It requires weak businesses to fall by the wayside in exchange for stronger competitors.  Favorite Quote: “Is our government really going to bail out equity investors in a failed business enterprise? I totally get keeping America afloat, but it is critical that failed businesses FAIL. They must FAIL. You can’t provide band-aids to equity failure. The whole system will come to a halt. Risk that pans out must result in failure. it is a crucial part of the system.” December 1, 2008: Benchmark Capital: Open For Business (Link) Summary: Gurley and the Benchmark team continued investing while the rest of their VC peers cowered in fear during the bowels of the Great Recession. Investing when others are fearful is not only a sign of a great VC firm, but any great company.  Favorite Quote: “I can’t speak for other firms, but make no mistake about…Benchmark Capital is wide open for business and we are eager to invest new capital behind great entrepreneurs.  Right now.  In this environment.  Today. You may wonder why I feel the need to make this pronouncement, and you may even consider this a stunt.  It is not.   We have made fourteen new investments this year, and are actively considering new investments each and every day.” December 5, 2008: Do VCs Help In Building A Technology Platform; Part 2 (Link) Summary: Microsoft offers three years of free software/service to startups. This is a clear signal that Microsoft understands the power of platforms and where companies choose to build their products. Otherwise, as Gurley notes, why offer it for free? This comes on the heels of three new cloud platform technologies entering the space: Facebook, Salesforce and Amazon AWS. VCs may not choose which platform wins, but they choose which platform gets capital. And to some, that’s the same thing.  Favorite Quote: “It obviously would be overstating it to suggest that VCs help “choose” the platform that wins. That said, it is a powerfully positive indicator if VCs show confidence in a new platform by shifting where they deploy their capital.” Years: 2009 – 2011 February 1, 2009: Google Stock Option Repricing: Get Over It (Link) Summary: Retail investors, bloggers, and financial pundits argued that Google’s Stock Options Repricing hurt the “common” shareholder. Gurley thinks stock options shouldn’t matter because common shareholders gave up their rights (more or less) when investing in Google shares. The fact is, Google’s founder and original shareholder shares carry 9/10ths voting power. That means minority (aka second-class citizen) shareholders get 1/10th. In other words, deal with it.  Favorite Quote: “So my reaction to anyone who owns Google stock and is sore over this decision — Get Over It.  You bought a stock where you gave up the ability to vote on such things, and if you don’t like it, sell the stock.  But you have no right to complain, as the rules were laid out from the beginning.” February 11, 2009: Picture Proof Of The Innovator’s Dilemma: SlideRocket (Link) Summary: With a team of 3 engineers and a fraction of Microsoft’s budget, SlideRocket created (arguably) a better version of PowerPoint. According to Gurley, SlideRocket is a perfect example of the Innovator’s Dilemma. PowerPoint took (probably) billions of dollars in R&D and thousands of engineers to create. SlideRocket did it with 4 orders of magnitude less resources.  Favorite Quote: “One subtlety of this is that it allows others to catch up and basically recreate the same thing for a fraction of the cost.   In SlideRocket’s case, it appears that a team of 3 engineers with primary work done by the founder, have recreated PowerPoint (leveraging Flex of course).”  February 18, 2009: Just Say No To A VC Bailout: A Green Government Venture Fund Is A Flawed Idea (Link) Summary: Some VC investors wanted a bailout from the government during the GFC. Gurley originally thought this was a far-cry from a lone complainer. Then he read an article by Thomas Friedman suggesting the same thing: a bailout for VC targeted at green-tech companies. According to Gurley, VC bailouts are flawed for six reasons: There are no lack of capital in VC VCs don’t deserve a bailout Those that need bailout are (likely) bad ideas Excess capital hurts markets Good companies don’t lack for capital Use customer subsidies instead of government-backed VC investment Favorite Quote: “Great ideas have never suffered from a lack of capital availability.  Bringing extra government dollars to the investment side will only ensure that marginal and sub-par companies get more funding dollars, which historically has had a perverse and negative effect on the overall market.” February 22, 2009: Just Say No To A VC Bailout – Part 2 (Link) Summary: Continuing the rant from the previous blog post, Gurley hits on three main criticisms with Friedman’s cry for a VC bailout. First, Friedman suggested that the US Treasury give the Top 20 VC firms up to $1B to “invest in the best VC ideas”. When you consider the 2% annual fee each year that VC’s take, you’re effectively giving these firms an additional $4B in partners’ fees. Finally, Gurley hammers home the idea that to win in green-tech you need to incentivize the customer on the demand side. Create a positive ROI proposition for the customer to use the product or service.  Favorite Quote: “The key is to create an ROI positive investment for the end customer through subsidies.  Ethanol isn’t falling to succeed because of a lack of capital — it’s a problem with customer ROI.  Invest through subsidies in making the market huge and ROI positive.  Capital alone will not solve the problem as the ethanol case proves.” February 27, 2009: Perfect Online Video Advertising Model: Choose Your Advertiser (Link) Summary: Gurley reveals his “perfect online video advertising model” in which consumers can choose their advertiser. It works like this. Before an online premium or VOD show starts, the content creators present the consumer with a list of 4-9 sponsors for the programming. Then, the consumer picks which sponsor they’d like to see when the inevitable ad runs during their program. The benefit to this is that content creators would know their customers’ interests to the tee, which would allow them to raise prices on advertising channels (read: higher revenue).  Favorite Quote: “Just because I am a male between 18-24 and watching “Lost” doesn’t mean I want an XBOX.  You are more likely to guess that i might want it, but you would be 10X better off if I chose XBOX as my sponsor at the start of the show.  Then you would KNOW I have an interest — no more guessing. Making predictions is always a dangerous game, but I am fairly certain that this will be the video ad model of the future.  It makes way too much sense not to work.” March 2, 2009: Looking For Work: Are You An Insurance Agent? (Link) Summary: One of Gurley’s investments had an unusual circumstance during the GFC: they had excess demand for work. LiveOps, a virtual SaaS call center on the cloud, leverages a network of work-from-home call center operators. At the time of writing, LiveOps had 20,000+ live call-center agents working from home assisting companies like Aegon, Colonial Penn, and American Idol.  Favorite Quote: “Their core technology is a SAAS “contact center in cloud.” Just like anyone’s call center, it is a four-9’s operation that is highly resilient. What’s different, and very unique, is that the agents on the other end don’t actually work for LiveOps – they work for themselves. So far, over 20,000 “crowd-sourced” agents are now working from home on behalf of LiveOps customers – companies like Aegon, Colonial Penn, etc. One really cool customer example is American Idol. For Idol Gives Back, AI’s charity campaign, over 4000 LiveOps agents handled over 200,000 calls in less than five hours. Only a crowd-sourced play could handle such a ramp.” March 9, 2009: How To Monetize A Social Network: MySpace And Facebook Should Follow TenCent (Link) Summary: Social networks had trouble monetizing their websites. MySpace and Facebook failed to generate revenue like Yahoo, which did $7B at the time of writing. The problem wasn’t growing the userbase (both sites had tremendous user growth). It was the dependence on advertising to generate the lion’s share of their revenues. Gurley compares MySpace and Facebook to Tencent (700.HK). The two primary drivers of revenue for Tencent are digital items and casual game packages and upgrades. These are significantly higher-margin businesses than advertising. At the end of the day, social networks are social status symbols. This means if you want to leverage your business, you need to provide users with ways to improve their social status. Favorite Quote: “If you removed the Chanel logo from them, and offered them for $50 cheaper, you could not sell a pair.  Not one.  Why?  People are buying an image that they want to project about themselves.  Without the logo, they fail to make that statement.  The same is true for watches, clothes, cars, sodas, beers, cell phones, and many more items.  People care greatly about how they are perceived and are willing to part with big bucks to achieve it.  Digital items are merely the same phenomenon online.” March 26, 2009: Note To Timothy Geithner: Do Startups & Venture Capitalists Really Need More Regulation? (Link) Summary: The US government levied Sarbanes-Oxley on all public companies after the whole Enron, WorldCom saga. The purpose? Protect investors from future frauds. While the efficacy of “Sarbox” remains in question, one thing doesn’t: the cost on small public companies. Sarbox costs ~$2-$3M to implement. This makes it nearly impossible for small companies to go public because the Sarbox costs eat away all potential operating profits. Overburdening small companies could restrict the pipeline of new public IPOs.  Favorite Quote: “And remember that the largest companies in America that were created in the last 35 years (MSFT, GOOG, AAPL, CSCO, INTC) were all small venture-backed companies at one point in time.  Do we really want to inappropriately restrain or throttle the future pipeline of such companies in America?” May 2, 2009: Swine Flu: Overreaction More Costly Than The Virus Itself? (Link) Summary: It’s amazing how relevant this blog post became during the COVID-19 pandemic. Gurley suggests that in some cases, overreacting to news (like swine flu) can have far worse consequences than the natural course of the virus itself. For example, Mexico’s economy teetering on the brink of insolvency as tourism represents a third of their economy. The argument for overreacting is that it prepares people for the worst-case scenario. Yet that decision has consequences. Consequences we can’t see, and might not see for a long time.  Favorite Quote: “Some people rationalize that this hysteria serves a noble purpose, in that it prepares us for the worse.  This, however, ignores the fact that there are tremendous real economic costs to overreaction, and that sometimes overreaction has far-reaching negative impacts which can be many times greater than that of the original problem.” May 8, 2009: Second Life: Second Most Played PC Title, #1 In Minutes/User (Link) Summary: Gurley’s investment in Linden Lab paid off big time in May 2009 when Linden’s hit game Second Life ranked as the #2 most-played PC title. The game trailed World of Warcraft in number of users, but ranked first in number of minutes played per user. Data like this further reiterates Gurley’s earlier claims that selling goods online (digital signs of social status) can make for a great business. It also shows people love distracting themselves from their everyday lives.  Favorite Quote: “The truth of the matter is that the company is quite large, it’s growing, it’s profitable,  it has hired a number of great people over this time frame, and as the data shows it’s kicking butt. Note that the data also shows SecondLife actually leads WOW in terms of minutes played per user.”   May 10, 2009: Bill Gurley’s Online Video Market Snapshot (Link) Summary: Gurley did an on Hollywood talk about the massive changes in the Online Video Market. The link has an 18-minute video where Gurley outlines five things that matter in the coming online video market battle:  Great content is super expensive Affiliate fees are a “huge fucking deal”  The Netflix Business model is widely misunderstood HBO and the NFL are incredibly well-positioned companies Wireless will not save the day  Favorite Quote: I didn’t have a favorite quote from this post as it was mainly a link to the video and slide deck. I highly recommend watching the video and scanning through the deck. It’s 18 minutes long but you can watch at 1.5-2x speed without issue.  Tyler Durden Sun, 06/19/2022 - 17:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 19th, 2022

Stocks Stage Feeble Attempt At Dead Cat Bounce After Losing $1.3 Trillion In One Day

Stocks Stage Feeble Attempt At Dead Cat Bounce After Losing $1.3 Trillion In One Day US index futures staged a feeble, fading attempt to bounce on Tuesday, following Monday's crash that wiped out $1.3 trillion in market cap and topped a furious 4-day selloff that was the worst since March 2020 and culminated in a bear market amid expectations - even from permabull Goldman - that the Fed's now accepted 75bps rate hike on Wednesday will hurl the economy into a recession. Futures on the S&P 500 rebounded more than 1% in early trading before fading the gain to just 0.24%, while Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 0.5%. US stocks plunged on Monday to the lowest level since January 2021 and closed more than 20% below its January record high, triggering Joe Biden first official bear market. Global equities sold off after an unexpectedly strong reading Friday on US inflation sparked concern that the Fed will go too far in raising interest rates to tame soaring prices. Bond yields dipped after soaring to a peak last seen in 2011. The yield curve remained flat, however, underscoring worries about an economic downturn sparked by tighter monetary policy, with the 2s10s curve just 1bps away from inverting again.  Cryptocurrencies, meanwhile, plunged with bitcoin puking more than 10% to below $21,000 before paring much of the slide as dip buyers emerged. UBS said most long-term owners are now in the red and warned of more losses if coin miners buckle under the pressure and start selling. The dollar was steady near a two-year high. In Japan, the central bank boosted bond-purchase operations to keep yields in check. The yen hovered near a 24-year low against the greenback. “We remain bearish on equity outlook,” said Marija Veitmane, a senior strategist at State Street Global Markets. “Inflation is still a huge problem and central banks need to be very aggressive to fight it. This is a very negative outlook for stocks, so we would be sellers of any rally.” Among notable premarket movers, shares of megacap tech companies like Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Tesla and Meta Platforms were slightly higher and poised to recoup some of the losses from Monday: Apple (AAPL US) +1.4%, Amazon (AMZN US) +1.7%, Alphabet (GOOGL US) +1.5%, Meta Platforms (META US) +1.9% and Nvidia (NVDA US) +1.8% in premarket trading. Oracle shares rose 13% in premarket trading after the software company reported higher-than-expected fourth-quarter results. Here are the most notable premarket movers: AMC Entertainment (AMC US) shares rise as much as 3.7% in US premarket trading, in line with a broader rebound in risk assets, and after the movie theater operator said that last weekend’s admission revenues beat that of the same weekend of 2019. Adobe (ADBE US) slides 4.2% in premarket trading as Citi cut its price target on the company to $425, the lowest on Wall Street, citing weaker consumer spending and potentially rising competition. US-listed Chinese stocks post broad-based gains in premarket trading, on track to rebound from a three-day drop, as sentiment toward tech stabilizes: Alibaba (BABA US) shares rise 3.8%, Baidu (BIDU US) +4%, Pinduoduo (PDD US) +4.2%, JD.com (JD US) +3.2% and Li Auto (LI US) +6.1% Braze (BRZE US) shares jump 8% in premarket trading after the company’s first-quarter revenue beat estimates, and full-year guidance also topped expectations. Arista (ANET US) shares decline 4.1% in US premarket trading as Morgan Stanley says in a note that the company, as well as Wiwynn and memory stocks such as SK Hynix and Micron (MU US) are among those most at risk in the semiconductor and networking equipment space when tech firms cut spending on data centers. Kaival Brands (KAVL US) shares surge as much as 57% in US premarket trading, after the vaping products distributor reached deal with Philip Morris to distribute electronic nicotine delivery systems products outside of the US. Outset Medical (OM US) shares fall 4.6% in premarket trading as their price target was cut to a Street-low at Cowen, after the medical technology firm halted shipments on its Tablo Hemodialysis System for home use. The company also suspended guidance for the year. US Silica (SLCA US) shares may be in focus after they were upgraded to outperform from inline at Evercore ISI following the conclusion of the industrial minerals firm’s review of its Industrial & Specialty Products (ISP) segment. With just two weeks left until the end of Q2, a dismal picture emerges: this quarter is set to deliver the biggest combined loss for global bonds and stocks on record, according to Bloomberg. The highest inflation in a generation, stoked by supply-chain and commodity-market disruptions amid China’s Covid struggles and the war in Ukraine, is roiling the outlook. According to Bloomberg,  the big question is whether the Fed and other major central banks will tip their economies into recession as they tighten financial conditions. We disagree: a recession is now assured; the real big question is how sparking a recession in the US will force Putin to pump more gas. European gains were shorter-lived: Euro Stoxx 50 reverses a 1.1% bounce to trade down 0.2%, extending its decline to a sixth day, on track for the longest losing streak since the start of the pandemic and the lowest closing level in 15 months. Retail, media and travel are the weakest Stoxx 600 sectors with broad-based sectoral gains fading as the session progresses. Bonds in most of Europe edged lower, but gilts bucked the trend after data showed spending power of UK households plunged as inflation eroded wage increases. Here are the biggest European movers: Fortum shares rose as much as 9.5%, while Uniper gained 6.1% as Finland is prepared to give Fortum time to sell its Russian power plants and follow other western energy companies out of Russia. Rates-sensitive banking stocks in Europe outperform Tuesday as Treasury yields drop following four consecutive days of increases that lifted the 10-year to the highest level since 2011. HSBC shares gain as much as 3.2%, Standard Chartered +3.2%, Nordea Bank +2.7%, ING +2.8% Wizz Air shares rise as much as 6.2% after Berenberg upgraded the airline to buy from hold, citing the long-term potential of its business, despite numerous recent challenges. Go-Ahead rises as much as 15% amid a potential bidding war. The company accepted a £648m takeover bid from an investor group backed by Australian rival Kinetic, while Kelsian is assessing whether to make offer. Saipem gains as much as 8.5% after five sessions of declines; the company and Trevi signed memorandum of understanding for foundation drilling solutions and services for offshore wind farm projects. Atos shares plunge as much as 27% after the company announced the departure of newly arrived CEO Rodolphe Belmer and a separation into two publicly listed companies. Akzo Nobel shares decline as much as 6.1% after the company reduced 2Q forecasts due to China lockdowns and slower start to EMEA DIY season. Air France-KLM shares fall as much as 13% after the company raised EU2.3b in a deeply discounted rights offering to help repay state aid received during the pandemic. Earlier in the session, Asian stock market indexes hit bleak milestones in quick succession on Tuesday as investor concerns worsened that aggressive interest rate increases in the US could erode corporate earnings. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped as much as 2% to its lowest level in a month after the world equities gauge entered a bear market overnight before paring losses. New Zealand’s stock index extended its decline to 20% from a peak reached last year, entering a bear market, while Singapore’s measure wiped out its gains for 2022. Traders are betting that the Fed will deliver a 75-basis-point rate increase in this week’s meeting -- the biggest since 1994 -- after US inflation hit a four-decade high in May. This is further muddying the economic outlook at a time supply chains are snarled, weighing on the valuation and profit estimates for the MSCI Asia index, which has lost 17% this year. “Bets are off for all asset classes as investors brace themselves for tough action from the Fed to counter higher-than-expected inflation,” said Justin Tang, head of Asian research at United First Partners in Singapore. “The renewed lockdowns in China are also not going to be helpful.” Central banks from South Korea and Australia to India have been raising rates in response to accelerating inflation, with the latter two announcing 50-basis-point increases in their latest decisions. China’s persistent zero-Covid strategy is another factor disproportionately affecting companies in Asia. Singapore’s Straits Times Index is near a correction, down 9.7% from an April high, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index has dropped 12% over a similar period. Elsewhere, the MSCI Asean Index is inching closer to a 20% drop from a peak reached in January 2021, while South Korea’s Kospi remains mired in a bear market.  Still, investors have identified some potential areas of outperformance, as Asia’s stock measure has held up better than global peers as it continues to trade at a lower forward price-to-earnings ratio. And while China has walked back on loosening some Covid-19 restrictions in Beijing and Shanghai, traders see the country’s fiscal and monetary easing stance giving its beleaguered stocks a further boost.  “China might outperform global equities, as it did in May and early June,” if consumption resumes in the coming months after a relaxation in lockdowns, said Herald van der Linde, head of APAC equity strategy at HSBC Holdings Plc. Meanwhile, commodity-exporting Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, which are also benefiting from border reopenings, are expected to continue to shine. The Jakarta Composite Index rose on Tuesday, taking its advance to 7.1% this year. India was no exception to the global rout, and stock gauges fell to their lowest levels in 11-months as inflation and interest-rate concerns continued to fuel selloffs across global equity markets.  The S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.3% to 52,693.57 in Mumbai after rising as much as 0.5% during the session. The NSE Nifty 50 Index dropped by an similar measure to its lowest since July 28. Both benchmarks have dropped more than 14% from October peaks. Foreign institutional investors have taken out $24.2 billion from local stocks this year through June 10, and the selloff is headed for its ninth consecutive month. However, the key indexes have still outperformed Asia Pacific and emerging-market peers this year, helped by net $26.4 billion of stock purchases by domestic investors, which include mutual funds and insurance companies. Consumer-price inflation in India has stayed above the central bank’s target in May while wholesale prices accelerated for a third-straight month as input costs continue to rise for manufacturers. “High inflationary environment, fresh curbs in China and rising crude oil prices are likely to keep the markets under pressure for a while,” Motilal Oswal analyst Siddhartha Khemka wrote in a note.  Reliance Industries contributed the most to the Sensex’s decline, decreasing 1.3%. Among the 30 shares in the Sensex Index, 15 rose, 14 fell and one was unchanged. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell as the greenback weakened against most of its Group-of-10 peers.  The euro rose from a one-month low against the dollar but still failed to retrace the recent plunge in a meaningful way. German June ZEW expectations came in at -28.0 versus estimate -26.8. Norway’s krone slumped to a fresh 4-week low against the euro after Norges Bank’s regional network report showed businesses were expecting growth to slow. Sweden’s krona got a temporary boost after inflation figures for May came in higher than the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. A Riksbank survey showed businesses, which are seeing sharp cost increases, are concerned that the coming wage bargaining rounds will lead to higher salary costs than in previous collective agreements. The Swiss franc led G-10 gains as it pared most of yesterday’s drop against the dollar. The pound edged up from a two-year low against the dollar. Sterling remained on the back foot after UK labour market data showed limited further tightening in the jobs market, suggesting that the BOE may raise interest rates by 25bps this week, rather than 50bps. Australian sovereign bonds plunged in catch-up to a two-day rout in Treasuries as the specter of a 75bps Fed hike on Wednesday loomed large. Aussie steadied following a bounce in US stock futures. USD/JPY consolidated. The Bank of Japan ramped up the defense of its policy framework after yields came under renewed upward pressure, unveiling a further set of unscheduled buying operations, including purchases of much longer maturities In rates, treasuries bull steepened with front-end yields richer by 8.5bp on the day into US morning session. S&P futures slightly higher, although remain near Monday session lows as investors continue to position ahead of Wednesday’s Fed decision. Swaps market prices in just under 200bp of rate hikes over the next three meetings with 70bp priced into Wednesday’s decision. Three-month Libor fix jumps over 17bp. US yields richer by 8.5bp to 5bp across the curve with front-end led gains steepening 2s10s, 5s30s spreads by 2.1bp and 1.5bp; 10-year yields around 3.30% and outperforming bunds by 7bp on the day. IG dollar issuance slate; projections for the session remain murky amid markets turmoil and after a number of deals were put on ice Monday. Gilts put in a ~6bps parallel richening move across the curve. Bunds buck the trend, bear-steepening ahead of scheduled comments from ECB’s Schnabel on euro-area bond market fragmentation due later. In commodities, oil held above $120 a barrel as investors evaluated a tight supply outlook and the impact of China’s eventual return from virus curbs. WTI adds 0.7% to trade near $121.71, Brent holds above $123. Spot gold trades a narrow range, fading after hitting $1,830/oz. Base metals are mixed; LME tin falls 5.1% while LME zinc gains 0.3%. To the day ahead now. The ECB’s Schnabel speaks, while in data we get UK jobless claims, ILO unemployment rate, ZEW surveys for the Eurozone and Germany, US NFIB small business optimism and PPI, and Canadian manufacturing sales. Hold on to your hats. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 1.1% to 3,790.50 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.1% to 413.07 MXAP down 0.9% to 159.98 MXAPJ down 0.6% to 529.25 Nikkei down 1.3% to 26,629.86 Topix down 1.2% to 1,878.45 Hang Seng Index little changed at 21,067.99 Shanghai Composite up 1.0% to 3,288.91 Sensex down 0.2% to 52,743.72 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 3.5% to 6,686.03 Kospi down 0.5% to 2,492.97 Brent Futures up 0.7% to $123.15/bbl Gold spot up 0.6% to $1,829.72 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.34% to 104.72 German 10Y yield little changed at 1.62% Euro up 0.6% to $1.0473 Brent Futures up 0.7% to $123.17/bbl Top Overnight News from Bloomberg The latest jumps in consumer prices and inflation expectations will probably spur Federal Reserve officials to consider the biggest interest-rate increase since 1994 when they meet this week, after Chair Jerome Powell previously signaled a smaller move was the likely outcome JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are withdrawing from handling trades of Russian debt after the Biden administration’s surprise announcement last week it’s banning US investors from scooping up such assets As the BOJ escalates attempts to keep a lid on bond yields, BlueBay is betting the central bank will be forced to abandon a policy that’s increasingly out of sync with global peers. The BOJ’s so- called yield curve control is “untenable,” according to Mark Dowding, BlueBay’s London-based chief investment officer Investor fears of stagflation are at the highest since the 2008 financial crisis, while global growth optimism has sunk to a record low, according to Bank of America Corp.’s monthly fund manager survey A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pacific stocks were pressured following the global stock and bond slump as the aftershock from recent hot US inflation reverberated across risk assets and spurred further expectations for a 75bps Fed rate hike this week. ASX 200 was the worst performer as the losses caught up to the index on return from the extended weekend and with the declines led by underperformance in tech and metals. Nikkei 225 extended its declines despite the BoJ’s efforts to cap yields and with the recent rapid currency moves adding to the uncertainty. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp. were negative as lockdown concerns lingered with China’s Vice Premier Sun suggesting it is necessary to strengthen COVID-19 prevention and control of key places, while Shanghai's Minhang district plans to conduct mass testing on Saturday. Top Asian News Shanghai's Minhang district is planning mass COVID-19 testing on Saturday, according to Bloomberg. BoJ announced additional bond purchases for Wednesday in which it will increase purchases of JGBs across several maturities, while it will continue to conduct additional buying as needed, according to Reuters. European bourses began on the front-foot but quickly slipped into negative territory, Euro Stoxx 50 -0.8%; since the post-open dip, price action has steadily deteriorated further. However, while US futures are directionally in-fitting they remain in positive territory, ES +0.3%; albeit, well of highs and the ES resides around 3760 currently awaiting Fed clarity amid increasing speculation for 75bp. Oracle Corp (ORCL) Q4 2022 (USD): Adj. EPS 1.54 (exp. 1.37), Revenue 11.8bln (exp. 11.66bln). Cloud License And On-Premise License: 2.54bln (exp. 2.19bln). Cloud Services And Licenses Support: 7.6bln (exp. 7.77bln). Total Hardware Revenues: 856mln (exp. 857.71mln). Total Services Revenues: 833mln (exp. 847.89mln). Added USD 15.8bln after Cerner acquisition and it expects cloud business to grow by over 30% in FY23; Co. expects Q1 rev. including Cerner to grow 17%-19%. (PR Newswire) +12% in the pre-market. German cartel office has commenced proceedings against Apple (AAPL) re. tracking regulations for 3rd party apps, via Reuters. Top European News The EU is set to launch three separate lawsuits against the British government after it published its plans to override the protocol, according to the Telegraph. One option would reportedly see the EU end financial equivalence for the City of London. US urged the UK and EU to return to talks to resolve differences over the Northern Ireland Protocol and said it remains a priority to protect gains of the Good Friday Agreement. White House said proposed changes to N. Ireland Protocol won't be an impediment to potential US-UK trade deal or trade dialogue talks in Boston, according to Reuters. UK PM Johnson is not looking to lower household taxes until inflation is brought under control, as such action is unlikely before next year, according to the Telegraph. FX Dollar consolidates after Monday’s melt up to new multi year peaks as clock ticks down to FOMC and US PPI data; DXY hovers around 105.00 and just shy of new 105.290 YTD high. Franc outperforms following suspension of trade in Russia against Rouble and Greenback; Usd/Chf probes 0.9000 to downside after pulling up only pips short of parity yesterday. Euro rebounds amidst more hawkish commentary from ECB’s Knot and irrespective of German ZEW survey misses; EUR/USD back above 1.0400 and decent option expiries between 1.0420-15. Aussie undermined by waning risk appetite and ongoing covid outbreaks in China, but underpinned by RBA Governor Lowe underlining determination to get inflation back to target, AUD/USD towards lower end of 0.6970-18 range. Pound fades after brief upturn in bigger than expected rise in UK employment as other labour market metrics fall short of expectations and EU rift over NI protocol persists; Cable on the cusp of 1.2100 after fleeting breach of round above, EUR/GBP crosses 0.8600 to set fresh 2 month apex. Fixed Income Recovery in EZ debt derailed by supply and hawkish remarks from ECB's Knot as Bunds retreat to 145.00 within a 145.58-144.51 range Gilts and 10 year T-note hold up better between 112.97-29 and 116-03/115-01+ parameters in consolidation after Monday's rout and ahead of US PPI data ** BTP/Bund** spread blows out beyond 250 bp in advance of ECB's Schnabel on fragmentation in bond markets Commodities WTI and Brent are firmer by circa. USD 1.0/bbl at present and reside towards the mid-point of a USD ~2.00/bbl range with specific newsflow thin and broader developments on familiar themes. Themes which include China COVID and travel demand, for instance; but, factors which are overshadowed by broader anticipation going into Wednesday's FOMC. US and Saudi Arabia will announce on Tuesday that US President Biden will visit Saudi Arabia on July 15th and 16th, according to NBC's Pegram citing sources. China's state planner is to increase retail prices of gasoline and diesel by CNY 390/tonne and CNY 375/tonne respectively as of June 15th, via NDRC. Spot gold is essentially unchanged on the session around USD 1820/oz after falling below the 10-, 21- & 200-DMAs yesterday; Copper softer amid broader risk. US Event Calendar 08:30: May PPI Final Demand MoM, est. 0.8%, prior 0.5%; YoY, est. 10.9%, prior 11.0% 08:30: May PPI Ex Food and Energy MoM, est. 0.6%, prior 0.4%; YoY, est. 8.6%, prior 8.8% 08:30: May PPI Final Demand DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Where do we start this morning after as action packed a 24 hours as I can remember. The global equity and bond sell-off would have been bad anyway but the late US session headlines from a WSJ article (written by a journalist close to the Fed) that suggested the FOMC may need to surprise with a +75bp hike tomorrow was the last straw. Before we delve into the article and more detail on markets let’s take a one para overview of all the main market highlights. To start with, 2yr USTs capped their largest two-day move (+54.3bps, +29.1bps yesterday), since the week following Lehman’s collapse, while 10yr Treasuries have risen +31.8bps over the last two days (+20.4bps yesterday), the largest such move since December 2010, bringing the 10yr to 3.36%, the highest since 2011. Meanwhile, the 2s10s yield curve swung around violently before closing in inverted territory (-0.3bps) again for the first time since the first days of April and for only the 15th day out of the 3907 business days since May 2007. The historic moves didn’t end with the Treasury market, as Italian 10yr BTP yields (+26.2bps) crossed 4.0% for the first time since 2014, the crossover index widened +32.3bps to 534bps, its widest level since 2012 outside of peak initial Covid widening, Bitcoin fell -15.13% to its lowest since late 2020 and is down another -5.23% this morning, the S&P 500 (-3.88%) finally entered bear market territory (-21.8% from its YTD peaks), while the dollar index surged to its highest level since 2002. So quite a ride although as we'll see below risk is doing a bit better this morning with yields relatively flat. Going through things in more detail, the Treasury market has been at the epicentre of this sell-off after the shocking CPI from last Friday. Yields were drifting higher all day as some on the Street officially updated their call for +75bp on Wednesday and openly considered whether the Fed will need a +100bp hike. The WSJ report then later threw gasoline on the already raging fire, noting the Fed was indeed “considering surprising markets with a larger-than expected” +75bp hike as early as this week given Friday’s alarming CPI and inflation expectations data. All-in, Fed funds futures moved to price in a 94% chance of a +75bp hike on Wednesday. So a +75bp hike on Wednesday won’t come as a surprise anymore. At the end of the day, 2yr yields gained +29.1bps yesterday and +25.2bps Friday, bringing the rate to 3.35%. The 2s10s yield curve inverted, closing the day at -0.3bps, as 10yr yields climbed +11.4bps Friday and +20.4bps yesterday, bringing rates to 3.36%, their highest level since April 2011. As we go to press this morning, 2yr yields are up another 2bps with 10yr yields fractionally higher, thus inverting the curve a little more. US PPI today will be closely watched for the next inflation impulse. The policy rate at end 2022 implied by fed funds futures closed at 3.72%, its highest to date by some margin, and implies just shy of +300bps of tightening over 5 meetings. Markets also moved to price in a terminal rate above 4% in the middle of next year, closer to DB's call which has been the most aggressive on the street. It’s perhaps an understatement to say the market will be hyper focused on how the Fed communicates the near-term path of policy at this week’s FOMC, especially including what size rate hikes they’re considering as adequate for the rest of the year. The selloff was echoed in Europe, where 10yr bunds (+11.5bps), OATs (+15.4bps), and BTPs (+26.2bps) all soldoff, even before the blockbuster WSJ report. ECB speakers returned to the docket after last week’s meeting, where Governing Council member Kazmir noted there was a clear need for a +50bp hike in September, in line with our European economics team’s call. Kazmir went on to warn that the economy faces weak growth for several quarters, piling onto what the market had already deduced – the sharp global repricing in monetary policy would weigh on growth. One of the major fears following the ECB meeting was that absent a new tool designed to stem fragmentation, peripheral spreads would widen out, and yesterday brought a fresh round of peripheral widening, with 10yr Italian spreads widening +14.6bps to bunds, with Spanish bonds widening +9.9bps. Indeed, 10yr BTPs crossed 4.0% for the first time since 2014. Equity markets got the message, selling off across the Atlantic, with the S&P 500 falling -3.87% into bear market territory, down -21.82% from the all-time highs reached in early January, with the STOXX 600 down -2.41%. At one point, every single share in the S&P 500 was lower, though the index staged a heroic rally leaving 5 shares higher on the day. That’s the lowest amount since June 11, 2020 when only one share advanced. Unsurprisingly, every S&P 500 sector was lower, with all but two sectors declining by more than 3%. The NASDAQ fell -4.68% on the hit from higher discount rates, now -32.68% from its November high. Mega-cap shares bore the brunt of higher discount rates, with the FANG+ falling -6.50%, its worst day since September 2020, and -40.98% lower from its own all-time highs reached in November. Markets are trying to bounce this morning with S&P 500 futures +1% and Nasdaq futures +1.15% As we discussed yesterday, this sharp rates repricing is partly due to another attempt at forward guidance from the Fed. Having signalled 50bps at the next two meetings a few weeks ago they reduced volatility. However when it became clear that this guidance may be insufficient it has opened up a market attack. The last man standing continues to be the BoJ and to be honest the more the market attacks the Fed and the ECB the more likely it is that the BoJ own forward guidance (in the form of YCC) will end very messily with huge implications for global rates. If the BoJ throws in the towel in H2 then global bond markets lose a huge anchor. Certainly one to watch for every morning when you wake up! Indeed the BOJ ramped up its scheduled purchases of 5-to-10-year debt today from an expected ¥500 billion to ¥800 billion as the yield on the 10yr JGBs jumped to 0.255%, edging past the upper end of the central bank’s 0.25% target range. Talking of Asia, equity markets are lower this morning but markets are trying to fight back. The Nikkei (-2.00%) is the largest underperformer with the Hang Seng (-1.15%) and Kospi (-1.11%) also lagging. In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite (-1.60%) and CSI (-1.86%) are also lower. Elsewhere, the S&P/ASX 200 is -4.54% lower after returning to trade following a holiday yesterday. In such a broad-based selloff, many would have been interested in how crypto assets would hold up, supposedly uncorrelated with traditional assets. However, digital assets did not escape the wrath of plummeting risk sentiment, with bitcoin falling -15.13% and down another -5.28% this morning as we type. At one point this morning, Bitcoin fell about -10% to trade at $20,823 before recovering a little. There were reports that some exchanges were having trouble liquidating holdings of various crypto assets. This is a classic deleveraging and unwinding of a bubble trade. To the day ahead now. The ECB’s Schnabel speaks, while in data we get UK jobless claims, ILO unemployment rate, ZEW surveys for the Eurozone and Germany, US NFIB small business optimism and PPI, and Canadian manufacturing sales. Hold on to your hats. Tyler Durden Tue, 06/14/2022 - 07:49.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 14th, 2022

Futures Brace To Spike Higher (Or Lower) Depending On Today"s CPI Number

Futures Brace To Spike Higher (Or Lower) Depending On Today's CPI Number After a furious late-day selloff on Thursday as markets digested the probability of another red hot inflation number, S&P Futures traded in a narrow range on Friday ahead of the crucial May CPI Print which will dictate the path of Federal Reserve policy (it means the difference between a 25bps and 50bps Sept rate hike... or 0bps), and which is expected to come in 8.3% Y/Y and 0.7% M/M for headline and 5.9% Y/Y and 0.5% M/M for core. S&P 500 contracts fluctuated between modest gains and losses, while Nasdaq 100 futures rose about 0.4% as of 7:30 a.m. ET. The dollar rose slightly, although it has been trading largely flat throughout the session. The yield on the 10-year Treasury is unchanged at 3.04%, while the 2-year Treasury yield rose about 3.4 basis points to 2.8455%. Gold and bitcoin fell. Oil rose. In premarket trading, DocuSign slumped 25% after the e-signature company earnings missed expectations and cut its full-year billings outlook. Netflix and Roblox declined after Goldman Sachs analysts cut their recommendations on the stocks to sell from neutral amid macroeconomic concerns. Bank stocks are lower in pre-market trading Friday as investors await the release of key inflation data later this morning. In corporate news, Credit Suisse shares hovered near the lowest in at least three decades after State Street Corp. denied that it is interested in taking over the Swiss lender. Here are some other notable premarket movers:   Stitch Fix (SFIX US) slides 14% in premarket trading as analysts cut their price targets on the online styling platform operator after the company reported earnings that missed estimates and confirmed plans to cut 15% of its salaried workforce. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD US) shares rose 1.2% in premarket trading after the chipmaker hosted an analyst event where it outlined long-term financial targets, Xilinx synergies and its plans to take more market share from peers. Chinese stocks in US bounce back in premarket trading, a day after the group posted its biggest one-day drop since May. Alibaba (BABA US) rises 3.8% as investors assess whether Beijing’s easing in regulatory crackdown on internet firms supports speculation that Ant’s IPO may be revived. Investors will be closely watching the US inflation reading. An upside surprise would be a setback for both the Fed and markets, raising doubts about how well rates are working to subdue prices rising at a clip of more than 8%. Policymakers “are looking for ‘clear and convincing evidence’ that inflation in the US is going to start falling back from its eye-watering level,” Nick Chatters, investment manager at Aegon Asset Management, wrote in a note. “Wishful thinking?” “In an environment where most major developed market central banks are taking aggressive action to bring inflation down, risk assets are likely to remain volatile and struggle to sustain rallies,” said UBS Global Wealth Management CIO Mark Haefele in a note. “This dynamic should persist until there is clear indication that inflation is trending lower, which may not occur until well into the second half of the year.” Meanwhile, Bank of America strategists said investors are putting billions of dollars into cash and stock funds as they seek protection from surging inflation, citing EPFR Global data. US equities were the primary beneficiaries of inflows with about $13 billion, while bond fund outflows resumed, the data showed. While US rates were also rangebound, Euro-area peripheral spreads continued blowing out as the ECB left a wide room for interpretation on what their anti-fragmentation policy might be while they begin to raise rates. 10y BTP/Bund widens ~6bps to 222bps, short end lags. Bund, Treasury and gilt curves all bull flatten while Greek bond yields hit the highest level since early 2019. The bond turmoil depressed European markets which saw the stoxx 600 slump 1.5% to session lows, with Italy's FTSE MIB underperforming regional peers in a weak session for European equities. Euro Stoxx 50 slumps as much as 1.7%. FTSE 100  outperforms but remains down ~1.3%. Real estate, banks and insurance are the worst performing sectors. Italian stocks underperformed as the country's bonds slid, banks plunged: the FTSE MIB was the worst-performing index among major European countries Friday, with banks dropping the most as Italian bonds slide, following the ECB meeting on Thursday. FTSE MIB -3.5% vs a decline of 1.4% at the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. BPER -11%, BAMI -6.9%, Unicredit -6.7%, Intesa -6.5%. Here are the biggest European movers: Just Eat Takeaway.com shares rise as much as 9.1% after a Bloomberg report that its US unit Grubhub is attracting preliminary interest from private equity firms including Apollo. Scandic shares rise as much as 13% after the Swedish hotel group flagged “very strong earnings development” during the second quarter on a “greatly improved” hotel market. SAS shares surge as much as 46% after the Danish government reiterated its support for the ailing Scandinavian airline, forgiving and converting its debt and increasing its ownership share. Aryzta shares advance as much as 4.2% after Kepler Cheuvreux upgraded the Swiss baker to hold from reduce, citing “credible” new financial targets and improved balance sheet. Ericsson shares fall as much as 4.6% after the Swedish telecommunications manufacturer said the US SEC will open an investigation into the company’s handling of a 2019 corruption scandal. Shipping stocks drop again, with Maersk down as much as 5.8% and Hapag-Lloyd as much as 7.2% lower, amid ongoing concerns about demand and the normalization of freight rates. Swisscom shares slump as much as 4.6% after UBS cut the telecommunication company to a sell recommendation from neutral, citing “a number of headwinds.” Credit Suisse shares fall as much as 6% on Friday, extending yesterday’s 5.6% slump after State Street said it is not pursuing any acquisition of the Swiss lender. Ageas shares fall as much as 2.5% as ING initiates coverage on the insurer with a hold recommendation, saying that while the potential is there, the “timing is not right.” Earlier in the session, Asian stocks dropped, giving up gains for the week, as chipmakers slid amid renewed concerns about inflation and Covid lockdowns in Shanghai. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined as much as 1.2%, with tech and financials sectors the biggest drags. Most major benchmarks in the region were down, with gauges in Japan, South Korea, Australia, India, the Philippines and Indonesia each falling more than 1%.  The region’s semiconductor heavyweights, TSMC and Samsung Electronics, were the largest contributors to the Asian stock benchmark’s decline. China’s tech shares reversed early losses as investors bet the worst of Beijing’s crackdown on the sector may be over even as the nation’s regulator denied a Bloomberg News report that it started early-stage discussions on reviving the initial public offering of Ant Group. Asian shares also slumped after the European Central Bank opened the door to a half-point interest-rate hike in the fall. In addition, sentiment was fragile as investors monitored virus flare-ups in China.  Read: Covid Flares Again in Shanghai, Putting Areas Back in Lockdown “We are seeing a reversal in several developments that had helped markets rebound in the past weeks,” said Heo Pil-Seok, chief executive officer at Midas International Asset Management in Seoul. “With China possibly entering lockdowns again and the ECB moving to raise interest rates, all of these are pouring cold water on markets which believed fear about inflation had eased.” Asia’s equities benchmark is on course for its first weekly loss in four weeks, paring a rebound from a two-year low hit in May Australian stocks tumbled, with the S&P/ASX 200 index falling 1.3% to 6,932.00, its lowest level since Jan. 27. The gauge notched  its biggest weekly loss since April 2020, down 4.2%. Global growth concerns and the RBA’s larger-than-expected rate hike weighed on investor sentiment. All sectors dropped Friday, with real estate and consumer discretionary shares leading declines. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.7% to 11,136.28. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was steady after rising to the highest in three weeks in the previous session. NZD and AUD are the strongest performers in G-10 FX, CAD and GBP underperform. USD/JPY drifts back up toward a 134-handle. Economists see US consumer costs rising 8.3% year-on-year in May when data is released later Friday.  Investors are taking profits on dollar-long bets, said Patrick Bennett, strategist at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in Hong Kong. “Dollar gains have dominated recently, there appears to be some squaring into US CPI”. In rates, the Treasuries curve has extended Thursday’s flattening move ahead of today's CPI print, with 10Y yield trading roughly unchanged from yesterday at 3.04%, and 2s10s, 5s30s near session lows in early US trading following a wider flattening move seen across German curve as markets continue to digest Thursday’s ECB policy announcement. Into front-end Treasuries underperformance, 2- and 3-year yields reach year-to-date highs. US yields are cheaper by up to 3.5bp across front-end of the curve while 7-year out to long-end are richer by up to 2bp with 20- year sector outperforming -- 2s10s, 5s30s spreads flatter by 4.3bp and 2.2bp at ~18bp and ~7bp respectively. IG dollar issuance slate empty so far; Thursday session was quiet and Friday also expected to be subdued with CPI data release. In Europe, the German 2s10s, 5s30s curve are both flatter by over 5bp while bunds outperform Treasuries by ~1.5bp over early European session. In commodities, oil rose after erasing an earlier loss triggered in part by new restrictions in Shanghai. Chinese President Xi Jinping called on his government to adhere “unwaveringly” to its Covid Zero policy, while at the same time striking a balance with the needs of the economy. WTI rose 0.3% to trade near $121.80. Most base metals trade in the red; LME nickel falls 1.5%, underperforming peers. Spot gold falls roughly $5 to trade near $1,842/oz.  Bitcoin is softer on the session, though only modestly so, and as such remains in recent ranges which continue to pivot USD 30k. Looking at the day ahead now, economic data slate includes May CPI (8:30am), June University of Michigan sentiment (10am) and May monthly budget statement (2pm). Central bank speakerss include the ECB’s Holzmann and Nagel. Market Wrap S&P 500 futures up 0.2% to 4,022.75 STOXX Europe 600 down 1.3% to 428.90 MXAP down 0.9% to 166.71 MXAPJ down 0.8% to 551.64 Nikkei down 1.5% to 27,824.29 Topix down 1.3% to 1,943.09 Hang Seng Index down 0.3% to 21,806.18 Shanghai Composite up 1.4% to 3,284.83 Sensex down 1.8% to 54,330.71 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 1.3% to 6,931.98 Kospi down 1.1% to 2,595.87 Brent Futures little changed at $122.99/bbl German 10Y yield little changed at 1.40% Euro little changed at $1.0618 Gold spot down 0.1% to $1,846.06 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 103.24 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Shanghai will briefly lock down most of the city this weekend for mass testing as Covid-19 cases continue to emerge, causing more disruption and triggering a renewed run on groceries days after exiting a grueling two-month shutdown. Investors are putting billions of dollars into cash and stock funds as they seek protection from surging inflation. A selloff in Europe’s weakest bond markets is showing no signs of easing, piling pressure on the European Central Bank to make clearer how it plans to keep diverging borrowing costs contained. Public confidence in the Bank of England is at an all-time low, with Britons expecting above-target inflation to persist for years A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk APAC stocks were mostly negative after the glum mood rolled over from global counterparts with a hawkish ECB meeting and fresh COVID restrictions in Beijing stoking growth slowdown concerns. ASX 200 was dragged lower by the energy and mining-related sectors after recent declines in underlying commodity prices and with participants taking risk off the table ahead of the extended weekend in Australia. Nikkei 225 retreated beneath the 28k level amid the broad risk aversion and as the domestic currency found some reprieve from its weakening trend. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp. were both initially subdued after weak earnings and Ant Group’s denial regarding plans to relaunch its mammoth IPO, while participants also digested the mixed inflation data from China and the latest COVID restrictions in Beijing, although the mainland then spent the session recouping lost ground. Top Asian News South Korean Transport Ministry held a meeting with the trucker union leadership on Friday and is holding a working-level meeting with the union, while it added that about 7,500 unionised truck drivers were expected to strike today. It was also reported that striking South Korean truckers halted and turned around non-union truckers from trying to enter the Ulsan petrochemical complex and the movement of containers through South Korea's Ulsan port was totally suspended amid the trucker strike, according to Reuters. Beijing City reports 21 (prev. 3) cases during the 15 hours to 3pm on June 10th, according to an official, via Reuters. Japan Officials Fire Warning on Forex With Yen Near 1998 Low Top Toyota Supplier Denso Mulls $3 Billion Chip Unit Spinoff China’s Moderating Inflation Leaves Room for More Easing Covid Lab Leak Theory Needs More Inquiry, WHO Advisers Say The mood across European equities remains downbeat as the region plays catch-up to yesterday’s Wall Street tumble; Euro Stoxx 50 -1.6%. European cash bourses trade lower across the board with the Dutch AEX and UK’s FTSE 100 slightly more cushioned. Sectors in Europe are all lower but largely hold a defensive bias; EZ Periphery banks continue to lag post-ECB while Luxury slips on China/COVID updates. US equity futures trade with modest gains with the ES -0.2% just about holding onto the 4,000 handle. TSMC (2330 TW) - May (TWD): Sales 185.7bln, +65% YY, +7.6% MM. January-May Sales 849.3bln, +44.9% YY. Tesla (TSLA) CEO Musk says the next FSD beta version will be coming out in two weeks. Amazon (AMZN) is planning to pull out of the USD 7.7bln race for IPL cricket rights, according to Bloomberg. Top European News On the ECB decision, one dovish member said “impression is everybody lost”, described the EGB and EUR downside as “..not what you want”; conversely, a hawk described the meeting as having gone very well. Additionally, re. QT, a dovish member does not believe this will happen any time soon, according to FT. UK employers hired staff at the slowest pace since early 2021, according to a survey by REC cited by Reuters which showed the measure declined for a sixth consecutive month to 59.2 from 59.8 M/M but remained in expansion territory above the 50 benchmark level. Former UK Brexit Minister Frost has warned that PM Johnson must deliver a "new Conservative vision for Britain" or risk being removed from his position by the autumn, according to the Telegraph. FX DXY recovers from overnight lows of 103.04 heading into the US CPI release. Antipodeans stand as the current G10 outperformers with NZD leading the charge, with the AUD/NZD cross subsequently paring back recent ground and falling under 1.1100. CAD is under some pressure pre-jobs data; USD/CAD today sees its 100 DMA at 1.2700, 21 DMA at 1.2722, and 50 DMA at 1.2723. EUR and GBP are now under pressure as the dollar recovers from early losses. The Yen attempts to claw back some ground after the BoJ, MoF, and FSA expressed concern in a joint release. Fixed Income BTP-Bund spread continues to widen, out to 234bp thus far, though, offset amid incremental Bund upside via Holzmann. Hawk Holzmann took perhaps an incrementally more 'dovish' line than usual re. September's hike increment, alluding to a non-standard increment move. USTs are essentially unchanged at 117.30+ pre-CPI though the yield curve continues to flatten in-line with EGBs and after well received long-end issuance. Commodities WTI and Brent futures are choppy with relatively modest intraday gains following yesterday’s China-induced weakness. WTI Jul’ resides just under USD 122/bbl (vs low 120.09/bbl), whilst Brent Aug’ trades around USD 123.50/bbl (vs low 121.60/bbl). Kuwait set July KEC crude OSP for Asia at Oman/Dubai +USD 6.15/bbl vs prev. premium of USD 4.35/bbl in June, according to Reuters. A minimum of four north-Asian refiners are facing crude oil supply cuts from Saudi in July, according to Reuters sources. Peruvian communities said they are ready to end the 51-day shutdown at MMG's (1208 HK) Las Bambas mine and allow the copper mine to restart, while the mine will not begin construction of the Chalcobambas pit during a 30-day truce and the Peru government will lift the state of emergency in the Las Bambas mine area, according to Reuters. Metals markets are relatively tentative and uneventful; spot gold trades on either side of its 21 DMA (1,844/oz), while base metals similarly hold a mild downside bias. US Event Calendar 8:30am: US CPI MoM, May, est. 0.7%, prior 0.3%; YoY, May, est. 8.3%, prior 8.3% 8:30am: US CPI Ex Food and Energy MoM, May, est. 0.5%, prior 0.6%; YoY, May, est. 5.9%, prior 6.2% 2pm: US Monthly Budget Statement, May, est. -$136.5b, prior -$132.0b DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap I'll be another year older on Sunday which is a sobering thought. In addition, yesterday marked 10 years since I proposed to my wife up the top of a mountain. I wasn't 100% sure I was doing the right thing at the time but am certain of it now! She was 100% certain it was the happiest day of her life back then, but now she's not so sure. Anyway, we shall be celebrating both tomorrow night in a rare evening out alone. It’s been another dramatic 24 hours in markets as the ECB kicked off an incredibly busy week ahead of macro events, including US CPI today, by laying the groundwork for a sustained campaign of rate hikes starting next month. Our European economists' full ECB wrap, and all new updated rates call, is available here. The immediate headlines of their decision were much as expected, with a confirmation that net asset purchases would conclude at the end of the month, and that their conditions for rates liftoff had been satisfied. But looking forward, not only did they confirm their intent to hike by 25bps in July, they formally opened the door to a 50bps increase at the subsequent meeting in September, saying that the “a larger increment will be appropriate at the September meeting” if the inflation outlook “persists or deteriorates”. It seems by "persists", all that need to happen is for their staff inflation forecast for 2024 to at least remain at 2.1%, the level it got upgraded to yesterday. Core CPI was projected to be at +2.3% that year, a bigger move than expected. More broadly, the ECB’s statement and President Lagarde’s press conference struck a hawkish tone, and the first paragraph of the statement openly acknowledged the inflation challenge and the need to return it back to target. And when it came to a potential tool to deal with fragmentation in bond markets, Lagarde said that they would “deploy either existing or new instruments that will be made available.” In light of the decision, our European economists have added to their existing view of a 50bp hike in Q3 and now expect a second 50bp hike in Q4. So their new baseline is for a 25bp move in July, then two consecutive 50bp moves in September and October, and then a 25bp move in December that puts the deposit rate back up to 1% by year-end. The team still thinks the terminal deposit rate will be 2%, reached in the middle of next year, but the path there will be quicker given inflationary pressures and hawkish tone from the ECB. When it came to the market reaction, investors interpreted the ECB’s decision in a hawkish light, with a fresh selloff in sovereign bonds taking yields up to multi-year highs yet again. Those on 10yr bunds were up by +7.4bps to a post-2014 high of 1.42%, with those on OATs (+10.3bps) and BTPs (+22.2bps) also hitting their highest in years. Meanwhile, the decision also coincided with a serious widening in peripheral spreads, with both the Italian and the Spanish 10yr yield spread over bunds widening to 2-year highs of 216bps and 118bps respectively. That widening in spreads was seen on the credit side too, with iTraxx Crossover up 15.9bps to 471bps, and closing back in on its post-Covid closing high of 488bps. Importantly, our European economists connected the peripheral spread widening to an apparent lack of progress on anti-fragmentation tools, with President Lagarde apparently leaning on using PEPP flexibility to support implementation in the interim. They believe a tool is inevitable, but will require market stress first so that policymakers can pass off the tool as “proportionate” to make it more legally durable. That proportionality is harder to prove in advance. So this feels like a slow-motion crisis building for Italy but one that will have a solution with limited stress. An odd state of affairs. Back to markets, and the hawkish rhetoric from the ECB proved similarly bad news for European equities, with the STOXX 600 (-1.36%) losing ground for a third consecutive session. US equities saw an even heftier decline, with the S&P 500 down -2.38%. The Index opened down following the ECB, and slid lower still in the last hour or so of New York trading. Every sector was lower in a broad-based decline, with all but three sectors down by more than 2%. Alongside the ECB, risk appetite was further dampened by an unexpectedly large jump in the US weekly initial jobless claims, with the number for the week through June 4 coming in at 229k (vs. 206k expected), which is also their highest level since January, as well as the largest week-on-week jump in claims since last July. One week doesn't make a trend but this series has been a bit more volatile of late which will increase its relevance in the weeks ahead. Given the ECB’s move yesterday, investors in turn reassessed the likelihood that other central banks were set to move in a more hawkish direction. In fact there was a significant milestone yesterday, since Fed funds futures moved to price in their most aggressive profile of rate hikes for 2022 so far, with the implied rate by the December meeting now at 2.92%, which surpasses the previous record of 2.88% in early May. That was seen for other central banks too, with the rate implied by the December meetings for the Bank of England also at its highest to date. Those moves led to a further rise in bond yields elsewhere, with 10yr US Treasuries up 2.0bps to a one-month high of 3.04%. Real yields led the bulk of the move higher, and the 5yr real yield almost breached positive territory, before ending the day at -0.04%. Meanwhile 10yr gilt yields (+7.6bps) hit a post-2014 high of 2.32%. Speaking of Treasuries, there’s another focal point today in the form of the US CPI reading for May, which is the last major piece of data the FOMC will get before their next decision on Wednesday. Our US economists expect that the monthly headline print will accelerate again to +0.7% (from +0.3% in April), which will keep the year-on-year measure at +8.3%. That’s because of re-accelerating gas prices along with solid food inflation, and they expect the monthly core reading to fall back to +0.5% (vs. +0.6% expected), which will push the year-on-year rise in core down to +5.8%. Given the FOMC are now in their blackout period ahead we won’t be able to get their reaction, but it’s been 9 months since we last saw the monthly CPI print come in beneath the Bloomberg consensus, and it would now be a massive surprise at this point if the Fed did anything other than a second consecutive 50bps hike next week. So most of the action from this report will come in the form of September onwards Fed pricing. A potential portent of today’s print, yesterday the Atlanta Fed wage growth tracker ticked higher to 6.1% in May, its highest reading since the series began publication back in 1983. Overnight markets have stabilised a bit with Chinese equities higher after relatively subdued inflation. PPI climbed 6.4% (vs 8% last month), in-line with estimates but the lowest print since March 2021, with CPI up 2.1%, a tenth lower than expectations and in-line with last month. This has seemingly encouraged markets to believe China can continue to ease policy offsetting the news over the last 24 hours that Shanghai is going to lockdown 7 districts at the weekend for mass testing after six community infections were found. The lockdown may only be for the period of testing but the risk is clearly that more cases are found. Chinese equities are around half a percent higher with tech stocks out-performing as regulatory concerns are easing. Elsewhere the Nikkei is catching down with US markets and is around -1.5% lower as we type. US futures are slightly higher and 10yr treasury yields are up another basis point with 2yr yields up a couple. To the day ahead now, and the highlight will be the aforementioned US CPI reading for May. Other data releases include the University of Michigan’s preliminary consumer sentiment index for June, as well as Italian industrial production for April. Finally, central bank speakers include the ECB’s Holzmann and Nagel. Tyler Durden Fri, 06/10/2022 - 07:51.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 10th, 2022

Wall Street: SPACs gone bad

In today's 10 Things on Wall Street: A tale of hubris. Recent happenings at companies like SeatGeek and Better underscore the inherent risks of SPACs. Hola, Aaron Weinman here. Let's talk about SPACs.If this was forwarded to you, sign up here. Download Insider's app here.Brian Snyder/Reuters; Michael Loccisano/Getty Images; Samantha Lee/Insider1. SPACs are sputtering. More than 10% of companies that merged with SPACs in 2020 and 2021 reckon they'll go bust. Nineteen firms have canceled SPAC mergers this year.Investors are more discerning over where they park their cash, and regulators are sharpening their pencils on how SPAC targets go public, leading banks to spurn them.Take the SoftBank-banked mortgage lender Better.com. It's laid off so many thousands of staff in the last five months, you'd be forgiven for thinking you were watching Ari Gold of "Entourage" fame.Now, Sarah Pierce, Better's former executive VP for sales and operations, alleged in a lawsuit that Better deceived investors to keep them onboard a merger with Aurora Acquisition, a SPAC sponsored by Novator Capital. (Better said the claims are without merit.) SeatGeek is another casualty of the downturn. Seatgeek and RedBall, a SPAC led by former Goldman Sachs partner Gerry Cardinale and "Moneyball's" Billy Beane, "mutually agreed" to kill a merger last week due to market conditions. But people on the inside said neither were willing to compromise on a revised company valuation or amend the "sponsor promote."The "promote" is a lucrative fee for the SPAC sponsor after it seals a merger. Sponsors are reluctant to reduce what they earn on their "promotes," which usually amounts to a fifth of a SPAC's stock, one person said.With SPACs on the fritz, bankers are fine-tuning their résumés."Layoffs are coming," one banker told Insider. "Pipelines are down. Companies are pushing plans out to 2023."Here's the latest on Better's lawsuit. And for more on SPACs gone awry, check out this dive into the SPAC era's worst-ever deal.In other news:Junior bankers are hanging on to the power they seized last year — but an economic slowdown threatens to return control to their bosses.DNY59/Getty Images2. Wall Street's minions are losing power. Since the pandemic hit and bankers retreated home, the junior staff were showered with raises and perks like Pelotons. But the slowdown in dealmaking could reverse some of the juniors' hard-fought victories. Here's how the recent decline has observers spooked.3. State Street is planning a takeover of Credit Suisse, as first reported by Inside Paradeplatz. The Swiss bank's shares jumped after the report, a reversal of fortunes after warnings of a second-quarter loss. State Street declined to comment on the report, but some analysts say the deal is "highly unlikely." 4. Cashed-up Coatue has got a wish list of stocks. Here's 13 tech names the hedge fund thinks have fallen victim to indiscriminate selling.5. Goldman Sachs' tech execs are all about the "polycloud" approach. The bank's co-CIOs detailed Goldman's cloud strategy and compared being "cloud agnostic" to the Flat Earth theory.6. Staying on Goldman, the Wall Street bank lost a chief saleswomen in its asset-management arm, according to Bloomberg. Heather Miner, who earned a partner title in 2018, is joining private-equity shop Advent International.7. The UK's Zopa is bustling into the BNPL space. After teasing out a potential IPO, the neobank's CEO also affirmed that it's waiting for "the right moment" to go public.8. JPMorgan's growth-equity arm invested in Codat's $100 million Series C round. The company constructs tech that connects fintechs with banks. Here's an overview of JPMorgan's key fintech deals.9. Decimal, an accounting fintech, raised $9 million in a seed round. Chief Executive Matt Tait told Insider that there's ample opportunity in "the boring stuff," when it comes to running a business. Check out the 13-page pitch deck Decimal used to snare its latest funding.10. Coinbase pulled back a number of job offers. Here's an essay from Ashutosh Ukey, a 23-year-old software engineer, who spoke to Insider after having his offer from the crypto exchange withdrawn.Done deals:The NFL's Denver Broncos has agreed to sell the team to Rob Walton and members of the Walton and Penner families.Yieldstreet, a digital alternative investor, has partnered with fintech platform Luma Financial TechnologiesKeep updated with the latest business news throughout your day by checking out The Refresh from Insider, a dynamic audio news brief. Listen here.Curated by Aaron Weinman in New York. Tips? Email aweinman@insider.com or tweet @aaronw11. Edited by Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 9th, 2022

Check out these 41 pitch decks fintechs disrupting trading, investing, and banking used to raise millions in funding

Looking for examples of real fintech pitch decks? Check out pitch decks that Qolo, Lance, and other startups used to raise money from VCs. Check out these pitch decks for examples of fintech founders sold their vision.Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech.  Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders sold their vision. See more stories on Insider's business page. Fintech funding has been on a tear.In 2021, fintech funding hit a record $132 billion globally, according to CB Insights, more than double 2020's mark.Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech. Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders are selling their vision and nabbing big bucks in the process. You'll see new financial tech geared at freelancers, fresh twists on digital banking, and innovation aimed at streamlining customer onboarding. New twists on digital bankingZach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradleyHMBradleyConsumers are getting used to the idea of branch-less banking, a trend that startup digital-only banks like Chime, N26, and Varo have benefited from. The majority of these fintechs target those who are underbanked, and rely on usage of their debit cards to make money off interchange. But fellow startup HMBradley has a different business model. "Our thesis going in was that we don't swipe our debit cards all that often, and we don't think the customer base that we're focusing on does either," Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley, told Insider. "A lot of our customer base uses credit cards on a daily basis."Instead, the startup is aiming to build clientele with stable deposits. As a result, the bank is offering interest-rate tiers depending on how much a customer saves of their direct deposit.Notably, the rate tiers are dependent on the percentage of savings, not the net amount. "We'll pay you more when you save more of what comes in," Bruhnke said. "We didn't want to segment customers by how much money they had. So it was always going to be about a percentage of income. That was really important to us."Check out the 14-page pitch deck fintech HMBradley, a neobank offering interest rates as high as 3%, used to raise an $18.25 million Series APersonal finance is only a text awayYinon Ravid, the chief executive and cofounder of Albert.AlbertThe COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the growing preference of mobile banking as customers get comfortable managing their finances online.The financial app Albert has seen a similar jump in activity. Currently counting more than six million members, deposits in Albert's savings offering doubled from the start of the pandemic in March 2020 to May of this year, from $350 million to $700 million, according to new numbers released by the company. Founded in 2015, Albert offers automated budgeting and savings tools alongside guided investment portfolios. It's looked to differentiate itself through personalized features, like the ability for customers to text human financial experts.Budgeting and saving features are free on Albert. But for more tailored financial advice, customers pay a subscription fee that's a pay-what-you-can model, between $4 and $14 a month. And Albert's now banking on a new tool to bring together its investing, savings, and budgeting tools.Fintech Albert used this 10-page pitch deck to raise a $100 million Series C from General Atlantic and CapitalG 'A bank for immigrants'Priyank Singh and Rohit Mittal are the cofounders of Stilt.StiltRohit Mittal remembers the difficulties he faced when he first arrived in the United States a decade ago as a master's student at Columbia University.As an immigrant from India, Mittal had no credit score in the US and had difficulty integrating into the financial system. Mittal even struggled to get approved to rent an apartment and couch-surfed until he found a roommate willing to offer him space in his apartment in the New York neighborhood Morningside Heights.That roommate was Priyank Singh, who would go on to become Mittal's cofounder when the two started Stilt, a financial-technology company designed to address the problems Mittal faced when he arrived in the US.Stilt, which calls itself "a bank for immigrants," does not require a social security number or credit history to access its offerings, including unsecured personal loans.Instead of relying on traditional metrics like a credit score, Stilt uses data such as education and employment to predict an individual's future income stability and cash flow before issuing a loan. Stilt has seen its loan volume grow by 500% in the past 12 months, and the startup has loaned to immigrants from 160 countries since its launch. Here are the 15 slides Stilt, which calls itself 'a bank for immigrants,' used to raise a $14 million Series AAn IRA for alternativesHenry Yoshida is the co-founder and CEO of retirement fintech startup Rocket Dollar.Rocket DollarFintech startup Rocket Dollar, which helps users invest their individual retirement account (IRA) dollars into alternative assets, just raised $8 million for its Series A round, the company announced on Thursday.Park West Asset Management led the round, with participation from investors including Hyphen Capital, which focuses on backing Asian American entrepreneurs, and crypto exchange Kraken's venture arm. Co-founded in 2018 by CEO Henry Yoshida, CTO Rick Dude, and VP of marketing Thomas Young, Rocket Dollar now has over $350 million in assets under management on its platform. Yoshida sold his first startup, a roboadvisor called Honest Dollar, to Goldman Sachs' investment management division for an estimated $20 million.Yoshida told Insider that while ultra-high net worth investors have been investing self-directed retirement account dollars into alternative assets like real estate, private equity, and cryptocurrency, average investors have not historically been able to access the same opportunities to invest IRA dollars in alternative assets through traditional platforms.Here's the 34-page pitch deck a fintech that helps users invest their retirement savings in crypto and real estate assets used to nab $8 millionA trading app for activismAntoine Argouges, CEO and founder of TulipshareTulipshareAn up-and-coming fintech is taking aim at some of the world's largest corporations by empowering retail investors to push for social and environmental change by pooling their shareholder rights.London-based Tulipshare lets individuals in the UK invest as little as one pound in publicly-traded company stocks. The upstart combines individuals' shareholder rights with other like-minded investors to advocate for environmental, social, and corporate governance change at firms like JPMorgan, Apple, and Amazon.The goal is to achieve a higher number of shares to maximize the number of votes that can be submitted at shareholder meetings. Already a regulated broker-dealer in the UK, Tulipshare recently applied for registration as a broker-dealer in the US. "If you ask your friends and family if they've ever voted on shareholder resolutions, the answer will probably be close to zero," CEO and founder Antoine Argouges told Insider. "I started Tulipshare to utilize shareholder rights to bring about positive corporate change that has an impact on people's lives and our planet — what's more powerful than money to change the system we live in?"Check out the 14-page pitch deck from Tulipshare, a trading app that lets users pool their shareholder votes for activism campaignsDigital tools for independent financial advisorsJason Wenk, founder and CEO of AltruistAltruistJason Wenk started his career at Morgan Stanley in investment research over 20 years ago. Now, he's running a company that is hoping to broaden access to financial advice for less-wealthy individuals. The startup raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Insight Partners with participation from investors Vanguard and Venrock. The round brings the Los Angeles-based startup's total funding to just under $67 million.Founded in 2018, Altruist is a digital brokerage built for independent financial advisors, intended to be an "all-in-one" platform that unites custodial functions, portfolio accounting, and a client-facing portal. It allows advisors to open accounts, invest, build models, report, trade (including fractional shares), and bill clients through an interface that can advisors time by eliminating mundane operational tasks.Altruist aims to make personalized financial advice less expensive, more efficient, and more inclusive through the platform, which is designed for registered investment advisors (RIAs), a growing segment of the wealth management industry. Here's the pitch deck for Altruist, a wealth tech challenging custodians Fidelity and Charles Schwab, that raised $50 million from Vanguard and InsightRethinking debt collection Jason Saltzman, founder and CEO of ReliefReliefFor lenders, debt collection is largely automated. But for people who owe money on their credit cards, it can be a confusing and stressful process.  Relief is looking to change that. Its app automates the credit-card debt collection process for users, negotiating with lenders and collectors to settle outstanding balances on their behalf. The fintech just launched and closed a $2 million seed round led by Collaborative Ventures. Relief's fundraising experience was a bit different to most. Its pitch deck, which it shared with one investor via Google Slides, went viral. It set out to raise a $1 million seed round, but ended up doubling that and giving some investors money back to make room for others.Check out a 15-page pitch deck that went viral and helped a credit-card debt collection startup land a $2 million seed roundHelping small banks lendTKCollateralEdgeFor large corporations with a track record of tapping the credit markets, taking out debt is a well-structured and clear process handled by the nation's biggest investment banks and teams of accountants. But smaller, middle-market companies — typically those with annual revenues ranging up to $1 billion — are typically served by regional and community banks that don't always have the capacity to adequately measure the risk of loans or price them competitively. Per the National Center for the Middle Market, 200,000 companies fall into this range, accounting for roughly 33% of US private sector GDP and employment.Dallas-based fintech CollateralEdge works with these banks — typically those with between $1 billion and $50 billion in assets — to help analyze and price slices of commercial and industrial loans that previously might have gone unserved by smaller lenders.On October 20th, CollateralEdge announced a $3.5 million seed round led by Dallas venture fund Perot Jain with participation from Kneeland Youngblood (a founder of the healthcare-focused private-equity firm Pharos Capital) and other individual investors.Here's the 10-page deck CollateralEdge, a fintech streamlining how small banks lend to businesses, used to raise a $3.5 million seed roundA new way to assess creditworthinessPinwheel founders Curtis Lee, Kurt Lin, and Anish Basu.PinwheelGrowing up, Kurt Lin never saw his father get frustrated. A "traditional, stoic figure," Lin said his father immigrated to the United States in the 1970s. Becoming part of the financial system proved even more difficult than assimilating into a new culture.Lin recalled visiting bank after bank with his father as a child, watching as his father's applications for a mortgage were denied due to his lack of credit history. "That was the first time in my life I really saw him crack," Lin told Insider. "The system doesn't work for a lot of people — including my dad," he added. Lin would find a solution to his father's problem years later while working with Anish Basu, and Curtis Lee on an automated health savings account. The trio realized the payroll data integrations they were working on could be the basis of a product that would help lenders work with consumers without strong credit histories."That's when the lightbulb hit," said Lin, Pinwheel's CEO.In 2018, Lin, Basu, and Lee founded Pinwheel, an application-programming interface that shares payroll data to help both fintechs and traditional lenders serve consumers with limited or poor credit, who have historically struggled to access financial products. Here's the 9-page deck that Pinwheel, a fintech helping lenders tap into payroll data to serve consumers with little to no credit, used to raise a $50 million Series BAn alternative auto lenderTricolorAn alternative auto lender that caters to thin- and no-credit Hispanic borrowers is planning a national expansion after scoring a $90 million investment from BlackRock-managed funds. Tricolor is a Dallas-based auto lender that is a community development financial institution. It uses a proprietary artificial-intelligence engine that decisions each customer based on more than 100 data points, such as proof of income. Half of Tricolor's customers have a FICO score, and less than 12% have scores above 650, yet the average customer has lived in the US for 15 years, according to the deck.A 2017 survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found 31.5% of Hispanic households had no mainstream credit compared to 14.4% of white households. "For decades, the deck has been stacked against low income or credit invisible Hispanics in the United States when it comes to the purchase and financing of a used vehicle," Daniel Chu, founder and CEO of Tricolor, said in a statement announcing the raise.An auto lender that caters to underbanked Hispanics used this 25-page deck to raise $90 million from BlackRock investors A new way to access credit The TomoCredit teamTomoCreditKristy Kim knows first-hand the challenge of obtaining credit in the US without an established credit history. Kim, who came to the US from South Korea, couldn't initially get access to credit despite having a job in investment banking after graduating college. "I was in my early twenties, I had a good income, my job was in investment banking but I could not get approved for anything," Kim told Insider. "Many young professionals like me, we deserve an opportunity to be considered but just because we didn't have a Fico, we weren't given a chance to even apply," she added.Kim started TomoCredit in 2018 to help others like herself gain access to consumer credit. TomoCredit spent three years building an internal algorithm to underwrite customers based on cash flow, rather than a credit score.TomoCredit, a fintech that lends to thin- and no-credit borrowers, used this 17-page pitch deck to raise its $10 million Series AHelping streamline how debts are repaidMethod Financial cofounders Jose Bethancourt and Marco del Carmen.Method FinancialWhen Jose Bethancourt graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2019, he faced the same question that confronts over 43 million Americans: How would he repay his student loans?The problem led Bethancourt on a nearly two-year journey that culminated in the creation of a startup aimed at making it easier for consumers to more seamlessly pay off all kinds of debt.  Initially, Bethancourt and fellow UT grad Marco del Carmen built GradJoy, an app that helped users better understand how to manage student loan repayment and other financial habits. GradJoy was accepted into Y Combinator in the summer of 2019. But the duo quickly realized the real benefit to users would be helping them move money to make payments instead of simply offering recommendations."When we started GradJoy, we thought, 'Oh, we'll just give advice — we don't think people are comfortable with us touching their student loans,' and then we realized that people were saying, 'Hey, just move the money — if you think I should pay extra, then I'll pay extra.' So that's kind of the movement that we've seen, just, everybody's more comfortable with fintechs doing what's best for them," Bethancourt told Insider. Here is the 11-slide pitch deck Method Financial, a Y Combinator-backed fintech making debt repayment easier, used to raise $2.5 million in pre-seed fundingQuantum computing made easyQC Ware CEO Matt Johnson.QC WareEven though banks and hedge funds are still several years out from adding quantum computing to their tech arsenals, that hasn't stopped Wall Street giants from investing time and money into the emerging technology class. And momentum for QC Ware, a startup looking to cut the time and resources it takes to use quantum computing, is accelerating. The fintech secured a $25 million Series B on September 29 co-led by Koch Disruptive Technologies and Covestro with participation from D.E. Shaw, Citi, and Samsung Ventures.QC Ware, founded in 2014, builds quantum algorithms for the likes of Goldman Sachs (which led the fintech's Series A), Airbus, and BMW Group. The algorithms, which are effectively code bases that include quantum processing elements, can run on any of the four main public-cloud providers.Quantum computing allows companies to do complex calculations faster than traditional computers by using a form of physics that runs on quantum bits as opposed to the traditional 1s and 0s that computers use. This is especially helpful in banking for risk analytics or algorithmic trading, where executing calculations milliseconds faster than the competition can give firms a leg up. Here's the 20-page deck QC Ware, a fintech making quantum computing more accessible, used to raised its $25 million Series BSimplifying quant modelsKirat Singh and Mark Higgins, Beacon's cofounders.BeaconA fintech that helps financial institutions use quantitative models to streamline their businesses and improve risk management is catching the attention, and capital, of some of the country's biggest investment managers.Beacon Platform, founded in 2014, is a fintech that builds applications and tools to help banks, asset managers, and trading firms quickly integrate quantitative models that can help with analyzing risk, ensuring compliance, and improving operational efficiency. The company raised its Series C on Wednesday, scoring a $56 million investment led by Warburg Pincus with support from Blackstone Innovations Investments, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic. Blackstone, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic are also users of Beacon's tech, as are the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Shell New Energies, a division of Royal Dutch Shell, among others.The fintech provides a shortcut for firms looking to use quantitative modelling and data science across various aspects of their businesses, a process that can often take considerable resources if done solo.Here's the 20-page pitch deck Beacon, a fintech helping Wall Street better analyze risk and data, used to raise $56 million from Warburg Pincus, Blackstone, and PIMCOA new data feed for bond tradingMark Lennihan/APFor years, the only way investors could figure out the going price of a corporate bond was calling up a dealer on the phone. The rise of electronic trading has streamlined that process, but data can still be hard to come by sometimes. A startup founded by a former Goldman Sachs exec has big plans to change that. BondCliQ is a fintech that provides a data feed of pre-trade pricing quotes for the corporate bond market. Founded by Chris White, the creator of Goldman Sachs' defunct corporate-bond-trading system, BondCliQ strives to bring transparency to a market that has traditionally kept such data close to the vest. Banks, which typically serve as the dealers of corporate bonds, have historically kept pre-trade quotes hidden from other dealers to maintain a competitive advantage.But tech advancements and the rise of electronic marketplaces have shifted power dynamics into the hands of buy-side firms, like hedge funds and asset managers. The investors are now able to get a fuller picture of the market by aggregating price quotes directly from dealers or via vendors.Here's the 9-page pitch deck that BondCliQ, a fintech looking to bring more data and transparency to bond trading, used to raise its Series AFraud prevention for lenders and insurersFiordaliso/Getty ImagesOnboarding new customers with ease is key for any financial institution or retailer. The more friction you add, the more likely consumers are to abandon the entire process.But preventing fraud is also a priority, and that's where Neuro-ID comes in. The startup analyzes what it calls "digital body language," or, the way users scroll, type, and tap. Using that data, Neuro-ID can identify fraudulent users before they create an account. It's built for banks, lenders, insurers, and e-commerce players."The train has left the station for digital transformation, but there's a massive opportunity to try to replicate all those communications that we used to have when we did business in-person, all those tells that we would get verbally and non-verbally on whether or not someone was trustworthy," Neuro-ID CEO Jack Alton told Insider.Founded in 2014, the startup's pitch is twofold: Neuro-ID can save companies money by identifying fraud early, and help increase user conversion by making the onboarding process more seamless. In December Neuro-ID closed a $7 million Series A, co-led by Fin VC and TTV Capital, with participation from Canapi Ventures. With 30 employees, Neuro-ID is using the fresh funding to grow its team and create additional tools to be more self-serving for customers.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that analyzes consumers' digital behavior to fight fraud used to raise a $7 million Series AAI-powered tools to spot phony online reviews FakespotMarketplaces like Amazon and eBay host millions of third-party sellers, and their algorithms will often boost items in search based on consumer sentiment, which is largely based on reviews. But many third-party sellers use fake reviews often bought from click farms to boost their items, some of which are counterfeit or misrepresented to consumers.That's where Fakespot comes in. With its Chrome extension, it warns users of sellers using potentially fake reviews to boost sales and can identify fraudulent sellers. Fakespot is currently compatible with Amazon, BestBuy, eBay, Sephora, Steam, and Walmart."There are promotional reviews written by humans and bot-generated reviews written by robots or review farms," Fakespot founder and CEO Saoud Khalifah told Insider. "Our AI system has been built to detect both categories with very high accuracy."Fakespot's AI learns via reviews data available on marketplace websites, and uses natural-language processing to identify if reviews are genuine. Fakespot also looks at things like whether the number of positive reviews are plausible given how long a seller has been active.Fakespot, a startup that helps shoppers detect robot-generated reviews and phony sellers on Amazon and Shopify, used this pitch deck to nab a $4 million Series AE-commerce focused business bankingMichael Rangel, cofounder and CEO, and Tyler McIntyre, cofounder and CTO of Novo.Kristelle Boulos PhotographyBusiness banking is a hot market in fintech. And it seems investors can't get enough.Novo, the digital banking fintech aimed at small e-commerce businesses, raised a $40.7 million Series A led by Valar Ventures in June. Since its launch in 2018, Novo has signed up 100,000 small businesses. Beyond bank accounts, it offers expense management, a corporate card, and integrates with e-commerce infrastructure players like Shopify, Stripe, and Wise.Founded in 2018, Novo was based in New York City, but has since moved its headquarters to Miami. Here's the 12-page pitch deck e-commerce banking startup Novo used to raise its $40 million Series AShopify for embedded financeProductfy CEO and founder, Duy VoProductfyProductfy is looking to break into embedded finance by becoming the Shopify of back-end banking services.Embedded finance — integrating banking services in non-financial settings — has taken hold in the e-commerce world. But Productfy is going after a different kind of customer in churches, universities, and nonprofits.The San Jose, Calif.-based upstart aims to help non-finance companies offer their own banking products. Productfy can help customers launch finance features in as little as a week and without additional engineering resources or background knowledge of banking compliance or legal requirements, Productfy founder and CEO Duy Vo told Insider. "You don't need an engineer to stand up Shopify, right? You can be someone who's just creating art and you can use Shopify to build your own online store," Vo said, adding that Productfy is looking to take that user experience and replicate it for banking services.Here's the 15-page pitch deck Productfy, a fintech looking to be the Shopify of embedded finance, used to nab a $16 million Series ADeploying algorithms and automation to small-business financingJustin Straight and Bernard Worthy, LoanWell co-foundersLoanWellBernard Worthy and Justin Straight, the founders of LoanWell, want to break down barriers to financing for small and medium-size businesses — and they've got algorithms and automation in their tech arsenals that they hope will do it.Worthy, the company's CEO, and Straight, its chief operating and financial officer, are powering community-focused lenders to fill a gap in the SMB financing world by boosting access to loans under $100,000. And the upstart is known for catching the attention, and dollars, of mission-driven investors. LoanWell closed a $3 million seed financing round in December led by Impact America Fund with participation from SoftBank's SB Opportunity Fund and Collab Capital.LoanWell automates the financing process — from underwriting and origination, to money movement and servicing — which shaves down an up-to-90-day process to 30 days or even same-day with some LoanWell lenders, Worthy said. SMBs rely on these loans to process quickly after two years of financial uncertainty. But the pandemic illustrated how time-consuming and expensive SMB financing can be, highlighted by efforts like the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program.Community banks, once the lifeline to capital for many local businesses, continue to shutter. And demands for smaller loan amounts remain largely unmet. More than half of business-loan applicants sought $100,000 or less, according to 2018 data from the Federal Reserve. But the average small-business bank loan was closer to six times that amount, according to the latest data from a now discontinued Federal Reserve survey.Here's the 14-page pitch deck LoanWell used to raise $3 million from investors like SoftBank.Catering to 'micro businesses'Stefanie Sample is the founder and CEO of FundidFundidStartups aiming to simplify the often-complex world of corporate cards have boomed in recent years.Business-finance management startup Brex was last valued at $12.3 billion after raising $300 million last year. Startup card provider Ramp announced an $8.1 billion valuation in March after growing its revenue nearly 10x in 2021. Divvy, a small business card provider, was acquired by Bill.com in May 2021 for approximately $2.5 billion.But despite how hot the market has gotten, Stefanie Sample said she ended up working in the space by accident. Sample is the founder and CEO of Fundid, a new fintech that provides credit and lending products to small businesses.This May, Fundid announced a $3.25 million seed round led by Nevcaut Ventures. Additional investors include the Artemis Fund and Builders and Backers. The funding announcement capped off the company's first year: Sample introduced the Fundid concept in April 2021, launched its website in May, and began raising capital in August."I never meant to do Fundid," Sample told Insider. "I never meant to do something that was venture-backed."Read the 12-page deck used by Fundid, a fintech offering credit and lending tools for 'micro businesses'Embedded payments for SMBsThe Highnote teamHighnoteBranded cards have long been a way for merchants with the appropriate bank relationships to create additional revenue and build customer loyalty. The rise of embedded payments, or the ability to shop and pay in a seamless experience within a single app, has broadened the number of companies looking to launch branded cards.Highnote is a startup that helps small to mid-sized merchants roll out their own debit and pre-paid digital cards. The fintech emerged from stealth on Tuesday to announce it raised $54 million in seed and Series A funding.Here's the 12-page deck Highnote, a startup helping SMBs embed payments, used to raise $54 million in seed and Series A fundingHelping small businesses manage their taxesComplYant's founder Shiloh Jackson wants to help people be present in their bookkeeping.ComplYantAfter 14 years in tax accounting, Shiloh Johnson had formed a core philosophy around corporate accounting: everyone deserves to understand their business's money and business owners need to be present in their bookkeeping process.She wanted to help small businesses understand "this is why you need to do what you're doing and why you have to change the way you think about tax and be present in your bookkeeping process," she told Insider. The Los Angeles native wanted small businesses to not only understand business tax no matter their size but also to find the tools they needed to prepare their taxes in one spot. So Johnson developed a software platform that provides just that.The 13-page pitch deck ComplYant used to nab $4 million that details the tax startup's plan to be Turbotax, Quickbooks, and Xero rolled into one for small business ownersInvoice financing for SMBsStacey Abrams and Lara Hodgson, Now co-foundersNowAbout a decade ago, politician Stacey Abrams and entrepreneur Lara Hodgson were forced to fold their startup because of a kink in the supply chain — but not in the traditional sense.Nourish, which made spill-proof bottled water for children, had grown quickly from selling to small retailers to national ones. And while that may sound like a feather in the small business' cap, there was a hang-up."It was taking longer and longer to get paid, and as you can imagine, you deliver the product and then you wait and you wait, but meanwhile you have to pay your employees and you have to pay your vendors," Hodgson told Insider. "Waiting to get paid was constraining our ability to grow."While it's not unusual for small businesses to grapple with working capital issues, the dust was still settling from the Great Recession. Abrams and Hodgson couldn't secure a line of credit or use financing tools like factoring to solve their problem. The two entrepreneurs were forced to close Nourish in 2012, but along the way they recognized a disconnect in the system.  "Why are we the ones borrowing money, when in fact we're the lender here because every time you send an invoice to a customer, you've essentially extended a free loan to that customer by letting them pay later," Hodgson said. "And the only reason why we were going to need to possibly borrow money was because we had just given ours away for free to Whole Foods," she added.Check out the 7-page deck that Now, Stacey Abrams' fintech that wants to help small businesses 'grow fearlessly', used to raise $29 millionCheckout made easyRyan Breslow.Ryan BreslowAmazon has long dominated e-commerce with its one-click checkout flows, offering easier ways for consumers to shop online than its small-business competitors.Bolt gives small merchants tools to offer the same easy checkouts so they can compete with the likes of Amazon.The startup raised its $393 million Series D to continue adding its one-click checkout feature to merchants' own websites in October.Bolt markets to merchants themselves. But a big part of Bolt's pitch is its growing network of consumers — currently over 5.6 million — that use its features across multiple Bolt merchant customers. Roughly 5% of Bolt's transactions were network-driven in May, meaning users that signed up for a Bolt account on another retailer's website used it elsewhere. The network effects were even more pronounced in verticals like furniture, where 49% of transactions were driven by the Bolt network."The network effect is now unleashed with Bolt in full fury, and that triggered the raise," Bolt's founder and CEO Ryan Breslow told Insider.Here's the 12-page deck that one-click checkout Bolt used to outline its network of 5.6 million consumers and raise its Series DPayments infrastructure for fintechsQolo CEO and co-founder Patricia MontesiQoloThree years ago, Patricia Montesi realized there was a disconnect in the payments world. "A lot of new economy companies or fintech companies were looking to mesh up a lot of payment modalities that they weren't able to," Montesi, CEO and co-founder of Qolo, told Insider.Integrating various payment capabilities often meant tapping several different providers that had specializations in one product or service, she added, like debit card issuance or cross-border payments. "The way people were getting around that was that they were creating this spider web of fintech," she said, adding that "at the end of it all, they had this mess of suppliers and integrations and bank accounts."The 20-year payments veteran rounded up a group of three other co-founders — who together had more than a century of combined industry experience — to start Qolo, a business-to-business fintech that sought out to bundle back-end payment rails for other fintechs.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that provides payments infrastructure for other fintechs used to raise a $15 million Series ABetter use of payroll dataAtomic's Head of Markets, Lindsay DavisAtomicEmployees at companies large and small know the importance — and limitations — of how firms manage their payrolls. A new crop of startups are building the API pipes that connect companies and their employees to offer a greater level of visibility and flexibility when it comes to payroll data and employee verification. On Thursday, one of those names, Atomic, announced a $40 million Series B fundraising round co-led by Mercato Partners and Greylock, alongside Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and ATX Capital. The round follows Atomic's Series A round announced in October, when the startup raised a $22 million Series A from investors including Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and Greylock.Payroll startup Atomic just raised a $40 million Series B. Here's an internal deck detailing the fintech's approach to the red-hot payments space.Saving on vendor invoicesHoward Katzenberg, Glean's CEO and cofounderGleanWhen it comes to high-flying tech startups, headlines and investors typically tend to focus on industry "disruption" and the total addressable market a company is hoping to reach. Expense cutting as a way to boost growth typically isn't part of the conversation early on, and finance teams are viewed as cost centers relative to sales teams. But one fast-growing area of business payments has turned its focus to managing those costs. Startups like Ramp and established names like Bill.com have made their name offering automated expense-management systems. Now, one new fintech competitor, Glean, is looking to take that further by offering both automated payment services and tailored line-item accounts-payable insights driven by machine-learning models. Glean's CFO and founder, Howard Katzenberg, told Insider that the genesis of Glean was driven by his own personal experience managing the finance teams of startups, including mortgage lender Better.com, which Katzenberg left in 2019, and online small-business lender OnDeck. "As a CFO of high-growth companies, I spent a lot of time focused on revenue and I had amazing dashboards in real time where I could see what is going on top of the funnel, what's going on with conversion rates, what's going on in terms of pricing and attrition," Katzenberg told Insider. See the 15-slide pitch deck Glean, a startup using machine learning to find savings in vendor invoices, used to raise $10.8 million in seed fundingReal-estate management made easyAgora founders Noam Kahan, CTO, Bar Mor, CEO, and Lior Dolinski, CPOAgoraFor alternative asset managers of any type, the operations underpinning sales and investor communications are a crucial but often overlooked part of the business. Fund managers love to make bets on markets, not coordinate hundreds of wire transfers to clients each quarter or organize customer-relationship-management databases.Within the $10.6 trillion global market for professionally managed real-estate investing, that's where Tel Aviv and New York-based startup Agora hopes to make its mark.Founded in 2019, Agora offers a set of back-office, investor relations, and sales software tools that real-estate investment managers can plug into their workflows. On Wednesday, Agora announced a $9 million seed round, led by Israel-based venture firm Aleph, with participation from River Park Ventures and Maccabee Ventures. The funding comes on the heels of an October 2020 pre-seed fund raise worth $890,000, in which Maccabee also participated.Here's the 15-slide pitch deck that Agora, a startup helping real-estate investors manage communications and sales with their clients, used to raise a $9 million seed roundAccess to commercial real-estate investing LEX Markets cofounders and co-CEOs Drew Sterrett and Jesse Daugherty.LEX MarketsDrew Sterrett was structuring real-estate deals while working in private equity when he realized the inefficiencies that existed in the market. Only high-net worth individuals or accredited investors could participate in commercial real-estate deals. If they ever wanted to leave a partnership or sell their stake in a property, it was difficult to find another investor to replace them. Owners also struggled to sell minority stakes in their properties and didn't have many good options to recapitalize an asset if necessary.In short, the market had a high barrier to entry despite the fact it didn't always have enough participants to get deals done quickly. "Most investors don't have access to high-quality commercial real-estate investments. How do we have the oldest and largest asset class in the world and one of the largest wealth creators with no public and liquid market?" Sterrett told Insider. "It sort of seems like a no-brainer, and that this should have existed 50 or 60 years ago."This 15-page pitch deck helped LEX Markets, a startup making investing in commercial real estate more accessible, raise $15 millionInsurance goes digitalJamie Hale, CEO and cofounder of LadderLadderFintechs looking to transform how insurance policies are underwritten, issued, and experienced by customers have grown as new technology driven by digital trends and artificial intelligence shape the market. And while verticals like auto, homeowner's, and renter's insurance have seen their fair share of innovation from forward-thinking fintechs, one company has taken on the massive life-insurance market. Founded in 2017, Ladder uses a tech-driven approach to offer life insurance with a digital, end-to-end service that it says is more flexible, faster, and cost-effective than incumbent players.Life, annuity, and accident and health insurance within the US comprise a big chunk of the broader market. In 2020, premiums written on those policies totaled some $767 billion, compared to $144 billion for auto policies and $97 billion for homeowner's insurance.Here's the 12-page deck that Ladder, a startup disrupting the 'crown jewel' of the insurance market, used to nab $100 millionData science for commercial insuranceTanner Hackett, founder and CEO of CounterpartCounterpartThere's been no shortage of funds flowing into insurance-technology companies over the past few years. Private-market funding to insurtechs soared to $15.4 billion in 2021, a 90% increase compared to 2020. Some of the most well-known consumer insurtech names — from Oscar (which focuses on health insurance) to Metromile (which focuses on auto) — launched on the public markets last year, only to fall over time or be acquired as investors questioned the sustainability of their business models. In the commercial arena, however, the head of one insurtech company thinks there is still room to grow — especially for those catering to small businesses operating in an entirely new, pandemic-defined environment. "The bigger opportunity is in commercial lines," Tanner Hackett, the CEO of management liability insurer Counterpart, told Insider."Everywhere I poke, I'm like, 'Oh my goodness, we're still in 1.0, and all the other businesses I've built were on version three.' Insurance is still in 1.0, still managing from spreadsheets and PDFs," added Hackett, who also previously co-founded Button, which focuses on mobile marketing. See the 8-page pitch deck Counterpart, a startup disrupting commercial insurance with data science, used to raise a $30 million Series BSmarter insurance for multifamily propertiesItai Ben-Zaken, cofounder and CEO of Honeycomb.HoneycombA veteran of the online-insurance world is looking to revolutionize the way the industry prices risk for commercial properties with the help of artificial intelligence.Insurance companies typically send inspectors to properties before issuing policies to better understand how the building is maintained and identify potential risks or issues with it. It's a process that can be time-consuming, expensive, and inefficient, making it hard to justify for smaller commercial properties, like apartment and condo buildings.Insurtech Honeycomb is looking to fix that by using AI to analyze a combination of third-party data and photos submitted by customers through the startup's app to quickly identify any potential risks at a property and more accurately price policies."That whole physical inspection thing had really good things in it, but it wasn't really something that is scalable and, it's also expensive," Itai Ben-Zaken, Honeycomb's cofounder and CEO, told Insider. "The best way to see a property right now is Google street view. Google street view is usually two years old."Here's the 10-page Series A pitch deck used by Honeycomb, a startup that wants to revolutionize the $26 billion market for multifamily property insuranceHelping freelancers with their taxesJaideep Singh is the CEO and co-founder of FlyFin, an AI-driven tax preparation software program for freelancers.FlyFinSome people, particularly those with families or freelancing businesses, spend days searching for receipts for tax season, making tax preparation a time consuming and, at times, taxing experience. That's why in 2020 Jaideep Singh founded FlyFin, an artificial-intelligence tax preparation program for freelancers that helps people, as he puts it, "fly through their finances." FlyFin is set up to connect to a person's bank accounts, allowing the AI program to help users monitor for certain expenses that can be claimed on their taxes like business expenditures, the interest on mortgages, property taxes, or whatever else that might apply. "For most individuals, people have expenses distributed over multiple financial institutions. So we built an AI platform that is able to look at expenses, understand the individual, understand your profession, understand the freelance population at large, and start the categorization," Singh told Insider.Check out the 7-page pitch deck a startup helping freelancers manage their taxes used to nab $8 million in fundingDigital banking for freelancersJGalione/Getty ImagesLance is a new digital bank hoping to simplify the life of those workers by offering what it calls an "active" approach to business banking. "We found that every time we sat down with the existing tools and resources of our accountants and QuickBooks and spreadsheets, we just ended up getting tangled up in the whole experience of it," Lance cofounder and CEO Oona Rokyta told Insider. Lance offers subaccounts for personal salaries, withholdings, and savings to which freelancers can automatically allocate funds according to custom preset levels. It also offers an expense balance that's connected to automated tax withholdings.In May, Lance announced the closing of a $2.8 million seed round that saw participation from Barclays, BDMI, Great Oaks Capital, Imagination Capital, Techstars, DFJ Frontier, and others.Here's the 21-page pitch deck Lance, a digital bank for freelancers, used to raise a $2.8 million seed round from investors including BarclaysSoftware for managing freelancersWorksome cofounder and CEO Morten Petersen.WorksomeThe way people work has fundamentally changed over the past year, with more flexibility and many workers opting to freelance to maintain their work-from-home lifestyles.But managing a freelance or contractor workforce is often an administrative headache for employers. Worksome is a startup looking to eliminate all the extra work required for employers to adapt to more flexible working norms.Worksome started as a freelancer marketplace automating the process of matching qualified workers with the right jobs. But the team ultimately pivoted to a full suite of workforce management software, automating administrative burdens required to hire, pay, and account for contract workers.In May, Worksome closed a $13 million Series A backed by European angel investor Tommy Ahlers and Danish firm Lind & Risør.Here's the 21-slide pitch deck used by a startup that helps firms like Carlsberg and Deloitte manage freelancersPayments and operations support HoneyBook cofounders Dror Shimoni, Oz Alon, and Naama Alon.HoneyBookWhile countless small businesses have been harmed by the pandemic, self-employment and entrepreneurship have found ways to blossom as Americans started new ventures.Half of the US population may be freelance by 2027, according to a study commissioned by remote-work hiring platform Upwork. HoneyBook, a fintech startup that provides payment and operations support for freelancers, in May raised $155 million in funding and achieved unicorn status with its $1 billion-plus valuation.Durable Capital Partners led the Series D funding with other new investors including renowned hedge fund Tiger Global, Battery Ventures, Zeev Ventures, and 01 Advisors. Citi Ventures, Citigroup's startup investment arm that also backs fintech robo-advisor Betterment, participated as an existing investor in the round alongside Norwest Venture partners. The latest round brings the company's fundraising total to $227 million to date.Here's the 21-page pitch deck a Citi-backed fintech for freelancers used to raise $155 million from investors like hedge fund Tiger GlobalPay-as-you-go compliance for banks, fintechs, and crypto startupsNeepa Patel, Themis' founder and CEOThemisWhen Themis founder and CEO Neepa Patel set out to build a new compliance tool for banks, fintech startups, and crypto companies, she tapped into her own experience managing risk at some of the nation's biggest financial firms. Having worked as a bank regulator at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and in compliance at Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, and the enterprise blockchain company R3, Patel was well-placed to assess the shortcomings in financial compliance software. But Patel, who left the corporate world to begin work on Themis in 2020, drew on more than just her own experience and frustrations to build the startup."It's not just me building a tool based on my personal pain points. I reached out to regulators. I reached out to bank compliance officers and members in the fintech community just to make sure that we're building it exactly how they do their work," Patel told Insider. "That was the biggest problem: No one built a tool that was reflective of how people do their work."Check out the 9-page pitch deck Themis, which offers pay-as-you-go compliance for banks, fintechs, and crypto startups, used to raise $9 million in seed fundingConnecting startups and investorsHum Capital cofounder and CEO Blair SilverbergHum CapitalBlair Silverberg is no stranger to fundraising.For six years, Silverberg was a venture capitalist at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Private Credit Investments making bets on startups."I was meeting with thousands of founders in person each year, watching them one at a time go through this friction where they're meeting a ton of investors, and the investors are all asking the same questions," Silverberg told Insider. He switched gears about three years ago, moving to the opposite side of the metaphorical table, to start Hum Capital, which uses artificial intelligence to match investors with startups looking to fundraise.On August 31, the New York-based fintech announced its $9 million Series A. The round was led by Future Ventures with participation from Webb Investment Network, Wavemaker Partners, and Partech. This 11-page pitch deck helped Hum Capital, a fintech using AI to match investors with startups, raise a $9 million Series A.Helping LatAm startups get up to speedKamino cofounders Gut Fragoso, Rodrigo Perenha, Benjamin Gleason, and Gonzalo ParejoKaminoThere's more venture capital flowing into Latin America than ever before, but getting the funds in founders' hands is not exactly a simple process.In 2021, investors funneled $15.3 billion into Latin American companies, more than tripling the previous record of $4.9 billion in 2019. Fintech and e-commerce sectors drove funding, accounting for 39% and 25% of total funding, respectively.  However, for many startup founders in the region who have successfully sold their ideas and gotten investors on board, there's a patchwork of corporate structuring that's needed to access the funds, according to Benjamin Gleason, who was the chief financial officer at Groupon LatAm prior to cofounding Brazil-based fintech Kamino.It's a process Gleason and his three fellow Kamino cofounders have been through before as entrepreneurs and startup execs themselves. Most often, startups have to set up offshore financial accounts outside of Brazil, which "entails creating a Cayman [Islands] holding company, a Delaware LLC, and then connecting it to a local entity here and also opening US bank accounts for the Cayman entity, which is not trivial from a KYC perspective," said Gleason, who founded open-banking fintech Guiabolso in Sao Paulo. His partner, Gonzalo Parejo, experienced the same toils when he founded insurtech Bidu."Pretty much any international investor will usually ask for that," Gleason said, adding that investors typically cite liability issues."It's just a massive amount of bureaucracy, complexity, a lot of time from the founders. All of this just to get the money from the investor that wants to give them the money," he added.Here's the 8-page pitch deck Kamino, a fintech helping LatAm startups with everything from financing to corporate credit cards, used to raise a $6.1M pre-seed roundThe back-end tech for beautyDanielle Cohen-Shohet, CEO and founder of GlossGeniusGlossGeniusDanielle Cohen-Shohet might have started as a Goldman Sachs investment analyst, but at her core she was always a coder.After about three years at Goldman Sachs, Cohen-Shohet left the world of traditional finance to code her way into starting her own company in 2016. "There was a period of time where I did nothing, but eat, sleep, and code for a few weeks," Cohen-Shohet told Insider. Her technical edge and knowledge of the point-of-sale payment space led her to launch a software company focused on providing behind-the-scenes tech for beauty and wellness small businesses.Cohen-Shohet launched GlossGenius in 2017 to provide payments tech for hair stylists, nail technicians, blow-out bars, and other small businesses in the space.Here's the 11-page deck GlossGenius, a startup that provides back-end tech for the beauty industry, used to raise $16 millionRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJun 6th, 2022

Futures Jump, Tech Stocks Rally As Beijing Eases Covid Restrictions

Futures Jump, Tech Stocks Rally As Beijing Eases Covid Restrictions Global markets and US equity futures pushed sharply higher to start the new week (at least until some Fed speakers opens their mouth and threatens a 100bps emergency rate hike) as Beijing’s latest move to ease Covid restrictions injected a note of optimism into markets rattled by inflation and rate-hike concerns. Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 1.4% at 7:15 a.m. in New York after the underlying index erased more than $400 billion in market value on Friday amid renewed concerns about tightening monetary policy, as Beijing rolled back Covid-19 restrictions, boosting global risk appetite after reporting zero local covid cases on Monday while also finding no community cases for three straight days... ... while a Wall Street Journal report that China is preparing to conclude its probe on Didi Global boosted sentiment further, with Didi shares surging 50% and sending the Hang Seng Tech index soaring. S&P 500 futures also climbed, rising about 1% and trading near session highs. Treasuries and the dollar slipped. Among other notable movers in premarket trading, Apple rose 1.6%, Tesla jumped 3.9% after tumbling over 9% by the close on Friday, while cryptocurrency-tied stocks jumped with Bitcoin. Here are some other notable premarket movers: Amazon.com (AMZN US) shares rose as much as 2% following a 20-for-1 stock split. Didi Global Inc. (DIDI US) soared after a report that Chinese regulators are about to conclude a probe into the company and restore its apps to mobile stores as soon as this week. Cryptocurrency-tied stocks climb with Bitcoin, which rose beyond the $30,000 level after languishing at the weekend. Riot Blockchain (RIOT US) +7.1%; Coinbase (COIN US) +6.6%. Crowdstrike (CRWD US) shares rise as much as 3.9% following an upgrade to overweight from equal- weight at Morgan Stanley, with the broker saying that the cyber security firm offers “durable” growth and free cash flow at a discount. ON Semi (ON US) shares rise as much as 8.2%. The sensor maker will be added to the S&P 500 Index this month, S&P Dow Jones Indices said late US stocks slumped in last week’s final session after strong hiring data cleared the way for the Federal Reserve to remain aggressive in its fight against inflation by raising rates, and after repeat warnings by Fed presidents that the central bank was willing to keep hiking. This week, focus will be on the latest US CPI print to assess how much further the Fed will tighten policy. Inflation is likely to “stall by the end of this year unless the energy or oil prices double again, but a lot of it is already priced in,” Shanti Kelemen, chief investment officer at M&G Wealth, said on Bloomberg Television. While the economy is likely to slow, “I don’t think the US will flip into a recession this year. I think there is still too much of a tailwind from spending and economic activity.” Goldman economists said the Fed may be able to pull off its aggressive rate-hike plan without tipping the country into recession. The easing of Chinese lockdowns will help abate supply-chain pressures, said Diana Mousina, a senior economist at AMP Capital. “Positive news around Chinese economic activity and cheaper equity valuations could offer value from a long-term investment perspective, but volatility will remain high in the short-term,” Mousina said in a note. On the other hand, Morgan Stanley's permagloomish Michael Wilson warned that weakening corporate profit forecasts will provide the latest headwind to US stocks, which are likely to fall further before bottoming during the second-quarter earnings season. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 was up 0.9% with technology and mining stocks leading gains. Basic resources led an advance in the Stoxx Europe 600 index as copper rose to its highest since April, with sentiment across industrial metals bolstered by China’s gradual reopening. The technology sector also outperformed, following a gain for Asian peers and amid a recovery in Nasdaq 100 futures in the US. The Stoxx 600 Tech index was up as much as 2.1%; Stoxx 600 benchmark up 0.9%. Tencent-shareholder Prosus was among the biggest contributors to the gain amid a rise for Hong Kong’s Hang Seng tech index, driven by Didi Global and Meituan; Tencent shares rose 2.4% while    Semiconductor-equipment giant ASML was the biggest contributor to the gain; other chip stocks ASMI, Infineon and STMicro all higher too. Just Eat Takeaway also higher following a report that Grubhub co-founder Matt Maloney had worked with private equity investor General Atlantic to buy back the food delivery company he sold to the Dutch firm last year. Here are some of the other notable European movers today: Just Eat Takeaway.com shares rise as much as 12% in the wake of a report saying Grubhub co-founder Matt Maloney had worked with private equity investor General Atlantic to buy back the food delivery company he sold to the Dutch firm last year for $7.3b. Semiconductor-equipment giant ASML climbs as much as 3.1% as European tech stocks outperform the broader benchmark, following a gain for Asian peers and amid a recovery in Nasdaq 100 futures. LVMH gains as much as 1.7% with luxury stocks active as Beijing continues to roll back Covid-19 restrictions in a bid to return to normality. Kering and Hermes both climb as much as 1.9%. Melrose rises as much as 4.7% after the firm said it has entered into an agreement to sell Ergotron to funds managed by Sterling for a total of ~$650m, payable in cash on completion. Serica Energy jumps as much as 12%, the most since March 30, after the oil and gas company published a corporate update and said it expects to benefit from investment incentives packaged with the UK’s windfall tax. Airbus rises as much as 2.8% after Jefferies reinstated the stock as top pick in European aerospace & defense, replacing BAE Systems, as short-term production challenges should not overshadow the potential to double Ebit by 2025. EDF drops as much as 3.3% after HSBC analyst Adam Dickens downgraded to reduce from hold, citing “corroded confidence” Accell falls as much as 4.8%, the most intraday since December, after KKR’s tender offer for the bicycle maker failed to meet the 80% acceptance threshold. Meanwhile, the European Central Bank is set to announce an end to bond purchases this week and formally begin the countdown to an increase in borrowing costs in July, joining global peers tightening monetary policy in the face of hot inflation. The ECB is planniing to strengthen its support of vulnerable euro-area debt markets if they are hit by a selloff, Financial Times reported. Italian and Spanish bonds gained. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks climbed, supported by a rally in Chinese tech shares and positive sentiment following Beijing’s economic reopening.  The MSCI Asia Pacific index rose 0.6% as Hong Kong-listed internet names jumped after a report that authorities are wrapping up their probe into Didi Global. Hong Kong and Chinese shares were among the top gainers in the region, also helped by Beijing moving closer to returning to normal as it rolled back Covid-19 restrictions. “As policymakers continue to deliver on support pledges, the worst is likely behind us,” said Marvin Chen, strategist at Bloomberg Intelligence. “We are seeing the beginning of a recovery into the second half of the year as the growth outlook bottoms out.” Japanese shares were higher, with transportation and restaurant stocks gaining after the Nikkei reported the government is considering restarting the “Go To” domestic travel subsidy campaign as soon as this month. Japanese equities erased early losses and rose with Chinese stocks as a loosening of Covid-19 restrictions in Beijing increased bets that economic activity will pick up. The Topix rose 0.3% to 1,939.11 as of market close Tokyo time, while the Nikkei advanced 0.6% to 27,915.89. Daiichi Sankyo Co. contributed the most to the Topix gain, increasing 3.7%. Foreign investors are returning to emerging Asian equities after several weeks of outflows, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Weekly inflows for Asian stock markets excluding Japan and China climbed to almost $2.7 billion last week, the most since February. Asian stocks have been outperforming their US counterparts over the past few weeks, with the MSCI regional benchmark up 5.7% since May 13, more than double the gains in the S&P 500. Stock markets in South Korea, New Zealand and Malaysia were closed on Monday Stocks in India dropped amid concerns over inflation as the Reserve Bank of India’s interest rate setting panel starts a three-day policy meeting.  The S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.2% to 55,675.32 in Mumbai, while the NSE Nifty 50 Index declined 0.1%. Ten of the 19 sector sub-gauges managed by BSE Ltd. slid, led by an index of realty companies. Makers of consumer discretionary goods were also among the worst performers.  “The market has been exercising caution ahead of the credit policy announcement this week, and hence investors trimmed their position in rate-sensitive sectors such as realty,” according to Kotak Securities analyst Shrikant Chouhan.  The yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond rose to its highest level since 2019 on Monday amid a surge in crude prices and ahead of the RBI’s rate decision on Wednesday. Reliance Industries contributed the most to the Sensex’s decline, decreasing 0.5%. Out of 30 shares in the Sensex index, 9 rose and 21 fell. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.5% to close at 7,206.30 after a strong US jobs report reinforced bets for aggressive Fed tightening. The RBA is also expected to lift rates on Tuesday, with the key debate centering on the size of the move. Read: Australia Set for Back-to-Back Rate Hikes Amid Split on Size Magellan was the worst performer after its funds under management for May declined 5.2% m/m. Tabcorp climbed after settling legal proceedings with Racing Queensland. In New Zealand, the market was closed for a holiday In FX, the dollar fell against its Group-of-10 peers as hopes for a recovery in China’s economy damped demand for the haven currency. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.3% after posting a weekly gain on Friday. China’s equity index jumped after Beijing rolled back Covid-19 restrictions and received a further boost after a report that a ban on Didi adding new users may be lifted. “Further lifting of restrictions in Beijing helped Chinese equities, which spilled over into Europe with risk more ‘on’ than ‘off’,” Societe Generale strategist Kit Juckes wrote in a note to clients. “The dollar is once again on the back foot.” USD/JPY dropped 0.1% to 130.73. It touched 130.99 earlier, inching closer to the 131.35 reached last month, which was the highest since April 2002.  “Dollar-yen is being sold for profit-taking because we don’t have enough catalysts to break 131.35,” said Juntaro Morimoto, a currency analyst at Sony Financial Group Inc. in Tokyo. But, should US inflation data due this week be higher than estimated, it will see dollar-yen break 131.35. In rates, Treasuries, though off session lows, remained under pressure as S&P 500 futures recover a portion of Friday’s loss. 10-year TSY yields rose 1bp to 2.95%, extending the streak of advances to five days, the longest in eight weeks; UK 10-year yield underperformed, jumping 6bps to 2.21% after domestic markets were closed Thursday and Friday for a holiday. US auctions resume this week beginning Tuesday, while May CPI report Friday is the main economic event. IG dollar issuance slate includes Tokyo Metropolitan Govt 3Y SOFR; this week’s issuance slate expected to be at least $25b. Three- month dollar Libor +3.90bp to 1.66500%. Bund, Treasury and gilt curves all bear-flatten, gilts underperform by about 2bps at the 10-year mark. Peripheral spreads tighten to Germany. In commodities, WTI crude futures hover below $120 after Saudis raised oil prices for Asia more than expected. Spot gold is little changed at $1,851/oz. Spot silver gains 1.5% near $22. Most base metals trade in the green; LME nickel rises 5.4%, outperforming peers. LME tin lags, dropping 0.7%. There is no major economic data on the US calendar. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 1.1% to 4,152.50 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.9% to 443.90 MXAP up 0.6% to 169.12 MXAPJ up 0.8% to 558.02 Nikkei up 0.6% to 27,915.89 Topix up 0.3% to 1,939.11 Hang Seng Index up 2.7% to 21,653.90 Shanghai Composite up 1.3% to 3,236.37 Sensex little changed at 55,772.44 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.4% to 7,206.28 Kospi up 0.4% to 2,670.65 German 10Y yield little changed at 1.29% Euro up 0.2% to $1.0742 Brent Futures up 0.5% to $120.28/bbl Gold spot up 0.0% to $1,851.93 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.22% to 101.92 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Boris Johnson will face a leadership vote in his ruling Conservative Party on Monday following a series of scandals, including becoming the first sitting prime minister found to have broken the law. Chinese regulators are concluding probes into Didi and two other US-listed tech firms, preparing as early as this week to lift a ban on their adding new users, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The European Central Bank is set to strengthen commitment to support vulnerable euro-area debt markets if they are hit by a selloff, the Financial Times reported, citing unidentified people involved in the discussions. A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks traded mixed following last Friday's post-NFP losses on Wall St and ahead of this week's global risk events - including central bank meetings and US inflation data, while participants also digested the latest Chinese Caixin PMI figures and the North Korean missile launches. ASX 200 was pressured by weakness in tech and mining, with sentiment not helped by frictions with China. Nikkei 225 pared early losses but with upside limited by geopolitical concerns after North Korean provocations. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp. were encouraged by the easing of COVID restrictions in Beijing, while the Chinese Caixin Services and Composite PMI data improved from the prior month but remained in contraction. Sony Group (6758 JT) said its planned EV JV with Honda Motor (7267 JT) may hold a public share offering, according to Nikkei. Top Asian News China’s Beijing will continue to roll back its COVID-19 restrictions on Monday including allowing indoor dining and public transport to resume in most districts aside from Fengtai and some parts of Changping, according to Reuters and Bloomberg. Furthermore, a China health official called for more targeted COVID control efforts and warned against arbitrary restrictions for COVID, while an official also said that Jilin and Liaoning should stop the spread of COVID at the border. Australia accused China of intercepting a surveillance plane and said that a Chinese military jet conducted a dangerous manoeuvre during routine surveillance by an Australian plane over international waters on May 26th, according to FT. BoJ Governor Kuroda said Japan is absolutely not in a situation that warrants tightening monetary policy and the BoJ's biggest priority is to support Japan's economy by continuing with powerful monetary easing, while he added Japan does not face a trade-off between economic and price stability, so can continue to stimulate demand with monetary policy, according to Reuters. European bourses are firmer on the session, Euro Stoxx 50 +1.3%, with newsflow thin and participants reacting to China's incremental COVID/data developments during reduced trade for Pentecost. Stateside, futures are bid to a similar extent in a paring of the post-NFP pressure on Friday, ES +1.0%, with no Tier 1 events for the region scheduled today and attention very much on inflation data due later. Chinese regulators intend to conclude the DiDi (DIDI) cybersecurity probe, and remove the ban on new users, via WSJ citing sources; could occur as soon as this week. DIDI +50% in pre-market trade Top European News Most of the ECB governing council members are expect to back proposals to create a bond-purchase programme to buy stressed government debt, such as Italy, according to sources cited by the FT. Confidence vote in UK PM Johnson to occur between 18:00-20:00BST today, results to be immediately counted, announcement time TBC. London’s Heathrow Airport ordered carriers to limit ticket sales for flights until July 3rd to maintain safety amid understaffing and overcrowding, according to The Times. French Finance Minister Le Maire expects positive economic growth this year although will revise economic forecasts in July, according to Reuters. EU Commissioner Gentiloni said he aims to propose reform for the EU stability pact after summer which could envisage a specific debt/GDP target for each country, while he added that Italy should show commitment to keeping public debt under control and needs to avoid increasing current spending in a permanent way, according to Reuters. FX Pound perky on return from long Platinum Jubilee holiday weekend as UK yields gap up in catch up trade and Sterling awaits fate of PM; Cable above 1.2550 to probe 10 DMA, EUR/GBP tests 0.8550 from the high 0.8500 area. Dollar eases off post-NFP peaks as broad risk sentiment improves and DXY loses 102.000+ status. Kiwi lofty as NZ celebrates Queen’s birthday and Aussie lags ahead of RBA awaiting a hike, but unsure what size; NZD/AUD above 0.6525, AUD/USD sub-0.7125 and AUD/NZD cross closer to 1.1050 than 1.1100. Euro firmer amidst further declines in EGBs, bar Italian BTPs, eyeing ECB policy meeting and potential news on a tool to curb bond spreads, EUR/USD nearer 1.0750 than 1.0700. Loonie underpinned by rise in WTI after crude price increases from Saudi Arabia, but Lira extends losses irrespective of CBRT lifting collateral requirements for inflation linked securities and Government bonds; USD/CAD under 1.2600, USD/TRY not far from 16.6000. Fixed income Gilts hit hard in catch-up trade, but contain losses to 10 ticks under 115.00 awaiting the outcome of no confidence vote in PM Johnson Bunds underperform BTPs ahead of ECB on Thursday amidst reports that a new bond-buying scheme to cap borrowing costs may be forthcoming; 10 year German bond down to 149.59 at worst, Italian peer up to 123.15 at best US Treasuries relatively flat in post-NFP aftermath and ahead of low-key Monday agenda comprising just employment trends Commodities Crude benchmarks are bid by just shy of USD 1.00/bbl; though, overall action is contained amid limited developments and two-way factors influencing throughout the morning. Saudi Aramco increased its prices to Asia for July with the light crude premium raised to USD 6.50/bbl from USD 4.40/bbl vs Oman/Dubai, while it raised the premium to North West Europe to USD 4.30/bbl from USD 2.10/bbl vs ICE Brent but maintained premiums to the US unchanged from the prior month. Oman announced new oil discoveries that will increase output by 50k-100k bpd in the next 2-3 years, while it noted that its crude reserves stand at 5.2bln bbls and gas reserves are at around 24tln cubic feet, according to the state news agency citing the energy and minerals minister. Libya's El Sharara oil field resumed production at around 180k bpd after having been shut by protests for more than six weeks, according to Argus. French Finance Minister Le Maire said that France is in discussions with the UAE to replace Russian oil supplies, according to Reuters. US will permit Italy’s Eni and Spain’s Repsol to begin shipping oil from Venezuela to Europe as early as next month to replace Russian crude, according to Reuters citing sources familiar with the matter. Austria released strategic fuel reserves to cover for loss of production at a key refinery due to a mechanical incident, according to Reuters. Indonesia will adjust its palm oil export levy with the regulations that will outline the changes expected soon, according to a senior official in the economy ministry cited by Reuters. Turkish presidential spokesman Kalin said deliveries of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea and through the area of the strait could begin in the near future, according to TASS citing an interview with Anadolu news agency. US Event Calendar Nothing major scheduled DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Later this morning, I will be publishing the 24th Annual Default Study entitled "The end of the ultra-low default world?". Please keep an eye out for it but I won't let you miss it in the EMR and CoTD over the next few days! For those in the UK, I hope you had a good four-day weekend. We went to two big parties and my digestive system and liver need a rest. Well, until my upcoming birthday this weekend!. One of the parties had a converted VW campervan with 5 or 6 self-service drinks taps on the outside of which one was filled with ice cold Prosecco. Thankfully the Queen doesn't have a 70-year Jubilee very often! The fun and games in markets this week are heavily back ended as an ECB meeting on Thursday is followed by US CPI on Friday. The rest of the week is scattered with production and trade balance data, while Chinese aggregate financing data is expected at some point. The Fed are now on their pre-FOMC blackout so the attention will be firmly on the ECB this week. So let's preview the two main events. For the ECB, our European economists believe the ECB will confirm that APP net purchases will cease at the end of the month, paving the way for policy rate lift-off at the July meeting. Our economists believe the ECB will have to hike rates by 50 basis points at either the July or September meeting, with the risks skewed toward the latter, to accelerate the policy hiking cycle in light of growing inflationary pressures. Our economists also believe that hiking cycle will ultimately reach a 2 percent terminal rate next summer, some 50 basis points into restrictive territory. As prelude, next week watch for the staff's forecast to upgrade inflation to 2 percent in 2024, satisfying the criteria for lift-off. With all three lift-off conditions met, expect the statement language to upgrade rate guidance for the path of the hiking cycle. Meanwhile, the June meeting should also bring about the expiration of the TLTRO discount. There are two interesting things for the ECB to consider at the extreme end of the spectrum at the moment. Firstly German wages seem to be going higher. In a note on Friday, DB's Stefan Schneider (link here) updated earlier work on domestic wage pressures by highlighting that on Thursday night, the 700k professional cleaners in the country achieved a 10.9% pay rise. In addition, with the nationwide minimum wage legalisation voted through on Friday, the lowest paid in this group will get a +12.6% rise from October. At the other end of the spectrum 10yr Italian BTPs hit 3.40% on Friday, up from 1.12% at the start of the year and as low as 2.85% intra-day the preceding Friday. We're confident that the ECB will create tools to deal with Italy's funding issues, but it is more likely to be reactive than proactive to ensure legal barriers to intervene are not crossed. However, the nightmare scenario we've all been hypothetically thinking about for years, if not decades, is here. Runaway German inflation at the same time as soaring Italian yields. The good news is that this should bring a lot more targeted intervention and a better-balanced policy response than in the last decade where negative rates and blanket QE was a one size fits all policy. High inflation will force the ECB to hike rates while managing the fall out on a more bespoke basis. It won't be easy, but it will likely be better balanced. Following on from the ECB, the next day brings the US CPI data. Month-over-month CPI is expected to accelerate to 0.7% from last month’s 0.3% reading. The core measure stripping out food and energy is expected to print at 0.5%. Those figures would translate to 8.3% and 5.9% for the year-over-year measures, respectively (from 8.3% and 6.2% last month). The Fed policy path for the next two meetings appears to be locked in to 50 basis point hikes, but Fed officials have highlighted the importance of inflation readings to determine the path of policy thereafter. There is a growing consensus that month-over-month inflation readings will have to decelerate in order to slow hikes to 25 basis points come September. Some Fed officials are still considering ramping the pace up to 75 basis points if inflation doesn’t improve. None appear to be considering zero policy action in September. Elsewhere, data will highlight production figures and the impact of the nascent tightening of financial conditions, with PMI, PPI, and industrial production figures due from a number of jurisdictions. Asian equity markets have overcame initial weakness this morning and are moving higher as I type. Across the region, the Hang Seng (+1.14%) is leading gains due to a rally in Chinese listed tech stocks. Additionally, the Shanghai Composite (+1.01%) and CSI (+1.06%) are also trading up after markets resumed trading following a holiday on Friday. The easing of Covid-19 restrictions in Beijing is helping to offset a miss in China’s Caixin Services PMI for May. It came in at 41.4 (vs. 46.0 expected), up from 36.2 last month. Elsewhere, the Nikkei (+0.30%) is also up while markets in South Korea are closed for a holiday. Outside of Asia, US stock futures have been steadily climbing in the last couple of hours before finishing this with contracts on the S&P 500 (+0.55%) and NASDAQ 100 (+0.65%) both in the green. US Treasuries are ever so slightly higher in yield. Recapping last week now and a renewed sense that global central banks would have to tighten policy more than was priced in given historic inflation drove yields higher and equity markets lower over the past week. This reversed a few weeks where market hike pricing had reversed. This move was driven by a series of inflationary data but also came right from the source, as Fed and ECB speakers sounded a hawkish tone ahead of their respective meetings in June. Elsewhere, OPEC+ met and agreed to expand daily production, which was followed by reports that President Biden would visit the Crown Prince in Saudi Arabia. Peeling back the covers. A series of ECB speakers openly considered the merits of +50bp hikes in light of growing inflation prints, as core Euro Area CPI rose to a record high, while German inflation hit figures not seen since the 1950s. In turn, 2yr bund yields climbed +30.9bps (+3.0bps Friday), and the week ended with +122bps of tightening priced in through 2022, the highest to date and implies some hikes of at least +50bps. A reminder that our Europe economists updated their ECB call to at least one +50bp hike in either July or September; full preview of that call and next week’s ECB meeting here. Yields farther out the curve increased as well, including 10yr bunds (+31.0bps, +3.6bps Friday), OATs (+32.3bps, +4.2bps Friday), and gilts (+23.8bps, +5.4bps Friday) on their holiday-shortened week. Italian BTP 10yr spreads ended the week at their widest spread since the onset of Covid at 212bps. The tighter expected policy weighed on risk sentiment, sending the STOXX 600 -0.87% lower over the week (-0.26% Friday). It was a similar story in the US, where a march of Fed officials, led by Vice Chair Brainard herself, again signed on for +50bp hikes at the next two meetings, and crucially, ruling out anything less than a +25bp hike in September. It appeared there was growing consensus on the Committee to size the September hike between +25bp and +50bps based on how month-over-month inflation evolves between now and then, with clear evidence of deceleration needed to slow the pace of hikes. The May CPI data will come this Friday but last week had a series of labour market prints that showed the employment picture remained white hot, capped on Friday with nonfarm payrolls increasing +390k and above expectations of +318k. Meanwhile, average hourly earnings maintained its +0.3% month-over-month pace. Treasury yields thus sold off over the week, with 2yr yields gaining +17.9bps (+2.5bps Friday) and 10yr yields up +20.1bps (+3.1bps Friday). The implied fed funds rate by the end of 2022 ended the week at 2.82%, its highest in two weeks, while the probability of a +50bp September hike ended the week at 66.3%, its highest in a month. The S&P 500 tumbled -1.20% (-1.63% Friday), meaning its run of weekly gains will end at a streak of one. Tech and mega-cap stocks fared better, with the NASDAQ losing -0.98% (-2.47% Friday) and the FANG+ fell -0.30% (-3.76% Friday). Elsewhere OPEC+ agreed to increase their production to +648k bls/day, after a steady flow of reports leaked that the cartel was considering such a move. Nevertheless, futures prices increased around +1.5% (+3.10% Friday) over the week, as it was not clear whether every member had the spare capacity to increase production to the new putative target, while easing Covid restrictions in China helped increase perceived demand. The OPEC+ announcement was closely followed by reports that President Biden would visit the Crown Prince in Saudi Arabia. Tyler Durden Mon, 06/06/2022 - 07:51.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 6th, 2022

Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen owned 2 pro sports teams before he died in 2018. Rumors are swirling about their fate &mdash; and now Nike"s founder could pay $2 billion to own one of them.

When Allen died in 2018, he left behind a collection of assets ranging from luxury properties to a 414-foot megayacht — and two pro sports teams. Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in January 2017.Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Speculation is mounting that late Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen's pro sports teams could be sold. Nike founder Phil Knight already submitted a $2 billion bid for the Portland Trail Blazers. Allen's trust has sold off other assets, including property and a yacht, since his death in 2018. When Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen died in 2018, he left behind a collection of assets ranging from multimillion-dollar properties to a 414-foot megayacht.While much of it has been sold in the years since, two expensive — and high-profile — holdings remain: the NBA' Portland Trail Blazers and the NFL' Seattle Seahawks. The fates of Allen's pro sports teams have been unclear since his death, when his trust passed into the hands of his sister, Jody Allen. Jody Allen hasn't given a single interview in the intervening years, which means there are few clues about the future of the two teams. But speculation is mounting that both teams could be sold off to fulfill the terms of Paul Allen's estate, and sold off in the near future. With both teams valued at or above $2 billion, there's a small pool of moguls wealthy enough to submit a bid — and one famous exec has already made an offer. Here's what we know about Allen's estate, and the future of his teams. Allen made his fortune building Microsoft with Bill GatesAnn E. Yow-Dyson/Getty ImagesPaul Allen and his Microsoft cofounder, Bill Gates, met in high school and founded the company in 1975 — it was Allen who coined the name "Microsoft." Allen left the company in the early 1980s after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. In the decades that followed, he spent his time as a philanthropist, donating millions, and pursuing his hobbies, like exploring shipwrecks, music, collecting art and mansions, and, eventually, purchasing the Blazers and the Seahawks. At the time of Allen's death, Forbes placed his net worth at $20 billion. He bought the Portland Trail Blazers in 1988Portland Trail Blazers center J.J. Hickson, left, and Atlanta Hawks forward Al Horford battle for the ball as team owner Paul Allen looks on in the background.Don Ryan/APAllen paid $70 million for the Blazers back in the late 1980s and promised to keep the team in Portland — today, the Blazers are valued at $2.05 billion, according to Forbes. Allen frequently flew from Seattle to sit courtside at Blazers games, sometimes with his Microsoft cofounder, Gates. In the early 1990s, only a few years after Allen bought the team, the Blazers reached the NBA finals twice in two years, though the team has never won a championship under his ownership. The Blazers were beset by challenges throughout Allen's tenure as owner, including coaching issues, ill-advised trades, financial issues with a new arena, and, in the mid-2000s, a losing record that led to plummeting fan attendance. Allen almost sold the team in 2006 but later called it off — soon after, the team turned things around, journalist Mike Tokito wrote in Forbes in 2018."Once you own a team for as many years as I have, and you root for that team for that period of time, you've got rooting for the Blazers in your blood," Allen once told Tokito.Allen picked up the Seattle Seahawks in 1996Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen lifts the Vince Lombardi trophy after the team won the Super Bowl in 2014.Ted S. Warren/APAllen bought the Seahawks in 1997, paying $194 million for his hometown team. His ownership came about after then-owner Ken Behring mulled moving the team to Los Angeles because he couldn't get the public funding he needed to build the team a new stadium. Allen stepped in, purchasing the exclusive option to buy the team and keep it in Seattle, according to The New York Times. Allen later spent hundreds of millions of dollars on stadium upgrades and saw the team make it to three Super Bowls, including a win in 2014. Now worth $3.5 billion, the Seahawks are the 12th-most valuable team in the NFL, according to Forbes.Allen died in 2018 and his assets have slowly been sold offSeattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen before a game against the San Francisco 49ers in 2010.Elaine Thompson/APAllen died on October 15, 2018 due to complications from non-Hodgkins lymphoma. "My brother was a remarkable individual on every level," Jody Allen wrote in a statement at the time. "At this time of loss and grief for us — and so many others — we are profoundly grateful for the care and concern he demonstrated every day."After Allen's death, Jody Allen became head of his trust and soon after, some of Allen's assets were put up for sale. A 120-acre property in a coveted Beverly Hills neighborhood went on the market for $150 million in 2018 — it was almost sold to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and was eventually purchased by ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt earlier this year. Another property, Allen's Silicon Valley mansion, went on the market in 2019 and sold for $35.2 million in early 2020. And in 2021, a buyer shelled out for Allen's megayacht, Octopus, which was listed for $278 million.  The rest of Allen's trust now needs to be sold, according to reportsA makeshift memorial for Portland Trail Blazers' owner Paul Allen outside the team's arena in 2018.Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports/ReutersJohn Canzano, a Portland-based sports writer and talk-show host, recently reported that the sales of Allen's other assets are in line with the terms of his trust, which was established in the early 1990s.Canzano said he spoke with people familiar with the terms who told him that Allen wanted the trust liquidated after his death and the money used to fund causes he was passionate about, like brain research. "None of this is up in the air," one source told him. "The instructions are clear: The sports franchises and everything in the trust must be sold."The Blazers say they're not for sale — but the team already has one high-profile offerChristian Petersen/Getty ImagesCanzano reported that the Trail Blazers could be put up for auction in the next six to 18 months — and bidders are already swooping in. The New York Times reported Thursday that Nike founder Phil Knight and Alan Smolinisky, a part-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, submitted a bid over $2 billion to buy the team. Knight and Smolinisky have had discussions with Jody Allen about a sale over the past several weeks, The Times reported. A Blazers spokesperson confirmed that Knight made an offer, but added: "The team remains not for sale."The future of Allen's two teams is unclear, but we could see major sales in the futureSeattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen waves as he is honored for his 20 years of team ownership in September 2017.Elaine Thompson/APKnight may not be the only business mogul in the running for one of Allen's teams — there are only so many pro sports teams and only so many people or private equity firms equipped to make a billion-dollar deal.Canzano reported that Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison could also consider buying the Blazers. Ellison's net worth hovers around $91 billion, and he's tried multiple times in the past to purchase an NBA franchise.And Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the world's second-richest person, has been linked to four NFL teams over the past few years. Both disgruntled team owners and diehard fans have hoped for a Bezos bailout, and multiple media reports have said Bezos is interested in team ownership, though he's never confirmed it.According to the Seattle Times, the Seahawks have also said that they're not for sale and won't be anytime in the near future. But as ESPN reported Thursday, "the belief has long been that sales of the Blazers and the NFL's Seattle Seahawks are part of an eventual plan for the trust."While it's unclear when and if these franchises will sell — and who they'll sell to — it's likely that rumors will only continue to swirl about the future of Allen's teams. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 5th, 2022

Futures Dump Ahead Of Payrolls Despite Musk"s "Super Bad Feeling"

Futures Dump Ahead Of Payrolls Despite Musk's "Super Bad Feeling" Tech stocks led US index futures slumped on the last day of the week, after a report about looming job cuts at Tesla deepened concerns about economic growth, and confirming what we wrote a week ago in "We Could See A Million Layoffs Or More" - Here Comes The Job Market Shock.  Futures were lower as dismal trading volumes accentuating every sell order, and further reduced by UK holidays marking the Queen’s Jubilee. And speaking of the job market, in less than an hour we get the May payrolls print, where Wall Street consensus expects the a +320k number vs. +428k in April, although the whisper number is currently lower than survey at +301k, and as we noted last night, the odds of a negative print are non-trivial. Of course, should we get a subzero print, watch stocks explode higher as the Fed's tightening plans are for all intents and purposes crushed. The Bloomberg dollar index steadied after overnight losses, Treasury yields held at around 2.91%, bitcoin resumed its slide and gold rose. Anyway, back to markets, where S&P futures dropped 0.7%, down 30 points to 4,145 and Nasdaq 100 futures fell 1.1% trading at session lows... ... with Tesla, one of the biggest members of the tech-heavy index with a 4% weight, sliding 5% in premarket trading after Elon Musk said he had a “super bad feeling” about the economy and the electric carmaker needed to cut staff by about 10% and pause hiring. Other electric-vehicle stocks dropped in New York premarket trading following the Tesla report, with Nikola Corp. and Rivian Automotive Inc. lower. Elsewhere, Lululemon Athletica Inc. climbed after the athletic-wear retailer’s results surpassed analyst’s expectations and software company Okta Inc. rallied after its earnings. “It’s very prudent by Tesla to reduce the staff,” Peter Garnry, head of equity strategy at Saxo Bank A/S, said on Bloomberg Television. “This market is not rewarding high revenue growth at all costs. You’re being rewarded from improvement in return on investor capital and free cash flow generation.” Here are other notable premarket movers: Okta (OKTA US) shares are up 16% in premarket trading after the software company reported first-quarter results ahead of expectations and raised its full-year forecast. Piper Sandler notes revenue acceleration and strength across key growth metrics, adding that it has increased “confidence in the story going forward.” BMO highlights “impressive” revenue that beat estimates. StoneCo (STNE US) soars 20% in premarket trading after its quarterly revenue more than doubled, but analysts expect the rally could be short-lived amid concerns about higher interest rates. RH (RH US) shares slipped 0.3% after the home-furnishing retailer warned of further slowdown in demand since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and cited expectations for challenges for “several quarters” ahead. CrowdStrike (CRWD US) drops 2.5% after the security software company reported first-quarter results that were seen as mixed. PagSeguro (PAGS US) jumped after Brazilian fintech peer StoneCo reported quarterly adjusted net income that topped analysts’ expectations. Asana (ASAN US) dropped after the software company forecast an adjusted loss per share for the second quarter of 38c to 39c. Investors remain on edge as some fear the pace of US monetary tightening could throw the world’s largest economy into a recession. Friday’s May labor report is likely to show the smallest gain in jobs since April 2021 alongside a down shift in average hourly earnings growth, Bloomberg Economics said. “Investors remain nervous, trying to collect more information about earnings prospects on one side and economic data on the other,” said Cedric Ozazman, head of investment solutions at Mirabaud & Cie SA in Geneva. “The jobs report will be crucial as any bad news will reignite speculation about a pause in the Fed monetary tightening cycle during the last quarter of the year." Of course, that means that “any bad economic news might be actually good for risky assets, as they will probably remove some pressure on interest rates,” Ozazman said. On the other hand, Fed Vice Chair Lael Brainard said it was hard to see a case for a September pause in rate hikes and that increases of 50 basis points in June and July seemed reasonable. In Europe, gains for real-estate and consumer companies outweighed declines in the cars and banking sectors, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index rising 0.1%, erasing earlier gains. Here are the most notable European movers today: Rheinmetall gains as much as 3.9% after Warburg raised its rating on the stock to buy, noting comments by CEO indicating stronger-than-anticipated mid-term revenue potential, with peer Leonardo rising as much as 3.6%. Ringkjoebing Landbobank, or Rilba, rise as much as 8.4%. after the Danish lender boosted its FY pretax profit guidance. Handelsbanken notes a “positive development” in lending. Leonteq shares jump as much as 18% after the Swiss technology and service provider announced it expects to generate significant revenue growth on the back of strong net trading results. Avance Gas and BW LPG gain as Fearnley Securities calls the sector a “long-term value play,” increasing their target prices for the LPG firms it covers despite a strong year-to-date share rally. Lotos shares gain as much as 7.9% after Orlen offered a premium of about 9% with its all-stock deal to buy Lotos in a planned merger of Polish state-controlled refiners. PGS rise as much as 23% as Kepler Cheuvreux resumes coverage of the shares with a buy recommendation, seeing a more supportive macroeconomic environment and better liquidity. Aperam rises while Acerinox falls as Morgan Stanley says in a note that potentially combining their businesses would bring top-line and cost synergies via improved pricing power. Faurecia falls as much as 6.6% after the French automotive part maker launches EU705m rights issue as part of refinancing of Hella acquisition. Asian stocks rose, poised for a third straight week of gains as investors awaited US non-farm payrolls for clues on the trajectory of interest rates. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced as much as 0.7%, led by energy and material firms, with BHP Group and Reliance Industries among the biggest contributors. Gauges in Japan and Australia were the region’s best performers, while markets in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan were shut for a holiday. Investors are turning their attention to Friday’s data on non-farm payrolls following the release of weak private payrolls figures overnight. This comes as Federal Reserve Vice Chair Lael Brainard said expectations for half-percentage-point increases in interest rates this month and next were reasonable. “The wide underperformance in job gains took the spotlight and the hopes that the Fed may take on a more cautious and gradual approach in tightening toward the latter part of the year may lead to some unwinding of hawkish expectations,” Jun Rong Yeap, a market strategist at IG Asia, wrote in a note. Asia’s benchmark index has climbed more than 7% from a trough in mid-May as the reopening of Shanghai supports stocks in China and Hong Kong. Still, the outlook for the region remains uncertain amid prospects of aggressive US monetary tightening, soaring inflation and China’s ongoing Covid-Zero stance. Japanese stocks gain ahead of US labor report and as OPEC+ agreed to increase its oil production rates. Markets are closed in Hong Kong and China.  The Topix index rose 0.4% to 1,933.14 as of market close in Tokyo, while the Nikkei 225 advanced 1.3% to 27,761.57. Sony Group Corp. contributed the most to the Topix Index gain, increasing 1.9%. Out of 2,170 shares in the index, 1,135 rose and 940 fell, while 95 were unchanged. “Inflation concerns are receding as labor market tensions are seen to be weakening from the US economic indicators and Beige Book,” said Nobuhiko Kuramochi, a market strategist at Mizuho Securities Australian stocks rebounded, with the S&P/ASX 200 index rising 0.9% to close at 7,238.80, recouping Thursday’s 0.8% loss in a rally led by miners. Champion Iron gained on higher iron ore prices. Healius was the worst performer after flagging more difficult conditions in 2H. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.6% to 11,417.34. The gauge added 3.2% since Monday, posting its best week since Feb. In FX, a Bloomberg dollar gauge steadied after yesterday’s loss and the euro traded around $1.0750. A day after pricing in a 50 basis-point rate hike by the ECB by the end of the year, traders are now betting that the move will happen by October itself. Australia’s swap spreads widened to the most in almost six years on speculation that the Reserve Bank will become more hawkish next week. In rates, Treasuries are mostly unchanged across the curve with losses led by front-end, flattening spreads with 2s10s and 5s30s both tighter by over 1bp. 10-year TSY yields around 2.92%, flat on the day; bunds lag by additional 2bp in the sector. European bonds drifted at the open after yields rose to multi-year highs Thursday. US IG dollar issuance slate empty so far; four borrowers priced $3BNBThursday, pushing weekly volume up to $30b and high end of $25b to $30b forecast. Bloomberg notes that there has been some speculation that a jumbo Oracle deal (around $20BN) could come as early as next week which may see some rate lock selling flows weigh over Friday’s session. In commodities, oil headed for a sixth weekly advance after a keenly anticipated OPEC+ meeting delivered only a modest increase in output that failed to assuage concerns over a widening supply deficit. Gas traders are rushing to secure LNG tankers ahead of winter with ship rates surging as sanctions on Russia reshape global energy flows, according to FT. NHC notes of a disturbance producing tropical-storm-force winds; with a new Tropical Storm warning issued for Florida, Cuba, and North-western Bahamas; additional strengthening possible late Saturday and Sunday. Spot gold is steady and comfortably above USD 1,850/oz pre-NFP, whilst base metals futures see the closure of Chinese and UK exchanges amid domestic holidays. To the day ahead, where nonfarm payrolls will be the main event. We expect headline nonfarm payrolls to (+325k forecast vs. +428k previously) to slightly outperform private sector hiring (+300k vs. +406k). If our forecast is close to the mark, it should have the effect of lowering the unemployment rate by a tenth to 3.5%. With respect to other details of the report, average hourly earnings (+0.3% vs. +0.3%) will likely be a key focus for Fed policymakers. US ISM and PMI services readings are due, along with PMI composites. Service and composite PMIs are also due across Europe along with industrial production for France. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.6% to 4,148.00 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.2% MXAP up 0.4% to 168.75 MXAPJ up 0.4% to 555.45 Nikkei up 1.3% to 27,761.57 Topix up 0.4% to 1,933.14 Hang Seng Index down 1.0% to 21,082.13 Shanghai Composite up 0.4% to 3,195.46 Sensex up 0.6% to 56,166.51 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.9% to 7,238.75 Kospi up 0.4% to 2,670.65 German 10Y yield up 1bp to 1.25% Euro up 0.1% to $1.0761 Brent futures down 0.5% to $117.03/bbl Gold spot down 0.1% to $1,866.02 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.1% to 101.69 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Turkey is planning to restrict purchases by domestic investors of new lira bonds sold by multinational lenders, the latest effort to curb short selling of the local currency by limiting the supply of liquidity in the offshore market Turkey’s inflation soared in May to the fastest since 1998 as it came under more pressure from the rising cost of food and energy, while ultra- loose monetary policy contributed to currency weakness New Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has made a submission to the country’s labor watchdog, proposing to lift minimum wages by more than the inflation rate in a bid to fulfill one of his key election promises The Japanese government will maintain its 2013 joint policy statement with the Bank of Japan and basically stick with the current macro economic policy, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida says Friday The yen is likely to come under more pressure as Japanese life insurers slash the proportion of the dollar-denominated investments they hedge to the lowest in more than a decade. The companies hedged just 43.3% of the 42.8 trillion yen ($330 billion) of their dollar assets at the end of March, down from 45.8% six months earlier. The figure was as high as 62.8% in September 2016 A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks took impetus from the gains in the US but with advances capped in holiday-thinned conditions. ASX 200 was led higher by tech with the sector inspired following the outperformance of the Nasdaq stateside and with mining-related stocks underpinned by the recent gains across commodity prices. Nikkei 225 benefitted from recent currency weakness and with index heavyweight Fast Retailing among the biggest gainers after a double-digit percentage jump in its same-store sales. KOSPI is firmer but lagged behind regional counterparts after CPI data climbed to its highest in nearly 14 years and added to the pressure for the BoK to continue with its hiking cycle Top Asian News Deputy USTR Bianchi said all options are on the table regarding tariff decisions on Chinese imports and that the USTR is seeking strategic realignment with China and a tariff structure that makes sense, while she added the USTR is to focus the China trade relationship on US concerns about Chinese non-market practices and economic coercion, according to Reuters. South Korean Finance Ministry said they are taking the inflation situation very seriously, while the BoK noted that demand-side inflation pressure is likely to build and that inflation is to be above 5% in June and July, according to Reuters. India Cumulative Monsoon Rainfall 35% Below Normal as of June 3 India Reports Biggest Jump in Covid Cases in Almost Three Months Toshiba Director Opposes Board Nominees From Elliott, Farallon Meituan 1Q Beat Raises Optimism on Stock, Business: Street Wrap European cash bourses are trimming the Wall Street-induced gains seen at the open (Euro Stoxx 50 +0.2%; Stoxx 600 +0.2%) – with volumes also low as British and Chinese traders observe domestic holidays. European sectors are mostly higher with the breadth of the market narrow. US equity futures post modest losses across the contracts, with the NQ (-0.7%) straddling behind peers, ES -0.4%. The modest downside coincided with Reuters reports that Tesla (-3.7% pre-market) CEO Musk, via an email, said they need to make roughly a 10% staff reduction and he has a "super bad feeling about the economy”. Top European News SAS Woes Mount With Reports on Risks From Chinese Debt, Strikes Allianz Takes $430 Million Profit Hit in Retreat from Russia Aperam Says in Talks With Acerinox on Potential Combination Yara Takes Next Step on Path to Clean Ammonia Unit IPO Eurozone May Composite PMI 54.8 vs Flash Reading 54.9 CRH to Buy Barrette Outdoor Living of US for $1.9 Billion FX Greenback cagey and rangy pre-NFP with DXY holding between 102.000-101.500. Euro eyes more decent option expiry interest around 1.0750 - 1.1bln rolling off between 1.0755-45 to be precise. Yen relying on Fib retracement (130.17) for support as Treasury yields remain firm and risk sentiment buoyed, USD/JPY towards upper end of 130.08-129.69 range. Sterling somewhat sidelined as UK gears up for Jubilee Day festivities, Cable contained within 1.2589-69 confines, EUR/GBP tight around 0.8550. Lira extends losses as acceleration in Turkish PPI outweighs sub-forecast, but still firmer CPI, USD/TRY tops 16.5100. Yuan breaches more technical resistance levels as correction continues, USD/CNH sub-6.6200 at one stage overnight. Russian Foreign Ministry does not plan to conduct market forex operations this year as per its early decision to temporarily suspend budget rules, according to Reuters Fixed Income Debt on the defensive after a few dead cat bounces ahead of US jobs data. Bunds unable to defend 150.00 or 1.25% in cash, Treasuries more contained and curve flat awaiting NFP amidst a busy pm docket. T-note just under par between 118-30/24 parameters. Commodities Bitcoin is little changed on the session, holding above USD 30k, in-fitting with the broader contained tone as we await the afternoon's US data docket following particularly thin APAC and European sessions owing to CWTI and Brent futures have been waning off best levels following the overnight consolidation seen in the aftermath of the OPEC+ confab. Gas traders are rushing to secure LNG tankers ahead of winter with ship rates surging as sanctions on Russia reshape global energy flows, according to FT. NHC notes of a disturbance producing tropical-storm-force winds; with a new Tropical Storm warning issued for Florida, Cuba, and North-western Bahamas; additional strengthening possible late Saturday and Sunday. Norway's Industri Energy Labour Union says 573 members at oil/gas platforms would go on strike on June 12th, if wage negotiations fail; such action would impact nine installations; would not initially impact output, via Reuters. Spot gold is steady and comfortably above USD 1,850/oz pre-NFP, whilst base metals futures see the closure of Chinese and UK exchanges amid domestic holidays.hina and UK market holidays, respectively. US event calendar 08:30: May Change in Private Payrolls, est. 302,000, prior 406,000 May Change in Nonfarm Payrolls, est. 320,000, prior 428,000 May Unemployment Rate, est. 3.5%, prior 3.6% May Labor Force Participation Rate, est. 62.3%, prior 62.2% May Average Hourly Earnings MoM, est. 0.4%, prior 0.3%; YoY, est. 5.2%, prior 5.5%; May Average Weekly Hours All Emplo, est. 34.6, prior 34.6 09:45: May S&P Global US Composite PMI, est. 53.8, prior 53.8 09:45: May S&P Global US Services PMI, est. 53.5, prior 53.5 10:00: May ISM Services Index, est. 56.5, prior 57.1 DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Yesterday’s US employment data painted a mixed picture ahead of today’s official employment situation report. OPEC+ agreed to increase production targets but oil prices still managed to climb. Vice Chair Brainard and President Mester provided guidance ahead of the Fed’s blackout period, reinforcing expectations for the near-term path of policy. Sovereign bond markets were quiescent in ahead of jobs data today, which created fertile ground for equity markets to rally. After a steady news leak about expanded production, OPEC+ agreed to increase production to +648k b/day, above the recent +400k b/day. Nevertheless, brent crude futures gained +1.14% over the session, as it was not clear whether all members had the capacity to increase production to the putative headline figures, if the totals merely represented production brought forward in time, or if the market expected larger increases after the week of rumors. After the production increase, the New York Times reported that President Biden plans to visit the crown prince in Saudi Arabia after much speculation. Fed Vice Chair Brainard provided lucid guidance in the waning days before the Fed’s June communication blackout. She first put a pin on the intermeeting period by endorsing +50bp hikes for June and July, in a robust show of Committee consensus. As we mentioned yesterday, what the Fed will do in September is the next ‘live’ policy decision; Brainard weighed in, downplaying the chance of a pause given the current data outlook, instead dimensioning the decision between 25bp or 50bp hikes depending on the pace of inflation in the interregnum. President Mester later took things a step further, noting the pace of rate hikes could be accelerated if inflation readings merited, and that rates would probably need to get above neutral. Further, for those looking for evidence of a Fed put, Brainard noted that financial conditions are not yet at a concerning level. On the other side of the Fed’s mandate, ADP employment payrolls surprised to the downside, adding just +128k jobs versus expectations of +300k while the prior month was also revised lower. Small businesses, construction, and leisure hospitality sectors were sources of weakness. The series does not always have a strong signal for the nonfarm payrolls out later in the week, so it’s not clear if the miss is noise or signal of a labor market naturally slowing as ADP payrolls are now above their pre-pandemic levels. Initial and continuing jobless claims, meanwhile, reinforced data elsewhere this week that shows the labor market is currently very robust. Initial jobless claims slowed to +200k, below expectations of +210k, while continuing claims hit their lowest level since 1969. Elsewhere in data, Eurozone PPI printed at +1.2% versus +2.0% expectations. European sovereign yields underperformed, with 2yr bunds selling off +7.6bps ahead of next week’s ECB meeting, while 10yr yields gained +5.0bps. 10yr BTP spreads widened another +4.6bps to +206bps above bund equivalents. Treasury yields were much more subdued, with 10yr yields barely budging (+0.2bps). 10yr Treasury yields are about +1bp higher this morning. The relative calm in sovereign yields helped drive equity indices higher on both sides of the Atlantic. The STOXX 600 gained +0.57% while the Dax (+1.01%) and CAC (+1.27%) outperformed. US stocks performed even better, with the S&P 500 climbing +1.84% with every sector but energy in the green, and a solid shift from cyclical sectors. The small cap Russell 200 climbed +2.31% while the tech-heavy NASDAQ gained +2.69%. The S&P 500 is now +0.45% on the holiday shortened week, as it looks to make it back-to-back weekly gains for the first time in two months. Asian equity markets are trading higher this morning amid thin holiday trading riding a strong Wall Street close . The Nikkei (+1.14%), Kospi (+0.38%) are in positive territory while markets in mainland China, Hong Kong are closed for a holiday. Outside of Asia, US stock futures are fluctuating with contracts on the S&P 500 (+0.04%) and NASDAQ 100 (+0.07%) are little changed. To the day ahead, where nonfarm payrolls will be the main event. We expect headline nonfarm payrolls to (+325k forecast vs. +428k previously) to slightly outperform private sector hiring (+300k vs. +406k). If our forecast is close to the mark, it should have the effect of lowering the unemployment rate by a tenth to 3.5%. With respect to other details of the report, average hourly earnings (+0.3% vs. +0.3%) will likely be a key focus for Fed policymakers. US ISM and PMI services readings are due, along with PMI composites. Service and composite PMIs are also due across Europe along with industrial production for France. Tyler Durden Fri, 06/03/2022 - 07:57.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 3rd, 2022

America Needs to End Its Love Affair With Single-Family Homes. One Town Is Discovering It’s a Tough Sell

The housing development Brown Ranch aims to provide affordable housing to a community that desperately needs it. Its road ahead is filled with challenges. The question came, as it always did, just as Jason Peasley finished making his case for Brown Ranch, a development that would grow the size of his city by one-third and finally provide some affordable housing for the hundreds of people doubled up in trailer parks and hotel rooms in the ski town. The development, as Peasley pitched it to the room of residents gathered under thick wooden beams in the local community center, would use density to solve the housing problem—mainly by building apartments and attached homes. “What about single family homes?” a woman standing in the back of the meeting room asked. “Because I would like to buy one someday.” [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Steamboat Springs, Colo.—where Peasley serves as the head of the Yampa Valley Housing Authority, providing affordable housing to all of Routt County—is a mountain town that draws people for its wide open vistas and outdoor space. The idea of living in an apartment on what is now green rolling hills jarred people with visions of their own porches and yards, who had seen their neighbors amass hundreds of thousands of dollars in equity just by owning a single family home during the pandemic. “Personally, I would take a very, very small house,” another resident said. “So would I,” the woman in the back said quickly, so as not to be left out. Peasley sighed. Nine months ago, he’d been given an opportunity that most urban planners dream of—an anonymous donation of 536 acres of land to build long-term affordable housing for people who live and work in Steamboat Springs. But it’s difficult to get buy-in to use hundreds of acres to build multifamily homes in Steamboat, which currently has 1,400 fewer housing units than are currently needed. Residents might support density in theory, but what they really want is a single-family home to call their own. How Steamboat solves this conundrum could have implications for communities across the country that are struggling with affordability as their populations grow. Home prices have soared in the past two years in cities like Austin and Phoenix as well as in ski towns like Truckee and Sun Valley. Adding more dense housing units would help keep prices affordable, because many of these places have natural boundaries like mountains or oceans that prevent developers from sprawling out. But proposals like Peasley’s are usually thwarted by neighbors who complain about their views being blocked or their parking becoming limited or their beloved town—which they themselves moved to years or decades before—getting too crowded. David Williams for TIMEJason Peasley, Exectutive Director of the Yampa Valley Housing Authority, stands on Brown Ranch just west of the city of Steamboat Springs, Colorado on May 16, 2022. Many communities like Steamboat are reaching a breaking point. Here, the need for more housing had been abundantly clear even before the pandemic, as investors turned condos and apartments that had once provided workforce housing into cash cows on Airbnb. Then, in 2020, remote workers flocked to Steamboat. For all the urban planners proclaiming density to be the solution to America’s housing needs, the majority of Americans still dreamed of a single-family home, with a yard, a tree, and room to grow, and the pandemic only whetted that appetite as families spent more time at home and looked for private outdoor space and extra rooms to double as offices. The median listing price of a single family home in Steamboat is now $829,000, up from $529,000 in 2019. Rents for a one-bedroom apartment are hovering around $2,100, about one-third higher than the national average. By July of 2021, 60 percent of Americans said they’d prefer to live in a place where the homes are large and farther apart, even if schools, stores, and restaurants were a few miles away, up from 53 percent before the pandemic, according to a Pew Research Center survey. In contrast, 39 percent preferred a community where homes are small and close to each other but where schools, stores, and restaurants were in walking distance, down from 47 percent in 2019. That’s even though half of Americans say that affordable housing is a major problem in their community. As Peasley has tried to explain time and again, affordability and density go hand in hand. Single family homes are much more expensive to build than attached homes or apartments, and they take up more room, and need more resources to maintain. Steamboat could build seven attached homes for the amount it would cost to build one single-family detached home, according to projections by Mithun, a consulting group helping with the project. Read More: Return to the Office? Not in This Housing Market “We have an opportunity that maybe no other community has to really thoughtfully address our housing issues in one massive development,” Peasley, a tall redheaded urban planning guru who could be mistaken for an Olympic skateboarder, told me recently. “This could really be a template for our 21st century live, work, and play.” Peasley is uniquely suited to helping convert Steamboat to pro-density. He was a city planner for Steamboat Springs for five years before taking over the Yampa Valley Housing Authority a decade ago; his tenure has created hundreds of units of affordable housing. His success in getting tax credits to build some affordable housing in Steamboat is what motivated anonymous donors to give him the money to buy Brown Ranch and build even more. Peasley hopes to build 2,300 units at Brown Ranch, which would meet the demand projected for the next two decades. But no matter how many times Peasley explains this all to the community, even the most self-aware residents of Steamboat are having a hard time letting go of their vision of a home and yard to call their own. “The disconnect we’re having is that everyone wants the American dream—a single-family home—and economists tell us it’s not possible,” Peasley says. The surest way to wealth in America has long been to stake claim to a plot of land and a home, but places like Steamboat are discovering that if they are dedicated to welcoming everyone who wants to live there, they’re going to have to pioneer another way. The problem with seeking more space In 1890, the U.S. Census Bureau declared the American frontier closed, meaning there was no land that settlers hadn’t claimed, nowhere further west to expand. Yet people have continued to move west, seeking better weather, more land, a different life, the growing population all competing for a limited set of homes, roads, and water. Since the turn of the 20th century, the American West—which is roughly the states from Colorado west, defined by the Census Bureau—has added 73 million people. Today, nearly one-quarter of the nation’s population lives in the 13 western states, up from just 7% in 1900. If new residents lived in the west the same way they lived in cities like New York and Philadelphia—in tall buildings with apartments stacked on top of one another—there might not be a housing affordability problem today. But in the westward expansion, Americans grabbed as much space as they could, sometimes given it for free by the federal government if they were willing to farm it. The West grew out rather than up. “There’s a certain independence that Westerners have, where folks don’t want to be regulated, they value independence and wide open spaces, and that manifests itself in the housing choices people make,” says Robert Parker, director of strategy at the University of Oregon’s Institute for Policy Research & Engagement, where he studies housing density. David Williams for TIMEBrown Ranch, a 536-acre property on the west side of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, which was gifted to the Yampa Valley Housing Authority in mid-August 2021 by an anonymous donor. Worried about sprawl, some cities started establishing urban growth boundaries in the 1950s, limiting development outside a certain area. The boundaries preserved the open space that drew people west, but also limited housing production. Today, in Steamboat Springs, development outside the urban growth boundary is restricted to one unit every 35 acres—or less. That puts even more pressure on building density where it is allowed; Brown Ranch is the largest plot of undeveloped land inside Steamboat’s urban growth boundary. When land seemed endless and cheap, the federal government encouraged families to spread out. It subsidized highways so that wealthier families could easily get between city centers and the suburbs, and provided tax incentives for home ownership. But Americans’ preference for single-family homes has also contributed to the housing undersupply that has sent prices soaring over the last two years. Between 1970 and 2020, 52 million single-family homes were built in America, accounting for three-quarters of all the housing built over that time, according to Census data. Over the same time, the population grew by 128 million. As a result, the median price of a home in the U.S. more than doubled over that time, even when adjusted for inflation. This is playing out across states in the American West. Colorado’s population doubled between 1980 and 2020, adding 2.8 million people, but the state only built 1.4 million units over the same period, 70% of them single-family homes. The median price for a single family home in 2020 was $434,000. Today, it’s around $600,000. The families committed to staying are crowding into housing as they wait for a solution. About one-quarter of all children now live in “doubled-up” households, where a nuclear family lives with additional family members. In places like Steamboat, doubled-up households are often in the smallest homes, which are trailers in the town’s handful of trailer parks. In doubled-up households, the use of drugs and alcohol rises, as does domestic violence, because the situation is so stressful, says Irene Avitia, who works with families at Integrated Communities, a Steamboat nonprofit that works with the Latino community. Read More: Marcia Fudge Is Trying to Decide Which Fire to Put Out First The housing troubles are also bad for the local economy. Banks are reducing their hours, and restaurants are closing a few days a week because they can’t find enough workers, because staff can’t afford to live nearby in Steamboat. The ski area cut off night service because it was so short-staffed. The local medical center struggles to recruit doctors and nurses because candidates hear about how hard it will be to find housing if they move there. One bartender, David Hughes, told me his rent for one room in a four bedroom house was going up to $1,500 per person, from $900, and he was probably going to have to leave town. “We can’t continue to exist here if employees don’t have secure housing,” says Andrew Beckler, the founder and CEO of Grass Sticks, a company that makes bamboo paddles and ski poles. That population growth outpaced the supply of single-family homes has been very good for the pocketbooks of people who have bought them in the last few decades. Homeowners collectively have $29 billion in real estate equity, three times what they did 20 years ago, according to the Federal Reserve. Investing in a home and making a big sum to retire on has become such an American rite of passage that it’s hard to ask Steamboat residents like Avitia, who lives in a trailer park with her husband and two daughters, to give up on the same dream. “I would love to own a single-family home in Steamboat, and Brown Ranch has created that hope for my family,” she says. Even people who live in apartments in Steamboat now say they’d prefer a single-family home. Lizzy Konen, 33, grew up in a single-family home in San Diego that she says her parents would never be able to afford today. She moved to Steamboat 12 years ago and wants to stay there, but the lease on the one-bedroom she rents is up in July, and the owner wants to demolish the building and construct a multimillion dollar home that he can sell for profit. Konen knows she’ll probably have to move to Oak Creek or Hayden, smaller towns that are 30-45 minutes away, because she can’t afford to buy a house or pay $2,100/month for an apartment. But when asked what her vision for Brown Ranch, she says: “I would love to own a single family home and have pets and children running around. I would rather not be in an apartment building. It doesn’t feel as homey.” David Williams for TIMETraffic passes through the downtown area of Steamboat Springs, Colorado on May 16, 2022. Selling people on apartments The big challenge for Peasley is balancing the wants of people like Avitia and Konen with the larger community’s need for affordable housing. He’s trying to learn from past missteps, like in 2010 when developers committed to building thousands of condos, the city council approved it, and then enraged voters worried about overcrowding put the project on the ballot and it was soundly defeated. This time around, Peasley is trying to get residents as involved as possible before any major decisions are made. The housing authority has held 200 community meetings where residents have spoken about what they want from Brown Ranch, and their suggestions include roof gardens, hiking trails, community composting, greenhouses, a school, a grocery store, a coffee shop, a walkable commercial area, and, of course, single-family homes. Peasley says more community engagement is what’s going to get people closer to accepting that how Brown Ranch will look will be different than their ideal vision. For example, attendees of Brown Ranch meetings often mention that they want the development to be Net Zero, which provides an opportunity for YVHA staff to explain that density is very sustainable—apartments or attached units require fewer resources to build and maintain than single-family homes. “By doing this transparent process, and having the community discuss it, we hope that while they might not agree, they at least understand,” says Cole Hewitt, the president of the board of the Yampa Valley Housing Authority. “Maybe there aren’t as many people that show up and say, ‘Well, I didn’t know this was going on.’ They can stand up and say, ‘I’m a part of it. I understand it. I get where you’re coming from. I still disagree with it.’ But that’s a lot better discussion than, ‘No, don’t do it.’” The community meetings have served to jump start a discussion about how Steamboat’s hopes and dreams match up with reality. “Everyone wants to live in a single family 5000 square foot mansion next to an ocean with a view of the mountains and is across the street from a school and within walking distance from the bar. That doesn’t exist,” Michael Fitz, a 29-year old local who owns a 600-square foot home in a trailer park, told Steamboat residents gathered to talk about the urban design of Brown Ranch. Read More: Millions of Tenants Behind on Rent, Small Landlords Struggling, Eviction Moratoriums Expiring Soon: Inside the Next Housing Crisis The people who led the opposition to the past development seem to be getting on board. Tim Rowse, who led the campaign that stopped development on Brown Ranch in 2009, told me recently that he thinks the housing authority is planning the development in the best possible way, and he supports it wholeheartedly. (He told me this from his mansion perched on acres of virgin land outside Steamboat.) Sheila Henderson, the Brown Ranch project manager who headed a local nonprofit for nearly a decade, says she recently had a good talk with a woman who wanted her own “cute little cottage” on Brown Ranch. When Henderson explained that such a home might take away space from families who were living in unsafe conditions, though, the woman relented and said she would be open to living in a multifamily home. Whether or not Brown Ranch gets built will likely depend on the persuasion powers of Peasley, an unabashed optimist who sometimes takes on the role of city coach. He says he wants to change people’s vision of what a vibrant American community can look like—it doesn’t have to have driveways and parking lots, for instance. “The only way we fail is to stop trying,” he said at a recent meeting. Besides, he says, for more than a century, people have given up creature comforts to move to Steamboat for the access to mountains and a life of beauty. That might have meant giving up plumbing or getting used to snow in May in the past; now, it might mean being OK living in a house that shares a wall with a neighbor. The reality of population growth Even if he does convince Steamboat to embrace density, Peasley still has a long road ahead to make Brown Ranch a reality. Consultants have estimated that infrastructure on the site will cost around $400 million, which includes improvements to the local highway, water treatment plant, and sewer system, and roads, and trails in the development. Once that’s complete, the housing authority can start building homes. The city isn’t even sure how it will affordably house all the workers who are going to be flocking to Steamboat to build this affordable housing. One idea is to have construction workers live in an old barn. Steamboat’s infrastructure is already straining under the weight of population growth. There’s only one main road through town, Highway 40, and at rush hour, long lines of pickup trucks get stuck at traffic lights as they make their way across town. After wildfire damage and rains created landslide dangers on Interstate 70, Colorado’s major east-west highway, traffic was rerouted onto Highway 40, causing more headaches for Steamboat residents. The electricity cooperative can only serve 15 homes at Brown Ranch before it runs out of capacity, and water is in short supply, as it is just about everywhere in the American West. Brown Ranch will, of course, add further strain. Peasley estimated that by the time Brown Ranch is finished, it will have almost 1,000 rental apartments and 400 to own, 218 single family-attached homes for rent and 266 to purchase, and 98 single-family detached homes for rent and 300 to purchase. The development will also include a K-8 school, a childcare center, office space, retail, and a grocery store. It’s enough to make old-timers argue against population growth in Steamboat. “Everybody’s moving here—I have to tell you, it would be nice if they wouldn’t,” Cindy Clark, a resident since 1988, told me, outside the crowded grocery store parking lot. But as the many doubled-up residents of Steamboat can attest, America has never been able to prevent people from moving west. Steamboat and popular communities across the country can convince the people who got there first to agree to accommodate the new residents by building more housing. Or residents can declare their cities and towns closed to new construction, new ways to live, and the new people who are seeking a place to live as they did months, years, or decades before......»»

Category: topSource: timeJun 2nd, 2022

Check out these 8 pitch decks of crypto startups that have raised millions

These are real-life examples of pitch decks used by crypto startups to raise millions from investors. Check out pitch decks used by startups to raise million.Fernando Gutierrez-Juarez/picture alliance via Getty Images Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups in the crypto space.  Check out these pitch decks to see how founders sold their vision. See more stories on Insider's business page. Crypto is dead. Long live crypto.No matter what side of the debate you fall on, one thing is undeniable: There is no lack of startups launching with an eye on digital currencies. A record $25 billion in funding went to blockchain companies last year, according to CB Insights 2021 State of Blockchain report. The market has gotten so hot that crypto companies are launching their own investing vehicles focused on startups in the space.Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups focused on crypto.Check out these pitch decks to see how founders are selling their vision and nabbing big bucks in the process.Crypto staking made easyEthan and Eric Parker, founders of crypto-investing app Giddy.GiddyFrom the outside looking in, cryptocurrency can seem like a world of potential, but also one of complexity. That's because digital currencies, which can be traded, invested in, and moved like traditional currencies, operate on decentralized blockchain networks that can be quite technical in nature. Still, they offer the promise of big gains and have been thrusted into the mainstream over the years, converting Wall Street stalwarts and bankers.But for the everyday investor, a fear of missing out is settling in. That's why brothers Ethan and Eric Parker built Giddy, a mobile app that enables users to invest in crypto, earn passive income on certain crypto holdings via staking, and get into the red-hot space of decentralized finance, or DeFi."What we're focusing on is giving an opportunity for people who otherwise couldn't access DeFi because it's just technically too difficult," Eric Parker, CEO at Giddy, told Insider.Here's the 7-page pitch deck Giddy, an app that lets users invest in DeFi, used to raise an $8 million seed roundRetirement accounts for cryptoTodd Southwick, CEO and co-founder of iTrustCapital.iTrustCapitalTodd Southwick and Blake Skadron stuck to a simple mandate when they were building out iTrustCapital, a $1.3 billion fintech that strives to offer cryptocurrencies to the masses via dedicated individual retirement accounts."We wanted to make a product that we would feel happy recommending for our parents to use," Southwick, the CEO of iTrustCapital, told Insider. That guiding framework resulted in a software system that helped to digitize and automate the traditionally clunky and paper-based process of setting up an IRA for alternative assets, Southwick said. "We saw a real opportunity within the self-directed IRAs because we knew at that point in time, there was a fairly small segment of people that was willing to deal with the inconvenience of having to set up an IRA" for crypto, Southwick said. The process often involved phone calls to sales reps and over-the-counter trading desks, paper and fax machines, and days of wait time.iTrustCapital allows customers to buy and sell cryptocurrencies using tax-advantaged IRAs with no monthly account fees. The startup provides access to 25 cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ethereum, and dogecoin — charging a 1% transaction fee on crypto trades — as well as gold and silver.iTrustCapital, a fintech simplifying how to set up a crypto retirement account, used this 8-page pitch deck to raise a $125 million Series AA crypto neobankAaron Bai, CEO, and Sahil Phadnis, CTO, of Pebble.PebbleIt was during a fourth-year business class that Aaron Bai and Sahil Phadnis had their light-bulb moment to found Pebble.The then-UC Berkley students were assigned a group project to pitch a startup to the rest of the class. It was early-2021, when crypto was riding high and re-emerged as a trending topic after digital currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin experienced a lift in the market. "Me and Aaron wanted to do a crypto one and the entire group was like, 'No, this is a scam, we're not going to do anything crypto,'" Phadnis, the startup's CTO, told Insider. "It was kind of a wow moment."Read the pitch deck that secured $6.2 million for Pebble, the new Y-Combinator-backed crypto startup that's been accused by a competitor of using sneaky tactics to copy its product and pitchPrivate market data on the blockchainPat O'Meara, CEO of Inveniam.InveniamFor investors in publicly-traded stocks, there's typically no shortage of company data to guide investment decisions. Company financials are easily accessible and vetted by teams of regulators, lawyers, and accountants.But in the private markets — which encompass assets that range from real estate to private credit and private equity — that isn't always the case. Within real estate, for example, valuations of a specific slice of property are often the product of heavily-worked Excel models and a lot of institutional knowledge, leaving them susceptible to manual error at many points along the way.Inveniam, founded in 2017, is a software company that tokenizes the business data of private companies on the blockchain. Using a distributed ledger allows Inveniam to keep track of who is touching the data and what they are doing to it.Check out the 16-page pitch deck for Inveniam, a blockchain-based startup looking to be the Refinitiv of private-market dataBlockchain for private-markets investing Carlos Domingo is cofounder and CEO of Securitize.SecuritizeSecuritize, founded in 2017 by the tech industry veterans Carlos Domingo and Jamie Finn, is bringing blockchain technology to private-markets investing. The company raised $48 million in Series B funding on June 21 from investors including Morgan Stanley and Blockchain Capital.Securitize helps companies crowdfund capital from individual and institutional investors by issuing their shares in the form of blockchain tokens that allow for more efficient settlement, record keeping, and compliance processes. Morgan Stanley's Tactical Value fund, which invests in private companies, made its first blockchain-technology investment when it coled the Series B, Securitize CEO Carlos Domingo told Insider.Here's the 11-page pitch deck a blockchain startup looking to revolutionize private-markets investing used to nab $48 million from investors like Morgan StanleyBlockchain-based credit score tech John Sun, Anna Fridman, and Adam Jiwan are the cofounders of fintech startup Spring Labs.Spring LabsA blockchain-based fintech startup that is aiming to disrupt the traditional model of evaluating peoples' creditworthiness recently raised $30 million in a Series B funding led by credit reporting giant TransUnion.Four-year-old Spring Labs aims to create a private, secure data-sharing model to help credit agencies better predict the creditworthiness of people who are not in the traditional credit bureau system. The founding team of three fintech veterans met as early employees of lending startup Avant.Existing investors GreatPoint Ventures and August Capital also joined in on the most recent round.  So far Spring Labs has raised $53 million from institutional rounds.TransUnion, a publicly-traded company with a $20 billion-plus market cap, is one of the three largest consumer credit agencies in the US. After 18 months of dialogue and six months of due diligence, TransAmerica and Spring Labs inked a deal, Spring Labs CEO and cofounder Adam Jiwan told Insider.Here's the 10-page pitch deck blockchain-based fintech Spring Labs used to snag $30 million from investors including credit reporting giant TransUnionPay-as-you-go compliance for banks, fintechs, and crypto startupsNeepa Patel, Themis' founder and CEO.ThemisWhen Themis founder and CEO Neepa Patel set out to build a new compliance tool for banks, fintech startups, and crypto companies, she tapped into her own experience managing risk at some of the nation's biggest financial firms. Having worked as a bank regulator at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and in compliance at Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, and the enterprise blockchain company R3, Patel was well-placed to assess the shortcomings in financial compliance software. But Patel, who left the corporate world to begin work on Themis in 2020, drew on more than just her own experience and frustrations to build the startup."It's not just me building a tool based on my personal pain points. I reached out to regulators. I reached out to bank compliance officers and members in the fintech community just to make sure that we're building it exactly how they do their work," Patel told Insider. "That was the biggest problem: No one built a tool that was reflective of how people do their work."Check out the 9-page pitch deck Themis, which offers pay-as-you-go compliance for banks, fintechs, and crypto startups, used to raise $9 million in seed fundingInfrastructure for crypto and Web3 exchangesWill Warren and Amir Bandeali co-founded crypto startup 0x Labs.0x Labs0x Labs, a Web3 startup that builds infrastructure used by decentralized crypto exchanges, raised $70 million in a Series B funding round last month.VC firm Greylock Partners led the funding round, which also pulled in investment from European hedge fund Brevan Howard and leading crypto exchange Coinbase. Internet entrepreneur Reid Hoffman and "Morbius" star Jared Leto also participated in 0x Labs' Series B.Decentralized exchanges allow for peer-to-peer crypto transactions to take place without a centralized intermediary. 0x Labs builds infrastructure for decentralized businesses and developers."We help businesses to eliminate the complexity of building in the increasingly fragmented decentralized exchange space," 0x Labs co-founder and co-CEO Amir Bandeali said. "We provide solutions that make it easy for app developers to incorporate exchange functionality and deliver the best selection of tokens at the best prices to their users."Check out the 19-slide pitch deck crypto startup 0x Labs used to raise $70 million in a Series B funding roundRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 26th, 2022