Welcome to TechCrunch Fintech (formerly The Interchange)! We’re back after a brief hiatus, and I can tell you that judging by the volume of pitches I received last week, venture investing in the fintech space is definitely picking up. This week, we’re looking at Plaid’s latest step toward an IPO, one BNPL company’s financial results, and more. Let’s dive in!
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The big story
This past week, Plaid announced it had hired its first-ever president. Notably, the former Cloudflare chief product officer, Jen Taylor, has plenty of experience in helping take a private company public — something we expect Plaid will be doing in the relatively near future. Coincidentally, I was already working on a “Here are the fintech startups that could go public in 2024” piece. With the help of F-Prime Capital, I compiled a list of the fintechs that have the potential to go public sooner rather than later. Klarna, Chime, Stripe are just a few of those mentioned.
Analysis of the week
Speaking of public companies, buy now, pay later outfit Affirm released its earnings this past week. Despite notching 48% higher revenue of $591 million compared to estimates of $521 million, investors remained cautious. After a 7% run-up on Thursday, shares dropped by nearly 11% on Friday to close at $43.86. It’s important to note, though, that this is not that far from Affirm’s 52-week high and is nearly double what it was trading at in November. In general, public fintechs had a better year last year. “Aggregate market cap reached $573B by year-end 2023, up from the trough of $389B in December 2022 — but down from a $1.3T peak in September 2021,” per an email from F-Prime Capital.
Dollars and cents
Ingrid had a great scoop with the news that Entrust is buying AI-based ID verification startup Onfido for more than $400 million.
New unicorn alert! Romain reported that accounting software startup Pennylane became France’s latest unicorn with a €40 million fundraise.
Meanwhile, Christine reported that another accounting startup — Finally — raised $10 million in equity funding. Miami-based Finally aims to help businesses automate accounting and finance functions.
ICYMI: Spend management startup Ramp acquired AI-powered startup Venue as it expands its procurement offering, and Metronome’s usage-billing software finds a hit in AI as the startup raises $43 million in fresh capital.
What else we’re writing
Reliance Industries spinoff Jio Financial Services said that it is not negotiating with Paytm to acquire its wallet business, quashing “speculative” media reports as the firm scrambled to put out a fire from the central bank’s clampdown the previous week.
An Indian parliamentary panel has urged the government to support the growth of domestic fintech players that can provide alternatives to the Walmart-backed PhonePe and Google Pay apps that currently command more than 83% of the country’s digital payments market.
PayPal is working on a new consumer app for its mobile customers and suggested that it will be “ready” to take advantage of the new EU regulation, the Digital Markets Act (DMA), when it goes into effect next month for tech “gatekeepers” like Apple.
Don’t miss Tage’s deep dive on how African startups are facing many of the same problems plaguing fintechs in more mature markets like the U.K. and the U.S.