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Wharton FinTech Podcast

Wharton FinTech Podcast

Connecting you with the leaders, ideas, and companies that are reinventing global financial services. Our guests are the top FinTech founders, executives, investors, and thinkers from across the world. Follow us for more FinTech content including videos, blogs, and analysis by searching @whartonfintech on your preferred platform.

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Episodes

Milind Mehere, YieldStreet Founder/CEO - Transforming Digital Wealth Management

Miguel Armaza is joined by the fascinating Milind Mehere, serial entrepreneur, and Founder/CEO of YieldStreet, a digital wealth management platform that aims to transform the investing landscape by enabling individual investors to invest in classes such as Real Estate, Marine Finance, Art Finance, Legal Finance, and Commercial loans. The company has raised over $180M in equity and debt from top VCs including Edison Partners, Greycroft, and Raine Ventures. They discuss: - His successful entrepreneurial journey and the path to Yieldstreet as a second-time founder - Company Culture - Challenges of building an investing platform and disrupting an industry traditionally reserved for the wealthy - Leveraging regulatory opportunities for a new asset class - The incredible impact of COVID on the business - And a lot more! Milind Mehere Milind Mehere is an award-winning entrepreneur with a track record of building large scalable businesses and creating new product categories. He is the founder and CEO of YieldStreet, a digital wealth management platform changing the way financial products are delivered and how wealth is created. Previously, Milind co-founded and scaled Yodlee (an ad-tech platform for SMBs) to $200M+ in revenue and 1,400 employees - the company was acquired by Web.com for $342M in 2016. About Yieldstreet YieldStreet is striving to become the world?s largest digital wealth management platform to change the way wealth is created. YieldStreet is accomplishing this by transforming the investing landscape, opening up access to investments for individual investors across a range of asset classes such as Real Estate, Marine Finance, Art Finance, Legal Finance and Commercial loans. Headquartered in New York City with offices in Brazil, Argentina and Greece, the company is backed with $178M in equity and debt funding from firms including Edison Partners, Greycroft and Raine Ventures. Join the movement at www.yieldstreet.com.
2021-03-01
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Aquiline?s Vincenzo La Ruffa - Driving Value Creation in Financial Services

Aquiline?s Vincenzo La Ruffa - Driving Value Creation in Financial Services Miguel Armaza sits down with Vincenzo La Ruffa, President of Aquiline Capital Partners and head of their financial technology group. Aquiline was founded in 2005 and is a private investment firm based focused on businesses across the financial services sector with almost $6B in assets under management. Vincenzo is also a proud alum of our amazing Wharton and Penn school. We talked about - Vincenzo?s career path - Fintech trends and exciting opportunities - Their approach to partnering with entrepreneurs - Stories and case studies from some of their exciting portfolio companies - Challenges as an investor during COVID - Identifying Fintech opportunities in a fast moving and fast changing market - Private Equity as a career - And why he still loves reading physical books! Vincenzo La Ruffa Vincenzo is president of Aquiline. Vincenzo also heads the financial technology and services group and serves on the investment committees for the AFS, ATG and ACO fund families. Prior to joining Aquiline in 2014, Vincenzo was managing director of Susquehanna Growth Equity, a group he co-founded, where he invested in financial technology, healthcare IT and software companies across the US, Europe and Israel. Vincenzo currently serves on the boards of portfolio companies Ascensus and HedgeServ. He previously was on the boards of Simply Business (sold to Travelers), Togetherwork (sold to GI Partners), Fenergo (realized in 2018 recapitalization) and BISAM (sold to FactSet); his prior investments include The Logic Group (sold to Barclays), 29West (sold to Informatica) and Managed Markets Insight and Technology (sold to Welsh Carson). Vincenzo serves as a trustee of the Collegium Institute on Catholic Thought and Culture at the University of Pennsylvania, Delbarton School, the Montfort Academy, the National Catholic Bioethics Center, and the Regina Angelorum Academy. About Aquiline Capital Partners LLC Aquiline Capital Partners, founded in 2005, is a private investment firm based in New York and London investing in businesses across the financial services sector in financial technology, insurance, investment management, business services, credit and healthcare. The firm has $5.6 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2020. For more information about Aquiline, its investment professionals, and its portfolio companies, please visit aquiline.com.
2021-02-28
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Corvus Insurance CEO Phil Edmundson - Making Commercial Insurance Smarter through AI

In our latest episode of the Wharton Fintech podcast, Anchit Gupta (WG'21) is joined by Phil Edmundson, CEO & Founder of Corvus Insurance. Founded in 2017, Corvus is a leading provider of smart commercial insurance products powered by AI-driven risk data. Corvus finished 2020 at a $100M annual premium run rate, capping off a year that was marked by meteoric growth for the company. In addition to Corvus, Phil is also the Managing Partner of Edmus Ventures where he invests in InsurTech companies including Verifly/Thimble, Wellthie, Agentero, Cover Wallet, Openly, and CoPatient. In this interview, Phil shares: - The state of the cyber-insurance industry - Corvus's core products and services - Using AI/ML to improve risk management tools - The biggest challenges facing cybersecurity - COVIDs impact on cybersecurity and insurance - Emerging trends in the insurtech industry For more FinTech insights, follow us below: Medium: medium.com/wharton-fintech WFT Twitter: twitter.com/whartonfintech LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/wharton-fintech-club/
2021-02-26
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11:FS Co-Founder Simon Taylor - The State of Crypto, CBDCs, NFTs, and Clubhouse!

Worlds collide today as the two gold-standards of fintech content come together on the Wharton Fintech Podcast. Ryan Zauk sits down with Simon Taylor, Co-Founder and Head of Ventures at 11:FS, a challenger consultancy and emerging fintech empire. They help the world?s top founders build financial services products, conduct highly customized market research, bring PMs behind the scenes of various fintech applications, and of course have their own media arm. In today?s episode, Simon and Ryan dive into: 7:00 - His journey through fintech and how 11:FS is building the industry's top challenger consultancy 12:00 - The current state of the crypto market and if it has finally 'crossed the chasm? 17:00 - The power of stablecoins and interest-bearing accounts (BlockFi, Celsius, etc) 22:54 - NFTs, sports memorabilia, and NBA top shot 28:10 - Their thoughts on Clubhouse 31:40 - And a very fun rapid-fire round including his favorite follows on Twitter For more FinTech insights, follow us below: Medium: medium.com/wharton-fintech WFT Twitter: twitter.com/whartonfintech Ryan's Twitter: twitter.com/RyanZauk LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/wharton-fintech-club/
2021-02-24
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Y Combinator's Michael Seibel & Dalton Caldwell - Lessons from 5000 Entrepreneurs

Miguel Armaza is joined by Michael Seibel and Dalton Caldwell, Managing Directors and Group Partners at Y Combinator (YC). YC is one of the most successful startup accelerators and venture capital funds, and since March 2005 has helped over 5,000 startup founders build and launch companies like Stripe, AirBnB, DoorDash, Dropbox, Reddit, and the list goes on and on? This was a fascinating conversation and Michael and Dalton talked about lessons learned from their years of experience with YC, what they look for in a founding team, and why they are so passionate about helping entrepreneurs. We also touched on their decision to expand beyond the US to back entrepreneurs from all over the world, and the fascinating network effects this has created. Dalton and Michael also shared lessons learned from working with over 200 Fintech companies, including Brex, Stripe, and Coinbase. And some of the Fintech trends they are excited about. Finally, we could not end this conversation without talking about the state of diversity in the industry and hearing what Michael has to say about it Plus a lot more golden nuggets of information! Michael Seibel Michael Seibel is the Managing Director, Early Stage and Group Partner at YC. He was the cofounder and CEO Justin.tv and Socialcam. Socialcam sold to Autodesk in 2012 and under the leadership of Emmett Shear, Justin.tv became Twitch.tv and sold to Amazon in 2014. Before getting into startups, he spent a year as the finance director for a US Senate campaign and in 2005, Michael graduated from Yale University with a BA in political science. Dalton Caldwell Dalton Caldwell is the Managing Director, Architect and Group Partner at YC. He was the cofounder and CEO of imeem (acquired by MySpace in 2009), and the cofounder and CEO of App.net. He has a BS in Symbolic Systems and a BA in Psychology from Stanford University. About Y Combinator Y Combinator is a startup fund based in Mountain View, CA. In 2005, Y Combinator developed a new model of startup funding. Twice a year they invest a small amount of money in a large number of startups. The startups move to Silicon Valley for 3 months, and the YC partners work closely with each company to get them into the best possible shape and refine their pitch to investors. Each batch culminates in Demo Day, when the startups present their companies to a carefully selected audience of investors. Y Combinator has invested in over 3,000 companies including Airbnb, Dropbox, Stripe, Reddit, Instacart, Docker and Gusto. The combined valuation of YC companies is over $300B. For more FinTech insights, follow us below: Medium: medium.com/wharton-fintech WFT Twitter: twitter.com/whartonfintech Miguel's Twitter: twitter.com/MiguelArmaza Miguel's Substack: https://bit.ly/3jWIpqp
2021-02-22
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Manuel Silva, General Partner at Mouro Capital - Fueling the Fintech Innovators

Miguel Armaza sits down with Manuel Silva, General Partner at Mouro Capital, a venture capital fund with $400m assets under management, looking to back the most innovative fintech innovators and startups across North America, Latin America, and Europe. We talked about: - Manuel?s career path and what led him to venture capital - History of Mouro Capital and why they recently decided to spin out of Santander Bank - Mouro?s investment strategy - Investing in global fintech ? regions and markets where they see the biggest opportunities (hint: Latin America) - Navigating COVID - and a lot more! About Mouro Capital Mouro Capital is a venture capital firm with $400M assets under management that targets early to growth fintech investment opportunities across Europe, North America and Latin America.
2021-02-21
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Dan Rosen, Founder of Commerce Ventures - Powering the Future of Commerce

Miguel Armaza sits down with Dan Rosen, Partner and Founder of Commerce Ventures, a sector-focused VC fund, investing in infrastructure and enablers for the Commerce Continuum Dan is also an alum of our very own, Wharton School. We talked about - Dan?s background and why he decided to build Commerce Ventures - The evolution of the fintech industry over the last 20 years - Commerce Ventures investment process - Their approach to building sector theses - The importance of talent, diversity, and mentoring future generations - And a lot more! About Dan Rosen Dan Rosen Partner Dan has been investing in tech startups for 20 years. He founded Commerce Ventures with the vision of creating a sector-focused firm that demonstrably helps its portfolio companies. At Commerce, Dan focuses on technology innovations in the payments, financial services and insurance fields. He serves on the boards of Blooom, ClickSWITCH, Kin and Socure, and participates as an observer on several other portfolio boards, such as BillGO and MX Technologies. Prior to starting Commerce Ventures, Dan was a Principal at Highland Capital Partners, where he focused on mobile and payments-related startups. He has also worked as an Associate at HarbourVest Partners, in Corporate Development at RSA Security, and as a financial services software consultant for American Management Systems (now CGI Group). Dan studied Finance and Information Systems at the University of Pennsylvania and earned an MBA with Distinction from Harvard.
2021-02-19
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Mike Dudas, 'The Block' Founder and Paxos VP: Crypto, Venmo vs. CashApp, Andrew Yang, and More

Ryan Zauk sits down with one of the crypto world's most popular figures, Mike Dudas. Mike navigated a long career spanning Disney, Google, Venmo, and Circle before founding The Block, one of the world's premier research and news sources for all things crypto and blockchain. Mike recently stepped back into a Chairman role at The Block, moving to Paxos as their VP of Stable Coin Business Development. The Block: https://www.theblockcrypto.com/ On today's episode, Mike and Ryan discuss: - The Venmo / CashApp battle of the last few years (6:45) - When Mike first learned about Bitcoin and realized its massive potential (10:50) - The new wave of DeFi and how this technology will disrupt incumbents (14:04) - The Block and why its model will be the business model of the future (17:00) - How he went about deciding to build The Block with no journalism experience (22:05) - His passionate, outspoken support for Andrew Yang for Mayor of NYC (24:30) - And a great rapid-fire round (28:30) For more FinTech insights, follow us below: Medium: medium.com/wharton-fintech WFT Twitter: twitter.com/whartonfintech Ryan's Twitter: twitter.com/RyanZauk LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/wharton-fintech-club/
2021-02-17
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Alexa von Tobel, Co-Founder at Inspired Capital - Bucking the Status Quo

Miguel Armaza sits down with the talented and energetic Alexa von Tobel, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Inspired Capital, a $200M early-stage venture capital firm based in New York City, focused on backing founders with transformative ideas, brilliant teams, and relentless determination. The firm was founded by Alexa and Penny Pritzker, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce. Prior to Inspired Capital, Alexa founded LearnVest with the goal of helping people make progress on their money and later sold the company to Northwestern Mutual for $375M. We talked about - Alexa?s background & entrepreneurial journey - Why she dropped out of Harvard Business school to build LearnVest - What it really means to be the CEO of a large company and why she decided to sell her business - The reason why she loves hosting her own podcast, The Founders Project, and what led her to write two books - Working with President Obama - The importance of having a supportive spouse - And a whole lot more! Alexa von Tobel Alexa is the co-founder and managing partner of Inspired Capital. Prior to Inspired Capital, she founded LearnVest in 2008 with the goal of helping people make progress on their money. After raising nearly $75 million in venture capital, LearnVest was acquired by Northwestern Mutual in May 2015 in one of the biggest fintech acquisitions of the decade. Following the acquisition, von Tobel joined the management team of Northwestern Mutual as the company?s first-ever Chief Digital Officer. She later assumed the role of Chief Innovation Officer through which she oversaw Northwestern Mutual?s venture arm. Alexa, who holds a Certified Financial Planner? designation, is the New York Times-Bestselling Author of Financially Fearless and Financially Forward. She is also the host of The Founders Project with Alexa von Tobel, a weekly podcast with Inc. that highlights top entrepreneurs. Alexa is a member of the 2016 Class of Henry Crown Fellows and an inaugural member of President Obama?s Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship. She has been honored with numerous recognitions including: a Forbes Magazine cover story, Fortune?s 40 Under 40, Fortune's Most Powerful Women, Inc. Magazine's 30 Under 30, and World Economic Forum's Young Global Leader. Originally from Florida, Alexa attended Harvard College and Harvard Business School before settling in New York City where she currently resides with her husband, Cliff, and three children, Toby, Cashel, and Rosey. About Inspired Capital Inspired Capital is a $200M early-stage venture capital firm based in New York City. Inspired backs founders with transformative ideas, brilliant teams, and relentless determination. The firm was founded by Alexa von Tobel, who previously founded LearnVest, and Penny Pritzker, founder and chairman of PSP Partners who served as U.S. Secretary of Commerce. By leveraging deep experience across consumer and enterprise technology, the firm invests in tech-advantaged, capital efficient businesses, striving to help them become category-defining companies. For more information, visit www.inspiredcapital.com.
2021-02-15
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From LendIt Fintech LatAm 2020: Pierpaolo Barbieri, Founder & CEO of Ualá

This episode comes from the LendIt Fintech Latam 2020 conference. It features Miguel Armaza?s conversation with Pierpaolo Barbieri, Founder & CEO of Ualá, one of the fastest-growing fintechs in Latin America. We discuss: - Digitization of cash and the incredible progress of mobile wallets in Latin America. - The role of the regulator and why some governments are starting to embrace the fintech industry. - Fueling e-Commerce ? how fintech companies are bringing millions of new users to transact online. - Open Banking and the future of fintech in Latam. - And a lot more... About Ualá Ualá is a fintech company whose mission is to bring Latin American financial services into the 21st century. Through an app and an international Mastercard, it offers an innovative and integrated experience. It also brings the unbanked into the financial system by offering cheaper and more convenient services than any other alternative. It was founded by the Argentine entrepreneur Pierpaolo Barbieri and launched in October 2017 in Argentina and in September 2020 in Mexico. With more than 2 million cards issued, it is available throughout Argentina for anyone above 13 and Mexico for anyone above 18, both for Android and iOS.
2021-02-14
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Valentine's Special: Couples Finance 101 - Strategies, Wisdom, Prenups, and More with Neale Godfrey

Welcome to a very special Valentine?s Day episode of the Wharton FinTech Podcast! Today, Ryan Zauk sits down with the always-entertaining NYT Bestseller and Oprah collaborator, Neale Godfrey, to discuss Love and Money. Neale and Ryan dive into: 3:20 - The disasters that can arise from delaying that money conversation until marriage 7:30 - Strategies and tips for having the conversation 9:30 - How to split your finances in single and dual-income couples without building resentment 18:00 - A lot about prenups 27:40 - How to file taxes if one person is an entrepreneur At the end, Ryan shares a few fintech apps tackling this problem as well as the Top 10 Couples Money Tips from Fintech Today's Julie Verhage-Greenberg, who crowdsourced her best nuggets of advice from the FTT community. Links: Deeper breakdown in Ryan's Medium Article: medium.com/wharton-fintech Neale's Previous Episode on Fighting For Financial Literacy: https://tinyurl.com/2uvr47je Mentioned Prenup WSJ Article: https://tinyurl.com/y49nv9zc -- WFT Twitter: twitter.com/whartonfintech Ryan's Twitter: twitter.com/RyanZauk LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/wharton-fintech-club/ Facebook: www.facebook.com/whartonfintech/ Instagram: www.instagram.com/whartonfintech/
2021-02-12
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Ben Narasin, Venture Partner at NEA ? Navigating IPOs, Fintech Investing, & Guiding Founders

Miguel Armaza sits down with the fascinating Ben Narasin, Venture Partner at New Enterprise Associates (NEA), a global venture capital firm focused on helping entrepreneurs build transformational businesses across multiple stages, sectors, and geographies. Founded in 1977, NEA has received nearly $24 billion in cumulative committed capital since day one. Ben is not only a prolific investor but also a celebrated founder who launched fashionmall.com in 1993 and took the company public six years later. We talked about - Ben?s journey and entrepreneurial ambitions - A deep dive into his experience taking FashionMall public via IPO and the challenges it entails - The transition from entrepreneur to investor - The elements he looks for in every founder and how COVID has influenced his investment process - And plenty of stories and anecdotes from his exciting journey! Ben Narasin Ben Narasin is a Venture Partner at NEA. A prolific entrepreneur and highly regarded early-stage investor with three decades of company-building expertise, Narasin has focused on emerging technologies and new markets throughout his investment career. With a portfolio comprising key early successes in some of today?s fastest-growing sectors, such as fintech, digital marketplaces, mobile and connected devices. His overarching focus in seeking new investments is, in his words, ?to find founders who make me say wow.? Narasin is a 25-year entrepreneur and 10-year early-stage investor. His knack for spotting emerging trends led him to make seed investments in companies like Dropcam, Lending Club, TellApart, Kabbage and Zenefits. Before NEA, Narasin most recently served as a General Partner at Canvas Ventures, and was previously with TriplePoint Capital, where he oversaw the firm?s seed funding investment activities. Like many of NEA?s partners, Narasin?s path to investing is rooted in entrepreneurship. He founded several consumer companies before launching his investing career, including Fashionmall.com, one of the first e-commerce companies, which he founded in 1993 and led to a successful IPO in 1999. Narasin frequently writes and speaks about technology and investing, as well as food and wine, a lifelong passion. He holds a B.A. in Entrepreneurial Studies from Babson College. About NEA New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA) is a global venture capital firm focused on helping entrepreneurs build transformational businesses across multiple stages, sectors and geographies. With nearly $24 billion in cumulative committed capital since the firm's founding in 1977, NEA invests in technology and healthcare companies at all stages in a company's lifecycle, from seed stage through IPO. The firm's long track record of successful investing includes more than 230 portfolio company IPOs and more than 390 mergers and acquisitions. www.nea.com.
2021-02-10
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Farewill CEO Dan Garrett - Revolutionizing Wills, Probates, and How We Deal With Death

On today?s episode, WFT covers one of the two certainties of life?and no, we?re not talking about taxes. Ryan Zauk is joined by Dan Garrett, Founder & CEO of Farewill, the UK fintech radically changing the way we deal with death (from the financial side, of course). You might be asking, what does death have to do with fintech? Well, 1 Trillion Pounds of assets will be transferred intergenerationally in the next decade in the UK alone. And wills are the primary method of transfer. Farewill is the first company offering a friendly, simple, D2C website to set up wills, probates, funerals measures, and more for a fraction of the cost of your local lawyer. Farewill has become the largest will-writer in the UK while maintaining an astounding NPS of 85. Last year, Farewill raised 20 million pounds from a top list of investors including Highland Europe, the CEOs of Transferwise and Headspace, and former Wharton FinTech guests Tim Levene of Augmentum Fintech and Michael Sidgmore of Broadhaven. In this fun episode, Dan and Ryan discuss: - Dan?s inspiring mission to change the way we handle death - The funniest things he?s seen in a will...it involves a Karen (Starts at about 13:30) - Farewill?s core products and why they have been so successful - Marketing a product nobody wants to think about (with the help of rugby legend Gareth Thomas) - Why ?death tech? was so ripe for disruption thanks to private equity and a lack of innovation - And the absolutely stunning canary in a coalmine he saw at the start of COVID. For more FinTech insights, follow us below: Medium: medium.com/wharton-fintech WFT Twitter: twitter.com/whartonfintech Ryan's Twitter: twitter.com/RyanZauk LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/wharton-fintech-club/
2021-02-08
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US Credit Market Year in Review with Erin (Welter) Lyons, Head of US IG at CreditSights

In today's episode, Ryan Zauk sits down with Erin (Welter) Lyons, W'01, Head of US Investment Grade Credit at CreditSights. Creditsights is one of the top credit research firms in the world serving the world?s top institutions, family offices, and more while producing over 300 research reports a month. Erin and Ryan discuss: - Her journey from Wharton, to Wall Street's top institutions, to landing at CreditSights - What she saw during the COVID crisis, especially March 15?-?April 15, how her team tackled the problem, and how the outcomes really surprised her - The incredible power (and transparency) of the Fed's "Bazooka" COVID response, and how it saved the markets - The massive search for yield occurring in the fixed income market - Her approach to analyzing credit products - Her outlook on the coming year for markets, including potential implications of a Biden administration - The reasons they were just bought by Fitch and their own investment in Singapore Fintech "Alphastream" - "Throwing Toast" at Penn and more! For more FinTech insights, follow us below: Medium: medium.com/wharton-fintech WFT Twitter: twitter.com/whartonfintech Ryan's Twitter: twitter.com/RyanZauk LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/wharton-fintech-club/
2021-02-07
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Miami Mayor Francis Suarez ? Bringing Silicon Valley to Miami!

In today?s episode, co-hosts Ryan Zauk and Miguel Armaza sit down with tech?s most beloved politician, Mayor Francis Suarez of Miami. For those not familiar, in 2020 numerous prominent VCs and founders began a great migration to Miami. On Twitter, Founders Fund's Delian Asparouhov tweeted "What if we moved Silicon Valley to Miami?" Mayor Suarez then tweeted 4 now famous words - "How Can I Help?" And the rest is history. Ryan, Miguel, and Mayor Suarez discuss the past, present, and future of Miami, his big ideas for crypto, Softbank's $100M commitment to Miami, how he's been investing in tech long before 2020, and much more. Ryan and Miguel left the episode convinced - Miami is not having a moment, it?s starting a movement. Vamos! For more FinTech insights, follow us below: Medium: medium.com/wharton-fintech WFT Twitter: twitter.com/whartonfintech Ryan's Twitter: twitter.com/RyanZauk LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/wharton-fintech-club/
2021-02-05
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Entrepreneurship Lessons with Brian Requarth, Co-Founder of VivaReal & Latitud

Miguel Armaza sits down with Brian Requarth, a seasoned entrepreneur who in 2009 launched the Brazilian real estate marketplace, Viva Real, successfully grew the business over the following decade, and sold it in 2020 for over half a billion dollars. His recently-published book Viva the Entrepreneur is a fascinating modern guide designed to inspire and inform current and aspiring Latin American entrepreneurs. However, the book is just as applicable to founders from Silicon Valley to rest of the globe. Humble and often funny, Brian?s reflections of his own journey help humanize the perception and mystique behind successful tech entrepreneurs. The book is unequivocally straightforward and Brian is not afraid to celebrate his successes. But perhaps more importantly, he is also willing to reflect on his mistakes. In fact, one of the biggest takeaways from Viva the Entrepreneur is that successful founders use mistakes as learning opportunities and grow from these experiences. Perhaps my favorite aspect of the book is that Brian lays out incredibly important lessons for entrepreneurs, but he doesn?t just teach you the theory, he also illustrates every lesson with countless examples from his own experience. From balancing your personal life, managing your relationship with your co-founders, recruiting a team, building and scaling a product, fundraising and dealing with investors and board members, and even the importance of taking care of your mental and physical health. Finally, Mr. Requarth is putting his money where his mouth is. Because he sees tremendous opportunity in Latin America, Brian recently co-founded Latitud, an accelerator to help Latin America's top thinkers and doers build the next generation of world-class tech companies. If you are even remotely interested in entrepreneurship, I encourage you to take a look at Brian?s book - Viva the Entrepreneur. You can also catch Brian on his own show, Latitud Podcast, where he sits down with the biggest innovators and tech founders in Latin America.
2021-02-03
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James Paris, CEO of Avant - Pioneering Online Credit

Miguel Armaza sits down with James Paris, CEO of Avant, one of the pioneer in online lending dedicated to providing banking solutions for the US middle. Since 2012, Avant has served over 1.5 million customers with over $6.5 billion in loans and 400,000 credit cards. The company has also raised over $600 million of equity capital from General Atlantic, JP Morgan, Peter Thiel, Ribbit Capital, DFJ, Tiger Global, QED, August Capital, and many more! We talked about: - James? background as a traditional investment banker - The story behind Avant - Their decision to spin out Amount, a SaaS business - His thoughts on the evolution of the fintech lending and underwriting space - Talent and company culture - Why you should always be nice to your interns and junior employees - And a whole lot more! About Avant Avant is dedicated to building premier digital banking solutions for the middle class through a combination of technology, analytics and superior customer service. Since 2012, Avant has connected over 1.5 million customers to $6.5 billion in loans and to 400,000 credit cards. A high growth financial technology company, Avant has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, TechCrunch, Fortune, Bloomberg, and has raised over $600 million of equity capital. Visit www.avant.com for more information.
2021-02-01
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Ben Savage & Adriana Saman from Clocktower Technology Ventures ? Reinventing Financial Services

Miguel Armaza sits down with Ben Savage and Adriana Saman, from Clocktower Technology Ventures, a fintech-focused venture capital fund that?s also the technology investing affiliate of Clocktower Group, a global macro investment firm. Ben is a fintech entrepreneur turned investor with an MBA from Stanford University and Adriana got her Bachelors from our very own University of Pennsylvania. We discussed: - Their backgrounds and what led them to Venture Capital - Clocktower?s investment strategy and approach - Their decision to focus on fintech and why they are excited about the reinvention of financial services - Why they have invested beyond the United States, with a particular emphasis on Latin America - Navigating COVID - Their outlook for the road ahead of the industry - And a lot more! Ben Savage Ben manages Clocktower Technology Ventures and is responsible for all of Clocktower Group?s private market activities. Ben was previously Director, Investment Associate Program for Bridgewater Associates, where he worked with the firm?s CIOs on strategic priorities, talent development and research. Ben began his career as a VC and private equity investor with Wasserstein Perella. Ben also co-founded Artivest fka Resonance Funds, an online issuer of actively-managed exchange traded vehicles, as well as Waterfall Mobile. Ben holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BA in philosophy from Yale University. Ben lives in Bel Air with his wife and two young children. Adriana Saman Adriana focuses on deal sourcing, diligence, and execution. Prior to Clocktower, Adriana was a Strategy Associate in Chase?s Digital Payments team where she worked closely with all consumer-related payment products to develop consolidated roadmaps, business cases, and strategic initiatives. Before joining Digital Payments, she worked at J.P. Morgan as an Investment Banking Analyst focusing on M&A transactions across Latin America. Adriana is originally from Ecuador and holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania. About Clocktower We partner with phenomenal entrepreneurs who have the vision and drive to reinvent financial services, investing from the earliest seeds of startup life to businesses scaling for growth. We support leading companies across all sectors of financial services, including lending, credit & banking, payments, insurance, capital markets & investments, personal finance, enterprise financial stack and real estate finance. Our distinctive approach to fintech venture capital is crafted around a curated network of global macroeconomic thinkers and investors. Launched in 2015, Clocktower Technology Ventures is the technology investing affiliate of Clocktower Group, a global macro investment firm. CTV is based in Santa Monica, CA and invests worldwide.
2021-01-31
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Did Fintech Save Minority-Owned Businesses in the PPP? With NYU's Dr. Sabrina Howell

Ryan Zauk sits down with NYU Stern's Dr. Sabrina Howell to discuss her most recent paper titled 'Which lenders had the highest minority share among their PPP loans?' Though the answer may not surprise you, the data, methodology, reasoning, and implications might. In the wake of the PPP, there was a lot of scrutiny into who was getting (and not getting) access to crucial government aid. Gatekept by financial institutions, from Wells Fargo to fintechs, small businesses were at the mercy of institutions. So it begged the question, who did these institutions choose to allocate their money to? And did the data differ across institution types and loan applicants? If so, why? Professor Howell, her colleagues, and a consortium of partners set out to dig into the data, with a focus on who was lending to minority-owned businesses. In today?s episode, Ryan and Dr. Howell discuss: 4:40 Her previous research in ICOs and the ?joke? ICO she saw that hit $15M in market cap (it's even stranger than Doge Coin) 8:07 The basics of the PPP and the abstract of her paper 11:21 Why Fintechs were able to more effectively lend to minority-owned businesses, and why this giant lending gap existed 15:50 What data they used to triangulate the race of business owners 17:48 How the PPP can be a turning point for Fintechs to build relationships with small businesses 21:10 What the government, fintech, and small business should take away from the PPP 25:00 Her two key recommendations for the ?next PPP? 28:07 What?s taught in her NYU fintech class The Paper: http://nebula.wsimg.com/c26ae478f12bf4a15666ac250c259240?AccessKeyId=1EB5B81197329425B7C4&disposition=0&alloworigin=1 For more FinTech insights, follow us below: Medium: medium.com/wharton-fintech WFT Twitter: twitter.com/whartonfintech Ryan's Twitter: twitter.com/RyanZauk LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/wharton-fintech-club/
2021-01-29
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Jackie Reses - Leadership Lessons, Fintech Innovation, & Helping Small Businesses

Miguel Armaza sits down with Jackie Reses, former Head of Square Capital, current Chairman of the Economic Development Council of the Federal Reserve of San Francisco, board member of Affirm and Wish (Context Logic), and all-around business and fintech leader. Some of her past roles also include Chief Development Officer at Yahoo and Board member of Alibaba. She?s also a proud alum of our very own Wharton School. We talked about - Jackie?s upbringing and professional background - Why she describes Wharton and the University of Pennsylvania as a place that saved her life - The meaningful lessons she learned while working at Goldman Sachs, Apex Partners, and Yahoo - Key reflections from her experience as an Alibaba board-member and what we can all learn from Chinese entrepreneurs - What drove her decision to join Square and why she fell in love with its culture - The incredibly impactful experience of the Square Capital team navigating COVID and the complex dynamics of launching a PPP product in record-time - Her outlook of the road ahead and what?s next for Jackie - And a whole lot more! Jackie Reses Ms. Reses is the CEO of Post House Capital and Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. She previously led Square Capital, part of Square Inc., where she built the business and transformed the ability of small businesses in the US to access credit. She was also the Executive Chairman of Square Financial Services, an approved FDIC-insured bank owned by Square Inc. and the first industrial bank in the US started by a technology company. Prior to Square, Jackie was the Chief Development Officer for Yahoo and the head of the US media group at Apax Partners, one of the largest global private equity firms. Jackie also spent seven years at Goldman Sachs in mergers and acquisitions and the principal investment area. Jackie is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and serves on the Advisory Board of Wharton's Stevens Center for Innovation in Finance, its fintech center, which is chaired by Mr. Stevens. Jackie also serves on the boards of Affirm and Wish (Context Logic). Jackie received a bachelor's degree in economics with honors from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
2021-01-27
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Sam Bobley, Co-Founder and CEO of Ocrolus - Transforming Documents into Data Analytics

Miguel Armaza sits down with Sam Bobley, Co-Founder and CEO of Ocrolus, an infrastructure company that transforms documents into data analytics with incredible accuracy designed to help financial services companies make high quality decisions at unprecedented speed. Sam started building Ocrolus in his parent?s kitchen when he was only 22 and seven years later, the company employs nearly 1,000 people globally and has raised close to $50 million in equity from top VC funds, including Stage 2 Capital, QED, Fintech Collective, Oak HC/FT, and Bullpen Capital. We talked about: - Company origins - Sam?s entrepreneurial journey - Strategies on building and hiring the initial team - Finding product-market fit and how he decided to shift and expand his client base - The fast-changing and fast-moving fintech ecosystem - Entrepreneurial advice - And a whole lot more Sam Bobley Sam started building Ocrolus in his parent?s kitchen when he was 22-years-old. Six years later, the company employs nearly 1,000 people globally, spread across four offices. As Ocrolus matured, Sam authored a patent application and helped raise more than $30 million in venture capital. He was named to Forbes 30 Under 30 in Finance, Class of 2020. About Ocrolus Ocrolus is a human-in-the-loop infrastructure company that transforms documents into data analytics with over 99% accuracy. Ocrolus technology is designed to help financial services companies make high quality decisions with trusted data and unprecedented speed. Inc. Magazine recognized Ocrolus as the #1 fastest-growing fintech nationwide, and the #1 fastest-growing software company in NY. Visit ocrolus.com to learn more.
2021-01-25
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Samir Chaïbi, Investor at Insignia Ventures - Fintech in Southeast Asia

Miguel Armaza sits down with Samir Chaibi, investor at Insignia Ventures Partners, a Southeast Asian growth and venture investing fund with over $350 million in assets under management, where he specifically focuses in backing fintech startups. Prior to Insignia, Samir spent many years working around the world and got his MBA at our Wharton School. We discussed: - Samir?s background and his path to venture capital - Company history for Insignia Ventures Partners, their investment thesis, and a bit about the portfolio companies - The evolution and current state of the fintech ecosystem in Southeast Asia - The surprising parallels between fintech in Latin America and Southeast Asia - His outlook of the regional future of the industry - And a lot more! Samir Chaibi Samir Chaibi is a Principal at Insignia Venture Partners (IVP), a Southeast Asia-focused growth and venture investing fund with US $350M+ in AuM. Prior to IVP, Samir was a venture investor at STRIVE, a Tokyo headquartered VC fund deploying capital into seed rounds across Japan, Southeast Asia, and India. Samir started his career in investment banking with Lazard (France) and Citigroup (UK) before transitioning to private equity and joining the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), a US $400bn+ sovereign wealth fund. Samir also co-founded DocEx Legal, a legal technology startup, leveraging an experienced team of lawyers based in South Asia to solve the legal talent gap across the Middle East. Samir graduated from a three-year dual-degree MBA/MPA program at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government with a focus on entrepreneurship, finance, and technology policy. About Insignia Ventures Partners Insignia Ventures Partners is an early-stage technology venture capital firm focusing on Southeast Asia since 2017, managing capital from premier institutional investors including sovereign wealth funds, foundations, university endowments and renowned family offices from Asia, Europe and North America.
2021-01-22
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Eyal Shinar, Co-Founder of Fundbox - Disrupting B2B Financing

Miguel Armaza sits down with Eyal Shinar, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Fundbox, a company focused on disrupting the $21 trillion B2B commerce market by launching the world?s first B2B payments and credit network. Since its inception in 2013, Fundbox has raised more than $300 million dollars from leading investors like Khosla Ventures, General Catalyst, Spark Growth Capital, and Jeff Bezos. We talked about - Company origins - Customer acquisition and distribution strategies - Entrepreneurial challenges - Reflections around the PPP loan program in the US and the company?s incredibly meaningful role at the height of COVID to disburse and fund these loans to small businesses. - His thoughts on the key and strategic roles of fintech and tech during the pandemic - Lessons for entrepreneurs - And a whole lot more! Eyal Shinar Eyal Shinar is the Executive Chairman & Co-Founder of Fundbox. Prior to his current role he served as a vice president at Battery Ventures where he led many projects and investments in the areas of finance, machine learning and software as a service. Additionally, Shinar was one of the first employees of Old Lane, a $5.5 billion New York-based global hedge fund (later acquired by Citigroup), and also worked for Castle Harlan, a leading $6 billion NYC-based buyout firm. Shinar earned his MBA from The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. About Fundbox Fundbox is a leading financial technology company focused on disrupting the $21 trillion B2B commerce market by launching the world?s first B2B payments and credit network. With heavy investments in machine learning and the ability to innovatively analyze transactional data, Fundbox is reimagining B2B payments and credit products in new category-defining ways. Fundbox has received numerous accolades for innovation including the prestigious Forbes A.I. 50, Red Herring North American 100, Forbes Fintech 50, CB Insights Fintech 250, Benzinga 2019 Fintech Listmakers, Forbes Billion Dollar Startup To Watch among others. Since the company?s founding in 2013, Fundbox has raised more than $300 million from a blue-chip group of investors led by Khosla Ventures, General Catalyst, Spark Growth Capital, and Jeff Bezos.
2021-01-20
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Fractional Trading 101 with Apex Chief Product Officer Dustin Kirkland

What happens after you hit ?buy? on that $300 order of Shopify stock (worth over $1,100 as of the day of the episode)? Fractional trading has become one of the hottest product features in Fintech, democratizing access to expensive shares (AMZN, BRK-A, CMG, etc.) to everyday investors. In addition, they allow more precise and comfortable investing and budgeting, as people can designate a notional dollar amount toward a purchase. But how exactly do you buy .3 of a share? Enter Apex Clearing, a PEAK6 company, one of the most innovative and digital-first clearing and custody platforms in the world. Apex powers the fractional capabilities of many companies you may use today, including Stash, M1 Finance, broker-dealers, major banks, and RIAs. They also powered Robinhood up until recently. In today?s episode, Ryan Zauk sits down with Apex?s Chief Product Officer, Dustin Kirkland, to learn about: - Dustin?s unusual path to FinTech (2:00) - What Apex does (8:00) - What is clearing & custody (9:00) - Clearing & Market Making (11:00) - The nuts & bolts of Fractional Trading (15:00) - Crypto trading and how it will disrupt equities (20:18) - And a rapid-fire round including the best Austin BBQ and some shared love for the Grateful Dead For more insights and analysis from FinTech leaders, follow us below: Medium: medium.com/wharton-fintech WFT Twitter: twitter.com/whartonfintech Ryan's Twitter: twitter.com/RyanZauk LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/wharton-fintech-club/ Facebook: www.facebook.com/whartonfintech/ Instagram: www.instagram.com/whartonfintech/ Apex Clearing is a custody and clearing engine that?s powering the future of digital wealth management. Our proprietary enterprise-grade technology delivers speed, efficiency and flexibility to firms ranging from innovative start-ups to blue-chip brands focused on transformation to capture a new generation of investors. We help our clients provide the seamless digital experiences today?s consumers expect with the throughput and scalability needed by fast-growing, high-volume financial services businesses. Founded in 2012, Apex Clearing is registered with the SEC, a member of FINRA and a Participant in SIPC.
2021-01-18
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Kathleen Utecht, Managing Partner at Core Innovation Capital - Unlocking Upward Mobility

Miguel Armaza interviews Kathleen Utecht, Managing Partner at Core Innovation Capital, a venture capital firm, with offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco, investing in high-growth financial technology companies that can unlock upward mobility for everyday Americans. Kat holds a Bachelor?s Degree from Babson College and an MBA from The Wharton School. We talked about: - Kat?s journey, from family upbringing, schooling, all the way to how she ended up in VC - Why she continues to be excited about Fintech, even after investing in the sector for over a decade - What?s changed in the industry over the past few years - Core?s investment and valuation approach and how they work with portfolio companies to prepare them from seed, to series A, and beyond - Her vision for Core?s future - And a lot more! Kat Utecht Kat Utecht is co-managing partner of Core Innovation Capital, an early stage venture capital fund making mercenary returns through missionary investments in financial services and insurance technology. Portfolio companies include HealthSherpa, Bestow, Ripple and Synapse. Prior to investing with Core and at Comcast Ventures, Kat was CEO of Green Rock Entertainment, a commerce company acquired by private equity in 2009. Kat began her career in financial services, both as an investment banker and a graduate of General Electric Capital's Financial Management Program. Kat has an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a BS from Babson College. About Core Innovation Capital Core Innovation Capital is an an early stage venture capital fund making mercenary returns through missionary investments in financial services and insurance technology. Core invests across three themes: 1. Modernizing financial and insurance infrastructure, 2. Expanding access to better financial services and insurance, and 3. Creating wealth through fintech adjacencies that help increase a household or SMB GDP. We optimize our portfolio by focusing on high conviction, early-stage investments with the flexibility to participate in unique opportunities across the venture lifecycle. Our main value add is our contacts - regulatory (e.g. state insurance regulators, CFPB), people flow (internal database for hiring), commercial contracts (e.g. insurers / reinsurers; lenders / debt capital, SaaS customers) - and to bounce ideas off of since we are so focused. Investments include Ripple, NerdWallet, and Oportun, among many others. For more information, visit www.corevc.com.
2021-01-17
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Laura González-Estéfani, Founder & CEO of The Venture City - From Miami to the World!

Miguel Armaza sits down with Laura González-Estéfani, Founder and CEO of The Venture City, a global accelerator and venture capital fund of emerging ecosystems specialized in growth with the mission to help entrepreneurs from all over the world. Prior to Venture City, Laura spent many years at Facebook, eBay, Siemens, and Ogilvy Group. We talked about - Laura?s career in big tech - Her decision to leave Facebook and launch the Venture City - The challenges of building a fund and why she believes she leads the most diverse VC in the industry - Her decision to base the company in Miami (before the Miami twitter crazy of 2020, I should add) - Her investing and portfolio management approach - What excites her about investing in fintech around the world - And much much more! Laura González-Estéfani Laura spent nearly nine years with Facebook in various roles supporting overall growth strategies. Laura led the Growth, Mobile & Partnerships team for Latin America, spearheading the Internet.org and connectivity initiatives from Silicon Valley and later Miami. Before Facebook, Laura held management roles at eBay, Siemens and Ogilvy Group.
2021-01-15
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Dan Henry, CEO of Green Dot - Modern Banking for Everyone

Miguel Armaza sits down with Dan Henry, CEO of Green Dot (NYSE: GDOT), a 20-year-old company focused on making modern banking and money movement accessible for everyone. Green Dot also recently launched Go2Bank a digital bank for Americans living paycheck to paycheck. Green Dot is far from being Dan?s first rodeo. In fact, this is the third publicly listed company he?s led in the last three decades. He previously served as CEO of Netspend, a leading provider of prepaid debit cards, and led the company through its IPO and eventual sale to TSYS Corporation. Prior to Netspend, he co-founded Euronet Worldwide (NASDAQ: EEFT), a leader in secure electronic financial transaction processing, where he served as President and COO from 1994 through 2006. We talked about: - Dan?s entrepreneurial and international fintech journey since the early 90s - What motivates him and why entrepreneurs are his favorite type of folks - Two fundamental things he believes make a business successful - The evolution of fintech - Why he came out of retirement to lead GreenDot - What led him to launch Go2Bank in January 2021 and a bit about their Go2Market strategy - Reflections for aspiring founders - And a whole lot more! Dan Henry Dan Henry joined Green Dot as CEO in early 2020 with a vision to maximize the potential of the 20-year-old digital bank and make modern, affordable banking and payments accessible to everyone. He previously served as CEO of Netspend, a leading provider of prepaid debit cards for personal and commercial use, from 2008 to 2014. In 2010, Mr. Henry led Netspend through its initial public offering, and in July 2013 completed an all-cash sale of the company to TSYS Corporation, valued at $1.4 billion USD. Prior to Netspend, Mr. Henry co-founded Euronet Worldwide (NASDAQ: EEFT), a leader in secure electronic financial transaction processing, where he served as President and Chief Operations Officer from 1994 through 2006, and remained on the company?s Board until 2008. Mr. Henry has been Chairman of Paysign Inc (NASDAQ: PAYS), a vertically integrated provider of innovative prepaid card programs, digital banking and processing services for corporate, consumer and government application, since 2018. He also served as a director of The Brink?s Company (NYSE:BCO) from 2017 through early 2020. About Green Dot Green Dot (NYSE: GDOT) is a financial technology and registered bank holding company focused on making modern banking and money movement accessible for all. Our proprietary technology enables faster, more efficient electronic payments and money management, powering intuitive and seamless ways for people to spend, send, control and save their money. Through our retail and direct bank, we offer a suite of financial products to consumers and businesses including debit, prepaid, checking, credit and payroll cards, as well as robust money processing services, tax refunds, cash deposits and disbursements. GO2bank is FDIC-insured, so your money is protected up to the maximum allowable limit. And GO2bank is a brand of Green Dot Corporation, founded in 1999 and headquartered in Pasadena, CA. Green Dot has served more than 33 million consumers directly over the last 20 years and many more through our banking partners.
2021-01-13
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Public's Leif Abraham on FinTech Marketing, Choosing Values, and Changing the Culture of The Market

What do you think of when you hear ?stock trading?? For most of us in 2020, we thought of YOLO Calls, Tesla Bulls, Robinhood, Wall Street Bets, and Day Trading. Going back to earlier days, you might think of men in suits on the phone, scrambling to buy & sell stocks. The culture of the market needs to change. Enter Public.Com, the stock investing app with a social, community-based focus making stock trading approachable (and free) for everyday people. On today?s episode, Ryan Zauk sits down with Co-Founder Leif Abraham to learn how Public is changing the culture of the market through approachability, community, in-app features, and celebrities like Tony Hawk and Adrian Grenier (netting 40% female users, an industry-high). Public has taken social media and FinTech by storm, and just raised $65M in a Series C backed by A list celebrities (Chainsmokers, Tony Hawk) and VCs (Accel, Greycroft) who are also prominent users of the platform. Lief and Ryan cover a ton in this episode, including - What FinTech marketers get wrong (and how they can fix it) - How Public has focused on building its app to reach 40% female users in a male-dominated market - A flurry of marketing tips and frameworks around K-Factor, Retention, Content Marketing, and more - Tangible advice on how to build a culture that democratizes and scales decision making ...And much more This is one of our most information-dense episodes to date ? Leif does not disappoint. For more insights and analysis from FinTech leaders, follow us below: Medium: medium.com/wharton-fintech WFT Twitter: twitter.com/whartonfintech Ryan's Twitter: twitter.com/RyanZauk LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/wharton-fintech-club/ Facebook: www.facebook.com/whartonfintech/ Instagram: www.instagram.com/whartonfintech/
2021-01-11
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Andrew Lerner, Managing Partner of IA Capital Group ? Investing in the Future of Mass Markets

Miguel Armaza sits down with Andrew Lerner, Managing Partner of IA Capital Group, a New York-based private investment firm and manager of the Inter-Atlantic funds, that?s dedicated to partnering with innovative entrepreneurs in venture and growth capital across InsurTech and FinTech. Andy has been at the company since 1995 and is responsible for the day-to-day activities of IA Capital, and is a member of its investment committee. He holds a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Princeton University and an MBA from our amazing Wharton School We talked about - Andy?s background - What drove him to fintech VC in the mid-1990s - His take on the evolution of the fintech industry - The advantages of being in an industry with meaningful tail winds - Why he?s excited about InsurTech for the foreseeable future - Importance of Financial Empowerment, along with diversity and inclusion - Why he prefers backing young entrepreneurs and thinks experience is overrated - The effects of COVID on their portfolio - And much, much more! Andrew Lerner Andrew Lerner is Managing Partner of IA Capital Group, where he has been employed since 1995. Mr. Lerner is responsible for the day-to-day activities of IA Capital, and is a member of its investment committee. In 2000, he launched IA Capital's venture capital business which is now the firm?s core activity. Mr. Lerner was also President and Managing Director of Guggenheim Securities, LLC, IA Capital's former broker-dealer business, until 2003. Mr. Lerner is a Director of Homeowners of America, SMArtX, Crown Global Insurance Group, Credit Sesame, Wellthie, Boost, SmartAsset, Gainfully, and Matic. Mr. Lerner has over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry. Prior to joining IA Capital, he served as an investment banker in the Financial Institutions Group of Smith Barney Inc. for four years and in its Mortgage and Asset Finance Group for two years. Mr. Lerner holds a B.S.E. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Princeton University and an M.B.A. in Finance from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He serves as a director of Transportation Alternatives. About IA Capital Group IA Capital is the longest-tenured independent venture capital firm focusing on insurtech. Based in New York City, IA Capital has a two-decade track record of successfully partnering with innovative early and growth stage companies in insurance and?more broadly?financial services. IA is currently investing in its sixth, seventh, and eighth venture capital funds and manages strategic venture capital programs for 15 insurers. Learn more at iacapgroup.com.
2021-01-08
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Dave Unsworth & Kerri Golden from Information Venture Partners - Investing in Tomorrow's Leaders

Miguel Armaza sits down with Dave Unsworth and Kerri Golden from Information Venture Partners, a Canadian Venture Capital firm that primarily invests in early-stage North American B2B FinTech and enterprise software. We talk about: - Dave and Kerri?s transition from operators to investors - IVP?s relationship with the Royal Bank of Canada - Fundraising from institutional LPs - The duo?s strategy to invest in the next generation of leaders - The importance of engineering a culture early on - Interesting fintech trends - The role of a CFO at a Venture Capital firm - And a lot more! Dave Unsworth Dave Unsworth co-founded Information Venture Partners in 2014. Dave has led investments in eSentire (exited, 2017), Verafin, Sensibill, Igloo Software (exited, 2017), Viigo (acquired by BlackBerry), Coconut Software, BigID, Knowtions and LendingFront. Dave is focused on FinTech and Enterprise software and is particularly interested in cybersecurity, mobile, enterprise 2.0 and ventures that create highly valuable data assets by being at the center of large-scale financial transactions. Prior to founding Information Venture Partners Dave worked as an investor with RBC Venture Partners from 2001. Prior to his career in venture capital, Dave had a successful career in operating roles focused on e-commerce strategy development, technology-enabled financial services product development, technology project management and retail/commercial financial services. Dave is an active member in the start-up community in Toronto and Waterloo as a mentor to early-stage CEOs and founding teams. Dave also serves as a mentor in the Kaufmann Fellows program and more recently with the Holt FinTech Accelerator and as an investment committee member for the Investment Accelerator Fund. Dave has been a frequent contributor to Private Capital Magazine. Dave is an original member and past Chair of the Financial Services Venture Capital Alliance. Dave was granted an MBA from Queen?s University, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics from Wilfrid Laurier University. He is also a graduate of the NVCA?s Venture Capital Institute and the Rotman SME Board Effectiveness Program. Kerri Golden Kerri Golden joined Information Venture Partners at inception in 2014 and works with the investment team to help select and support the fund?s investee companies and manage the financial operations of the fund. She has over 30 years of general management and finance experience in a variety of technology industries and she?s been active in securing financings of over $1 billion in equity and debt and in negotiations of a number of merger and acquisition transactions. Kerri was a General Partner of Primaxis Technology Ventures for eight years where she led and managed several investments in early-stage companies in the IT, software and communications sectors and also served as CFO of the fund. Kerri had a successful corporate career with high growth technology companies. She was a mobile pioneer at Rogers Wireless, joining prior to service launch and experiencing start-up challenges and opportunities as company grew from zero to $200M in revenue during her 2.5 year tenure. She was a public company CFO at Alliance Atlantis Communications and Lorus Therapeutics and ended her successful 7-year career at Bell Mobility as CEO, Paging Division after progressive leadership positions in Finance and IT. Kerri is an experienced start-up executive. She co-owns a small business Urban Flats Toronto and served as COO at SeaWell Networks and CFO at Infobright. She serves the start-up community as an active mentor at MaRS, where she co-founded the JOLT Fund and continues to serve as a volunteer general partner. Kerri obtained an HBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario and earned her CA designation while working with KPMG in Toronto.
2021-01-06
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Noah Kerner, CEO of Acorns - Leveling the Investment Playing Field

Miguel Armaza sits down with Noah Kerner, CEO of Acorns, a mobile savings and investment platform that has raised hundreds of millions of dollars from PayPal, Bain Capital Ventures, DST Global, NBC, Comcast, Greycroft as well as a long list of Hollywood celebrities including The Rock and Jennifer Lopez. Originally from New York City?s East Village, Noah is a 4-time entrepreneur who at one point DJ'ed for Jennifer Lopez, built a creative agency in his 20s, and is also a Co-Founder of the shareholder rights fintech startup Say. We discuss: - Noah?s eclectic background - Why he only pursues projects that make him come alive - His journey at Acorns and the evolution and challenges over the years - Their approach to building company culture, defining corporate values, and recruiting talent - The surprising effects of COVID on their business - Entrepreneurial advice - And a whole lot more! Noah Kerner Born in New York City?s east village, Noah Kerner is the CEO of the micro-investing app Acorns and co-founder of the shareholder rights startup Say. His background is colorful: 4X entrepreneur, Co-author of "Chasing Cool? with the former CEO of Barneys, and former DJ for Jennifer Lopez. In his 20s, Noah built the leading creative agency for the young adult market, Noise. Before being acquired by Engine, Noise developed hundreds of products and marketing campaigns for this generation including Facebook?s first application, the first credit card to reward responsibility rather than spending for Chase, Vice's music site Noisey, and the top branded game in the App Store. Noah has been recognized as one of Billboard Magazine?s ?Top 30 Under 30,? AdWeek?s ?Top 20 Under 40,? Fast Company?s ?Innovation Agents? and ?Impact Council? members, and as a judge for the Webby Awards. He has also advised and invested in a variety of fast-growing startups, including WeWork, where he served as the first Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer from 2013-2014. Passionate about educating today?s youth, Noah has lectured on entrepreneurialism, fintech, and media at NYU, UCLA, Stanford, and Columbia and currently serves on the Board of VH1's Save The Music Foundation. Noah is a graduate of Cornell University where he studied Psychology and Economics. About Acorns Acorns is the country's fastest-growing saving and investing app helping more than 8.2 million save and invest for the future. Its easy-to-use, mobile-first technology makes it simple for anyone to set aside and invest life's spare money. Acorns allows customers to automatically invest in a low-cost, diversified portfolio of exchange-traded funds offered by some of the world's top asset managers (including Vanguard and BlackRock). Customers grow their wealth in one of five portfolios constructed with help from world-renowned Nobel laureate economist Dr. Harry Markowitz. Acorns' smart portfolio algorithms automatically work in the background of life, helping users build wealth naturally, pennies at a time. From Acorns mighty oaks do grow. Acorns is accessed simply and easily via the app for iPhone, Android, or desktop. Visit Acorns.com for more.
2021-01-04
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2020 End of Year Special

As 2020 comes to a close, we bring you a special episode featuring our hosts, Miguel Armaza and Ryan Zauk. You will finally get to hear from the hosts themselves as they share: - Some of the major trends they've seen after interviewing over 100 FinTech leaders. - Some funny anecdotes & growing pains. - The hyper-growth of Wharton FinTech. - Tips on turning a podcast into a rocketship. - And provide a sneak preview at what's ahead for 2021... Thank you to all of our listeners for your incredible support during this memorable year. We have great plans for 2021 to keep bringing you insights on the companies, founders, investors, and trends shaping financial services.
2020-12-30
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Upending the $15B Debt Collection Industry with Ohad Samet, Founder of TrueAccord

"The most contrarian take I have is that there is value in working with consumers in debt." Here are a few stats for you: - The average US household as of November pays almost 9% of its income to debt - Total household debt reached $14.35 trillion this fall per the New York Fed - The average person in debt owes money to 4 different lenders The current process for debt collections? -- ?a highly sensitive, case-by-case, and often life-defining financial situation -- has not evolved much in the last 50 years. The process is still how most would imagine?a collections team is assigned a low-base salary and high-commission, and is tasked with harassing debtors multiple times a day with a one size fits all approach. This process is inflexible, stressful, and borderline inhumane as each person has unique financial needs. Enter Ohad Samet and TrueAccord. After honing his time at companies like Fraud Sciences (acquired by PayPal), Signifyd, and Klarna (as their CRO), Ohad recognized this enormous problem and the need for a better solution. Fast forward to 2020, TrueAccord has built a digital-first, ML-powered, humane debt collection agency that leads with empathy. TrueAccord's successes have been incredible, with collection rates 30?50% higher than industry averages and an NPS of 40 (astoundingly high for a debt collections agency, and higher than a lot of financial institutions). TA's impact on daily lives cannot be understated. One stat I loved?-?"85% of customers wouldn't have been able to repay their debt without the highly flexible payment plans we offer." In today's episode, Ohad comes on the show to discuss: - The different ways TrueAccord engages with the customer, and how that approach has shifted overtime thanks to Machine Learning - 3 questions about debt that he bets none of our listeners can answer - Why his HQ2 city, Kansas City, is a hidden talent and cost of living gem - The cruciality of mission-alignment in business and at TrueAccord (P.S. they're hiring!) - Navigating FinTech partnerships - A special "rapid-fire" question set ?and much more. For more insights and analysis from FinTech leaders, follow us below: Medium: medium.com/wharton-fintech WFT Twitter: twitter.com/whartonfintech Ryan's Twitter: twitter.com/RyanZauk LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/wharton-fintech-club/ Facebook: www.facebook.com/whartonfintech/ Instagram: www.instagram.com/whartonfintech/
2020-12-28
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Rohit Arora, CEO and Co-founder of Biz2Credit - Building the Next Generation of Business Lending

Miguel Armaza sits down with Rohit Arora, CEO and Co-Founder of Biz2Credit, a New York based company that offers financing, research, and educational resources to small businesses. Rohit and his brother founded Biz2Credit in 2008 and in the last 13 yrs the firm has arranged $2B in funding and registered over 200,000 clients. They have also raised over $60M in equity and $300M in debt from investors including Westbridge Capital and Nexus Venture Partners. We discussed - Rohit?s journey scaling Biz2Credit - Fundraising challenges as a contrarian entrepreneur - Lessons on resilience and leadership - The perils of a ?growth at any cost? business mindset - Biz2Credit?s experience navigating the COVID crisis and what he believes will be the long term effects of the pandemic - And a whole lot more Rohit Arora Rohit Arora, CEO and Co-founder of Biz2Credit is one of America?s top experts in small business finance. He is responsible for driving Biz2Credit to its leadership position in the alternative lending industry among Deloitte?s Technology Fast 500. He holds a Masters in International Business from Columbia University and an Engineering degree from Delhi University. Rohit is often quoted about small business lending by major news media outlets, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, American Banker, CNNMoney, MSNBC, Inc., and the Washington Post. In 2011, he and his brother Ramit were named New York City's ?Top Entrepreneurs? by Crain?s New York Business, which also named Biz2Credit among NYC?s ?Fast 50? of 2014. Since its inception in 2007, Biz2Credit has arranged $2 billion in funding and now has over 200,000 registered small and mid-sized company clients. About Biz2Credit Biz2Credit was founded in 2007 with one goal: make the business financing process work better for lenders and their customers. The company is focused on funding what?s next for small businesses and leverages data, cash flow insights, and the latest technology to give business owners an automated small business funding platform. Biz2Credit has provided over $3 billion in small business loans and financing. With over 350 employees globally, the team ? made up of engineers, marketers and data scientists ? is building the next generation in business lending solutions. Biz2Credit is also the company behind the Biz2X Platform. Biz2X is the natural outgrowth of Biz2Credit?s established platform software that brands like HSBC, Oriental Bank, and TATA Capital have chosen to launch new online lending initiatives. Biz2Credit raised $52M Series B in 2019 and is headquartered in New York City. Learn more at www.Biz2Credit.com.
2020-12-23
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AWS FinTech's Kathryn Van Nuys on Empowering The World's Top Startups

On today?s episode, Ryan Zauk sits down with Kathryn Van Nuys, Head of Business Development for AWS FinTech. Kathryn was just named one of the Top 50 Women in FinTech by NYC FinTech Women, highlighted as one of the top network builders in the industry. Most of us know AWS as the cloud storage and computing behemoth, generating over $35B in revenue and the lion?s share of Amazon?s profits. However, AWS is much more than just cloud. It?s a tailored, industry-by-industry solution that is becoming closer and closer to a one-stop-shop for all things technical startups. Kathryn talks about the huge variety of services AWS provides for a who?s who of FinTech, including Chime, Coinbase, Betterment, Nubank, Affirm, and more. AWS served all 50 of Forbes FinTech 50 last year. In today?s episode, Kathryn delves into - The huge range of services AWS offers startups at each stage of their development - Some of their strongest case studies helping clients - What sub-verticals she?s paying special attention to - The explosion in FinTech partnerships ...And much more For more insights and analysis from FinTech leaders, follow us below: Medium: medium.com/wharton-fintech WFT Twitter: twitter.com/whartonfintech Ryan's Twitter: twitter.com/RyanZauk LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/wharton-fintech-club/ Facebook: www.facebook.com/whartonfintech/ Instagram: www.instagram.com/whartonfintech/
2020-12-21
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Santiago Suarez, Co-Founder/CEO of Addi - Financing for the Digital Age

In this episode, my guest is Santiago Suarez, Co-Founder & CEO of Addi, the leading POS financing platform in Latin America, backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Foundation, Monashees, Quona, and Village Global. Prior to returning to his native Colombia to launch Addi, Santiago started his career in finance in New York City at JP Morgan, and later moved to Silicon valley for a leadership role at Lending Club. We talk about: - Santiago?s entrepreneurial fintech journey and fundraising experience - Regional market dynamics - The virtues of applying an American credit-scoring approach in Latin America - Navigating an evolving regulatory landscape - The importance of company culture - And a lot more! Listen to the full interview --> Spotify | Soundcloud | Apple About ADDI ADDI was founded in 2018 by co-founders Santiago Suarez, Daniel Vallejo, and Elmer Ortega, to power commerce and make point-of-sale financing accessible to every Latin American merchant and consumer. For more information, visit https://addi.com/.
2020-12-20
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Jan Bellens, EY Global Banking & Capital Markets Head ? Advising & Digitizing Banks Worldwide

Miguel Armaza sits down with Jan Bellens, Global Head of EY?s Banking & Capital Markets Group. In his role, Jan counsels banks in defining their strategies and supports their implementation with investments, acquisitions, and ambitious organic growth initiatives around the world. He has been supporting banks for the last two decades and has worked with clients in over 20 countries. We talk about: - Jan?s professional journey and what led him to his current role where he oversees 45k people - A few of the trends he?s seeing from banks across different regions - What the impact of COVID really means for banks - The challenges of managing an organization with 45k+ professionals - And much, much more! Jan Bellens As the EY Global Banking & Capital Markets Sector Leader, Jan counsels banks in defining their strategies and supports their implementation with investments, acquisitions and ambitious organic growth initiatives. He has been supporting leading banks? executive teams with their growth opportunities and multi-year business transformations for the last two decades. He has worked with clients in over 20 countries. Before joining EY, Jan was in management consulting for 17 years. He has an MBA from INSEAD. About EY Banking and Capital Markets EY?s worldwide team of industry-focused assurance, tax, transaction and advisory professionals integrates sector knowledge and technical experience. They work with clients to navigate digital innovation, new business models and ecosystem partnerships, helping banks become the nimble, responsive organizations that customers demand. About EY EY exists to build a better working world, helping create long-term value for clients, people and society and build trust in the capital markets. Enabled by data and technology, diverse EY teams in over 150 countries provide trust through assurance and help clients grow, transform and operate. Working across assurance, consulting, law, strategy, tax and transactions, EY teams ask better questions to find new answers for the complex issues facing our world today. EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. Information about how EY collects and uses personal data and a description of the rights individuals have under data protection legislation are available via ey.com/privacy. EY member firms do not practice law where prohibited by local laws. For more information about our organization, please visit ey.com.
2020-12-18
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The Evolution of Private Investing with Griffith Norville of Hamilton Lane + Cobalt LP

In today?s episode, Ryan Zauk sits down with Griffith Norville, Managing Director at Hamilton Lane. Over the last decade, the scope of private investments has exploded across products, asset classes, and geographies. LPs, often equipped with just a small investment team, are facing greater difficulty sorting through droves of funds, managers, trends, and data. Hamilton Lane and its cutting-edge product, Cobalt LP, are tackling this problem head-on. Griff is the Head of Cobalt LP, a software solution that helps LPs with portfolio construction, benchmarking, and investment selection focused on the private markets. Cobalt also offers front-office analytics and back-office managed services solutions, all backed by Hamilton Lane?s first-class historical data and insights. In addition to this role, Griff helps run strategic technology investments for the firm. They talk about the state of Private Markets investing and how the explosive growth of private markets has created such a need for Cobalt LP. They close with his role in strategic tech investing, including how he sourced a deal from a fishbowl (don?t you miss in-person conferences?). Hamilton Lane is an alternative investment management firm that provides private markets solutions to investors around the world with over $500B total assets under management and supervision as of September 30, 2020 - Inclusive of $73.1B in assets under management and $474.1B in assets under supervision as of September 30, 2020. For more insights and analysis from FinTech leaders, follow us below: Ryan's Twitter: twitter.com/RyanZauk Medium: medium.com/wharton-fintech WFT Twitter: twitter.com/whartonfintech LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/wharton-fintech-club/ Facebook: www.facebook.com/whartonfintech/ Instagram: www.instagram.com/whartonfintech/
2020-12-16
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Crypto Comes to India with Neeraj Khandelwal, Co-Founder of CoinDCX

In today?s episode, Anchit Gupta (WG?21) is joined by Neeraj Khandelwal, Co-Founder of CoinDCX. Started in 2018, CoinDCX is India?s largest and safest cryptocurrency exchange and liquidity aggregator. CoinDCX offers users single-point access to a diverse suite of crypto-based financial products and services. Neeraj spearheads the technical development of all CoinDCX products. Prior to his role at CoinDCX, he served as Vice President of Engineering at Holachef and Chief Technology Officer at Doormint, leading a team of over 20 talented developers. Neeraj holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. In this interview, Neeraj shares: - CoinDCX?s customer base and their investment preferences - Awareness of crypto in India and CoinDCX?s efforts to increase it - Their competitive landscape and ecosystem in India - His business strategy in response to Crypto?s high volatility and risk - The future of Cryptocurrency in India For more insights and analysis from FinTech leaders, follow us below: Medium: medium.com/wharton-fintech WFT Twitter: twitter.com/whartonfintech Ryan's Twitter: twitter.com/RyanZauk LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/wharton-fintech-club/ Facebook: www.facebook.com/whartonfintech/ Instagram: www.instagram.com/whartonfintech/
2020-12-13
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Reinventing Financial Systems ? Henrique Dubugras, Co-Founder/Co-CEO of Brex

In this episode, my guest is Henrique Dubugras, Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Brex, a financial operating system for startups and growing companies, with services including a charge card, cash management, and controls in a single account. Originally from Brazil, Henrique built a payments company when he was only sixteen and in just three years grew it to process over $1.5 billion in processed transactions. Shortly thereafter, he co-founded Brex along with Pedro Franceschi. In this interview, we talk about: - Henrique?s story from entrepreneur, to Stanford student, to Stanford dropout and Brex co-founder - How he met his co-founder, Pedro, and their inspiration to launch Brex - Their significant decision to move Brex into a remote-first company and what that means for them - The importance of company culture and some key lessons for fintech founders - And a whole lot more! Henrique Dubugras Henrique Dubugras is Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Brex ? the smartest corporate card in the room. A Brazilian entrepreneur, Henrique built payments company Pagar.me ? the Stripe of Brazil ? when he was sixteen years old. In just three years, Pagar.me grew to US$1.5 billion in volume of transactions processed. In the fall of 2016, Henrique sold Pagar.me and enrolled at Stanford University. After eight months, he left school and founded Brex. About Brex Brex is reimagining financial systems so every growing company can realize its full potential. By rebuilding from scratch the entire technology stack for credit card issuing, storing and transferring money, Brex has designed financial software that avoids previously painful banking problems. Traditional banking systems are broken; previously neither founders nor their businesses had access to great financial perks and benefits that their corporate counterparts enjoyed. Brex created products for fast moving companies that are intuitive, well designed, and have more powerful functionality than anything on the market. At its core, Brex exists to empower every growing company to dream bigger. In June 2018 Brex launched the first corporate card and rewards program designed for Startups. Brex reimagined every aspect of corporate cards, including 10-20x higher limits than traditional cards, tailored rewards with points on every purchase, and no personal guarantee for founders. This is a radically better experience for customers. In Fall 2019, Brex introduced its second product, Brex Cash. A first-of-its-kind cash management account that enables companies to simplify financial operations, pay for expenses and grow their business, all with zero fees. As a unified platform, Brex brings together the ability to store money and pay bills in a single, elegant dashboard replete with integrations to other financial software -- a new vision for the autonomous finance function. Having started as part of the Y Combinator accelerator program in 2017, the team has grown to over 400 people. Based in San Francisco, Brex has raised over US$465 million in venture capital, with support from Kleiner Perkins Growth, YC Continuity Fund, Greenoaks Capital, Ribbit Capital, IVP, DST, as well as fintech insiders like Peter Thiel and Max Levchin. Brex has also raised over $510 million in debt funding from Barclays. As of writing it is worth $3 billion.
2020-12-11
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Building Big Things and Moving Fast - Allison Barr Allen, Co-Founder/COO of Fast

Miguel Armaza sits down with Allison Barr Allen, Co-founder and COO of Fast, an online login and checkout platform on a mission to make buying online faster, safer and easier. The company is backed by Stripe, Index Ventures, Susa Ventures, Global Founders Capital, and Brian Sugar. Prior to Fast, Allison held senior product roles at Uber, where her team launched and scaled Uber?s payments, risk, and compliance products globally. Before that she was a strategy consultant at PwC. Allison is also a passionate private and public investor, both as an LP at Operator Collective and as an advocate for value investing in the public stock market. We talked about: - Allison?s fascinating experiences at Uber - The power of investing in public and private markets - Her journey at Fast over the last 12 months, - The value of listening and acting on client feedback - The importance of company culture, partnerships, and having a really clear vision of the future of your company - and much, much more! Allison Barr Allen, Co-founder and COO Allison Barr Allen is the co-founder and COO of Fast, the world?s fastest online login and checkout platform. Previously, Allison was the head of global product operations for the Money Team at Uber, where she helped scale Uber from 2,000 employees to more than 26,000 worldwide. Allison?s team launched and scaled Uber?s payments, risk, and compliance products globally, including on-demand payments, cash products, debit cards and credit cards. Prior to Uber, Allison served as a healthcare strategy consultant at PwC. In addition to her role at Fast, Allison is a limited partner at Operator Collective, a venture capital firm that brings together leaders from diverse backgrounds to invest in the next generation of enterprise technology. Allison is also deeply committed to supporting entrepreneurs through Trail Run Capital, her angel investment fund. Allison graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. About Fast Fast's mission is to make buying online faster, safer and easier for everyone. Its Fast Login and Fast Checkout products enable a one-click sign-in and purchasing experience that makes it easier for people to buy and merchants to sell. The company's products work on any browser, device or platform to deliver a consistent, stress-free purchasing experience. Fast is entirely consumer focused and invests heavily in its users' privacy and data security. Headquartered in San Francisco, Fast is a privately held company funded by Stripe, Index Ventures, Susa Ventures, Global Founders Capital and Brian Sugar ? who also serves on the board.
2020-12-09
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Frank Rotman, Founding Partner at QED Investors - Past, Present, and Future of Fintech!

Miguel Armaza interviews Frank Rotman, Founding Partner of QED Investors, a Venture Capital fund that invests in early-stage, disruptive financial services companies around the world. Frank focuses on financial services and financial technology companies that are credit-oriented or have data analytics foundations at their core and his portfolio includes some of the fintech rockstars of our generation, including LendUp, Credit Karma, Avant, SoFi, and many more. We talk about: - Frank?s experience at Capital One, starting as one of the first employees to senior executive and chief credit officer - The evolution of QED - The state fintech in the US, Latin America, and around the world - His approach to evaluating early-stage fintech startups - His outlook on the road ahead for the industry. - And much, much more! Finally, we also talk about Frank?s Twitter presence. It?s not an exaggeration to say he is probably the most respected fintech voice on Twitter and has become famous for sharing some of the most thoughtful and in-depth twitter threads. In case you?re not following him, I recommend you check him out. His username is @FintechJunkie. Frank Rotman Frank Rotman is a founding partner of QED Investors. His investments are focused on financial services and financial technology companies that are credit oriented or have data analytics foundations at their core. His portfolio of 20+ investments includes many of the emerging next-generation companies in the financial services eco-system such as Credit Karma, Prosper, Avant Credit, SoFi, GreenSky, LendUp and ApplePie Capital. Frank was one of the earliest analysts hired into Capital One and spent almost 13 years there helping build many of the company?s business units and operational areas. With two decades in consumer & small business finance, Frank is widely known in the industry as a Credit Risk and Portfolio Management Expert. His responsibilities have included turning around underperforming business units, building new businesses from concept to market leadership positions, overseeing the credit performance of Capital One as a whole, and creating a Student Lending company after leaving Capital One in December 2005. Frank graduated from the University of Virginia with degrees that included Applied Mathematics (B.S.) and Systems Engineering (M.S.). About QED Investors QED is a leading boutique venture capital firm based in Alexandria, VA, co-founded by Nigel Morris and Frank Rotman. It invests in early-stage, disruptive financial services companies in North America, South America, and the United Kingdom. QED is dedicated to building great businesses and uses a unique, hands-on approach that leverages its partners? decades of entrepreneurial and operational experience, helping companies achieve breakthrough growth. Notable investments include Nubank, SoFi, Credit Karma, Klarna, GreenSky, Avant, Flywire, Remitly, QuintoAndar, Creditas, ClearScore, and Konfio.
2020-12-07
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The Future of Financial Advice with Jess Liberi, Head of Product at eMoney

On today?s episode, Ryan Zauk is joined by Jess Liberi, Head of Product for eMoney, a Fidelity-owned company. eMoney is a company most people aren?t familiar with, but many have been affected by. eMoney is a software company that empowers financial advisors with the tools to create robust financial plans, set savings, investing, and spending goals, conduct cash flow analysis, and much more. eMoney is used by over 70,000 financial professionals across a wide variety of practices in the US, reaching the financial future of ~5 million US households. It?s been trendy over the last decade to claim that financial advisors are becoming obsolete, have archaic fee models, etc. But Jess and Ryan dive into how advisors have adapted to new consumer demands both from the product and fee side, and the importance of a planning-centric advisor. During the COVID crisis, advisors were as important as ever, helping people stay the course during rough times. They also cover eMoney's product, the advisor trends Jess spotted during COVID, their new "Project Incentive," how advisors have been (and will continue to) adapt, and much more. Highlights below: 7:50 - A brief look at the evolution of the financial advisor 9:01 - eMoney's "competitive advantage" and what differentiates them 10:05 - Some incredible initiatives eMoney has taken on to help 2,000+ students get externships and push advising toward planning-centricity 12:41? - What behavior changes, or lack thereof, they saw during COVID 18:45 ?- ?What's keeping advisors up at night, how they need to adapt products and fee structure, and surprising statistics about the engagement of people over the age of 60 22:50? - ?eMoney's "Project Incentive" For more insights and analysis from FinTech leaders, follow us below: Medium: medium.com/wharton-fintech WFT Twitter: twitter.com/whartonfintech Ryan's Twitter: twitter.com/RyanZauk LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/wharton-fintech-club/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/whartonfintech/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/whartonfintech/
2020-12-04
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Building Unicorns and Redefining Online Banking - Renaud Laplanche, Upgrade CEO/Co-Founder

Building Unicorns and Redefining Online Banking - Renaud Laplanche, Upgrade CEO/Co-Founder I sat down with Renaud Laplanche, co-founder and CEO of Upgrade, a neobank that offers affordable and responsible credit to mainstream consumers. Since inception in 2017, Upgrade has surpassed $100 million in revenue run rate and a billion-dollar valuation. The company is backed by some of the best VCs in the industry and has raised over $200M dollars in debt and equity, including Mouro Capital, Ribbit Capital, Union Square Ventures, FirstMark Capital, CreditEase, and many more. Prior to Upgrade, Renaud founded and ran Lending Club, a company that pioneered consumer fintech and that he took public in December 2014 at a 10B dollar valuation. There?s no doubt Renaud and Lending Club inspired a generation of fintech founders around the world and countless of fintech founders repeatedly cite Lending Club as an inspiration for their companies. Renaud is also in a select and exclusive club of founders that have started not one, but two unicorns. Listen to the full interview --> Spotify | Soundcloud | Apple Podcasts Renaud Laplanche Renaud is the co-founder and CEO of Upgrade, Inc. a neobank that offers affordable and responsible credit to mainstream consumers. Under his leadership, Upgrade reached $100 million in revenue run rate, profitability and a billion-dollar valuation within 3 years of launch. Upgrade is the only neobank backed by one of the world?s top 10 largest banks. Prior to Upgrade, Renaud founded and ran Lending Club for 10 years. He took the company public, reaching a market capitalization of $10 billion in December 2014. At Lending Club, Renaud pioneered consumer fintech and grew the company to become the largest provider of personal loans in America. Renaud was ranked #23 in Bloomberg Markets? 2015 Most Influential List, an annual ranking of the World?s top 50 most influential leaders across technology, finance, and politics. He was also recognized at the Clinton Global Initiative by President Clinton for expanding access to affordable and responsible credit. In 2014, he won the Economist Innovation Award in the consumer products category and was named the "best start-up CEO to work for" by Business Insider. Renaud was named ?Fintech Executive of the Year? by Finovate in 2020. He also holds the Newport-Bermuda world speed sailing record. About Upgrade Upgrade is a neobank that offers affordable and responsible credit to mainstream consumers through personal loans and cards, together with credit monitoring and education tools that help consumers better understand and manage their money. Over $3.5 billion in loans and cards have been originated by the Upgrade platform since inception in 2017. Upgrade is headquartered in San Francisco, California, with an operations center in Phoenix, Arizona, and a technology center in Montreal, Canada. Personal Credit Lines are issued by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. Upgrade Card is issued by Sutton Bank, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. Rewards associated with the Upgrade Card, when applicable, are provided by Upgrade, Inc. More information is available at: https://www.upgrade.com. Wharton Fintech https://www.whartonfintech.org/ | https://twitter.com/whartonfintech | https://www.linkedin.com/company/wharton-fintech-club Miguel Armaza https://www.linkedin.com/in/armaza/ | https://twitter.com/MiguelArmaza
2020-12-02
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Anish Acharya, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz - Doubling Down on Fintech

Miguel Armaza sits down with Anish Acharya, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz (A16Z), where he invests primarily in financial services and adjacent technologies. Prior to joining A16Z, Anish held multiple leadership roles at Credit Karma and before that he founded two different startups ? SocialDeck (acquired by Google) and Snowball (acquired by Credit Karma). In this episode, we talk about his transition from operator investor; The evolution of his investing approach; Why all of his best career decisions have mostly been focused on people; and, why he believes there?s a huge opportunity in fintech for the GenZ generation. Anish is also a passionate DJ and loves to spin records, so as bonus for our listeners, we have included a few minutes of his latest mix at the end of the show! Anish Acharya Anish Acharya is a General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz where he invests primarily in financial services and adjacent technologies. He currently serves on the boards of remote payroll and compliance platform Deel and construction technology company Mosaic. Anish joined Andreessen Horowitz in 2019. Prior to joining a16z, Anish held multiple roles at Credit Karma including the General Manager of Core Product and General Manager of U.S. Card, which he helped scale to over 100MM members and nearly $1B in 2019 revenue. Anish joined Credit Karma in 2015 via the acquisition of Snowball, a notifications startup he founded a year earlier. Prior to creating Snowball, Anish founded SocialDeck, a social-gaming company that was acquired by Google in 2010. He went on to lead various mobile product efforts as well as invest at Google Ventures. Anish graduated from the University of Waterloo and lives in the Bay Area with his family. About A16Z Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) is a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm that backs bold entrepreneurs building the future through technology. The firm is stage agnostic, investing in seed to late-stage technology companies, across the consumer, enterprise, bio/healthcare, crypto, and fintech spaces. a16z has nearly $16.5B in assets under management across multiple funds. See portfolio companies here: https://a16z.com/portfolio/. Wharton Fintech https://www.whartonfintech.org/ | https://twitter.com/whartonfintech | https://www.linkedin.com/company/wharton-fintech-club Miguel Armaza https://www.linkedin.com/in/armaza/ | https://twitter.com/MiguelArmaza
2020-11-30
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The Latin American Opportunity - Hernán Fernández, Founder of Angel Ventures

Miguel Armaza sits down with Hernan Fernandez, Founder and Co-Managing Partner at Angel Ventures, one of the oldest and most active Venture Capital funds in Latin America investing in early-stage to early-growth companies with business models tailored for the Latin American market. We talked about Hernan?s career, what drove him to leave the corporate world and launch one of the first VC?s in the region, his take on the entrepreneurial market in Latin America, and some of the trends and opportunities that get him going these days. Hernan is also the founder of the largest angel investment network in Latin America and serves as a Board Member at the Mexican Association of PE & VC Funds. Prior to AV, Hernan got his MBA degree at MIT?s Sloan School of Management Hernán Fernández Lamadrid Hernan is the Founder and Co-Managing Partner at Angel Ventures, where he manages deal-flow, investor relations and shares duties in creating value for the investment portfolio. He is also the founder of the largest angel investment network in Latin America. He currently serves as a Board Member at the Mexican Association of PE & VC Funds (AMEXCAP). Prior to Angel Ventures, Hernan started his professional career as a corporate lawyer in PwC?s Mexico City and Paris branch offices, as a consultant for the Sustainable Business Initiative of the United Nations Development Program in the U.S. and Paraguay and later as a management consultant for Strategy& (formerly Booz & Company) in Mexico City. He has been named one of CNN/Expansion 30 Mexico?s Promises and the Most Influential Angel Investor in Mexico according to TechCrunch. Hernán holds a master?s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the MIT Sloan School of Management and a law degree from ITAM in Mexico. AV has put together a strong and flexible team, bestinclass, in-house developed processes and attracted a multidisciplinary group of advisors, mentors and allies that not only provide capital, but most importantly, talent, relationships, and brain power. The managing team has extensive experience in company development and growth, private equity transactions, management and operation of venture capital funds, mergers, and acquisitions, launching startups and new business units, as well as strategic consulting and operational administration of multinational conglomerates. About Angel Ventures Founded in 2008, AV is one of the most active and influential Mexican VC firms in Latin America. The Firm invests in early-stage to early-growth companies by becoming a leading Series Seed and Series A investor in startups that drive innovative business models tailored for the Latin American market. We manage two investment funds (one in fundraising), and we strive to perform the best possible investments by attracting best-in-class entrepreneurs, applying exhaustive and progressive methodologies to assess opportunities and leveraging our intangible assets to boost our portfolio returns, all while being compliant with major global standards for VC practices. AV is the official VC firm recognized by the four governments of the pacific alliance region (México, Colombia, Perú and Chile). The Company was awarded such recognition through a call of proposals organized by the Inter-American Development Bank in June 2016. Wharton Fintech - https://www.whartonfintech.org/ - https://twitter.com/whartonfintech - https://www.linkedin.com/company/wharton-fintech-club Host https://www.linkedin.com/in/armaza/ https://twitter.com/MiguelArmaza
2020-11-29
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Entrepreneurship, Stand-up Comedy, & Investing ? Eric Satz, Founder/CEO of AltoIRA

Miguel Armaza sits down with Eric Satz, Founder and CEO of AltoIRA, a company on a mission to help individuals in the US access and execute investments in alternative assets using their retirement savings. We cover: - Eric?s journey from investment banker, to coffee shop owner, to venture capitalist, to AltoIRA founder. - What influenced him to pursue entrepreneurship throughout most of his life. - Why he thinks this is now a great time to invest in private companies. - The advantages of launching a fintech startup in Nashville, Tennessee. - Why he thinks the only thing harder than fundraising for startup money is making somebody laugh and why he has so much respect for stand-up comedians. - And much, much more! Eric is also the host of his own podcast, The Altogether Show, which features unfiltered interviews with untraditional entrepreneurs who ignored boundaries and followed their instincts. https://altogether.show/ Eric Satz An entrepreneur and former investment banker, Eric worked for DLJ/Credit Suisse First Boston before co-founding Currenex, Plumgood Food, and Tennessee Community Ventures, a VC firm. Eric served on the Board of the TVA?from?2015-January?2019, and he teaches an entrepreneurship class to high school students. A Miami native and diehard 'Canes and Dolphins fan, Eric went to Amherst College. After years in NYC and then San Francisco, he and his wife moved to Nashville, her hometown, to raise their kids. When he's not breathing life into startup companies, Eric loves to ski, play soccer, and practice yoga. About AltoIRA AltoIRA is a financial technology company on a mission to help individuals access and execute investments in alternative assets using their retirement savings. The firm's cost-effective and hassle-free platform streamlines the process for investors, funding portals and issuers alike. Alto currently works with leading platform partners including AngelList, Wefunder and Masterworks, as well as financial advisors, funds and other direct issuers. Launched in 2018, the Nashville-based fintech firm is backed by leading investors including the family office of Tony James, Moment Ventures, Foundation Capital and the Sequoia Scout Fund. For more information, please visit www.AltoIRA.com - https://www.whartonfintech.org/ - https://twitter.com/whartonfintech - https://www.linkedin.com/company/wharton-fintech-club - Host: https://www.linkedin.com/in/armaza/
2020-11-25
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Financial Regulation for the Digital Age ? Jo Ann Barefoot, CEO & Founder of AIR

In this episode, Miguel Armaza sits down with Jo Ann Barefoot, CEO & Founder of the Alliance for Innovative Regulation and host of the podcast Barefoot Innovation. Jo Ann is a famous advocate of ?regulation innovation,? and is one of the most active and visible fintech leaders working to improve and modernize financial regulation around the world. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Business & Government and in the past was Deputy Comptroller of the Currency of the United States and a staff member at the U.S. Senate Banking Committee. Jo Ann Barefoot Jo Ann Barefoot is CEO & Founder of AIR - the Alliance for Innovative Regulation and host of the global podcast show Barefoot Innovation. A noted advocate of ?regulation innovation,? Jo Ann is Senior Fellow Emerita at the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Business & Government. She has been Deputy Comptroller of the Currency, partner at KPMG, Co-Chairman of Treliant Risk Advisors, and staff member at the U.S. Senate Banking Committee. She?s an angel investor, serves on the board of Oportun, serves on the fintech advisory committee for FINRA, is a member of the Milken Institute U.S. FinTech Advisory Committee, and is a member of the California Blockchain Working Group Advisory Board. Jo Ann chairs the board of directors of FinRegLab, previously chaired the board of the Financial Health Network, and previously served on the CFPB?s Consumer Advisory Board. She was a Cofounder of Hummingbird Regtech. About Alliance for Innovative Regulation AIR is a nonprofit dedicated to modernizing the financial regulatory system. We believe that the regulatory framework needs to migrate from a largely manual to a Digitally-Native Design. This will ensure financial stability, protect consumers from harm, promote financial inclusion, curtail financial crime, and enable continuous innovation. AIR works at the intersection of technology, innovation, and regulation to help regulators better understand emerging technologies that can help improve financial health. Examples like cash-flow underwriting can expand safe and affordable credit to people with no credit history, increasing credit access and a creating a more fair financial system. AIR?s Regtech Manifesto Financial regulation needs to convert from analog to digital design. This seminal thought piece calls for gradual, but urgent, conversion of the financial regulatory system to a ?digitally-native? framework. The Manifesto is a Request for Comments (RFC). It calls for discussion about a system that will be rebuilt over time to leverage the power of digitization and make regulatory outcomes better, faster, and cheaper, all at once. Join the conversation.
2020-11-24
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B2B Venture Investing with Evgenia Plotnikova, Partner at Dawn Capital

Ryan Zauk sits down with Evgenia Plotnikova, Partner and Investor at Dawn Capital in the wake of Dawn's $400M raise in September. Dawn Capital is one of the premier venture firms in Europe and is focused on B2B Software and FinTech, investing mostly in Series A and B rounds for high-growth companies across Europe. Evgenia is a seasoned investor in both venture and private equity. Prior to Dawn, she was a VC at Atomico, where she spearheaded the firm's entry into France and worked with a number of businesses, including Ontruck and Memphis Meats. Before VC, Evgenia was an investor at TPG Capital focused on telecommunications, retail, transportation, and mining. She started her career at J.P. Morgan in the London and Dubai offices, where she advised businesses on potential M&A transactions as well as equity and debt financings. Evgenia is fluent in French and Russian, has lived in 5 countries, and has traveled to 55 (though COVID may be slowing her march to 60). In 2017, Evgenia was named to Forbes? ?30 Under 30? and became the judge for its prestigious Finance category in 2018. Ryan & Evgenia cover a great deal in today?s episode, with highlights broken out below: - How she describes Dawn and her general investing style (4:20) - Raising a $400M fund in COVID, a huge fund for venture capital (7:40) - How Dawn positions themselves to entrepreneurs and founders, and the incredible value they have offered founders (10:29) - Her general sourcing and diligence processes (12:30) - Her investment in Soldo and the bright future ahead for the company (18:35) - A special rapid-fire question round (27:08) ?And much more. Enjoy the show! For more insights and analysis from FinTech leaders, follow us below: Medium: https://medium.com/wharton-fintech WFT Twitter: https://twitter.com/whartonfintech Ryan's Twitter: https://twitter.com/RyanZauk LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/wharton-fintech-club/
2020-11-23
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Transforming Banking for Immigrants ? Matt Oppenheimer, Co-Founder & CEO of Remitly

In this episode, Miguel Armaza sits down with Matt Oppenheimer, Co-Founder and CEO of Remitly, a Seattle-based mobile payments platform enabling consumers to send and receive payments around the world that aims to provide the full suite of financial services to immigrants and migrants. The inspiration behind Remitly came when Matt was working in Kenya in 2010 and saw how difficult it was to send and receive money overseas. He began working on the problem immediately and has since grown the business to a rumored 1.5 Billion dollar-valuation in 2020. The company has raised almost $500 million in debt and equity from top industry VCs, including Generation Investment Management, Nasper?s PayU, Stripes Group, Threshold, QED, the World Bank?s IFC, Jeff Bezos, and many more! Matthew Oppenheimer Matthew Oppenheimer is Co-Founder and CEO at Remitly. The inspiration behind Remitly came when Matt was working for Barclays in Kenya and saw how difficult it was to send and receive money overseas. Matt was drawn to the global impact his business could have: remittances eclipse foreign aid in improving global wealth equality and give people who receive them upward mobility. He began working on the problem immediately as an Entrepreneur in Residence at Highway 12 Ventures in Idaho and launched the company from Techstars in Seattle. Matt was named EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 in the Pacific Northwest and has been recognized as a Puget Sound Business Journal 40 Under 40 honoree for his work with Remitly. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a bachelor?s degree in psychology from Dartmouth College. About Remitly Founded initially to disrupt the nearly $600 billion global remittance industry, Remitly is now transforming the lives of millions of immigrants and their families with the most trusted financial services products in the world. Remitly makes international money transfers faster, easier, more transparent and more affordable through its global network. Remitly?s reliable and easy-to-use mobile app eliminates the long wait times, complexities and fees typical of traditional remittance processes, returning millions of dollars in savings and spending power to immigrants every year. Remitly is also expanding its portfolio to include additional critical financial services for immigrants. The company?s Passbook offering is a modern banking solution that eliminates fees and other common barriers to creating a bank account, and introduces new cross-border money transfer benefits. Established in 2011 and headquartered in Seattle, Remitly is backed by more than a dozen industry-leading investors, including Prosus?s PayU, Generation Investment Management and Bezos Expeditions. The company operates globally, with offices in London, Kraków, Manila and Managua. For more information, visit Remitly.com.
2020-11-22
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