They never saw it coming. While the banking industry was worried about LendingClub and OnDeck, a much bigger threat was waiting in the wings. This was not some well-funded start-up bent on destroying the banking industry. It was an established incumbent embarking on a new path – from serving the complex needs ultra-high net worth… Read More


Happy Last Friday of 2017! While many publications are spending time right now offering predictions for the coming year, I thought it would be interesting to revisit some predictions for 2017 and see how things turned out. After all, why listen to anything that the “experts” predict if they aren’t consistently correct on items even… Read More


Quote of the week: “Banks are crying because Silicon Valley eats their breakfast every day and we don’t want to join the whimpering party. Tech companies are our main competitor.” –        Herman Gref, CEO and CAWO (Chief Anti-Whimpering Officer) of Sberbank Starling takes a step closer to being a full marketplace bank UK-based Starling Bank… Read More


Fintech is taking a break for today. Instead, read on for the Christmas edition of “How the Venture Capitalists Stole Common Sense-mas”, featuring Wreath-mart, iWreath, and the venture capitalists whose large infusions of cash disrupt profitable unit economics to drive good companies to do bad things… Act 1, It’s a Wonderful Wreath Wreath-mart, the long-standing… Read More


Did fintech fail? After years of hype about how startups were going to disrupt traditional banks, much of the conversation has turned to how startups can help incumbents. Even those involved in the fintech boom are now stepping back and unpacking why startups haven’t made good on their promise to disrupt banks. Jake Fuentes, co-founder… Read More


SoFi seemed to be controlling the pulse of the fintech narrative in the first half of this year, with aggressive expansion into new product lines and even an industrial loan charter (ILC) application. However, the momentum has shifted quickly in the last few months. While the company continues to generate significant revenue ($145MM in Q3),… Read More


Fintech lender risk isn’t too different from banks TransUnion released a new study this week analyzing tens of millions of loans over the last few years to understand the impact of fintech lenders. In 2016, fintech lenders made up 30% of the personal loan market, but are less risky than some would expect. While a… Read More


CBInsights published an in-depth, 10,000 word analysis of some of the most popular personal finance apps and how they achieved their massive growth. If you have time, I highly recommend reading the entire piece here, which covers companies like Mint, Acorns, Level Money, and Credit Karma and how they achieved significant adoption through customer acquisition… Read More


Online Consumer Lender Finds Exit Earnest, the online student loan and consumer lending startup, has sold for $155MM in cash to incumbent student loan servicer Navient (formerly part of Sallie Mae). A $155MM exit is better value realization than most online lending startups have seen, especially given that Earnest was launched in 2014. However, the… Read More


Goldman Sachs fintech strategy teardown Fantastic in-depth teardown of Goldman Sachs’ fintech strategy by CBInsights. Highlights: Goldman built Marcus, their online consumer lending arm, in just twelve months, and lent over $1 billion in the first 8 months in operation; current job postings include a role for building a robo-advisor; Goldman has $12 billion in… Read More