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 consumer online deposit accounts; and continued focus on small businesses with Goldman’s acquisition of Honest Dollar and the recent lift out of a team from BondStreet, which could imply a new small business loan offering in the works.

JP Morgan inks partnership with small business payments platform
Not content to be outdone by Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan has also been extremely active in making new investments and partnerships with fintech companies. Recently, they announced a new partnership with, a business-to-business payments platform that facilitates digital payments and invoices. JP Morgan will introduce the service to their base of 4 million small business customers starting in 2018. In addition to the partnership, JP Morgan has also invested in the business to add to its fintech portfolio.

If you don’t have lemons, steal someone’s Lemonade
Lemonade has made quite a splash over the last year as they began to roll out their take on renter’s insurance in a few major states. Whether accurate or paranoid, Lemonade noticed that many other insurance companies started competing with them by ripping off their own branding and emphasis on lemons. The grand prize goes to Liberty Mutual, who launched a new lemon-themed brand named Lulo about 8 months after the real Lemonade launched, complete with a similar logo and website copy. If you can’t beat ‘em…

Ellevest adds humans to the mix
Earlier this year I covered the keynote address at the Empire Startups Fintech conference from Ellevest’s Sallie Krawcheck. Krawcheck, former CFO of Citi, has now raised an additional $34.6MM for her startup focused on providing investment services to women. As part of the funding announcement, the company also launched Ellevest Ascent, a “human financial planning service” that will add the ability for customers to get one-on-one financial planning in addition to the existing digital robo-advisor services.

a16z leads funding round for payday loan challenger
Andreessen Horowitz has led a new $39MM funding round for Activehours, a company tackling the payday loan space. Activehours is able to get around payday lending regulation by not charging interest – it only requests that users contribute a small fee, or “tip”, voluntarily if they like the service. The service is delivered through a mobile app, which allows users to see how much of their upcoming paycheck has been earned/accrued, and then get an advance from Activehours prior to payday.