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

Acting Comptroller of the Currency Keith Noreika was interviewed on the main stage of Finovate two weeks ago. Keith has been in this role since the beginning of May, and immediately got to work when the state of New York sued the OCC the week after he took his post. The lawsuit was in response… Read More

I spent four days last week at the Finovate conference in New York, which is one of the largest fintech conferences in the country. With over 70 companies presenting in seven minute segments, Finovate provides a great look into the pulse of fintech. As I reviewed the changes over the last few years, some trends… Read More

Coinbase capitalizes on crypto-surge Cryptocurrencies have been on a rocketship this year. Bitcoin had briefly hit $1,000 at the end of 2013, and then spent 3 years trying to recover from a huge decline. It ended 2016 priced at just under $1,000, but has more than tripled to $3,400 so far this year. The same… Read More

Banks push back against SoFi bank charter… Well that escalated quickly. After reports that SoFi had applied for an industrial loan company (ILC) bank charter in Utah, industry trade groups pushed for the FDIC to reject the application. The ICBA (Independent Community Bankers of America) positioned the ILC charter as a loophole and argues that… Read More

Must have been a slow news day… The team at Precision Lender invited me on their Purposeful Banker podcast to discuss an article I wrote about creating more authentic (and customer-centric) value propositions for banks. You can listen to the interview here. Leveraging the Value Chain, part 3 This is the last installment in a… Read More

In case you missed it, last week’s edition was an initial dive into how Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods was a reflection of its longer-term business development strategy. By exploring ways to leverage its existing value chain, Amazon uses internal customers to help develop new core businesses. I wanted to see if I could apply… Read More

Editor Note: I hope the below provides a brief respite from the barrage of Uber news. This is the first of a two-part series around ways companies can build new core businesses/distribution by using Amazon as a case study. By leveraging a company’s internal needs and strategically playing with the value chain, new core businesses… Read More

SoFi takes a step closer to launching a bank SoFi has applied for an industrial loan charter in Utah under the name SoFi Bank. SoFi’s application specifies that it will not operate branches or deposit-taking ATMs, and will only offer a credit card and an FDIC deposit account. If approved, it would be the first… Read More