Chime adds $485M at a $14.5B valuation, claims EBITDA profitability

In the midst of IPO week we have to add another name to our future debuts list, namely Chime, which announced a huge new round of capital today. The $485 million Series F values the consumer fintech giant at $14.5 billion, a huge figure given that Chime was most recently worth $5.8 billion after raising $700 million last December.

Even more stark is the company’s $1.5 billion valuation set in early 2019. From $1.5 billion to $14.5 billion in less than two years is quite a run for any startup. Powering the latest round there were a host of familiar names, including Tiger, ICONIQ and General Atlantic, along with Dragoneer and DST Global. Names I’m less familiar with like Whale Rock Capital and Access Technology Ventures also took part.

Tucked inside a CNBC article that broke the story was news that Chime is now EBITDA profitable and could be “IPO-ready”

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CFPB Announces new Consumer Advisory Board Members, No Respresentation for Debt Collectors Yet Again

Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced the newest members of its advisory boards, including the Consumer Advisory Board (CAB). Notably, the CAB is yet again devoid of representation from the debt collection industry, which has been a pattern ever since 2018, when the CFPB’s Former Acting Director Mick Mulvaney disbanded the advisory board on which Ohad Samet, CEO of TrueAccord, sat.

The newly announced CAB members include:

  • Chair of the CAB – Eric Kaplan, Director – Housing Finance Program, Milken Institute (Washington, DC)
  • Joaquin Altoro, CEO, Wisconsin Housing & Economic Development Authority (Madison, WI)
  • Nikitra Bailey, EVP, Center for Responsible Lending (Durham, NC)
  • Lorray Brown, Attorney/Consumer Law Attorney, Co-Director, Michigan Poverty Law Program (Ypsilanti, MI)
  • Nadine Cohen, Managing Attorney, Greater Boston Legal Services (Boston, MA)
  • David Ehrich, Executive Director, AIR – Alliance for Innovation Regulation (Washington, DC)
  • Mae Watson Grote, Founder and CEO, The Financial Clinic (Brooklyn,
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U.S. Consumer sentiment climbs to six-month high in September

U.S. consumer sentiment increased more than expected in early September to a six-month high as Americans grew more upbeat about the economy’s prospects.

The University of Michigan’s preliminary sentiment index for September advanced to 78.9 from a final August reading of 74.1, according to data released Friday.

The median estimate from economists surveyed by Bloomberg was 75.

The measure of expectations rose 4.8 points to 73.3, also a six-month high, while a gauge of current conditions increased 4.6 points to 87.5.

Just 16% of respondents said they expected the economy to worsen in the year ahead, the smallest share since 2015 and consistent with an economy and labor market that are slowly recovering. The gauge of sentiment, however, still remains below its prepandemic levels and Americans were less upbeat about the prospects for their finances.

The S&P 500 swung between gains and losses as investors searched for new catalysts to

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InterSystems Joins CARIN Alliance to Advance Consumer and Caregiver Access to Health Information


What Investors With $3.4 Trillion Are Buying During Covid

(Bloomberg) — Hotels, pipelines, convenience stores and automaker bonds are among the assets being bought by some of the world’s biggest asset managers as they look for value in a world thrown into turmoil by the coronavirus pandemic.In interviews with sovereign wealth funds, pension firms and asset managers across Asia and Europe that collectively manage about $3.4 trillion, one thing was clear: many of them are avoiding the overheated stock market.The most common outlook was one of caution. They are mindful that much of the rebound in markets and private-company valuations is thanks to ultra-low interest rates, massive central bank stimulus and government fiscal support, some of which could start to be wound back in coming months.With asset values still seen as inflated, even in some hot areas like healthcare and technology, many are waiting for a potential second downturn

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Personal Finance Book Sales Are on the Rise, The NPD Group Says

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y., Sept. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Rising sales of personal financial books in the United States that began in 2017 have accelerated since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March. Unit sales of books about personal finance have increased 4 percent for the year to date and have increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9 percent over the past five years, according to The NPD Group (

“We first noted the upward finance books sales trend in 2019, driven by a growing interest in the financial-independence-retire-early movement among younger generations, even as the economy was doing well,” said Kristen McLean, books industry analyst for NPD. “However, after COVID-19 hit the U.S., the need became less about lifestyle considerations and more about necessity, as economic insecurity, stimulus checks, and unemployment benefits drove the personal savings rate upward. We expect this category to remain strong into

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Alogent and DeepTarget Partner to Provide User-Specific Digital Engagements and Personalized Financial Consumer Stories for Banks and Credit Unions

Alogent partners with DeepTarget, allowing financial institutions to engage account holders throughout their connected digital ecosystem with personalized messaging and discoverable AI-powered financial stories.

PEACHTREE CORNERS, Ga., Sept. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Alogent (@AlogentCorp), a global software leader in end-to-end payment processing, content and information management, digital banking and loan origination solutions, announced today a partnership with DeepTarget Inc., a solution provider that utilizes data mining and business intelligence to deliver targeted engagements across digital channels for banks and credit unions. This partnership enables users of Alogent’s digital and mobile banking platform, NXT, to leverage DeepTarget’s Digital Experience Platform (DXP), allowing financial institutions to engage their customers and/or members throughout their connected digital ecosystem with personalized messaging.

Need-matching offers, financial fitness and wellness coaching, and community information are a few examples of what consumers seek today more than ever. Alogent’s end-to-end platform focuses on user experience and in-journey consumer

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Trump’s front-runners for the Supreme Court create concern for employee, consumer advocates

Although much of the conversation around President Donald Trump’s forthcoming choice for a Supreme Court Justice to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg has centered around reproductive rights, legal experts say there are few areas of corporate law on which a new Justice could have potentially significant influence.

Two names that have emerged as front-runners are Judge Amy Coney Barrett and Judge Barbara Lagoa.

In matters concerning corporate law, Columbia University law professor John Coffee said Judge Barrett is tough to pin down. “She’s got very clear positions in constitutional law,” he said. “Most constitutional law professors don’t know much about corporate law and they don’t have decidedly clear positions.”

Some believe the new justice could have the potential to surprise. “Past record says something but iteration from precedent often leads to surprises,” said Richard Epstein, a law professor at New York University. “As to judicial philosophy, it is hard to predict

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Weekly High Frequency Indicators: Consumer Spending Negative For The Second Week In A Row


I look at the high frequency weekly indicators because while they can be very noisy, they provide a good nowcast of the economy, and will telegraph the maintenance or change in the economy well before monthly or quarterly data is available. They are also an excellent way to “mark your beliefs to market.” In general, I go in order of long-leading indicators, then short-leading indicators, then coincident indicators.

A Note on Methodology

Data is presented in a “just the facts, ma’am” format with a minimum of commentary so that bias is minimized.

Where relevant, I include 12-month highs and lows in the data in parentheses to the right. All data taken from St. Louis FRED unless otherwise linked.

A few items (e.g., Financial Conditions indexes, regional Fed indexes, stock prices, the yield curve) have their own metrics based on long-term studies of their behavior.

Where data is seasonally adjusted,

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GIC Leads $500 Million Funding into Consumer Credit Unicorn Affirm

A Singapore sovereign wealth fund has led a $500 million funding round into Affirm, the San Francisco fintech startup begun by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin that aims to cut out credit cards from online shopping. 

GIC, formerly known as the Government of Singapore Investment Corp., and Durable Capital Partners are returning investors into the Bay Area consumer credit unicorn, the sovereign fund said last week. 

“We are pleased to support Affirm as they continue to strengthen their offering in the consumer finance space,” Choo Yong Cheen, private equity investment chief at GIC, said in a statement. 

The Singapore sovereign wealth fund previously led a $200 million Series E funding round into Affirm in 2017. GIC devotes about 10% to 15% of its portfolio to private equity. 

After reporting dismal earnings in July, GIC reported that it will continue to eye diversification through long-term growth trends, including taking stakes in digital

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Global Financial Wellness Program Market 2020 Research Report With COVID-19 Update – Key Players Analysis, Growth Factors and Forecast to 2025

The MarketWatch News Department was not involved in the creation of this content.

Sep 20, 2020 (CDN Newswire via Comtex) — announces the addition of new market research entitled Global Financial Wellness Program Market 2020 by Company, Regions, Type and Application, Forecast to 2025 to its growing market intelligence repository. The report offers an all-encompassing analysis of recent and upcoming states of this global Financial Wellness Program industry. The report presents a detailed look at some of the key elements of the overall market such as drivers, restraints, threats, and opportunities present in the market. It studies the global market development status. It focuses on major factors including leading vendors, growth rate, production value, and key regions. The report throws light on segment-level analysis where important application, distribution channel, and regional segments are analyzed to offer key insights. Our analysts have used paid databases along with top-of-the-line primary and

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