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Fintech Focus Roundup For May 23, 2021

·5 min read
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Fintech Header

Fintech Spotlight: Nasdaq And Benzinga Partner, Express Commitment To Providing Actionable Market Intelligence
As part of a vision to democratize access to actionable and timely stock market information, Benzinga partnered with Nasdaq Inc.

Apart from supporting firms like Apple Inc, Alphabet Inc, and Microsoft Corporation, from their earliest stages, Nasdaq offers numerous other products and services, all of which increase market access and transparency for both institutions and retail participants.

Through this new partnership, the businesses that rely on Nasdaq for data will be able to tap into Benzinga’s Market Newswires feed, with ease, unlocking access to content crafted by a team of in-house reporters, analysts, and editors.

Newswires include individual stock coverage, Canadian asset coverage, cryptocurrency, macroeconomics, and innovations such as the Why-is-it-Moving API, which gives the 1-sentence reason why a stock is trading higher or lower on a given day.

Fintech Spotlight: MX Onboards Lexi Hall To Empower Regulatory Innovation In Fintech
MX, a platform for building modern financial solutions, formally welcomed a new Director of Public Policy, Lexi Hall.

As part of the development, Benzinga spoke with Hall and MX Chief Advocacy Officer Jane Barratt.

TradeZero America Launches Cryptocurrency, Celebrates By Buying New York Yankee Hospitality Suite License With Bitcoin
TradeZero America, a commission-free trading platform, formally announced the launch of cryptocurrency trading.

In celebration of this addition, TradeZero will also purchase a license to a New York Yankees hospitality suite in Yankee Stadium with Bitcoin, marking it the ball club’s first transaction using digital assets.

Global Trading Platform Stake Adds $30M From Tiger Global, DST Global
Stake is a commission-free, fractional trading application that allows global access to U.S. markets.

The idea behind Stake emerged in 2009 when Stake’s founder, Matt Leibowitz, sought a better way to invest in the immense innovation, diversity of companies, and advanced liquidity available in the United States.

Since then, in a move to expand into new markets, including Europe, and broaden its product offer, Stake announced the addition of $30 million in financing. This comes as Stake has seen an average 25% month-on-month U.K. customer growth and has amassed a global customer base of 330,000.

Collectibles Investment Pioneer Rally Secures $30M Series B Led By Accel
Rally, which was one of the first to democratize investment in one-of-a-kind assets for as little as $1 per share, raised $30 million in a funding round led by Accel, with participation from existing investors Upfront Ventures, Social Leverage, and others.

Additionally, the company secured a $50 million debt facility from Upper90 Capital.

The development comes as the company looks to continues growing its investor base and add cash-flow producing assets like intellectual property, royalties, real estate and more.

Payroll Management Platform Payslip Adds $10M To Series A
In a move that brings Payslip’s total financing to $14.5 million, MiddleGame Ventures led a new $10-million round with participation from Mouro Capital; Frontline Ventures; Tribal.vc; investors David Clarke, former CTO of Workday; Brian Williams, co-counder of One Source Virtual; and Phil Chambers, CEO and co-founder of Peakon.

The development comes as Payslip grew its revenues by 40% and quarterly customer growth by 25%. With added funds, Payslip said it will be further empowered to help multinational organizations solve payroll pain points such as data standardization and automation, reporting and analytics, as well as compliance and operational efficiency.

Lance, A Self-Driving Bank Account For The Self-Employed, Closes On $2.8M Round
Built by a team of ex-freelancers, Lance is a bank account that automatically identifies deductibles and manages tax withholdings, puts aside savings and pays monthly salaries in accordance with a freelancer’s sometimes volatile income.

In a round with participation by Barclays, BDMI, Great Oaks Capital, Imagination Capital, Techstars and DFJ Frontier, along with other fintech and creative industry angel investors, Lance raised $8 million to further product development and marketing.

Secfi Secures $150M Investment Facility For Stock Option Financing Platform
Secfi provides equity planning tools that help private company shareholders and professional advisors make better decisions for their equity, from offer to IPO.

Presently, the company works with employees from 80% of all U.S.-based unicorn technology companies and has over $10 billion in stock options registered on its platform.

In a move to expand its platform to stock option financing for executives and employees, the company added a $150-million facility from New York-based investment firm Serengeti Asset Management.

The development comes after the success of Serengeti’s first $550-million facility in January 2020.

Small Exchange Lowers Barrier To Energy Market Volatility With SMO Crude Oil Future
Launched last year, the Small Exchange was founded after CEO and President Donald Roberts, alongside Tom Sosnoff, founder and co-CEO of tastytrade, reflected on their experiences building thinkorswim, a brokerage acquired by TD Ameritrade in 2009 for $606 million.

Given their view that the futures market missed the boat on the retail world and general public, the Small Exchange was born offering products with standardized tick sizes, expiration cycles, and reduced notional sizes.

The latest product to launch is the Small US Crude Oil Futures (SMO) contract, a cash-settled future whose underlying is a United States-referenced blend of domestic light sweet crude oils.

"The launch of Small US Crude Oil futures is just another example of our dedication to answering the call of the retail trader," Roberts said in a statement to Benzinga. "The number of people looking to take their investments into their own hands is growing every day, and we are committed to giving them easier access to all markets with smaller products and lower costs to trade."

Fintech Spotlight: How To Build A DIY Robo-Advisor Using Passiv
In light of the commission-free trading revolution and COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, inexperienced participants flooded the market, actively speculating with the use of short-term, risky strategies.

The problem with risky strategies: investors are quickly worn out when things turn bad.

More and more, as DIY investors go back to work and become less aggressively involved in the market, the demand for long-term investment tools has risen. Founded in 2017, Passiv is one fintech provider benefitting from this change in trend.

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