Category Archives: Banking

Robinhood said to not be properly insured to offer checking & savings

Robinhood’s new high-interest, zero-fee checking and savings feature seems to be too good to be true. Users’ money may not be fully protected. The CEO of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, a nonprofit membership corporation that insures stock brokerages, tells TechCrunch its insurance would not apply to checking and savings accounts the way Robinhood claims. “Robinhood would be buying securities for its account and sharing a portion of the proceeds with their customers, and that’s not what we cover,” says SIPC CEO Stephen Harbeck. “I’ve never seen a single […]

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N26 says it now has more than 2M customers

N26 announced today that it now has more than 2 million customers — up from 1.5 million in October. The German fintech startup’s CEO Valentin Stalf was interviewed onstage at Disrupt Berlin with Tandem CEO Ricky Knox, where they discussed the growth of what are sometimes called challenger banks or neobanks — new banks that are taking on the incumbents by focusing on digital tools. Stalf said N26 is seeing more than €1.5 billion in transactions each month, with €1 billion in deposits. He also discussed the […]

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Our 3 favorite startups from Morgan Stanley’s 2nd Multicultural Innovation Lab Demo Day 

The Morgan Stanley Multicultural Innovation Lab, Morgan Stanley’s in-house accelerator focused on companies founded by multicultural and female entrepreneurs, hosted its second Annual Showcase and Demo Day. The event also featured companies from accelerators HearstLab, Newark Venture Partner Labs and PS27 Ventures. (Note: I was formerly employed by Morgan Stanley and have no financial ties.) The showcase represented the culmination of the program’s second year, which followed an initial five-company class that has already seen two acquisitions. Through the six-month program, Morgan Stanley provides early-stage companies with a wide range of […]

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Guardian Circle upgrades with a decentralized alert network

Chris Hays and Mark Jeffrey wanted to create a way for everyone to be able to tell their loved ones if they were in trouble. Their first product, GuardianCircle did just that, netting a mention in a few years ago. Now the same team is truly decentralizing alerts with a new token called, obviously, Guardium. The plan is to create an ad hoc network of helpers and first responders. “Guardium and Guardian Circle togther open the emergency response grid to vetted citizens, private response and compatible devices […]

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Venture capital and the blockchain will be the talk at Startup Battlefield Africa

TechCrunch Startup Battlefield returns to Africa next month, and we have an agenda chock-full of interesting panels and our premier startup competition. Joining us in Lagos, Nigeria on December 11 for a couple of those aforementioned panels will be Chris Folayan, the founder and CEO of Mall for Africa; Nichole Yembra, chief financial, risk and investment officer for Venture Garden Group (VGG) and a managing partner at GreenHouse Capital; and Olaoluwa Samuel-Biyi, partner at Hacked Capital. Chris Folayan, who is originally from Nigeria, graduated from California State […]

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Monzo launches interest-earning savings accounts

Well, you have to admire a staggered PR plan. Monzo, the U.K. challenger bank that just announced £85 million in Series E funding and its entrance into the fintech unicorn club, is rolling out a new feature today. The banking upstart is adding interest-earning savings accounts as an upgrade to its existing “Pots” functionality that launched last November. The new “Savings Pots” feature is being offered in partnership with third-party bank Investec Corporate & Investment Banking and lets you earn 1 percent interest on the money you […]

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Happy 10th birthday, Bitcoin!

Bitcoin turned 10 years old, a milestone for a technology that few have used and even fewer understand. Ultimately, the blockchain it wrought could be the biggest change to banking, finance and politics ever — or it could be a dud. The jury is still out, but let’s take a walk down memory lane and see just how the product grew from White Paper to world beater.

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N26 is launching its bank in the UK

Nearly a year after German fintech startup N26 announced that it would launch its service in the U.K., the company is launching in the U.K. N26 is already quite popular in the Eurozone, with more than 1.5 million customers. In this new market, it will face tough competition from existing players, such as Revolut, Monzo, Starling and many others. N26 is going to roll out its product in multiple phases. Some lucky few will be able to open an account right away. The startup will then go […]

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Qonto raises $23 million to improve business banking

French startup Qonto has raised a $23 million funding round for its fintech product. The company is trying to make business banking cheaper, faster and more efficient. Existing investors Valar Ventures and Alven are once again leading the round. The European Investment Bank Group is also participating. If you are running a small company or work as a freelancer, Qonto wants to replace your professional bank account. When you sign up, you get a French IBAN, one or multiple debit cards and the ability to send and […]

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It’s the end of crypto as we know it and I feel fine

Watching the current price madness is scary. Bitcoin is falling and rising in $500 increments with regularity and Ethereum and its attendant ICOs are in a seeming freefall with a few “dead cat bounces” to keep things lively. What this signals is not that crypto is dead, however. It signals that the early, elated period of trading whose milestones including the launch of Coinbase and the growth of a vibrant (if often shady) professional ecosystem is over. Crypto still runs on hype. Gemini announcing a stablecoin, the […]

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