Category Archives: Banking

Cannabis banking reform is smart, necessary and politically viable

Aaron Smith Contributor Aaron Smith is co-founder and executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA). Pressure is steadily mounting on U.S. lawmakers to implement comprehensive cannabis banking reform at the federal level, and that pressure is coming from all directions. Rapid shifts in public opinion and a rising number of states with legal medical and adult-use cannabis sales have laid bare an obvious need to update our banking laws to meet the age of regulated cannabis markets. And earlier this month, Congress tackled the issue […]

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Startup Law A to Z: Regulatory Compliance

Startups are but one species in a complex regulatory and public policy ecosystem. This ecosystem is larger and more powerfully dynamic than many founders appreciate, with distinct yet overlapping laws at the federal, state and local/city levels, all set against a vast array of public and private interests. Where startup founders see opportunity for disruption in regulated markets, lawyers counsel prudence: regulations exist to promote certain strongly-held public policy objectives which (unlike your startup’s business model) carry the force of law. Snapshot of the regulatory and public […]

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Africa Roundup: Jumia files for IPO, OneFi acquires Amplify, FlexClub expands in Mexico

Less than a decade ago IPOs, acquisitions and global expansion by African startups were more possibility than reality. March saw all three from the continent’s tech scene. Pan-African e-commerce company Jumia filed for an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, per SEC documents and confirmation from chief executive Sacha Poignonnec. In an updated filing, (since the March 12 original) Jumia indicated it will offer 13,500,000 ADR shares, for an offering price of $13 to $16 per share to trade under the ticker symbol “JMIA.” The IPO […]

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Forge acquires IRA Services to expand offering for private company shares

Forge, the marketplace for trading private company shares formerly known as Equidate, announced that it will be acquiring custodial trust company IRA Services for a purchase price of $55 million. IRA Services is a trust company that provides custodial services for retirement accounts managed by individuals and mid-to-large sized Institutions. Stripped of financial jargon, the primary function of a custodian is to hold on to (or maintain “custody” of) its clients’ securities and keep them safe from potential external complications such as theft or otherwise. Many custodians, […]

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Social investment platform eToro acquires smart contract startup Firmo

Social investing and trading platform eToro announced that it has acquired Danish smart contract infrastructure provider Firmo for an undisclosed purchase price. Firmo’s platform enables exchanges to execute smart financial contracts across various assets, including crypto derivatives, and across all major blockchains. Firmo founder and CEO Dr. Omri Ross described the company’s mission as “…enabl[ing] our users to trade any asset globally with instant settlement by tokenizing assets and executing all essential trade processes on the blockchain.” Firmo’s only disclosed investment, according to data from Pitchbook, came in […]

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Movius raises $45M for its business communications service

Atlanta-based Movius, a company that allows companies to assign a separate business number for voice calls and texting to any phone, today announced that it has raised a $45 million Series D round led by JPMorgan Chase, with participation from existing investors PointGuard Ventures, New Enterprise Associates and Anschutz Investment company. With this, the company has now raised a total of $100 million. In addition to the new funding, Movius also today announced that it has brought on former Adobe and Sun executive John Loiacono as its […]

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Investing app Stash raises $65M, launches banking and ‘stock-back’ rewards with Green Dot

Stash, the fintech startup and app that aims to introduce new people to the world of investing, is unveiling some interesting new services while also announcing that it has raised more funding to expand its business. The company is introducing mobile-based banking accounts from Green Dot Bank, and, alongside it, a new rewards program called “Stock-Back.” When users spend money using their Stash accounts, they get “points” — which are either stocks in the companies where they are buying goods, or shares in ETFs approved by Stash. […]

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Africa Roundup: Kenya’s BRCK acquires EveryLayer, Nigeria’s TeamApt eyes global expansion

Kenyan communications hardware company BRCK acquired the assets of Nairobi-based internet provider Surf and its U.S. parent EveryLayer in a purchase deal of an undisclosed amount in February. Based in Nairobi, Surf is a hotspot service provider aimed at offering affordable internet to lower-income segments. BRCK is a five-year-old venture that pairs its rugged Wi-Fi routers to internet service packages designed to bring people online in frontier and emerging markets. With the acquisition, BRCK gains the assets of San Francisco-based EveryLayer and its Surf subsidiary, including 1,200 hotspots and […]

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U.S. mobile bank Chime raises $200 million, valuing its business at $1.5 billion

San Francisco-based mobile banking startup Chime announced this morning it has raised an additional $200 million in Series D financing led by DST Global, valuing its business at $1.5 billion. The oversubscribed round also included participation from new investors Coatue, General Atlantic, ICONIQ Capital and Dragoneer Investment Group, along with existing investors Menlo Ventures, Forerunner Ventures, Cathay Innovation and others. To date, Chime has raised approximately $300 million, including last year’s $70 million Series C, which then saw the company valued at $500 million. With the new […]

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SoFi founder Mike Cagney’s new company, Figure, just raised another $65 million

Figure, a 13-month-old, San Francisco-based company that says it uses blockchain technology to provide home equity loans online in as little as five days, has raised a whole lot of money in not a lot of time: $120 million to date, including $65 million in fresh funding from RPM Ventures and partners at DST Global, with participation from DCG, Nimble Ventures, Morgan Creek and earlier investors Ribbit Capital and DCM. The money isn’t entirely surprising, given who founded the company — Mike Cagney, who founded SoFi and […]

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