Welcome to The Switch! If you received this in your inbox, thank you for signing up and trusting us. If you read this as a post on our site, please sign up here so that you can receive it immediately in the future. Every week I watch the hottest fintech news from the past week. This includes everything from funding rounds to trends to an analysis of a particular space to hot takes on a particular company or phenomenon. There’s a lot of fintech news out there and it’s my job to stay up to date – and understand it – so you stay informed. — Mary Ann
hello! I’m writing this newsletter on the plane back to my home in Austin after being in Disrupt in San Francisco this week. It was my first IRL Disrupt, and even though I’m on the team and aware of all the planning and preparation behind the scenes, I was still amazed at how incredibly professional and good it was. We had about 10,000 attendees, tons of great panels and speakers, an engaged audience, and the thrilling Battlefield competition.
But I’m tired, so be warned, this newsletter may be a bit abbreviated. 🙂
I had the honor of kicking off the whole show by recording the Equity podcast LIVE with Alex Wilhelm and Natasha Mascarenhas where we shared some interesting new news about Domm Holland, co-founder of the now defunct startup Fast One Click on the cash register. We had an absolutely amazing shot in person instead of looking at each other on Zoom. Thank you to everyone who showed up so early that morning!
On Wednesday, I moderated a panel titled “How to Compete Without Losing Your Mind and the Runway.” Disaster CEO Eric Glyman and Airbase founder Thejo Kote were good sports and joined Anthemis’ great Ruth Foxe Blader to talk about what it’s like to compete in this current environment. Despite being competitors on expense management, Eric and Thejo kept it quiet and didn’t break out on stage fights. Meanwhile, Ruth shared some insight from the investor side. I’ll have a story with more details on what they discussed, which will be published sometime in the coming weeks.
Also on Wednesday, I moderated a fireside chat with Brex co-CEO and co-founder Henrique Dubugras and YC continuity director (and early Brex investor) Anu Hariharan. There was standing room only and Dubugras spoke candidly on a number of topics such as how much the company spent on that billboard campaign, which really led to his decision to stop working with SMBs and the lessons learned after that decision a bit of a stir in the startup community. He also revealed some new customers for the company’s Empower software product: Coinbase, SeatGeek, SuperHuman, ScaleAi and Medical Genomics. Again, I’ll write a story with more details about what we discussed, which will be published sometime in the coming weeks.
And finally, on Thursday, I interviewed Rippling CEO and co-founder Parker Conrad. He discussed what he describes as “the biggest launch” of his career — the company’s new global payroll product, which he’s not shy about saying will compete directly with the likes of Deel. You can read more about this here. He also discussed some lessons from his experience at Zenefits and said he took compliance “very seriously” at his new company. Rippling’s move to payroll comes about a month after it announced an expansion into spend management, putting it in direct competition with companies like Brex, Ramp, Airbase, TripActions and many others in the space.
As Nik Milanović of the Fintech Fund (who also spoke about community on Disrupt) noted in: this tweet“The @plaid team has been busy this past week:
- Faster digital onboarding
- More fraud checks
- Suite with privacy controls
- Onboard Crypto Wallet
Meanwhile, payment infrastructure provider Finix revealed another way it takes on Stripe. In a blog postsaid the startup: “Finix expands further its In-Person Payment offering, the rollout of more software development kits and APIs to interface with a range of payment terminals from multiple manufacturers. The best part? Only one integration is needed.”
As reported by Catherine Shu of TC: Cross-border Payment Startup Thunes works together with Visa in a move that will add more than 1.5 billion new endpoints to Visa Direct‘s digital payment network. This will allow many more consumers and small businesses to send money to markets in Africa, Asia and Latin America, where digital wallets are often the standard payment methods.
Fellow fintech enthusiast and newsletter writer Marcel van Oost is launching a new fintech community. You can learn more here.
Financing and M&A
Landis grabs $40 million to turn tenants into homeowners
Enable $94 million to help B2B companies manage their discount programs
Well, I had a great time at Disrupt meeting my wonderful colleagues (we really respect and like each other!) and so many of you. Already looking forward to next year. Oh, and a warning that I’ll be out all week next week, taking a much-needed break so you don’t get the Interchange in your inbox on October 30th. But I’ll be back next week! That’s it for this week. See you again in two weeks! Until then, be careful. — xoxoxo, Mary Ann