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Unbanked 🏦
October 8 2020

Serving the unbanked turns out to be very profitable, not the lease because of the pandemic stimulus check push that forced people to find a simple solution fast. 

Payments platform Square is now suggesting users deposit their COVID-19 stimulus payments through its Cash App for faster and easier access to the funds, in the event someone doesn’t have access to a traditional bank account. The app has started showing users a pop-up explaining how to go about getting the payment deposited without having to wait for a paper check in the mail, and a Square spokesperson told The Verge that the company is attempting to make its deposits feature “more accessible” by highlighting it.

Much like a bank account, you can get a routing and account number directly through Cash App to receive deposits. Square released this feature back in early 2018, allowing you to set up direct deposit to receive paychecks.

A lot of people don’t have or are unable to acquire a bank account, and Cash App offers a quick way for them to access deposits (physical stimulus checks are supposed to take longer to arrive). You will need to sign up for a Cash Card to set up a routing and account number. Once you do that, you will need to submit your banking information to the IRS. If you happened to file a federal income tax return in 2018 or 2019 or you don’t normally file a tax return, but would still like the money to go to Cash App, the company says the IRS is releasing a tool on April 17th to update your direct deposit info with a new account.

 

In the Spotlight - Pandemic Fintech

Robinhood alone saw its customer base soar from 10 MM to 13 MM during the first four months of 2020, an unprecedented surge far beyond anything the company was expecting. With an average age of 33, many of Robinhood's users are much younger than traditional stock investors, and critics say the app seems very much designed to appeal to a generation raised on online games.

Social distancing and sheltering in place are now part of government policy as well as the mainstream dialogue. But there also is the issue of more people spending more time at home, which increases the likelihood of a home accident. Lemonade is capitalizing on this trend. It follows that some home insurance carriers are circulating information about how insureds can stay safe and healthy during this period of social distancing and sheltering in place.

The pandemic’s physical distancing requirements appear to have accelerated transaction volume and overall use of Zelle, the P2P app operated by the bank-owned Early Warning Services LLC. During the first six months of this year — when many consumers were confined to their homes due to local quarantines — Zelle routed $133 BN through its network on 519 MM transactions, up more than 60% over $83 BN sent during the first two quarters of 2019

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Since last week, PrivCo has added:
2030 Companies | 249 Funding Activities | 68 M&A Deals

Funding & Deal Highlights:

Alkami Technology, Inc., a Plano, Texas-based cloud-based digital banking solutions provider for banks and credit unions, held the initial closing of a $140 MM funding round.

Vestigo Ventures led the $4.7 MM round for New York-based Retirable, with participation from Diagram Ventures, Primetime Partners, and angel investors. The company, founded last October, is developing a fee-based retirement process for older Americans that centers around personalized, digital plans from Certified Financial Planners, Tyler End, co-founder, and CEO of Retirable, told Crunchbase News.

Capitalize, based in New York, touts that it is developing the first independent platform that enables people to locate and transfer their legacy 401(k) retirement assets. The startup, which launched in late 2019, closed on a $2 MM seed round led by Bling Capital. Additional investors included Greycroft, RRE Ventures and Walkabout Ventures.

Siren, a technology company that developed smart textiles with remote patient monitoring (RPM) applications, announced an additional raise of $9 MM for the company's Series B financing. Siren previously raised $11.8 MM earlier this year, which was led by Anathem Ventures with participation from existing investors DCM, Khosla Ventures, 500 Startups, and Founders Fund. This final close puts the total Series B at nearly $21 MM and included participation by all existing investors as well as new investors, such as Manta Ray, Mighty Capital, Portfolia, and David Helgason.

Invetx, a pioneer in protein-based therapeutics for animal health, announced today that it has raised an additional $10.25 MM in its Series A financing, bringing the total amount to $25.5 MM. New investors include Casdin Capital and funds managed by Tekla Capital Management, LLC, joining existing lead investor Anterra Capital, as well as strategic investors AbCellera Biologics and WuXi Biologics. In addition, Invetx announced the appointments of Bill Brondyk, Ph.D., as a chief scientific officer and Colin Giles, Ph.D., as chief development officer to its executive team.

Coralogix announced $25 MM Series B and a new real-time analytics solution called Streama. The round was led by Red Dot Capital Partners and O.G. Tech Ventures with help from existing investors Aleph VC, StageOne Ventures, Janvest Capital Partners and 2B Angels. Today's round, which comes after the startup's $10 MM Series A last November, brings the total to $41.2 MM raised, according to the company. CEO and co-founder Ariel Assaraf described his company as more of an intelligent application performance monitoring with some security logging analytics. The company is continuing to grow from 60 people in the next year.

Arco Platform Limited, or Arco, announces it has acquired 100% of Studos Software Ltda., or Studos, a technology provider for personalized student assessment, data-based academic performance diagnostics, and AI-powered adaptive learning and test prep.

CloudMD Software & Services Inc., a telehealth company revolutionizing the delivery of healthcare to patients, is excited to announce that it has entered into a Binding Term Sheet to purchase a majority interest in Benchmark Systems Inc., a leading cloud-based provider of fully integrated solutions that automate healthcare workflow processes including revenue management, practice management, and electronic records management. CloudMD will purchase 87.5% of Benchmark from Benchmark’s parent company and global healthcare and AI leader, AntWorks Inc. AntWorks will retain a 12.5% equity stake and remain a strategic partner for CloudMD both in the U.S. and globally.

 

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