Welcome to your weekly Ocrolus Update – 9/22/19!
Here’s a curated list of industry news, recommended reads, fundraising announcements, and some laughs. Please drop us a line if you have any tips or content that you want to see in the future.
New SoFi Stadium To Host Rams, Chargers, Super Bowl & Olympics (deBanked): SoFi’s efforts to reach NFL viewers has moved beyond airing Super Bowl commercials. The fintech company recently secured the naming rights to a new professional football stadium in Inglewood, California. SoFi Stadium, which opens in 2020, will host both the Rams and the Chargers. The stadium will also host Super Bowl 56 in 2022, and the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2028 Summer Olympics. The company wants to use this exposure to market new products such as SoFi Money.
Payments giant Stripe debuts a credit card in its latest step into the financing fray (TechCrunch): Stripe recently announced a new money lending service, and now the company says it’s offering corporate cards for business customers. The Stripe Corporate Card – as the product is officially called – is a Visa designed for businesses that are incorporated in the U.S. There is no interest rate or fee to use the card as of now, but users must pay their balances in full each month. Stripe is making revenue through the interchange fee that’s attached to every transaction made.
China’s Economy Aches All Over as Beijing Seeks Trade Fix With the U.S. (Wall Street Journal): Economic activity in China cooled further in August, testing Beijing’s tolerance for slower growth as it seeks to ease trade tensions with the U.S. Softness was visible in nearly every aspect of the Chinese economy, with industrial output and retail sales data pointing to sluggish demand and low confidence among businesses and consumers. China in recent weeks has stepped up efforts to halt an economic slowdown, providing extra support for local-government bond issuance and releasing more funds for banks to lend to businesses.
Cracking Loan Fraud’s ‘Blind Eye’ Problem (PYMNTS.com): With lenders trying to authenticate so much documentation within a reasonable amount of time, it’s inevitable that some fraudsters will make it past security defenses. Tim Grace, CEO at PointPredictive, and Frank McKenna, the company’s chief fraud strategist, discuss how lenders can use a consortium of data, mathematical models, and machine learning to combat adaptive fraud in today’s online lending space.
FBI raids MyPayrollHR owner’s home in $35M fraud probe (New York Post): FBI agents recently raided the upstate home of a payroll company owner embroiled in a potential $35 million fraud. A squad of investigators arrived in a half-dozen vehicles and spent about an hour combing through ValueWise CEO Michael Mann’s luxury lakeside house. MyPayrollHR, a ValueWise subsidiary, processed payrolls for about 4,000 companies across the country. The company’s sudden shutdown resulted in countless workers having one or more automatic payroll deposits withdrawn without warning.
Cartoon of the Week
Fundraising Announcement of the Week: Greenlight Financial Technologies
Congrats to Greenlight Financial Technologies (ABL Advisor) for raising $54 million in Series B funding! Greenlight Financial Technology offers smart debit cards for kids, teens, and college students, a widely untapped segment of the market. The company offers a mobile app that empowers parents with convenient controls to safely manage family finances and create teachable moments around earning. The Series B funding will be used accelerate the company’s “mission-driven roadmap.”
How to Make Your Smartphone Last Longer (New York Times): Smartphones are more expensive than ever, but they still die fast. In fact, phone manufacturers design them that way. But there are certain steps you can take to prolong the life of your smartphone. Chiefly, you can repair smaller issues instead of letting the problems get out of control. A new battery, for instance, can greatly increase the lifecycle of a smartphone. If you spend $30 on a battery, you’re less likely to spend $1,000 on a new iPhone.
TikTok’s Beijing roots fuel censorship suspicion as it builds a huge U.S. audience (Washington Post): TikTok has quickly become one of America’s most popular mobile apps, a flashy, frenetic video playground beloved by teens and downloaded more than 110 million times across the U.S. But researchers have grown worried that the app could also prove to be one of China’s most effective weapons in the global information war, bringing Chinese-style censorship to mainstream U.S. audiences and shaping how they understand real-world events.
$100 million Grant for the Web program seeks alternative online business models (VentureBeat): Advertising spending, which pays the salaries of employees at journalism outlets across the web, is anticipated to rise at a slower pace globally than last year. To reinvigorate the search for sustainable content platforms, San Francisco startup Coil is collaborating with the Mozilla Foundation and Creative Commons to launch Grant for the Web. The ambitious $100 million, five-year fund will encourage innovation among creators while promoting access and inclusion, with at least 50% of all grant dollars awarded to openly licensed software and content projects.
Upcoming Events (See You There!)
Lend360 – 9/25 – 9/27
Digital Mortgage – 9/23 – 9/24
LendIt Fintech Europe 2019 – 9/26 – 9/27
Thanks for reading, and see you next time!