Blend Raises $360 Million in IPO; Achieves $4 Billion Valuation

Blend Raises $360 Million in IPO; Achieves $4 Billion Valuation

Mortgagetech innovator Blend is the latest fintech to go public. The company, which unveiled its “data-driven mortgage” solution in its Finovate debut five years ago, made its debut as a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange last week under the ticker BLND. Blend raised $360 million in the IPO, earning a valuation of $4 billion.

In a blog post, Blend CEO and co-founder Nima Ghamsari reflected on the irony of launching a mortgagetech business “out of the ashes of the great recession” in 2012. The goal then was to build a solution that leveraged technology and data to made financial services simpler and more transparent, specifically in the “complex and paper-based” mortgage process. Since then, the company has expanded its product portfolio beyond mortgages to include initially home equity loans and lines of credit, before helping streamline origination workflows for financing products ranging from personal loans and credit cards to deposit accounts. This expansion has allowed Blend to enable its financial institution clients to cross-sell personalized offers and services to their customers and members.

“At every step of our journey, our customers have asked us to build more,” Ghamsari wrote. “That’s why this moment means so much to me and everyone at Blend.

A winner of the NAFCU Services 2021 Innovation Award for Best Digital Lending Platform in June, Blend facilitated more than $1 trillion in loans in 2020, an increase of 2x over the previous year. The company also introduced a variety of new platform features in 2020 including a new loss mitigation workflow for homeowners, and a digital portal to process PPP loans. Blend currently has more than 290 lender partners, representing 30% of all mortgage volume in the U.S.

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Blend began the year with a $300 million Series G round, featuring participation from Coatue and Tiger Global Management. The funding gave the company a valuation of $3.3 billion. This January investment was less than six months after the company secured a $75 million Series F financing led by Canapi Ventures.

In addition to its debut at FinovateSpring in 2016, Blend is also an alum of our developer’s conference, FinDEVr. At the event, the company’s technical team showed the thinking behind the design of its platform including the importance of automated workflows, data connectivity, and innovation by design.

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Top Three Takeaways from Marqeta’s $16+ Billion IPO

Top Three Takeaways from Marqeta’s $16+ Billion IPO

CNBC Disruptor and Finovate alum Marqeta raised $1.2 billion in an initial public offering on the Nasdaq Exchange on Wednesday. The Oakland, California-based payment processor ended its first day as a public company with a market capitalization of more than $16 billion.

“We’re just scratching the surface of what’s possible with modern card issuing,” Marqeta founder and CEO Jason Gardner said in the company’s blog reporting the news. “I feel fortunate to be in the position I’m in, leading a company of incredibly talented people as we take the next step in enabling modern money movement for many of the world’s leading innovators.”

What does Marqeta’s IPO mean for the company going forward? And does the company’s public debut say anything about investors’ attitudes toward fintech and financial services companies more generally? Here are a handful of ideas.

The Coast is Clear!

A strong public debut for Marqeta could hint at an even more impressive performance by better-known fintechs like SoFi and Robinhood that are reportedly looking to go public later this year. Compared to payment processing, with all due respect, it is easy to imagine investors being enticed by an online lender transitioning to a broad-based comprehensive personal finance platform. And even if the meme stock mania of 2020 has cooled off a bit, I suspect that investors will be willing to line up around the proverbial block to get a piece of the fintech’s most notorious, no-fee online stock broker.

Public Investment = Public Scrutiny

Now a public company, Marqeta may face criticism over its business model, which relies heavily on interchange fees generated via transactions on its platform. Having issued 320+ million cards through its platform as of the end of March, and processing $60 billion in volume last year, the company itself noted in its prospectus that interchange fees are “subject to intense legal and regulatory scrutiny.” And while there are no clear changes to the regulatory environment in sight with regard to interchange fees, the fact that the now-public company will be more vulnerable to the appearance of “scrutiny” will be something for Marqeta to deal with – ideally by adding to and diversifying its revenue sources.

Playing the E-commerce Gold Rush

Marqeta was one of a number of fintechs that saw its business boom during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company reported that its revenue soared 2x to more than $290 million in 2020 as millions of locked down, quarantined, sheltered-in-place consumers flocked to digital channels to purchase a growing range of products and services online. The question for many companies, including Marqeta, is whether or not these trends will endure. Gardner points to the increase in ordering via on-demand services apps and the rise of buy-now-pay-later offerings as developments that could keep the pace of online commerce at a high level. If he is correct then Marqeta could have the time it needs to add more key customers (according to Financial Times, most of Marqeta’s business arrives via small business payments processor Square) and broaden out its network to better compete with rivals like PayPal.

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Flywire Begins Trading on NASDAQ

Flywire Begins Trading on NASDAQ

Global payments platform Flywire began trading on the Nasdaq today under the ticker FLYW.

The Boston, Massachusetts-based company is offering 10,440,000 shares of its stock at $24 per share and expects to raise about $300 million with a market capitalization of $3 billion. These figures are at the top range of what Flywire originally expected; last week the company announced it planned to offer 8.7 million shares priced between $22 and $24 a share.

The Flywire team gathered at the exchange in person this morning for the IPO. The reunion was especially notable since this was the first time in 15 months that team members have seen each other in person due to COVID lockdowns.

Flywire originally launched as peerTransfer in 2009, when it focused on streamlining international payments to save schools and international students money on tuition and fees. The company rebranded to Flywire in 2011 and expanded from education to facilitate international payments in healthcare, travel, and select B2B payments. Flywire now counts 2,250 customers.

Differentiating itself from competitors, Flywire focuses on high stakes, high value transactions. That’s because once transactions exceed $10,000, the funds are subject to a different set of regulations and must be exchanged using a purpose-built network– that’s where Flywire comes in.

“We’re just getting started,” Flywire CEO Mike Massaro told CNBC in an interview. “We see this business as a cornerstone of how money moves within the industries that we serve. If you look at the four industries we’re in now it’s $12 trillion of opportunity. There’s so much room to grow here. We’ve got clients in 30 countries already… I see us going into more industries. I see us going into more countries, and really just try and digitize more payments for our clients.”

In addition to its Boston headquarters, the company has offices in Chicago, London, Manchester, Valencia, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, Cluj, and Sydney. Prior to going public, Flywire had raised $323 million.

Expensify Planning IPO

Expensify Planning IPO

In an era when SPACs are the hip new way to take a company public, corporate expense management technology company Expensify is taking the old fashioned route.

The San Francisco-based fintech announced this week it has submitted an S-1 document– a key step on the road to an initial public offering to the SEC. The S-1 was submitted confidentially. Since Expensify is considered an “emerging growth company,” the contents of the filing do not need to be made public until 21 days prior to the road show for the IPO.

Expensify, which reached profitability at the end of 2018, has not yet determined the size and price range for the proposed IPO.

Founded in 2008, Expensify launched with its flagship receipt-scanning app and a simple motto, “Expense reports that don’t suck!” Since then, the company has gone on to launch a corporate payment card, offer a COVID-friendly virtual travel assistant, and expand into billpay.

Expensify’s IPO is expected to commence after the completion of the SEC review process, subject to market and other conditions. The company has raised a total of $38.2 million. David Barrett, who Finovate interviewed about the company’s launch, is CEO.

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich from Pexels

Alkami Announces IPO

Alkami Announces IPO

We reported earlier this year that cloud-based digital banking solutions provider Alkami was heading toward an IPO. Today, the Texas-based company has confirmed rumors.

Alkami will to list on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol ALKT, launching 6,000,000 shares of common stock. Shares will be priced between $22 and $25. The company believes it will to raise up to $250 million via its IPO, which would value Alkami at $3 billion.

“We currently expect to use the net proceeds from this offering, together with our existing cash and cash equivalents, to finance our growth, develop new or enhanced solutions, and fund capital expenditures,” the company said in a statement.

Alkami offers solutions for both retail and business banking. The subscription-based offerings include tools for money transfer capabilities, financial wellness, customer service, security, and more. And because the company is built on an open platform, banks can leverage third party solutions to customize their offerings even further.

According to Alkami’s S-1 document filed with the SEC, the company saw revenues of $112 million last year, representing a 150% increase over 2019 revenues. Alkami has received more than $385 million from nine investors, including Franklin Templeton Investments, Fidelity Management and Research Company, and D1 Capital partners.

Founded in 2009 as iThryv, Alkami counts 151 bank clients representing 9.7 million end users. Mike Hansen is CEO.

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Cloud Banking Technology Innovator Alkami Eyes IPO in 2021

Cloud Banking Technology Innovator Alkami Eyes IPO in 2021

Who needs a SPAC to go public? According to Reuters, cloud-based digital banking technology provider Alkami is looking to enter the public markets the old-fashioned way: with an IPO.

The Reuters report cites sources who requested anonymity, and neither Alkami nor Goldman Sachs – who has been reportedly engaged to lead IPO preparations – have commented on any specific IPO plans Alkami might have. Sources say that an initial public offering could earn the company a valuation of $3 billion and give the state of Texas its next fintech unicorn.

Alkami has raised more than $385 million in funding from investors including D1 Capital Partners, General Atlantic, and MissionOG. The company secured $140 million in its last round in September, and acquired fellow Finovate alum ACH Alert a month later.

“Alkami continues to be the go-to partner for FIs wanting to accelerate their digital strategies, plans and results,” company CEO Mike Hansen said when the acquisition was announced. “Together with ACH Alert, we expect to continue to create and deliver winning digital solutions to our clients and their consumer and business digital users.”

Founded as iThryv and making its Finovate debut under that name in 2009, Alkami has grown into a digital banking technology innovator with more than 160 clients, 10+ million users, and $130 million in annually recurring revenue. The company’s platform provides a complete digital banking solution with user onboarding, engagement, and account servicing functionality for both retail and business customers. Users can take advantage of both Alkami’s products as well as third-party services and solutions courtesy of more than 230 integrations.

Named to the 2020 CB Insights Fintech 250 last fall, Alkami recently added a number of women to leadership positions within and around the company. This included inviting financial services veterans Merline Saintil (formerly of Intuit) and Barbara Yastine (formerly of Ally Bank) to join its Board of Directors and hiring former Hewlett Packard Enterprise executive Allison Cerra as Alkami’s new Chief Marketing Officer.

Billtrust to Make Public Debut at $1.3 Billion

Billtrust to Make Public Debut at $1.3 Billion

Accounts receivable automation company Billtrust announced today it agreed to a merger with South Mountain Merger Corporation, a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

The combined entity, which will operate under the name BTRS Holdings Inc., will be a publicly traded company with a value of approximately $1.3 billion. BTRS is expected to trade on The Nasdaq Stock Market under a new ticker symbol.

Billtrust’s management team, which is led by Flint Lane, Founder and CEO, Steve Pinado, President, and Mark Shifke, CFO, will continue to lead the Company.

“As we begin our journey as a public company, we are thrilled to partner with the South Mountain team and know we will benefit from their extensive industry experience,” said Lane. “We believe accounts receivable (AR) is ripe for innovation, and together we will continue to invest in opportunities to scale the business, growing both organically and inorganically, as we seek to tackle the large total addressable market. As a leader in AR automation, we believe Billtrust is well-positioned to own a disproportionate share.”

Founded in 2001, Billtrust and has since worked to create a suite of solutions that simplify and automate B2B commerce through cloud-based software and integrated payment processing solutions. In 2018, the company launched its Business Payments Network (BPN). The network connects buyers, suppliers, and financial institutions to simplify and streamline electronic payment acceptance.

The transaction is expected to close in early 2021 and is subject to stockholder approval and closing conditions.

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Ant Group’s Double IPO Listing Shuns U.S. Exchanges

Ant Group’s Double IPO Listing Shuns U.S. Exchanges

New information has come out this week about Ant Group’s IPO plans.

Instead of listing on the tech-heavy (and U.S.-based) NASDAQ, Ant Group will list concurrently on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and Shanghai’s Star Market. This comes after Ant’s parent company, Alibaba listed on the New York Stock exchange in 2014.

Analysts suspect that Ant’s listing plan is largely a response to rising geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and China. There are practical reasons, however, for Ant to list in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Hong Kong introduced weighted voting rights in 2018 and Shanghai’s Star Market offers more market-driven pricing than other domestic exchanges.

“The innovative measures implemented by the Shanghai Star Market and the stock exchange of Hong Kong have opened the door for global investors to access leading-edge technology companies from the most dynamic economies in the world,” said Ant’s executive chairman Eric Jing. “and for those companies to have access to the capital markets.”

Ant’s parent company Alibaba still holds the record for the second-largest IPO when it listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014 and raised $24 billion. It is too early for Ant to discuss size and timing of the share sales; analysts have valued the company in the range of $210 billion to $218 billion.

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nCino Readies for IPO

nCino Readies for IPO

Cloud banking specialist nCino is the latest fintech to announce its intention to go public.

In a brief statement shared on Monday, the Wilmington, North Carolina-based company reported that it had publicly filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for their proposed initial public offering. nCino made its Finovate debut at FinovateEurope in 2017.

The company’s announcement did not disclose the number of shares to be offered, nor the price range of the offering. Renaissance Capital reported that nCino is seeking to raise $100 million. The company expects to trade on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker “NCNO.”

Underwriting the IPO are Bank of America Securities, Barclays, KeyBanc Capital Markets, and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.

nCino’s Bank Operating System, built on the Salesforce platform, provides financial institutions of all sizes with an end-to-end banking solution that enables them to deliver the kind of digital experience banking customers have come to expect. The platform combines customer relationship management, loan origination, workflow, enterprise content management, as well as business intelligence and reporting, all in a single, secure, cloud-based environment. On average, financial institutions using nCino’s Bank Operating System have enjoyed a 40% decrease in loan closing time, a 92% reduction in servicing costs, and a 127% increase in account opening completion rates.

Founded in 2012, nCino has raised more than $213 million in funding. The company reported revenue growth of almost 50%, reaching $44.7 million, for the quarter ending in April. nCino also reported revenue of $138.2 million in its most recent fiscal year, ending in January. This year, the company has forged partnerships with Alterna Bank, a subsidiary of Alterna Savings and Credit Union Limited, and with Swedish SME lender Yourban. Additional partnerships announced in the first half of the year include collaborations with Fulton Bank and Black Hills FCU. Pierre Naudé is President and Chief Executive Officer.

Photo courtesy of Les Finances

Quicken Loans Planning IPO

Quicken Loans Planning IPO

CNBC reported today that Quicken Loans is planning to go public this year. Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and JPMorgan are helping manage the deal.

Founded in 1985 by Dan Gilbert, Quicken Loans has risen to the ranks of the largest mortgage lender in the U.S. It’s unclear what the company will be priced. However, as CNN explained, “The targeted valuation is still being decided, but it is likely in the tens of billions of dollars… That would imply a multi-billion-dollar IPO, one of the largest – if not the largest – this year.”

The spike in mortgage refinances has been beneficial to the Michigan-based company. In April, Quicken Loans experienced the biggest month in its history, closing $21 billion in mortgages.

There is no official word on when (or if) the IPO will take place, but CNBC reports the offering could take place as early as next month.

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Tyro Payments Preps for IPO

Tyro Payments Preps for IPO

Australian paytech Tyro Payments is vying to float on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in an initial public offering (IPO) which is projected to raise up to $173.23 million (AUD 252.7 million), reports Ruby Hinchliffe of Fintech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the 2003-founded firm, which said it’s Australia’s fifth-largest payments provider, is pursuing a $1 billion valuation too.

Targeting small and medium-sized businesses, Tyro offers an electronic funds transfer point of sale (EFTPOS) service, as well delivering online payments, business bank accounts and business loans.

The plan to float on the ASX comes after six listings on it were aborted last month, suggesting Australia’s IPO market is not easy to break into. Reuters puts this down to investors demanding lower prices to protect themselves against the possibility of post-float losses.

With a price range of $1.70 to $1.87 per share, the paytech said its focus still “remains firmly on challenging the status quo” for its merchants.

Despite net losses of $18.6 million in the last fiscal year, existing investors, including Tiger Global, TDM Growth Partners, Telstra’s CEO David Thodey and Australian billionaire, Mike Cannon-Brookes, will wait until Tyro’s 2020 financial reports before selling any shares.

Thodey, who is also Tyro’s chairman, said he’s delighted to be able to invite new shareholders. “We [can] build upon our solid foundation to pursue an exciting growth strategy,” he added in a statement.

Tyro Payments demonstrated its Smart Growth Funding financing solution at FinovateSpring 2017. The offering is the first lending solution released by an Australian challenger bank. Tyro provides integrated payment, deposit, and unsecured working capital solutions to SMEs, and partners with more than 200 point of sale providers and cloud-based accounting platform such as fellow Finovate alum Xero. Preps for $100M IPO Preps for $100M IPO

Intelligent business payments platform aims to raise $100 million in an initial public offering (IPO), according to a recent filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), reports Ruby Hinchliffe of Fintech Futures, Finovate’s sister publication.

Underwriters listed for’s IPO include Goldman Sachs, Bank of America (BofA) Securities, Jefferies and William Blair. Pricing terms have not yet been shared publicly.

The fintech provides cloud-based software that simplifies, digitizes, and automates back-office financial processes for small and mid-sized businesses (SMB). has customers including company calling service Dialpad, benefits and human resource manager and fellow Finovate alum Gusto, and local professional search engine Thumbtack.

With $347.1 million already in the bank according to Crunchbase, the 2006-founded company has gathered investors such as MasterCard, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and BofA.

Talking about how the procure-to-pay landscape is converging, Mercator Advisory Group’s commercial and enterprise payments director Steve Murphy said: “That’s led technology companies such as to add virtual cards to automate accounts payable for small businesses through partnerships with Amex and Mastercard.”

Set up by PayCycle’s co-founder René Lacerte, now has more than three million members and processes $60 billion in yearly payments, according to its announcement in April 2019 following its most recent funding round of $80 million. demonstrated its technology at FinovateSpring 2012. More recently, the company launched a new suite of solutions for midmarket companies to help them automate their AR/AP processes to boost efficiency. The Palo Alto, California-based company was founded in 2006.