Investment giant BlackRock announced Friday it is taking a minority stake in, and leading a financing round for, venture-backed fintech startup Human Interest. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Human Interest’s digital retirement benefits platform allows users “to launch a retirement plan in minutes and put it on autopilot,” according to the company. It \[…\]
And when you consider all of the elements that go into buying and selling goods and services, there are a lot of areas left for SumUp to tackle — big data analytics, more tools to build, manage and optimize, online sales experiences for its customers, more technology to use to improve how items are sold in physical commerce experiences and so on — all areas that SumUp can approach either through building its own technology, or indeed through more M&A. The solution for a company like SumUp — with the bread and butter of its business, point of sale payments, fundamentally a part of that in-person commerce experience — has been to diversify and double down on a wider array of services for its small business retailers customers. Nevertheless, turning that statistic around, POS payments still represents the bulk of the company’s revenues, so 60% growth is not just a testament to SumUp being able to grow that business in the last two years, but also the fact that in-person and point-of-sale payments remained active areas for transactions. To that end, it has used significant chunks of the debt it’s raised to date for acquisitions and to build out more services beyond POS payments, in areas like business banking (the basic version of which it throws in as a freebie), online payments and business services around both.
The idea with Wagestream is not just to give those workers faster liquidity when they need it, but to give them the ability to use that money in different ways — for example with features to invest small amounts into stocks, and to bring in controls to save money incrementally in a way that makes the most practical sense for those users.
In addition to the capital raise, BlackRock has entered a strategic partnership with Circle to be its primary asset manager of USDC cash reserves and explore capital market applications for its stablecoin, among other objectives.
A year ago, few knew the brand Bolt, a checkout technology company that was founded in 2014, nor its founder, Ryan Breslow, a seemingly archetypal Silicon Valley type: smart, strong-willed and a college dropout who left Stanford after only two years to start a company.
In discussing Bolt’s rise to total funding near the $1 billion mark, Breslow explained that the company operates in a space with competitors that are actually worth hundreds of billions of dollars.