Fintech Newsletter for 5/8/21

6 min readMay 9, 2021


Below are news related to the fintech industry this week.

General News

Fintech companies PayPal and Square reported earnings this week.

PayPal earnings report

PayPal (PYPL) reported $6.03B revenue with a 31% YoY growth and a net income of $1.1B with a 1206% YoY growth.

Significant highlights from quarterly earnings,

By numbers

  • Total Payment Volume(TPV) of $285 Billion.

-eBay contribution to TPV this quarter was 5.5% of TPV.

-Venmo contribution to TPV of $51.4 Billion or 18% of TPV.

  • The total number of transactions was approximately 4.4 Billion.
  • Total “active accounts” of 392 million with 14.5 million net-net “active accounts” added this quarter.
  • Total merchants in the platform of 31 million with 1.4 million new merchants added this quarter.
  • PayPal tracks its engagement metrics as “transactions per active account” (i.e., Total number of transactions for last twelve months divided by the total number of active accounts for that quarter, with 42.2 transactions per active account the metric had a 7% year over year growth — which shows that PayPal customers have been using its product in high volumes in recent times compared to last year (i.e., pre-lockdown).

Even though the recent Covid lockdowns have caused the uptick in digital transactions, PayPal is bullish that the trend will continue post Covid.

Products, Acquisitions, and Partnerships,

  • The Buy Now Pay Later(BNPL) trend continues to be strong, with $1B in TPV in the U.S alone. PayPal is quoted to have 30,000 merchants implementing their BNPL feature.
  • QR code-based transactions have increased as well, with nearly 1 million merchants accepting QR codes.
  • PayPal announced its partnership with Alibaba’s wholesale marketplace and Aliexpress, Alibaba’s retail global market. PayPal has entered a commercial agreement with FlutterWave to expand its presence in Africa. In the Middle East, they are partnering with TelR.
  • As previously mentioned in our newsletters, PayPal is planning to launch its “Super App” with its new digital wallet functionality so that consumers can have a one-stop app for all their financial transactions.
  • PayPal announced the completion of the acquisition of Israel-based cryptocurrency security startup -Curv. The company operates a cloud-based service to access crypto wallets without any hardware device and also has an approval process to mitigate risks with unauthorized withdrawals of crypto assets.

Talking about financial “Super App” — PayPal in the call mentioned in a recent survey PayPal was deemed the second most trusted brand. However, reviewing the survey, Google was the most trusted brand. With Google recently announcing many features with its Google Pay service will be a formidable competition to PayPal’s Super app.

Square earnings report

Square(SQ) reported revenue of $5.06B with a 266% YoY growth and a net income of $39.01M.
Significant highlights from quarterly earnings,

By numbers

  • 80% of total revenue came from “Cash App.”

- 69% of total revenue came from the Cash App bitcoin leading the overall revenue by segment

- 20% of total revenue came from the “Seller Ecosystem.”

  • 17% of total revenue came from Seller Ecosystem — transaction-based revenue ,second-most revenue-generating segment.

However, looking at the gross profit margins. The high cost of bitcoins leads to low gross profit margins,i.e., only approximately 8% of total gross profit margins came from the bitcoin segment. While “subscription and service-based” segments were the high-margin business for the quarter.

In terms of products and services, the Square team is bullish on the Cash app and Jack Dorsey, CEO of Square and Twitter, believes bitcoin will be the “currency” of the internet. In that regard, Square continues to invest in the bitcoin ecosystem.

Less than expected April U.S job numbers released.

U.S bureau of labor statistics released the April total non-farm employment numbers. In April, employers added only 266K jobs. Wherein march, 770k jobs were added and 536k in February. So far, April has been the month with the slowest job growth rate for the year. The unemployment rate was at 6.1%. Even though there are many unfilled jobs, employers have a hard time filling the vacant positions even with the massive rollout of vaccines in the United States. Some employers claim stimulus check as one of the main reasons for such low numbers in April. Hopefully, as the lockdown eases down, the employers can add more jobs and help the economic recovery. to acquire Divvy, a leader in spend management for SMBs (NYSE: Bill), a leading provider of cloud-based software that simplifies, digitizes, and automates complex back-office financial operations for small and midsize businesses (SMBs), announced today it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Divvy in a stock and cash transaction valued at approximately $2.5 billion.

Divvy is a software platform that combines expense management and corporate credit cards into a single platform. The acquisition has good synergies for’s business. Now their customers can manage accounts payable, accounts receivable, and corporate credit cards in one place.

New product announcements.

eBay plans to take crypto payments and allow NFT sales.

In an interview with CNBC earlier this week, eBay CEO Jamie Iannone said that they are looking into accepting cryptocurrency as a payment option on their platforms, similar to Tesla, where one can purchase a Tesla car using bitcoins. He also mentioned that eBay is looking in various ways to get into NFT(non-fungible token) marketplace business as well ( Learn more about NFT from our blog post)

Tala and Visa partner to use crypto coins in emerging markets.

Tala is working with Circle and the Stellar Development Foundation to help consumers convert, store and use cryptocurrency. They are planning to start with USDC “stable count.” .USDC (US Digital coin) is issued by regulated financial institutions, backed by fully reserved assets, redeemable on a 1:1 basis for US dollars, and governed by the Centre. This membership-based consortium sets technical, policy, and financial standards for stablecoins. Tala will help store the USDC coins in their digital wallets, and working with Visa, they are planning to have these coins used by 70 million merchants worldwide that accept Visa. If this initiative becomes successful, it will immensely help in Visa’s cross-border payments strategy using digital currencies.

WhatsApp Pay enters Brazil’s Payment market.

The Facebook popular messaging app WhatsApp received approval from Brazil’s Central bank to operate peer-to-peer payment services. As a result, 90% of Brazil’s smartphone users can make digital payments using their WhatsApp. However, currently, the service is restricted to Peer-to-Peer debit payments involving Visa and MasterCard only

Fintech New Venture and IPO

  • Shift Technology , a San Francisco based insurance fraud detection company,raised $220m in series D funding.
  • Upshot,Boston based blockchain-based protocol for questions and answers raised $7.5m in series A funding.
  • Bitski,a San Francisco based NFT enablement platform,raised $19m in series A funding.
  • Boost Payment Solutions,a New York based payment company ,raised $22m in series C funding.
  • HoneyBook,a San Francisco based client communication and financial management platform for service based SMBs and freelancers raised $155m in series D funding.
  • Persona,a San Francisco based platform that helps companies protect, verify and manage customer identities raised $50m in series B funding.
  • Vanta,a San Francisco based automated security and verified compliance platform ,raised $50m in series A funding.
  • LoanSnap,a San Francisco based lending startup,raised $30m in Series B funding.

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