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A week full of surprises


This week in fintech

March 29 · Issue #53 · View online

A weekly summary of the latest news in our world of finance, design, and technology.

Also: 💣 Insurance up for disruption 🤔 How do cryptocurrencies work? 🥴 NFTs are continuing to getting weirder. 🏦 Everyone is going public 🏎 Car subscription and APIs. 💳 Payments getting a lot of funding 🇳🇴 Uphill for Norwegian tech

Happy Easter to everyone! From next week on, I’m partly going to be on parental leave and am therefore trying out a new format and possibly a new schedule. But I’ll still try to deliver an overview of the latest news in our world of finance, design, and technology. – Marius Hauken
💣 Insurance up for disruption
  • The startup Tillit wants to solve the conflict of interest from the insurance companies being both judges and players by and with the customer. When they felt they had solved the problem, they had to wait 12 months before the Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway approved their application. Link
  • Andreessen Horowitz makes a case for default insurance – that it is automatically attached to everything you buy. Embedded financial services are becoming increasingly mainstream, and this article argues that embedded insurance is next. Link
🤔 How do cryptocurrencies work?
  • How can we get the equivalent to governments funding rail, road, and networks on the internet? Pack McCormick has done a deep dive into DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations) – a new way to finance projects, govern communities and share value. Link
  • This is all possible because Etherum, which, unlike Bitcoin, has a complete programming language inside it, so programmers can write code and make apps on Ethereum. Erik Jorgenson has written up a short 101 on Etherum. Link
🥴 NFTs are continuing to get weirder
  • The comedian John Cleese (or his alter ego “The Unnamed Artist”) is jumping on the NFT craze with part humor and part exploitation by selling a drawing he has created of the Brooklyn Bridge on his iPad. The current bid? $37 106. Link
  • The Artist Krista Kim sells “first NFT digital house in the world” for over $500 000. Link
🏦 Everyone is going public
  • Robinhood is building a platform to “democratize” IPOs (Initial Public Offerings), including its own. Link
  • Coinbase is planning a Direct Listing in April. Link
  • Over the past year, the stock market has gone wild for newly public fintech companies. But one of the world’s most valuable privately held companies, Stripe, is avoiding going public simply because it is more work. Employees that want liquidity have no problem selling their stocks on secondary market platforms. Link
  • We still remember the Wirecard implosion, but there has been a similar story going on that hasn’t gotten as much press. A few months ago, Greensill was headed for a $40B IPO. Now, it’s likely worth $0. Trung Phan has written a quick explanation of what happened. Link
🏎 Car subscription and APIs
  • Porche is starting a car-subscription service. Subscriptions have so far been a mixed bag for the auto industry. Mercedes and BMW have suspended their subscription-solution, while other companies like Volvo, Audi, and Toyota still have a variation of car subscriptions. Link
  • At the same time, imove is launching internationally with their subscription service for electric cars in Sweden. Link
  • Volvo is launching an official API to access dashboard and status data from a user’s vehicle. This is potentially exciting news for insurance companies that so far have needed external dongles to interpret the driving patterns. Link
💳 Payments getting a lot of funding
  • MeaWallet has developed a digital payment solution for banks, points of sale, and more. The service simplifies implementing digital payment, such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and others because MeaWallet is already connected. Last week they raised 26 million NOK to expand abroad. Link
  • Axeptia reveals bad payers that no one would think were bad payers. They do this by combining the users’ payment experiences from their own customer portfolio with data from the customer’s financial system and external credit information. Last week they raised 10 million NOK for growth. Link
  • The solution DoNotPay has now added a solution to avoid cancellation fees on hotel, restaurant, or rental cars. Link
🇳🇴 Uphill for Norwegian tech
  • Merkely has developed a logging tool that automatically tracks software changes (no, not Git), thus proving that different systems work in line with compliance. So far, ZTL and Bulder Bank have used their technology (Disclaimer: both clients of Stacc). Last week Merkely raised 3 million NOK for further development. Link
  • DNB is the first bank to prevent its customers from checking their mortgage with Renteradar. According to Renteradar, this is ~40% of their customers. Renteradar is now investigating what rights DNB customers have under the GDPR to own their information and share it with the service. Link
  • Vipps has gained 7 000 customers on its mobile subscription six months after its launch. In comparison, Fjordkraft had over 100 000 users 18 months after starting their mobile subscription. This means that Fjordkraft recruited an average of 5 500 customers each month - about five times more than Vipps has managed so far. Link
⛴ A week full of surprises
  • A fun little story of how auto-selection of options and hidden inputs around payment forms could cause issues. Timmy O'Mahony has written about how Substack’s UI and 1Password cost him $2 023. Link
  • The story of the week in our Slack-channels is the blockage of the Suez Canal by a massive container ship. We’re not short on solutions at our office, but the roots of this problem date back to 1937 when a truck driver had a simple idea that would completely change the world: the shipping container. Read a short history lesson
  • “one container ship gets stuck” did not show up in anyone’s 2021 global economic risks forecast - Morgan Housel Link
  • The most creative use case of QR-codes I’ve seen Link
🙏 Don’t keep it a secret!
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Marius Hauken, partner Stacc X
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