Fintech Focus Roundup For March 21, 2021


Meet Qooore, The Fintech Merging The Experiences Of Robinhood And TikTok
Founded in 2020, Qooore is on a mission to drive interest and empower investment in financial markets.

The firm’s genesis comes alongside news of record retail trading activity, as well as the rise and fall of stocks like GameStop Corporation, driven in part by speculative commentary on online forums like WallStreetBets.

“We’ve seen this trend,” strategy advisor Alex Kochetkov said. “Our position is not to add to it -- they hype -- which can lead to people losing money.”

Qooore is redefining financial education, providing millennials and Generation Z the tools to become the smartest generation of investors, ever.

Through “educational fintertainment,” a whole new concept that merges the best of Robinhood and TikTok, Qooore delivers to users engaging, easy-to-digest financial news, data, and trading access.

More Than 50% Of Small Businesses Have Reopened: Survey
As part of an effort to track U.S. small business growth through 2022, Kabbage polled more than 550 small business leaders.

The survey tracked key performance metrics including headcount, revenue, profit, online strategies, as well as future outlooks, to provide insight into how American small businesses are recovering and adapting amid the pandemic.

The results show that 57% of surveyed businesses are fully open as local or federal pandemic shutdowns ease. Reopening rates, according to Kabbage, were aided also by a shift in operations online that helped boost average monthly online sales revenue by 54%.

When asked whether pre-pandemic occupancy rates would return, 33% of surveyed businesses said they would expand digital operations to supplement or replace in-person operations, while 15% would scale down digital operations to pre-pandemic levels.

Intelligent Trading With TradeUI's Stock, Option Order Flow Insights
Founded in 2020, TradeUI is a fintech specializing in low-cost stock and option insights. The firm was founded after its founder saw the need for comprehensive stock and option-based trading alerts.

“Typically, when you try to get into a trade, you match up a bunch of things like technical analysis and the news,” the founder said in an explanation on how he intends to improve access to actionable market insights. “I’ve been backtesting for years and the idea was to … build a tool that helps you find trades formatted in a way that anyone can use.”

In the simplest way possible: TradeUI is a provider of low-cost unusual options activity alerts, as well as technical and fundamental analysis tools that help traders follow the smart money.

“It’s a tool to help you take high-confidence, more successful, lower-risk trades.”

That’s according to a Columbia Business School study that analyzed transaction-level data from Bumped, a Portland-based fintech that rewards users with stocks from the brands and stores they buy from.

In further unpacking ownership and spending dynamics, Benzinga spoke with Bumped founder David Nelsen and vice president of corporate communications Amy Dunn.

Fintech Spotlight: JPMorgan Chase Looks To Digital Banking Innovation
In light of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, adoption rates of fintech solutions — online, digital banking — soared.

As of the fourth quarter of 2020, Chase has over 55 million digitally active customers, up nearly 5% on a year-over-year basis, and 41 million mobile active customers, up 10% year-over-year.


“Last year, accelerated digitization of all industries, including banking," Allison Beer, the Chief Product Officer and Head of Customer Experience and Digital for JPMorgan Chase & Co, said in a statement on the rising interest in digital-focused solutions. “Customers are embracing, across the spectrum — across age groups, segments, geography — self-service and digital banking in a way they hadn’t previously.”

Specifically, Beer said customers have stepped up their embrace of Chase’s highly secure, and easy-to-use digital self-service channel, via the Chase Mobile Banking App.

“We’re seeing customers habituated into digital banking, in a way that would have likely happened, but may have taken longer. These trends … will continue to accelerate.”

Exclusive: VC And Business Founder Randall Kaplan Talks Life, Relationships And Innovation
“When someone tells me something can’t be done, I think there’s always a will and a way.”

That’s according to Randall Kaplan, an American entrepreneur and venture capitalist working to fuel the next wave of disruptive innovation and inspire tomorrow’s leaders.

Known as “Mr. Beach,” Kaplan is known for early successes at SunAmerica, a financial services company acquired by American International Group Inc, and Akamai Technologies Inc.

Today, Kaplan spends his time managing JUMP Investors, a venture capital firm and family office, as well as Sandee, a travel company, Thrive Properties and CollarCard, among other ventures.

In a conversation with Benzinga, Kaplan spoke about his origins and aspirations, as well as tips for building relationships and succeeding in today’s digitally disrupted business world.

Fintech Spotlight: How Docoh Is Empowering The Next Generation Of Retail Investors
In light of speculative commentary on online forums such as WallStreetBets, which has fueled individual stock volatility, retail investors have gained increased respect from institutional counterparts.

In recognition of those disruptive innovators catering to retail interests, Benzinga spoke with Richard Goulstone and Dan Zambonini, founders at Docoh.

IeAD, InStudio Ventures Form 'The Draft' To Support Global Sport-Tech Innovation
In an effort to disrupt the traditional venture capital model and focus on venture building as the future for sports technology investment, IeAD and InStudio, two big movers in the sports industry, are setting up a U.S.-based seed and venture capital fund.

InStudio, in collaboration with major sports clubs and brands like MLS, NFL and PepsiCo Inc, among others, is a venture studio helping build the sports, media and technology companies of the future.

IeAD, drawing on inspiration by legends like Adi Dassler, the founder of German sportswear company Adidas ADR, drives innovation and excellence in sports- and health-technology journeys.

“We build ventures by investing beyond capital,” Danny Cortenraede, a serial entrepreneur and investor who leads InStudio Ventures and built companies like Wannahaves and 433, said in a statement.

“Our focus is to validate start-ups by a wide metric of indicators that we defined as key elements to build a successful business. Get start-ups on the right track by testing and eliminating all assumptions on their customer, product, market, and industry in four steps to create the ultimate value proposition for growth. We combine the power of leAD, the academy, our venture studio, and access to the biggest corporations, leagues, clubs, athletes to help startups with a solid foundation and grow exceptionally.”

As part of its vision to help self-directed investors build wealth for the long-term, M1 Finance is lowering the barriers to financial wellness through comprehensiveness and automation.

To scale access to its financial wellness portal, M1 Finance said it will expand the depth and breadth of its customer-driven product portfolio through a $75-million Series D funding round led by Coatue.

The Series D follows a $45-million Series C and $33-million Series B in 2020. Previous investors Left Lane Capital and Clocktower Technology Ventures also participated in this round.

That’s according to the founder of the finance meme account Litquidity, an anonymous Wall Street banker in his late 20s who uses social media as a creative outlet.

Litquidity’s founder decided to start the media brand in 2017 to share humor drawing on his time in investment banking and venture capital.

Posted In: FintechBumpedDocohieADInStudio VenturesJPMorganKabbageLitquidityM1 FinanceQoooreRandall KaplanRobinhoodTikTokTradeUI
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