Unseasonal cold weather across Europe that has led to severe damages for farmers in particular in France and there bad news in the FinTech world, too. Here is the latest edition of the FinTechnologist Weekly:
Triple Your Money, Loose It, But Die Trying?
One Massive Fine
This regulator has teeth! The Chinese authorities have seen enough and have handed Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, a record $2.77 billion fine for breaching anti-monopoly regulations and abusing market dominance.
Following an investigation that officially started last December, China’s State Administration for Market Regulation said in a statement that Alibaba had been abusing its strong market position since 2015 to prevent merchants from using other online e-commerce platforms. The fine accounts for 4% of the company’s revenue and Alibaba seemed to be happy to get over with it, but remarks from one of its senior managers indicate that the authority’s might only got started: “We’re happy to get the matter behind us, but the tendency is that regulators will be keen to look at some of the areas where you might have unfair competition”, Alibaba Group’s executive vice chairman Joe Tsai said on an investor call. Sounds like dark clouds over China.
Old and New FinTech Royalty
Forbes has released its latest World’s Billionaires List (I’m still not on it, I know) and Finextra has pulled a FinTech billionaires list from it, it appears. Confronted with the same, old question what constitutes FinTech, i.e. anything that is remotely financial technology or do we count only the new batch with their fancy tech, it is a list of people from the new and the old world of FinTech when it wasn’t called FinTech yet. At the top sits Michael Bloomberg with a net worth of $59bn and on three you’ll find David Thomson of Thomson Reuters worth $41.8bn, who have been in the business for a while. The two are only by Jack Ma of Ant Group with $48.4bn, but then it’s a drop to only $21.4bn net worth for Pierre Omidyar/PayPal and $12.5bn for Jack Dorsey of Square and, of course, Twitter. Peanuts, right?!?
Interestingly, Brian Armstrong sits already at #9 with a net worth of $6.5bn and the highly anticipated IPO of his Coinbase is coming up. Intriguing, isn’t it
How Things Change
Remember the news when Plaid called of its sale to Visa a few months ago? News of the potential takeover first broke last year in January and the deal was valued $5.3bn, which is two times its final private valuation that goes back to a $250m funding round led by Index and Kleiner in late 2018. Towards the end of the year though the Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit to block Visa’s planned acquisition of fintech start-up Plaid as it would limit competition in the industry. The two company’s then called the party off in January.
Fast forward three months later and the company is now valued at $13.4bn following a round raising $425m from new and old investors, so the Visa deal would have been quite a steal in any sense, I suppose?
That’s all for this week but ff you have an interesting story or would join me on the podcast, connect on Twitter.In any case, make sure you sign up to the newsletter to stay in the loop if you don’t mind. Thanks!
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