• Miguel Armaza is joined by two great guests, Brooks Gibbins and Gareth Jones - Managing Partners and Co-Founders of Fintech Collective, a global early-stage venture capital firm focused on technology startups with the potential to reimagine financial services.

    We discuss:
    - Their entrepreneurial background and why they eventually decided to switch from operators to investors
    - Challenges of launching a Fintech focused fund in 2012
    - Their decision to invest beyond the US and why they are excited about fintech in Latin America and other emerging markets
    - Why they are particularly proud of their weekly newsletter
    - Their investment strategy and what gets them excited to invest in a startup
    - And a nice story of how they helped our very own Wharton Fintech Club just as we were getting started almost seven years ago

    Brooks Gibbins

    Brooks is a co-founder and Managing Partner of FinTech Collective. Prior to becoming a venture capitalist, Brooks had a successful career as an entrepreneur and global operating executive in capital markets, payments, and enterprise tech. He was a key executive and officer at New York-based Multex, which successfully IPO’d and exited to Reuters; London-based Serverside, which successfully exited to Gemalto; and Oslo-based FAST, which successfully exited to Microsoft for over $1b. Brooks began his career as an enterprise software developer.

    Brooks completed Harvard Business School’s program for Management Development and graduated from Williams College with distinction.

    Gareth Jones

    Gareth is co-founder and Managing Partner of FinTech Collective. Prior to becoming a venture capitalist, Gareth was a successful entrepreneur and business leader, who helped build and sell three category-leading fintech companies. These included Multex, which IPO’d and then successfully sold to Reuters; Serverside, which successfully sold to Gemalto, a European digital security company; and CardLab, which was successfully acquired by Blackhawk Networks, a global leader in prepaid gift, reward and incentive technologies and solutions. Prior to starting his career in fintech, Gareth spent three years ‘double handing’ a 36ft sailing boat 33,000 nautical miles from the UK to the Antarctic circle.

    Gareth has completed Columbia Business School’s Senior Executive Program and graduated from the University of the West of England with a BSc. Honours Degree.

    About Fintech Collective

    FinTech Collective is a global early-stage venture capital firm focused on technology startups with the potential to reimagine financial services. The firm, founded in 2012, has deep experience investing across capital markets, wealth management, banking, lending, payments, insurance, and crypto/blockchain. The managing partners of FinTech Collective met in their mid 20’s and then helped build, scale and sell four fintech businesses generating over $1.5 billion of shareholder value.

    Backed primarily by institutional investors and a small handful of tier-one financial institutions from around the world, FinTech Collective has invested in 43 portfolio companies and is currently investing out of its third fund, a $150m+ early-stage fund. Some notable investments include Anyfin (Stockholm), Axoni (NYC), Flutterwave (Africa), IMMO Capital (London), Minka (Latin America), MoneyLion (NYC), NYDIG (NYC), Ocrolus (NYC), Quovo (NYC, acquired by Plaid) and Vestwell (NYC).

  • “If Robinhood exists to democratize markets, Commonstock exists to democratize information.”

    Ryan Zauk sits down with Commonstock Founder & CEO David Mcdonough to learn how Commonstock is creating a community that amplifies insights from top investors, backed by the performance and portfolio of their linked brokerage accounts.

    Community members can link their existing brokerage accounts and share their real-time portfolio, performance, and trades (by percent only - $ amount is never shared), while sharing detailed investment theses, industry takedowns, and more.

    The idea has attracted investors such as Social Capital, Floodgate, and WFT favorite Frank Rotman of QED. The community has exploded over the past year, with professional investors writing highly detailed memos and users heavily engaged.

    They discuss:
    - His authentic journey to founding Commonstock and why he was the 'Rudy of Private Equity'
    - The amazing Commonstock community, its network effects, and growth
    - The Robinhood and Gamestop fiasco and how learning Robinhood’s business was like seeing the green binary codes in the matrix
    - Plus a rapid-fire round with some of his amazing stock successes (and some misses caused by paper hands)

    Check out Commonstock here: https://beta.commonstock.com/login

    For more FinTech insights, follow us below:

    Medium: medium.com/wharton-fintech

    WFT Twitter: twitter.com/whartonfintech

    Ryan's Twitter: twitter.com/RyanZauk

    LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/wharton-fintech-club/

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  • Miguel Armaza is joined by the fascinating Milind Mehere, serial entrepreneur, and Founder/CEO of YieldStreet, a digital wealth management platform that aims to transform the investing landscape by enabling individual investors to invest in classes such as Real Estate, Marine Finance, Art Finance, Legal Finance, and Commercial loans.

    The company has raised over $180M in equity and debt from top VCs including Edison Partners, Greycroft, and Raine Ventures.

    They discuss:
    - His successful entrepreneurial journey and the path to Yieldstreet as a second-time founder
    - Company Culture
    - Challenges of building an investing platform and disrupting an industry traditionally reserved for the wealthy
    - Leveraging regulatory opportunities for a new asset class
    - The incredible impact of COVID on the business
    - And a lot more!

    Milind Mehere

    Milind Mehere is an award-winning entrepreneur with a track record of building large scalable businesses and creating new product categories. He is the founder and CEO of YieldStreet, a digital wealth management platform changing the way financial products are delivered and how wealth is created. Previously, Milind co-founded and scaled Yodlee (an ad-tech platform for SMBs) to $200M+ in revenue and 1,400 employees - the company was acquired by Web.com for $342M in 2016.

    About Yieldstreet

    YieldStreet is striving to become the world’s largest digital wealth management platform to change the way wealth is created. YieldStreet is accomplishing this by transforming the investing landscape, opening up access to investments for individual investors across a range of asset classes such as Real Estate, Marine Finance, Art Finance, Legal Finance and Commercial loans. Headquartered in New York City with offices in Brazil, Argentina and Greece, the company is backed with $178M in equity and debt funding from firms including Edison Partners, Greycroft and Raine Ventures. Join the movement at www.yieldstreet.com.

  • Aquiline’s Vincenzo La Ruffa - Driving Value Creation in Financial Services

    Miguel Armaza sits down with Vincenzo La Ruffa, President of Aquiline Capital Partners and head of their financial technology group. Aquiline was founded in 2005 and is a private investment firm based focused on businesses across the financial services sector with almost $6B in assets under management.

    Vincenzo is also a proud alum of our amazing Wharton and Penn school.

    We talked about
    - Vincenzo’s career path
    - Fintech trends and exciting opportunities
    - Their approach to partnering with entrepreneurs
    - Stories and case studies from some of their exciting portfolio companies
    - Challenges as an investor during COVID
    - Identifying Fintech opportunities in a fast moving and fast changing market
    - Private Equity as a career
    - And why he still loves reading physical books!

    Vincenzo La Ruffa

    Vincenzo is president of Aquiline. Vincenzo also heads the financial technology and services group and serves on the investment committees for the AFS, ATG and ACO fund families.
    Prior to joining Aquiline in 2014, Vincenzo was managing director of Susquehanna Growth Equity, a group he co-founded, where he invested in financial technology, healthcare IT and software companies across the US, Europe and Israel.

    Vincenzo currently serves on the boards of portfolio companies Ascensus and HedgeServ. He previously was on the boards of Simply Business (sold to Travelers), Togetherwork (sold to GI Partners), Fenergo (realized in 2018 recapitalization) and BISAM (sold to FactSet); his prior investments include The Logic Group (sold to Barclays), 29West (sold to Informatica) and Managed Markets Insight and Technology (sold to Welsh Carson).

    Vincenzo serves as a trustee of the Collegium Institute on Catholic Thought and Culture at the University of Pennsylvania, Delbarton School, the Montfort Academy, the National Catholic Bioethics Center, and the Regina Angelorum Academy.

    About Aquiline Capital Partners LLC

    Aquiline Capital Partners, founded in 2005, is a private investment firm based in New York and London investing in businesses across the financial services sector in financial technology, insurance, investment management, business services, credit and healthcare. The firm has $5.6 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2020. For more information about Aquiline, its investment professionals, and its portfolio companies, please visit aquiline.com.

  • In our latest episode of the Wharton Fintech podcast, Anchit Gupta (WG'21) is joined by Phil Edmundson, CEO & Founder of Corvus Insurance. Founded in 2017, Corvus is a leading provider of smart commercial insurance products powered by AI-driven risk data. Corvus finished 2020 at a $100M annual premium run rate, capping off a year that was marked by meteoric growth for the company.

    In addition to Corvus, Phil is also the Managing Partner of Edmus Ventures where he invests in InsurTech companies including Verifly/Thimble, Wellthie, Agentero, Cover Wallet, Openly, and CoPatient.

    In this interview, Phil shares:
    - The state of the cyber-insurance industry
    - Corvus's core products and services
    - Using AI/ML to improve risk management tools
    - The biggest challenges facing cybersecurity
    - COVIDs impact on cybersecurity and insurance
    - Emerging trends in the insurtech industry

    For more FinTech insights, follow us below:

    Medium: medium.com/wharton-fintech

    WFT Twitter: twitter.com/whartonfintech

    LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/wharton-fintech-club/

  • Worlds collide today as the two gold-standards of fintech content come together on the Wharton Fintech Podcast.

    Ryan Zauk sits down with Simon Taylor, Co-Founder and Head of Ventures at 11:FS, a challenger consultancy and emerging fintech empire. They help the world’s top founders build financial services products, conduct highly customized market research, bring PMs behind the scenes of various fintech applications, and of course have their own media arm.

    In today’s episode, Simon and Ryan dive into:
    7:00 - His journey through fintech and how 11:FS is building the industry's top challenger consultancy
    12:00 - The current state of the crypto market and if it has finally 'crossed the chasm’
    17:00 - The power of stablecoins and interest-bearing accounts (BlockFi, Celsius, etc)
    22:54 - NFTs, sports memorabilia, and NBA top shot
    28:10 - Their thoughts on Clubhouse
    31:40 - And a very fun rapid-fire round including his favorite follows on Twitter

    For more FinTech insights, follow us below:

    Medium: medium.com/wharton-fintech

    WFT Twitter: twitter.com/whartonfintech

    Ryan's Twitter: twitter.com/RyanZauk

    LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/wharton-fintech-club/

  • Miguel Armaza is joined by Michael Seibel and Dalton Caldwell, Managing Directors and Group Partners at Y Combinator (YC).

    YC is one of the most successful startup accelerators and venture capital funds, and since March 2005 has helped over 5,000 startup founders build and launch companies like Stripe, AirBnB, DoorDash, Dropbox, Reddit, and the list goes on and on…

    This was a fascinating conversation and Michael and Dalton talked about lessons learned from their years of experience with YC, what they look for in a founding team, and why they are so passionate about helping entrepreneurs.

    We also touched on their decision to expand beyond the US to back entrepreneurs from all over the world, and the fascinating network effects this has created.

    Dalton and Michael also shared lessons learned from working with over 200 Fintech companies, including Brex, Stripe, and Coinbase. And some of the Fintech trends they are excited about.

    Finally, we could not end this conversation without talking about the state of diversity in the industry and hearing what Michael has to say about it

    Plus a lot more golden nuggets of information!

    Michael Seibel

    Michael Seibel is the Managing Director, Early Stage and Group Partner at YC. He was the cofounder and CEO Justin.tv and Socialcam. Socialcam sold to Autodesk in 2012 and under the leadership of Emmett Shear, Justin.tv became Twitch.tv and sold to Amazon in 2014. Before getting into startups, he spent a year as the finance director for a US Senate campaign and in 2005, Michael graduated from Yale University with a BA in political science.

    Dalton Caldwell

    Dalton Caldwell is the Managing Director, Architect and Group Partner at YC. He was the cofounder and CEO of imeem (acquired by MySpace in 2009), and the cofounder and CEO of App.net. He has a BS in Symbolic Systems and a BA in Psychology from Stanford University.

    About Y Combinator

    Y Combinator is a startup fund based in Mountain View, CA. In 2005, Y Combinator developed a new model of startup funding. Twice a year they invest a small amount of money in a large number of startups. The startups move to Silicon Valley for 3 months, and the YC partners work closely with each company to get them into the best possible shape and refine their pitch to investors. Each batch culminates in Demo Day, when the startups present their companies to a carefully selected audience of investors. Y Combinator has invested in over 3,000 companies including Airbnb, Dropbox, Stripe, Reddit, Instacart, Docker and Gusto. The combined valuation of YC companies is over $300B.

    For more FinTech insights, follow us below:

    Medium: medium.com/wharton-fintech

    WFT Twitter: twitter.com/whartonfintech

    Miguel's Twitter: twitter.com/MiguelArmaza

    Miguel's Substack: https://bit.ly/3jWIpqp

  • Miguel Armaza sits down with Manuel Silva, General Partner at Mouro Capital, a venture capital fund with $400m assets under management, looking to back the most innovative fintech innovators and startups across North America, Latin America, and Europe.

    We talked about:
    - Manuel’s career path and what led him to venture capital
    - History of Mouro Capital and why they recently decided to spin out of Santander Bank
    - Mouro’s investment strategy
    - Investing in global fintech – regions and markets where they see the biggest opportunities (hint: Latin America)
    - Navigating COVID
    - and a lot more!

    About Mouro Capital

    Mouro Capital is a venture capital firm with $400M assets under management that targets early to growth fintech investment opportunities across Europe, North America and Latin America.

  • Miguel Armaza sits down with Dan Rosen, Partner and Founder of Commerce Ventures, a sector-focused VC fund, investing in infrastructure and enablers for the Commerce Continuum

    Dan is also an alum of our very own, Wharton School.

    We talked about
    - Dan’s background and why he decided to build Commerce Ventures
    - The evolution of the fintech industry over the last 20 years
    - Commerce Ventures investment process
    - Their approach to building sector theses
    - The importance of talent, diversity, and mentoring future generations
    - And a lot more!

    About Dan Rosen

    Dan Rosen Partner Dan has been investing in tech startups for 20 years. He founded Commerce Ventures with the vision of creating a sector-focused firm that demonstrably helps its portfolio companies. At Commerce, Dan focuses on technology innovations in the payments, financial services and insurance fields. He serves on the boards of Blooom, ClickSWITCH, Kin and Socure, and participates as an observer on several other portfolio boards, such as BillGO and MX Technologies. Prior to starting Commerce Ventures, Dan was a Principal at Highland Capital Partners, where he focused on mobile and payments-related startups. He has also worked as an Associate at HarbourVest Partners, in Corporate Development at RSA Security, and as a financial services software consultant for American Management Systems (now CGI Group). Dan studied Finance and Information Systems at the University of Pennsylvania and earned an MBA with Distinction from Harvard.

  • Ryan Zauk sits down with one of the crypto world's most popular figures, Mike Dudas.

    Mike navigated a long career spanning Disney, Google, Venmo, and Circle before founding The Block, one of the world's premier research and news sources for all things crypto and blockchain. Mike recently stepped back into a Chairman role at The Block, moving to Paxos as their VP of Stable Coin Business Development.

    The Block: https://www.theblockcrypto.com/

    On today's episode, Mike and Ryan discuss:
    - The Venmo / CashApp battle of the last few years (6:45)
    - When Mike first learned about Bitcoin and realized its massive potential (10:50)
    - The new wave of DeFi and how this technology will disrupt incumbents (14:04)
    - The Block and why its model will be the business model of the future (17:00)
    - How he went about deciding to build The Block with no journalism experience (22:05)
    - His passionate, outspoken support for Andrew Yang for Mayor of NYC (24:30)
    - And a great rapid-fire round (28:30)

    For more FinTech insights, follow us below:

    Medium: medium.com/wharton-fintech

    WFT Twitter: twitter.com/whartonfintech

    Ryan's Twitter: twitter.com/RyanZauk

    LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/wharton-fintech-club/

  • Miguel Armaza sits down with the talented and energetic Alexa von Tobel, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Inspired Capital, a $200M early-stage venture capital firm based in New York City, focused on backing founders with transformative ideas, brilliant teams, and relentless determination. The firm was founded by Alexa and Penny Pritzker, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce.

    Prior to Inspired Capital, Alexa founded LearnVest with the goal of helping people make progress on their money and later sold the company to Northwestern Mutual for $375M.

    We talked about
    - Alexa’s background & entrepreneurial journey
    - Why she dropped out of Harvard Business school to build LearnVest
    - What it really means to be the CEO of a large company and why she decided to sell her business
    - The reason why she loves hosting her own podcast, The Founders Project, and what led her to write two books
    - Working with President Obama
    - The importance of having a supportive spouse
    - And a whole lot more!

    Alexa von Tobel

    Alexa is the co-founder and managing partner of Inspired Capital. Prior to Inspired Capital, she founded LearnVest in 2008 with the goal of helping people make progress on their money. After raising nearly $75 million in venture capital, LearnVest was acquired by Northwestern Mutual in May 2015 in one of the biggest fintech acquisitions of the decade. Following the acquisition, von Tobel joined the management team of Northwestern Mutual as the company’s first-ever Chief Digital Officer. She later assumed the role of Chief Innovation Officer through which she oversaw Northwestern Mutual’s venture arm.

    Alexa, who holds a Certified Financial Planner™ designation, is the New York Times-Bestselling Author of Financially Fearless and Financially Forward. She is also the host of The Founders Project with Alexa von Tobel, a weekly podcast with Inc. that highlights top entrepreneurs.

    Alexa is a member of the 2016 Class of Henry Crown Fellows and an inaugural member of President Obama’s Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship. She has been honored with numerous recognitions including: a Forbes Magazine cover story, Fortune’s 40 Under 40, Fortune's Most Powerful Women, Inc. Magazine's 30 Under 30, and World Economic Forum's Young Global Leader.

    Originally from Florida, Alexa attended Harvard College and Harvard Business School before settling in New York City where she currently resides with her husband, Cliff, and three children, Toby, Cashel, and Rosey.

    About Inspired Capital

    Inspired Capital is a $200M early-stage venture capital firm based in New York City. Inspired backs founders with transformative ideas, brilliant teams, and relentless determination. The firm was founded by Alexa von Tobel, who previously founded LearnVest, and Penny Pritzker, founder and chairman of PSP Partners who served as U.S. Secretary of Commerce. By leveraging deep experience across consumer and enterprise technology, the firm invests in tech-advantaged, capital efficient businesses, striving to help them become category-defining companies. For more information, visit www.inspiredcapital.com.

  • This episode comes from the LendIt Fintech Latam 2020 conference. It features Miguel Armaza’s conversation with Pierpaolo Barbieri, Founder & CEO of Ualá, one of the fastest-growing fintechs in Latin America.

    We discuss:
    - Digitization of cash and the incredible progress of mobile wallets in Latin America.
    - The role of the regulator and why some governments are starting to embrace the fintech industry.
    - Fueling e-Commerce – how fintech companies are bringing millions of new users to transact online.
    - Open Banking and the future of fintech in Latam.
    - And a lot more...

    About Ualá

    Ualá is a fintech company whose mission is to bring Latin American financial services into the 21st century. Through an app and an international Mastercard, it offers an innovative and integrated experience. It also brings the unbanked into the financial system by offering cheaper and more convenient services than any other alternative. It was founded by the Argentine entrepreneur Pierpaolo Barbieri and launched in October 2017 in Argentina and in September 2020 in Mexico. With more than 2 million cards issued, it is available throughout Argentina for anyone above 13 and Mexico for anyone above 18, both for Android and iOS.

  • Welcome to a very special Valentine’s Day episode of the Wharton FinTech Podcast!

    Today, Ryan Zauk sits down with the always-entertaining NYT Bestseller and Oprah collaborator, Neale Godfrey, to discuss Love and Money.

    Neale and Ryan dive into:
    3:20 - The disasters that can arise from delaying that money conversation until marriage
    7:30 - Strategies and tips for having the conversation
    9:30 - How to split your finances in single and dual-income couples without building resentment
    18:00 - A lot about prenups
    27:40 - How to file taxes if one person is an entrepreneur

    At the end, Ryan shares a few fintech apps tackling this problem as well as the Top 10 Couples Money Tips from Fintech Today's Julie Verhage-Greenberg, who crowdsourced her best nuggets of advice from the FTT community.

    Deeper breakdown in Ryan's Medium Article: medium.com/wharton-fintech
    Neale's Previous Episode on Fighting For Financial Literacy: https://tinyurl.com/2uvr47je
    Mentioned Prenup WSJ Article: https://tinyurl.com/y49nv9zc
    WFT Twitter: twitter.com/whartonfintech
    Ryan's Twitter: twitter.com/RyanZauk
    LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/wharton-fintech-club/
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/whartonfintech/
    Instagram: www.instagram.com/whartonfintech/

  • Miguel Armaza sits down with the fascinating Ben Narasin, Venture Partner at New Enterprise Associates (NEA), a global venture capital firm focused on helping entrepreneurs build transformational businesses across multiple stages, sectors, and geographies. Founded in 1977, NEA has received nearly $24 billion in cumulative committed capital since day one.

    Ben is not only a prolific investor but also a celebrated founder who launched fashionmall.com in 1993 and took the company public six years later.

    We talked about
    - Ben’s journey and entrepreneurial ambitions
    - A deep dive into his experience taking FashionMall public via IPO and the challenges it entails
    - The transition from entrepreneur to investor
    - The elements he looks for in every founder and how COVID has influenced his investment process
    - And plenty of stories and anecdotes from his exciting journey!

    Ben Narasin

    Ben Narasin is a Venture Partner at NEA. A prolific entrepreneur and highly regarded early-stage investor with three decades of company-building expertise, Narasin has focused on emerging technologies and new markets throughout his investment career. With a portfolio comprising key early successes in some of today’s fastest-growing sectors, such as fintech, digital marketplaces, mobile and connected devices. His overarching focus in seeking new investments is, in his words, “to find founders who make me say wow.”

    Narasin is a 25-year entrepreneur and 10-year early-stage investor. His knack for spotting emerging trends led him to make seed investments in companies like Dropcam, Lending Club, TellApart, Kabbage and Zenefits. Before NEA, Narasin most recently served as a General Partner at Canvas Ventures, and was previously with TriplePoint Capital, where he oversaw the firm’s seed funding investment activities.

    Like many of NEA’s partners, Narasin’s path to investing is rooted in entrepreneurship. He founded several consumer companies before launching his investing career, including Fashionmall.com, one of the first e-commerce companies, which he founded in 1993 and led to a successful IPO in 1999. Narasin frequently writes and speaks about technology and investing, as well as food and wine, a lifelong passion. He holds a B.A. in Entrepreneurial Studies from Babson College.

    About NEA

    New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA) is a global venture capital firm focused on helping entrepreneurs build transformational businesses across multiple stages, sectors and geographies. With nearly $24 billion in cumulative committed capital since the firm's founding in 1977, NEA invests in technology and healthcare companies at all stages in a company's lifecycle, from seed stage through IPO. The firm's long track record of successful investing includes more than 230 portfolio company IPOs and more than 390 mergers and acquisitions. www.nea.com.

  • On today’s episode, WFT covers one of the two certainties of life…and no, we’re not talking about taxes. Ryan Zauk is joined by Dan Garrett, Founder & CEO of Farewill, the UK fintech radically changing the way we deal with death (from the financial side, of course).

    You might be asking, what does death have to do with fintech? Well, 1 Trillion Pounds of assets will be transferred intergenerationally in the next decade in the UK alone. And wills are the primary method of transfer. Farewill is the first company offering a friendly, simple, D2C website to set up wills, probates, funerals measures, and more for a fraction of the cost of your local lawyer.

    Farewill has become the largest will-writer in the UK while maintaining an astounding NPS of 85. Last year, Farewill raised 20 million pounds from a top list of investors including Highland Europe, the CEOs of Transferwise and Headspace, and former Wharton FinTech guests Tim Levene of Augmentum Fintech and Michael Sidgmore of Broadhaven.

    In this fun episode, Dan and Ryan discuss:
    - Dan’s inspiring mission to change the way we handle death
    - The funniest things he’s seen in a will...it involves a Karen (Starts at about 13:30)
    - Farewill’s core products and why they have been so successful
    - Marketing a product nobody wants to think about (with the help of rugby legend Gareth Thomas)
    - Why ‘death tech’ was so ripe for disruption thanks to private equity and a lack of innovation
    - And the absolutely stunning canary in a coalmine he saw at the start of COVID.

    For more FinTech insights, follow us below:

    Medium: medium.com/wharton-fintech

    WFT Twitter: twitter.com/whartonfintech

    Ryan's Twitter: twitter.com/RyanZauk

    LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/wharton-fintech-club/

  • In today's episode, Ryan Zauk sits down with Erin (Welter) Lyons, W'01, Head of US Investment Grade Credit at CreditSights.

    Creditsights is one of the top credit research firms in the world serving the world’s top institutions, family offices, and more while producing over 300 research reports a month.

    Erin and Ryan discuss:
    - Her journey from Wharton, to Wall Street's top institutions, to landing at CreditSights
    - What she saw during the COVID crisis, especially March 15 - April 15, how her team tackled the problem, and how the outcomes really surprised her
    - The incredible power (and transparency) of the Fed's "Bazooka" COVID response, and how it saved the markets
    - The massive search for yield occurring in the fixed income market
    - Her approach to analyzing credit products
    - Her outlook on the coming year for markets, including potential implications of a Biden administration
    - The reasons they were just bought by Fitch and their own investment in Singapore Fintech "Alphastream"
    - "Throwing Toast" at Penn
    and more!

    For more FinTech insights, follow us below:

    Medium: medium.com/wharton-fintech

    WFT Twitter: twitter.com/whartonfintech

    Ryan's Twitter: twitter.com/RyanZauk

    LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/wharton-fintech-club/

  • In today’s episode, co-hosts Ryan Zauk and Miguel Armaza sit down with tech’s most beloved politician, Mayor Francis Suarez of Miami.

    For those not familiar, in 2020 numerous prominent VCs and founders began a great migration to Miami. On Twitter, Founders Fund's Delian Asparouhov tweeted "What if we moved Silicon Valley to Miami?" Mayor Suarez then tweeted 4 now famous words - "How Can I Help?" And the rest is history.

    Ryan, Miguel, and Mayor Suarez discuss the past, present, and future of Miami, his big ideas for crypto, Softbank's $100M commitment to Miami, how he's been investing in tech long before 2020, and much more.

    Ryan and Miguel left the episode convinced - Miami is not having a moment, it’s starting a movement. Vamos!

    For more FinTech insights, follow us below:

    Medium: medium.com/wharton-fintech

    WFT Twitter: twitter.com/whartonfintech

    Ryan's Twitter: twitter.com/RyanZauk

    LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/wharton-fintech-club/

  • Miguel Armaza sits down with Brian Requarth, a seasoned entrepreneur who in 2009 launched the Brazilian real estate marketplace, Viva Real, successfully grew the business over the following decade, and sold it in 2020 for over half a billion dollars.

    His recently-published book Viva the Entrepreneur is a fascinating modern guide designed to inspire and inform current and aspiring Latin American entrepreneurs. However, the book is just as applicable to founders from Silicon Valley to rest of the globe.

    Humble and often funny, Brian’s reflections of his own journey help humanize the perception and mystique behind successful tech entrepreneurs. The book is unequivocally straightforward and Brian is not afraid to celebrate his successes. But perhaps more importantly, he is also willing to reflect on his mistakes. In fact, one of the biggest takeaways from Viva the Entrepreneur is that successful founders use mistakes as learning opportunities and grow from these experiences.

    Perhaps my favorite aspect of the book is that Brian lays out incredibly important lessons for entrepreneurs, but he doesn’t just teach you the theory, he also illustrates every lesson with countless examples from his own experience. From balancing your personal life, managing your relationship with your co-founders, recruiting a team, building and scaling a product, fundraising and dealing with investors and board members, and even the importance of taking care of your mental and physical health.

    Finally, Mr. Requarth is putting his money where his mouth is. Because he sees tremendous opportunity in Latin America, Brian recently co-founded Latitud, an accelerator to help Latin America's top thinkers and doers build the next generation of world-class tech companies.

    If you are even remotely interested in entrepreneurship, I encourage you to take a look at Brian’s book - Viva the Entrepreneur.

    You can also catch Brian on his own show, Latitud Podcast, where he sits down with the biggest innovators and tech founders in Latin America.

  • Miguel Armaza sits down with James Paris, CEO of Avant, one of the pioneer in online lending dedicated to providing banking solutions for the US middle. Since 2012, Avant has served over 1.5 million customers with over $6.5 billion in loans and 400,000 credit cards.

    The company has also raised over $600 million of equity capital from General Atlantic, JP Morgan, Peter Thiel, Ribbit Capital, DFJ, Tiger Global, QED, August Capital, and many more!

    We talked about:
    - James’ background as a traditional investment banker
    - The story behind Avant
    - Their decision to spin out Amount, a SaaS business
    - His thoughts on the evolution of the fintech lending and underwriting space
    - Talent and company culture
    - Why you should always be nice to your interns and junior employees
    - And a whole lot more!

    About Avant

    Avant is dedicated to building premier digital banking solutions for the middle class through a combination of technology, analytics and superior customer service. Since 2012, Avant has connected over 1.5 million customers to $6.5 billion in loans and to 400,000 credit cards. A high growth financial technology company, Avant has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, TechCrunch, Fortune, Bloomberg, and has raised over $600 million of equity capital. Visit www.avant.com for more information.

  • Miguel Armaza sits down with Ben Savage and Adriana Saman, from Clocktower Technology Ventures, a fintech-focused venture capital fund that’s also the technology investing affiliate of Clocktower Group, a global macro investment firm.

    Ben is a fintech entrepreneur turned investor with an MBA from Stanford University and Adriana got her Bachelors from our very own University of Pennsylvania.

    We discussed:
    - Their backgrounds and what led them to Venture Capital
    - Clocktower’s investment strategy and approach
    - Their decision to focus on fintech and why they are excited about the reinvention of financial services
    - Why they have invested beyond the United States, with a particular emphasis on Latin America
    - Navigating COVID
    - Their outlook for the road ahead of the industry
    - And a lot more!

    Ben Savage

    Ben manages Clocktower Technology Ventures and is responsible for all of Clocktower Group’s private market activities. Ben was previously Director, Investment Associate Program for Bridgewater Associates, where he worked with the firm’s CIOs on strategic priorities, talent development and research. Ben began his career as a VC and private equity investor with Wasserstein Perella. Ben also co-founded Artivest fka Resonance Funds, an online issuer of actively-managed exchange traded vehicles, as well as Waterfall Mobile. Ben holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BA in philosophy from Yale University. Ben lives in Bel Air with his wife and two young children.

    Adriana Saman

    Adriana focuses on deal sourcing, diligence, and execution. Prior to Clocktower, Adriana was a Strategy Associate in Chase’s Digital Payments team where she worked closely with all consumer-related payment products to develop consolidated roadmaps, business cases, and strategic initiatives. Before joining Digital Payments, she worked at J.P. Morgan as an Investment Banking Analyst focusing on M&A transactions across Latin America. Adriana is originally from Ecuador and holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania.

    About Clocktower

    We partner with phenomenal entrepreneurs who have the vision and drive to reinvent financial services, investing from the earliest seeds of startup life to businesses scaling for growth. We support leading companies across all sectors of financial services, including lending, credit & banking, payments, insurance, capital markets & investments, personal finance, enterprise financial stack and real estate finance. Our distinctive approach to fintech venture capital is crafted around a curated network of global macroeconomic thinkers and investors. Launched in 2015, Clocktower Technology Ventures is the technology investing affiliate of Clocktower Group, a global macro investment firm. CTV is based in Santa Monica, CA and invests worldwide.