2021 was certainly the year of the meme stock. January of last year played host to one of the most memorable short squeezes in stock market history as a group of Reddit-based retail investors collaborated to create a significant rally on GameStop stocks which saw their price climb some 1,900% from its price at the beginning of the year. Subsequent meme-based surges for stocks like AMC looked to cement that speculation, rather than fundamentals, now has the power to deliver growth. However, with analysts beginning to believe that the meme bubble has finally burst, is it game over for 2021’s biggest phenomenon?
I think a more expansive view of the metaverse is helpful to see the evolution that is well underway. I see VR as the most immersive metaverse (per the graphic below), but I think you enter the metaverse once you start engaging with your mobile phone or any other device that brings you in to a computer-generated digital realm.
Crop insurance has been available to farmers since the 1930s to protect the agriculture industry against the effects of adverse weather events. The impact of climate change has led to a rapid acceleration in the popularity of these products in recent years and the effects of climate change are beginning to be felt in other industries including travel. Sensible Weather is a climate data and risk analytics platform that seeks to understand and quantify how weather events can impact everyday life. The company’s first product is a “Weather Guarantee” product that protects travelers against adverse weather conditions whether for whole trips or specific parts of the vacation like excursions or events. Travelers are automatically reimbursed rapidly, without filing onerous claims, when weather impacts parts of their trip. The product is distributed through travel and related partners. Founded by a hedge fund quant, the Weather Guarantee relies on the company’s proprietary climate risk platform that offers dynamic pricing options in real-time to add incremental revenue to travel suppliers. LA TechWatch caught up with Sensible Weather Founder and CEO Nick Cavanaugh to learn more about quantifying the impacts of weather to improve consumer experiences, how his passion for skiing and background using climate data led to the genesis of this business, the company’s strategic plans, latest round of funding led by Wonder Ventures and Walkabout Ventures, and much, much more…
The arrival of a platform like Revolut, which may take lessons from Robinhood’s embattled reputation during its expansion into US trading, could be a significant test of investor loyalty. For Revolut, Robinhood may be its key rival in the US markets, but the company has laid down a solid PFOF-oriented blueprint for success. It’s also delivered a valuable lesson in how not to operate in terms of its well-documented PR blunders. Now, Revolut needs to learn from Robinhood’s mistakes to successfully crack America.
The advent of mobile money services has led to 1.2B people across the globe opening accounts for the first time since 2010. Yet there are still 1.7B unbanked adults; 3.4B are underbanked. Technology will be the primary driver to ensure that financial inclusion will continue to rise globally. Tala is focused on providing financial and banking services to the underserved in emerging markets with its expanding suite of financial services. Since 2014, the company has provided instant microloans in Mexico, the Philippines, India, and East Africa without requiring any formal credit histories. By leveraging AI, the company has built a sophisticated underwriting system that doesn’t need the traditional loan assessment inputs found in places where lending is more formalized. Since its founding, Tala has served over 6M customers that have borrowed in excess of $2B. With foundational customer relationships already in place and with the trust of the communities served, the company is now expanding its offering to provide more services beyond loans to ensure that people are able to access the financial services including payments, savings, and enhanced credit facilities without having to work with analog and inaccessible banks or predatory providers. LA TechWatch caught up with Tala CEO and Founder Shivani Siroya to learn more about what led her to build tech-enabled solutions to address the massive market opportunity to serve the underbanked globally, the company’s strategic plans, latest round of funding from investors that include Upstart Stellar Development Foundation, Kindred Ventures, J. Safra Group, IVP, Revolution Growth, Lowercase Capital, and PayPal Ventures
This burgeoning Australian Fintech ecosystem is ready to showcase some of the leading Fintech innovators in Australia to the rest of the world. Here are ten-market ready startups that are poised for international expansion.
Evergrande has rarely strayed from newspaper headlines for all the wrong reasons throughout 2021. At the beginning of the year, investor panic was sparked by the container ship Ever Given as the vessel became stuck in the Suez Canal – causing jitters across global energy markets and international trade. Today, markets have been rocked by the prospect of a default by the Chinese real estate giants. But what could the collapse of Evergrande mean for the wider stock market and retail investors?
By a very wide margin, the most effective thing the federal government can do to address FAMGA’s impact is to provide a friendly regulatory environment for crypto and let capitalism do its thing.
There are countless options for SaaS platforms to collect payments from their customers within their applications. But what if the application is designed to enable clients to accept payments from their customers. PayEngine is a payment platform that seamlessly integrates into SaaS applications to directly address this. SaaS businesses using PayEngine are able to set […]
The digital ad spending market in the US is expected to exceed $190B in 2021. Businesses need to embrace the online ad revolution and be willing to adapt as the paid marketing environment is constantly evolving. The days of setting up a simple Facebook campaign and hoping for returns are no longer viable. Trust is a corporate card and community focused on optimizing advertising spend. The card, which has no annual fee, offers flexible payment terms and increased spending limits while the community puts data front and center, allowing businesses to really understand their marketing spend and the platforms that they are spending on through dedicated support and curated expert resources. With Trust, marketers are able to leverage scale to ensure that they are able to compete with larger advertisers from an informed standpoint to drive growth. Founded in 2019, the company recently launched with support for campaigns on Snap, Facebook, Pinterest, TikTok, Google, Apple, Amazon, Hulu, Instagram, Youtube, et al. LA TechWatch caught up with Cofounder and CEO James Borow to learn more about how the founding team’s experience at Snap led to the inspiration for the business, the company’s strategic plans, and recent round of funding from Lerer Hippeau, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Upfront Ventures, and Upper90.
The truth is, when it comes to investing, the world is in a very different place today than it was for your parents or even your older siblings. For older generations, investing sat in the context of three main things: stocks, real estate, and just sitting on your actual cash.