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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (189)8/1/2021 2:47:39 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
   of 202
Robinhood Sold IPO Shares to More Than 300,000 of Its Customers

Buyers represented about 1.3% of the online brokerage’s 22.5 million funded accounts

By Marie Beaudette
Wall Street Journal
July 31, 2021 5:41 pm ET

Hundreds of thousands of Robinhood Markets Inc.’s HOOD 0.95% customers bought shares in the trading app’s rocky initial public offering earlier this week.

In a post on its app, Robinhood said 301,573 users participated in the IPO, which raised about $2 billion and valued the company at $32 billion. That represents about 1.3% of the company’s 22.5 million funded accounts as of June 30.

Breaking with recent Wall Street tradition, the company sold a big chunk of the shares in its hotly anticipated debut to the small-time investors who trade on its app. As much of 25% of the IPO shares went to Robinhood customers, The Wall Street Journal earlier reported. In a typical IPO, individual investors get well under 10%.

The decision helped make for a volatile first day of trading in Robinhood shares. The stock opened Thursday even with the $38 IPO price and quickly fell more than 10%. It closed down 8% at $34.82. The stock did a bit better on Friday, closing up about 1% at $35.15.

An allocation of 25% would mean the average Robinhood customer participating in the IPO spent about $1,600 to buy 41 shares.

While a small share of Robinhood’s customer base, the number of users who invested in the deal is high for a typical IPO offered on the trading app. Some 78,250 Robinhood users bought shares in fitness company F45 Training Holdings Inc.’s recent public offering, the most popular IPO offered on Robinhood before its own.

Robinhood Sold IPO Shares to More Than 300,000 of Its Customers - WSJ

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From: Glenn Petersen8/2/2021 6:34:13 PM
   of 202
SQ was up 10.75% today.

Square Agrees to Acquire Afterpay for $29 Billion in All-Stock Deal

Australian installment-payment company positions its service as a cheaper, more responsible alternative to a credit card

By David Winning and Stuart Condie
Wall Street Journal
Updated Aug. 1, 2021 10:17 pm ET

SYDNEY— Square Inc. SQ +10.41% has agreed to acquire Afterpay Ltd. APT 18.77% in an all-stock deal worth around $29 billion, illustrating how financial technology companies are seeking scale to challenge banks for a bigger slice of the payments industry.

Square said a key attraction of the deal was a growing wariness toward traditional credit among younger consumers, a group particularly hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, as lockdowns crushed many hospitality and casual jobs.

Afterpay’s technology allows users to pay for goods in four, interest-free installments while receiving the goods immediately. Customers pay a fee only if they miss an automated payment, a transgression that also locks their account until the balance is repaid. Australia-based Afterpay, which has yet to turn a profit, says this limits bad debts, particularly in a downturn when job security is shaky and household finances are stretched.

Most of Afterpay’s revenue comes from retail merchants, which pay a percentage of the value of each order placed by customers, plus a fixed fee.

“Square and Afterpay have a shared purpose,” said Jack Dorsey, Square’s chief executive. “We built our business to make the financial system more fair, accessible, and inclusive, and Afterpay has built a trusted brand aligned with those principles.”

U.S. consumers flocked to buy-now-pay-later services like Afterpay during the pandemic. But credit cards appear to be coming back in favor. Demand for general-purpose credit cards rose sharply in April compared with the same period last year, according to credit-reporting firm Equifax Inc. EFX -0.66% Lenders issued more general-purpose credit cards than any other March going back to at least 2010, Equifax said.

The Afterpay deal is Square’s biggest ever. Square has been looking for ways to tie its Cash App and seller ecosystems more closely together, Mr. Dorsey said on a call with analysts earlier this year.

The Afterpay deal is a big step in that direction. Square, best known for its signature white card reader that plugs into phones and tablets, plans to add Afterpay as a financing option through the smaller merchants it serves. Afterpay customers will be able to make payments on their installment loans through Cash App, Square’s digital payment services that allows people to store and transfer money as they would at a bank. And Cash App customers, Square said, will be able to use the app to find merchants that offer Afterpay’s buy-now-pay-later financing.

Cash App’s growth exploded over the past year, largely the result of a flood of pandemic stimulus payments. Users deposited their stimulus checks with Cash App, then used the service to send money to friends and family, make purchases online with their Cash App debit cards and buy bitcoin and stocks through Cash App Investing.

In June, Cash App reached 40 million monthly transacting active customers. The Cash App business had gross profit of $546 million in the second quarter, the company said in an earnings report released ahead of schedule Sunday. That is a 94% increase over the second quarter of 2020 and just shy of the $585 million gross profit Square’s bread-and-butter seller business recorded in the second quarter. (Gross profit is revenue minus the cost of goods or services sold, excluding taxes and other fixed costs.)
The strategic rationale for the business combination is sound in our view. — Phillip Chippindale, an analyst at Ord Minnett
Square Chief Financial Officer Amrita Ahuja forecast online payment volumes will hit $10 trillion by 2024, with buy-now-pay-later installments taking an increasing share.

Installment lending isn’t an entirely new business for Square. In 2017, the company began offering financing options to consumers through its business clients that also used Square to send and manage their invoices. But the service never really took off.

Afterpay, Australia’s largest tech company by market capitalization, said the deal implies a value of around 126.21 Australian dollars, equivalent to $92.66, for each of its shares, representing a 31% premium to its closing price on Friday.

Afterpay said its shareholders will receive 0.375 share of Square Class A common stock for each Afterpay share that they own. It expects Afterpay shareholders will own around 18.5% of the combined company when the deal completes.

“The Square-Afterpay transaction looks close to a done deal, in the absence of a superior proposal,” said Phillip Chippindale, an analyst at Ord Minnett, an Australian investment bank. “The strategic rationale for the business combination is sound in our view.”

Afterpay was co-founded in 2014 by Nick Molnar, a jeweler’s son who wanted to break a cycle that involved some people getting deeper into debt with credit cards that they later struggled to pay off.

“I had just turned 18, and I was told, ‘Don’t spend money you don’t have,’” Mr. Molnar told The Wall Street Journal last year, recalling an era of bank bailouts, company collapses and residential repossessions.

Afterpay is Mr. Molnar’s second business foray. The 31-year-old first sold jewelry to school friends, learning lessons he later used to launch U.S. online jeweler known then as in Australia.

Afterpay has been expanding across the U.S. through deals with retailers, including Anthropologie and Free People, and recently launched a virtual-card function that allows users to pay anywhere. In Australia and New Zealand, 3.6 million people—more than one in seven adults—have an Afterpay account.

Mr. Molnar and co-founder Anthony Eisen said combining with Square will accelerate Afterpay’s growth in the U.S. and globally. The company’s growth has attracted larger payments companies to push into the buy-now, pay-later sector, while some banks are now offering installment plans for purchases. PayPal Holdings Inc.’s PYPL -1.46% so-called Pay-in-4 product mimics Afterpay in allowing shoppers to pay in four, interest-free installments but is cheaper for merchants than Afterpay.

Heightened competition could give merchants more bargaining power over fees, while many analysts think Afterpay’s growth will start to attract more scrutiny from regulators.

Afterpay skirts the definition of a loan under some U.S. laws so isn’t subject to the same regulation.
The state of California reached a settlement with Afterpay in April last year, however, over what it said were illegal practices, requiring the company to refund $900,000 to consumers.

Rising competition has led Afterpay to trial new products that it hopes will prevent merchants and customers from switching providers. In June, Afterpay introduced a loyalty program and said it would launch an Afterpay-labeled bank account in October in partnership with Westpac Banking Corp. WBK +1.73% , Australia’s second-largest bank. Analysts say linking repayments to a bank account will reduce the slice of transactions collected by credit and debit card companies, supporting margins.

Mr. Molnar said he got to know Mr. Dorsey through his philanthropic activities, while Square’s Ms. Ahuja, was an early contact after he moved to San Francisco. Talks began over a partnership with Square but later progressed to a takeover, he said.

“I feel we’ve lived parallel lives as entrepreneurs,” Mr. Molnar told the Journal after the deal was announced. “To see an opportunity of millions of Square sellers as well as 70 million active Cash app consumers to be added to the portfolio of how we drive growth together, it’s an incredibly exciting opportunity.”

—Marie Beaudette contributed to this article.

Write to David Winning at and Stuart Condie at

Copyright ©2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appeared in the August 2, 2021, print edition as 'Square Acquires Payment Firm for $29 Billion.'

Square Agrees to Acquire Afterpay for $29 Billion in All-Stock Deal - WSJ

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (190)8/4/2021 10:14:56 AM
From: Glenn Petersen
   of 202
No surprise here:

Robinhood surges as much as 81% in second day of wild trading

M aggie Fitzgerald @MKMFITZGERALD

Robinhood shares soared again on Wednesday, extending a wild rally in the newly public stock trading app’s stock.

Shares of Robinhood touched $85 at one point on Wednesday, an 81% gain over Tuesday’s close and bringing its gain on the week to more than 140%.The stock was last up about 40% after being halted for volatility several times.

Robinhood’s stock is making up for its lackluster debut on the Nasdaq last week. The stock priced at $38 per share, the low end of its offering range. It opened at that price on Thursday but then fell 8% on its first day and had largely traded below that price, until Tuesday when it rallied more than 24%.

It is unclear exactly what is driving the stock higher on Wednesday; however, attention from popular investor Cathie Wood typically benefits growth stocks.

ARK Invest’s Wood purchased 89,622 shares of HOOD on Tuesday in ARK Fintech Innovation ETF, a position worth roughly $4.2 million based on Robinhood’s closing price of $46.80. This position adds to the approximately 3.15 million shares Wood has bought of Robinhood since the company’s debut last week.

“It looks like ARK Investments took a big stake and it would seem as though the retail traders are getting involved as well,” said John Heagerty of Atlantic Equities. Heagerty has an overweight rating on Robinhood and $65 per share price target.

“It’s not normal for a stock of that size to move quite that quickly. I think it would deter institutional investors,” added Heagerty, who still feels there is a lot of value in the platform Robinhood created.

Robinhood is also garnering attention from retail investors. Speculative activity has exploded this year as day traders in online chatrooms managed to create massive short squeezes in names like GameStop and AMC Entertainment, which inflicted huge pain for short sellers and jolted volatility in the overall market.

HOOD is the number one ticker on WallStreetBets tracker Swaggy Stocks, which indicates more than 700 mentions on the Reddit chat room.

“Unpopular opinion: Robinhood still has the best mobile interface,” one post with 4,600 interactions said.

“Its a payment for order flow story with crypto as kind of a kicker,” Stephanie Link, chief investment strategist at Hightower, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Wednesday. “In their second quarter total revenues grew five to ten percent from the first quarter. Well if you look at payment for order flow data, that number actually fell 23% in the second quarter. So it tells me payment for order flow is very competitive but the crypto kicker is probably helping Robinhood and they’re probably gaining share.”

“All that being said, its super expensive. It’s hard to get your hands around the valuation at 11x price-to-sales,” Link added. Online brokerage Charles Schwab is trading at 7x.

HOOD was also a top traded stock on Fidelity on Tuesday.

Robinhood surges as much as 81% in second day of wild trading (

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From: Glenn Petersen8/18/2021 7:48:02 PM
   of 202
Robinhood revenue doubles for second quarter, but shares fall after app warns trading is slowing

Maggie Fitzgerald @MKMFITZGERALD

Robinhood’s revenue more than doubled in the second quarter to $565 million, bolstered by a massive surge in crypto trading, the stock trading app said in its first earnings report as a public company on Wednesday.

But the shares dove in after-hours trading after the company warned a slowdown in trading activity would hit revenues in the current quarter. Investors may also be concerned whether volatile crypto can continue to provide such a tailwind.

Revenue surged more than 131% in the period from $244 million a year ago and was near the high range of the company’s forecast of $546 million to $574 million.

Revenue from crypto trading totaled $233 million, more than half of all the transaction-based revenue of $451 million for the second quarter. Cryptocurrency’s share of revenue jumped to more than 51% from 17% in the first quarter.

More than 60% of cumulative net funded accounts traded crypto in the quarter. In the second quarter of 2020, crypto-based revenue was just $5 million.

Clients trading options contributed $165 million to transaction-based revenue last quarter, and equities were $52 million. Robinhood also earns revenue off of its gold subscription service.

Assets under custody ballooned 205% to $102 billion in the second quarter of 2021, compared with $33 billion in the second quarter last year.

Robinhood warned investors that its third-quarter results could be affected by a slowdown in trading after a record second quarter.

“For the three months ended September 30, 2021, we expect seasonal headwinds and lower trading activity across the industry to result in lower revenues and considerably fewer new funded accounts than in the prior quarter,” the company said in the earnings release.

Shares of Robinhood dropped more than 8% in after-hours trading. Robinhood shares jumped 6.7% to $49.80 on Wednesday into the results.

Robinhood reported a net loss of $502 million, or $2.16 per share. That’s within the expected net loss of $487 million to $537 million forecast by the company. The brokerage turned a profit in the same quarter last year. Costs associated with the change in fair value of convertible notes and warrant liability totaled $528 million in the second quarter of 2021.

Total funded accounts (those tied to a bank account) totaled 22.5 million as of the second quarter, in line with Robinhood’s forecast. This is up from 18 million in the first quarter, which was an increase of 151% from a year earlier.

Crypto trading, which Robinhood first introduced in 2018, has ballooned in the last few years. Robinhood offers seven different digital coins, including bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin. Dogecoin, meme-inspired token, accounted for 34% of its cryptocurrency transaction-based revenue in the first quarter.

Robinhood specifically called out dogecoin as driving crypto revenues and warned about a slowdown in trading activity in the digital asset.

“If demand for transactions in Dogecoin declines and is not replaced by new demand for other cryptocurrencies available for trading on our platform, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected,” Robinhood said in a 10Q released after the bell.

Robinhood makes money in crypto by routing orders to market makers that the company says offer “competitive pricing” and taking a percentage of the order value. The price of bitcoin hovered around $45,000 on Wednesday, up more than 50% on the year.

Robinhood went public on the Nasdaq last month, hitting the public markets it seeks to democratize for amateur investors. Since the debut, shares of Robinhood have had a wild ride. After sinking on the first few days of trading, the company had a meme stock moment when it rallied 50% amid retail investor interest.

Earlier this month, news that certain Robinhood shareholders will sell up to 97.9 million shares over time dented the stock. Robinhood said the SEC informed the brokerage on August 13 that they are reviewing the resale S-1 and that no sales can be made until the SEC staff completes their review and declares it effective.

Robinhood second-quarter earnings 2021 (

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From: Glenn Petersen8/27/2021 5:42:47 PM
   of 202
Affirm shares soar more than 40% on news of Amazon partnership for buy now, pay later

Kate Rooney @KR00NEY


-- Affirm’s buy now, pay later checkout option will be available to certain Amazon customers in the U.S. starting Friday with a broader rollout in the coming months.

-- The partnership will let Amazon customers split purchases of $50 or more into smaller, monthly installments.

-- Friday’s partnership is the latest sign of the booming installment lending space as younger consumers move towards these alternative lines of credit.

Amazon is getting into the buy now, pay later space.

The e-commerce giant is partnering with Affirm for its first-ever installment payments option on the popular e-commerce site.

Affirm’s buy now, pay later checkout option will be available to certain Amazon customers in the U.S. starting Friday with a broader rollout in the coming months, the companies said in a statement. The partnership will let Amazon customers split purchases of $50 or more into smaller, monthly installments.

Affirm’s stock spiked as much as 47% after-hours Friday on the news, adding more than $8 billion to its market capitalization, while Amazon shares were unchanged.

Friday’s partnership is the latest sign of the booming lending space as younger consumers move towards these alternative lines of credit. Earlier in August, Square jumped into the space with a $29 billion deal to buy Australian fintech Afterpay.

So-called installment loans have been around for decades, and were historically used for big-ticket purchases such as furniture. Online payment players and fintechs have been competing to launch their own version of “pay later” products for online items in the low hundreds of dollars.

Affirm is one of the best known installment payment options. It works with more than 12,000 merchants, including Peloton and Walmart.

PayPal, Klarna, Mastercard and Fiserv, American Express, Citi and J.P. Morgan Chase are all offering similar loan products. Apple is planning to launch installment lending in a partnership with Goldman Sachs, Bloomberg reported last month.

Affirm said some of the Amazon customer loans will bear interest, but some will come with 0% APR.

“By partnering with Amazon we’re bringing the transparency, predictability and affordability that Affirm provides today to the millions of people who shop on in the U.S.,” Eric Morse, Senior Vice President of Sales at Affirm, said in a statement. “Offering Affirm’s alternative to credit cards also delivers more of the payment choice and flexibility consumers on Amazon want.”

Amazon partners with Affirm for first buy now, pay later option (

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From: Glenn Petersen9/15/2021 11:07:47 AM
   of 202
Another fintech / SPAC deal:

Founded in 2016, Pagaya joins a number of startups in the sector in going public and raising large sums of cash with investors excited about how software can disrupt finance. Shares of AI-lending firm Upstart Holdings Inc. are up some 560% in 2021, giving the company a market value of about $20 billion, according to FactSet, after it went public through a traditional initial public offering late last year.

EJF Acquisition Corp. (stock symbol: EJFA), a SPAC that raised $287.5 million when it went public in February 2021, has agreed to merge with Pagaya, which "operates an artificial intelligence network to make financial transactions like lending more efficient and give more people the ability to borrow.

No investor presentation yet.

EJFA is trading at $9.86 this morning, up $.16 from yesterday's close.

Fintech Startup Pagaya Reaches $9 Billion SPAC Deal to Go Public

Company, which uses artificial intelligence to improve lending and other financial processes, is combining with EJF Acquisition

By Amrith Ramkumar
Wall Street Journal
Updated Sept. 15, 2021 9:33 am ET

Pagaya Technologies Ltd. is going public through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company that values the financial-technology startup at about $9 billion, the companies said.

Based in New York and Tel Aviv, Pagaya operates an artificial-intelligence network to make financial transactions like lending more efficient and give more people the ability to borrow. Banks and other financial-services providers use its platform, which analyzes troves of data to help partners serve more customers.

Pagaya is combining with the SPAC EJF Acquisition Corp. The Wall Street Journal previously reported that the two sides were nearing a deal.

Pagaya is led by co-founder and Chief Executive Gal Krubiner and works with companies in markets such as consumer loans, auto finance, credit cards and real estate. Its sales grew to roughly $95 million in the second quarter, and the company hopes to expand into mortgages and insurance products.

Working in new markets gives Pagaya’s network even more data, improving the platform and speeding up the firm’s growth, Mr. Krubiner said in an interview. “The amount of disruption that is happening here is really, really huge,” he said.

Trading app eToro Group Ltd., personal-finance firm SoFi Technologies Inc. and digital mortgage lender Better Holdco Inc. have all unveiled SPAC deals valuing each of the companies at about $7 billion or more in 2021.

Backed by investors including Singapore sovereign-wealth fund GIC Pte. Ltd., former American Express Co. CEO Harvey Golub and the venture capital arm of insurer Aflac Inc., Pagaya is raising about $200 million in a private investment in public equity, or PIPE, associated with its SPAC deal.

The EJF Acquisition SPAC is backed by the investment firm EJF Capital LLC and has about $290 million on hand, though SPAC investors could pull their money out before a deal goes through.

The $200 million PIPE is expected to come from funds managed by EJF Capital and investment vehicles affiliated with the firm. EJF is known for investing in the financial-services sector and was co-founded by Emanuel “Manny” Friedman, who is expected to join Pagaya’s board of directors.

A SPAC is a shell company that raises money and trades on a stock exchange with the sole intent of merging with a private company to take it public. The private firm, often a startup, then gets the SPAC’s place in the stock market. SPAC deals have become faster alternatives to traditional IPOs for many companies, in part because they allow them to make business projections while going public. Those aren’t allowed in IPOs.

More than 200 SPAC deals have been announced this year that collectively value companies at a record of about $530 billion, Dealogic data show.

Still, shares of many companies that merged with SPACs have fallen in recent months with some startups missing their financial targets or hitting business snags, making it harder to complete deals and slowing the creation of new SPACs.

Fintech Startup Pagaya Reaches $9 Billion SPAC Deal to Go Public - WSJ

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (195)9/25/2021 3:44:15 PM
From: Madharry
   of 202
i am shocked that cnne which i own and have losses in is doing so poorly in this fintech happy environment.
I am satisfied to have my funds deployed by bill foley a guy who has been very successful for decades in this space.

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (171)10/30/2021 6:10:29 PM
From: Madharry
   of 202
this is scary.

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From: Glenn Petersen11/4/2021 12:20:27 PM
   of 202
Another fintech/SPAC transaction:

Quantum Fintech Acquisition Corporation (stock symbol: QFTA), a SPAC that raised $201,250,000 when it went public in February 2021, has agreed to merge with TradeStation Group, an online trading and brokerage company.

Investor presentation:

QFTA is trading at $10.00 this morning, up $.17 from yesterday's close.

Online Broker TradeStation Going Public Via $1.43B SPAC Merger

The combination with Quantum FinTech is expected to close in the first half of 2022.

By Brandy Betz
Nov 4, 2021 at 10:34 a.m. CDT
Updated Nov 4, 2021 at 10:44 a.m. CDT

Online trading and brokerage company TradeStation Group said Thursday it will become a publicly traded company through a combination with Quantum FinTech Acquisition Corporation (NYSE: QFTA), a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

TradeStation began offering crypto trading to its customers in May 2019, and last year partnered with exchange ErisX to integrate ErisX’s order book into its subsidiary, TradeStation Crypto.

The SPAC transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2022. TradeStation will list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “TRDE.”

The transaction values the combined company at an implied pro forma enterprise value of approximately $1.43 billion. After the deal closes, TradeStation parent company Monex will own approximately 80% of the combined company. TradeStation’s existing management team will remain in place.
The deal will provide $316 million of cash before paying expenses, assuming there’s no redemption of any public shares of Quantum FinTech. The total includes $201 million in cash held in Quantum FinTech’s trust account and $115 million through a private investment in public equity (PIPE), or a private sale of Quantum stock. The PIPE includes $50 million from Monex and $50 million from Galaxy Digital, plus investments from XBTO Ventures, LLC and Appian Way Asset Management.

The combination structure involves a merger between a new subsidiary of TradeStation and Quantum Fintech, with Quantum becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of TradeStation. Each Quantum FinTech share held by the PIPE investors and sponsors will be exchanged for one common share of TradeStation. Quantum shareholders who don’t redeem the public shares will receive more than one TradeStation share.

“There are numerous reasons why TradeStation is, in our judgment, the most attractive company we looked at in the fintech/financial services sector, and we looked at quite a few,” said John Schaible, chairman and CEO of Quantum FinTech, in a press release. “TradeStation owns its core trading platform technology, and it executes and clears its customer trades across all of the major asset classes it offers. This high level of control over both its technology and operations gives TradeStation valuable agility and flexibility in how it runs and grows its business, as well as the ability to scale efficiently.”

Online Broker TradeStation Going Public Via $1.43B SPAC Merger (

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From: benbuffett11/4/2021 1:14:03 PM
   of 202
Whats your favorite fintech? PYPL, SQ, SOFI, AFRM, UPST just to name a few.

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