A $200m equity raise at a valuation double the previous round? No you did not wake up in 2021 this morning, it is (checks watch) definitely January 2024.
I was just chatting with someone earlier this week about equity raises and I commented that there seems to be much more activity this month than in January 2023. While we are most definitely not back in 2021, VCs seem to be opening up their checkbooks a little more.
Which brings us to Bilt Rewards. What do they do? This is not fintech infrastructure, or B2B fintech (two popular categories today), this is good old fashioned consumer fintech. The same category that once valued Chime at $25 billion and Revolut at $33 billion.
The hook for Bilt is that they have created a rewards program around paying rent. They have attracted a young demographic, primarily 21 to 35 year olds who are spending $20 billion per year on their Bilt card, which is basically just a Wells Fargo credit card with some additional features.
They have attracted the former CEO of American Express, Ken Chenault, who has joined the board as Chairman and his VC firm, General Catalyst, led the round.
Perhaps most impressive of all, Bilt became profitable in 2023 on a EBITDA basis. I sincerely hope they can grow into their valuation, something that other major consumer fintechs have struggled to do.
USA: Synchrony to buy Ally’s point-of-sale lending unit The deal, expected to close this quarter, includes relationships with nearly 2,500 merchant locations and more than 450,000 active borrowers in home improvement services and healthcare, the companies said.
Peter Renton is the chairman and co-founder of Fintech Nexus, the world’s largest digital media company focused on fintech. Peter has been writing about fintech since 2010 and he is the author and creator of the Fintech One-on-One Podcast, the first and longest-running fintech interview series.