In this conversation, we chat with Richard Turrin – an award-winning executive, previously heading FinTech teams at IBM, following a twenty-year career, heading trading teams at global investment banks. He’s also the author of the number one international bestseller, Innovation Lab Excellence. One of his books is Cashless: China’s Digital Currency Revolution, which brings the story of China’s incredible new central bank digital currency to the west. He lives in Shanghai, China, where he’s had the privilege of living in China’s cashless revolution firsthand.
This week, we look at:
China’s Five Year Plan, the industrial logic of the system, and its ramifications for blockchain and fintech in the country
The regulatory challenges faced by Chinese tech companies, including the resignation of Ant Group’s CEO and the anti-competition fines for Tencent
The growth path of the e-CNY digital currency, as well as Beijing’s enterprise blockchain powering the city infrastructure and governance
Footnote: Stripe worth $95 billion, closing $600 million investment
The main driver of today's entry is the news -- which has largely percolated -- that ConsenSys acquired Quorum from J.P. Morgan, as well as received an investment from the bank in the company. There is a lot of jargon in the blockchain industry, and I want to try to pull this news apart to explain why it is interesting both to incumbent financial services players, as well as meaningful to the developing decentralized finance industry.
This week, we cover these ideas:
Klarna’s $640 million raise and its $45 billion valuation, and how its business model arbitrages the payments revenue pool to build a lending business
Pinduoduo’s growth path to a $150B marketcap, and the links between shopping, media, and financial mechanisms that help it compete with Alibaba
A comparison of approaches to growth and economics
Implications for crypto assets for capturing “the real economy”
Klarna is raising $640 million on a $45 billion private valuation, with over $1 billion in net operating income. The buy-now-pay-later company has over 90 million active customers and 250,000 merchants. It was founded in Sweden in 2005.
On the other side of the ocean, Chinese ecommerce company Pinduoduo is beating Alibaba with 820 million active buyers, generates over $3 billion in revenue per quarter, connects buyers to 12 million farmers, and has a market capitalization of $150 billion. It was founded in China in 2015.
In this conversation, Max Friedrich of ARK Invest, Will and Lex break down Ant Group’s highly anticipated IPO.
Ant, a spinout from Alibaba and the parent of Alipay, one of China’s leading payments companies, filed papers to IPO in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Max, Will and Lex dig into Ant’s business, from the origins to today, discuss growth opportunities and potential headwinds and explore the multi-faceted relationships between Ant and other big tech companies and national governments.
We cannot understate how impressive Ant Financial has become, connecting 700 million people and 80 million merchants in China, with payments, savings, wealth management and insurance products integrated in one package. The company also highlights the likely road for traditional banks — as underlying risk capital, without much technology or client management.