This past week might be titled “The Great Platform Rally of 2023.”
The FinTech IPO Index surged 11.9% through five sessions, led by double-digit gains in all manner of platform firms serving a variety of verticals. Year to date the index has soared 41.1%.
And in some cases, we might speculate that cooling inflation — and the specter of a Fed “pause” in its campaign to boost interest rates — might benefit lenders. After all, the rising cost of capital has made debt more expensive, which in turn dampens demand, and sends institutional investors looking elsewhere for more robust returns.
To that end, Upstart rallied 29%. In company specific news, Arbor Financial Credit Union, a credit union serving Michigan, said this week that it partnered with Upstart to provide personal loans to more members. The companies said that personal loan applicants on Upstart.com who meet Arbor’s credit policies will receive tailored offers.
Affirm gathered 26.5%.
The shares gained ground, retracing a decline seen in the wake of a downgrade from sell-side firm Piper Sandler.
But the company did gain some favor on the Street, where, as noted by Yahoo Finance, Mizuho Securities has expressed optimism regarding Affirm’s Debit+ card — with a precursor in the success of Square’s Cash Card as far back as 2017. Elsewhere, Amazon Prime Day loomed large this past week, and Amazon has added Affirm’s pay-over-time option to Amazon Pay.
Shares of Marqeta gained 11.5%. As PYMNTS reported, card issuer Marqeta is entering Latin America’s largest FinTech market with its expansion into Brazil. That expansion is being given a tailwind via partnership with Latin American banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platform Fitbank and network certification with Visa.
“As part of Marqeta’s partnership with Fitbank, the company will both be a Marqeta customer, using it as a payment processor, and serve as a BIN sponsor for Marqeta’s customers looking to launch in the region,” Marqeta said in its announcement.
Payoneer shares popped 11.7%. The company said it plans to reduce its total headcount (now at about 2,000) by 9%. The company expects to complete the layoffs by the end of the third quarter, per disclosure in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. “The plan is expected to enhance productivity and efficiency and streamline the company’s organizational structure to better align operations with its growth objectives,” Payoneer said in the filing.
“The company intends to reinvest some savings from the plan into future growth initiatives, and to continue hiring for roles essential for those initiatives in areas such as research and development,” Payoneer said.
Nubank gained 6.6%. The company said in an announcement that it has partnered with EBANX to offer an alternative payment method for international purchases: NuPay, developed by Nubank. The partnership will allow more than 1,600 of EBANX’s global merchants to offer NuPay as a payment method for their customers, per the release. The companies said that NuPay offers a faster, more convenient payment experience to more than 75 million customers in Brazil.
“Through this integration, large global brands will be able to offer this payment method to their consumers in Brazil, expanding the opportunity to take NuPay as a recurring and automatic payment method to other online services, such as those that require a subscription,” said Livia Chanes, leader of Nubank’s operations in Brazil, as quoted in the release.