Partnerships Hold Sway as FinTech IPO Index Slips 1% 

Mixed performances across the FinTech IPO Index brought about a negative 1% return through the past week.

The specter of interest rates staying lofty for longer — because the latest inflation data came in a bit hot — may have muddied investor sentiment, lenders, platforms and loan demand.

We’re just about to navigate a slew of earnings reports, starting with big bank earnings, which debut on Friday (Jan. 12). And through those reports, we’ll a sense of loan performance, and consumers’ willingness to spend.   

But through the past week, the FinTech headlines were dominated by partnerships, as digital upstarts partnered with banks, and as buy now, pay later (BNPL) as a payment option, continued to gain ground.

nCino shares were up 5%.

The company said that its mortgage origination and closing solutions from nCino’s Mortgage Suite had been deployed by Camden National Bank, a nationwide lender with branches predominantly concentrated in Maine and Massachusetts.

The bank, the companies said in the release, is using the nCino offerings in place of its legacy mortgage point-of-sale (POS) technology. The companies said that the transition to nCino’s Mortgage Suite has also made it easier for the bank to accept digitally signed loan documents instead of requiring wet-signed paperwork.  

The shift will also allow Camden National Bank to offer solutions that support remote online notarization closings.

Upstart shares slipped 2.2% 

The company announced earlier this month that it is partnering with Maine Savings, one of Maine’s largest credit unions with over 35,000 members, to provide personal loans. The companies said that Maine Savings became an Upstart Referral Network lending partner in September 2022.

As the companies said in their most recent joint announcement, early in 2024, qualified personal loan applicants on who meet Maine Savings’ credit policies will receive tailored offers tied to the Maine Savings-branded experience to complete the online member application and closing process.

BNPL Continues to Gain Ground

In the BNPL space, Affirm has partnered with Evolve, to provide pay-over-time options to travelers.

Affirm will be the exclusive pay-over-time partner of Evolve, which has more than 30,000 properties in 750 markets, the companies said earlier this week. Eligible travelers can book vacation rentals on Evolve and pay via monthly payments with the solution provided by Affirm. When approved Evolve customers select Affirm at checkout, they can split the total cost of any booking over $500 into monthly payments.

Affirm shares were 0.7% higher through the past five sessions.

SoFi shares sank 3.1%. 

As reported by several sites such as, the company is making moves to cut staff — by as much as 7%, or 300 positions. 

The investing site quoted Lumida Wealth CEO and analyst Ram Ahluwalia as noting that the layoffs may signal pressure ahead, is shorting the company, and listing a $5 price target on the name.

Alkami Tech shares gathered 10%. As noted here, Alkami has partnered with Chimney through which financial institutions help “empower homeowners with the financial tools, data, and insights they need to manage their greatest financial asset within digital banking,” per the release.

As described in the announcement, Chimney provides homeowners with actionable advice about their home value, home equity, borrowing power, and personalized offers — regardless of which financial institution holds their mortgage, the companies said. Chimney’s solution covers 98% of residential properties.