FINTECH

Rocket Companies to Acquire Truebill to Empower its FinTech Expansion

Rocket Companies | December 27, 2021

Rocket_Companies_to
Rocket companies, the Detroit-based platform company, announced its agreement to acquire Truebill. Rocket companies being a tech-driven company that deals with real estate, mortgage, and financial services businesses – including Rocket Mortgage, Rocket Homes and Rocket Auto is going to take on personal finance with Truebill—an app that assists consumers to manage every aspect of their financial lives.

Truebill has gained immense popularity among consumers looking to live their best financial lives. It has helped them  manage subscriptions, improve credit scores, track expenditures, and more through an easy-to-use app. The company also tries to negotiate bills on its clients’ behalf and saves 20 percent on financial services such as telephone and cable bills.

Truebill was founded in 2015, and currently has 2.5 million members. The number has been doubled with an extreme increase in its user base last year.

We are very impressed with what Truebill has created – providing a simple, intuitive client experience to help its users save significant money. The company is a perfect fit for the Rocket platform. Truebill's work in helping Americans to keep track of their finances and providing guidance leads to better financial outcomes. It follows the same philosophy as Rocket Companies – leveraging the power of technology to remove the friction from complex transactions – and applies it to everyday life."

Jay Farner, CEO of Rocket Companies.

Truebill has leveraged technology to improve its clients’ financial well-being. This adds to Rocket Companies' end-to-end real estate and home financing platform. As a result of this, Rocket Company can grow its marketplace and achieve the goal of creating a centralized destination for consumers to manage their entire financial activities.

Rocket Companies interacts with tens of millions of potential clients each year looking to purchase a car, buy or sell a home, or get a mortgage. Where most consumers only investigate investing options. So, with the help of Truebill's financial wellness services, Rocket Companies will have a novel organic growth opportunity and a significant channel to nurture clients. The company's FinTech ecosystem will provide a value between the large financial transactions.

The entire new business will also add consistent monthly revenue for Rocket Companies. Today, the company's mortgage servicing operations generate $1.3 billion annually. Rocket Companies boasts 2.5 million serviced clients with an industry-best retention rate of 91 percent.

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FINTECH

Fintech and Cleantech Win as Global Venture Capital Investments Become More Focused

KPMG International | July 26, 2022

According to the Q2’22 edition of Venture Pulse — a quarterly report, published by KPMG Private Enterprise, that analyzes key VC deals and trends globally — fintech, cybersecurity, supply chain management and alternative energy and energy storage opportunities are continuing to attract significant interest from investors. This is despite global VC investment dropping to $120.2 billion across 8,420 deals in Q2’22. The Americas attracted $66.2 billion in VC investment — over half of the total global VC investment — during Q2’22, with the US accounting for $62.3 billion of this amount. Europe’s market showed strong resilience during the quarter, attracting $27.2 billion in investment during Q2’22. Despite the second successive quarter of decline, VC investment in Europe remained high compared to pre Q2’21. Q2’22 was the most subdued in Asia, dropping to an eight-quarter low of $24.5 billion across 2,206 deals. Investor interest in supply chain and logistics continues to grow as industry challenges continue to have an impact. Soaring global energy prices and increased concerns around energy security has driven investors to look at alternative energy and storage options. Investments in electric vehicles, battery technologies and increasingly hydrogen are becoming more attractive. The US attracted the world’s largest VC deals during Q2’22, including a $2 billion raise by Epic Games, a $1.7 billion raise by Space X, and a $1.5 billion raise by Gopuff. With its $1.2 billion raise, Germany-based fintech company Trade Republic accounted for the fourth spot — the only company outside of the US to raise a $1 billion plus round during the quarter. In Asia, the largest deal of the quarter was an $805 million raise by India-based Dailyhunt. “With valuations declining, many tech companies performing poorly on the public markets, and no end in sight to the level of geopolitical uncertainty, notwithstanding other challenges facing the VC market globally, we’re starting to see investors instructing their portfolio companies to preserve cash,” said Jonathan Lavender, Global Head, KPMG Private Enterprise, KPMG International. “With valuations declining, many tech companies performing poorly on the public markets, and no end in sight to the level of geopolitical uncertainty, notwithstanding other challenges facing the VC market globally, we’re starting to see investors instructing their portfolio companies to preserve cash,” said Jonathan Lavender, Global Head, KPMG Private Enterprise, KPMG International. “Heading into Q3’22, this trend is expected to continue as start-ups look to survive in an increasingly challenging environment where profitability will be of critical importance.” Key Highlights – Q2’22 Global VC investment dropped considerably, from $165.3 billion across 11,468 deals in Q1’22 to $120.2 billion across 8,420 deals in Q2’22. VC investment in the Americas dropped from $89.3 billion across 5,034 deals in Q1’22 to $66.2 billion across 3,778 deals in Q2’22. The US accounted for $62.3 billion of Q2’22 investment in the Americas, down from $81.9 billion in Q1’22. VC investment in Asia sunk to an eight-quarter low of $24.5 billion across 2,206 deals in Q2’22. Despite a drop to $27.2 billion in Q2’22, VC investment in Europe remained quite strong compared to historical trends. Global fundraising remained very strong, with $158.6 billion raised by the end of Q2’22 — well on track to exceed the $$252.2 billion record high set in calendar 2021. After plummeting from $355 billion in Q4’21 to $70 billion in Q1’22, exit value dropped even further to just $50.8 billion in Q2’22. Global CVC-affiliated investment dropped from $76.6 billion in Q1’22 to $49.7 billion in Q2’22. Global fundraising remains on record pace, driven by activity in the US Global fundraising activity remained on record pace at mid-year, with $158.2 billion in fundraising by the end of Q2’22. The US helped buoy global fundraising amounts, accounting for $121.5 billion at mid-year, compared to the $138.9 billion annual record high the region saw in 2021. VC investment in cybersecurity, alternative energy, electric vehicles, and battery storage in the US held strong in Q2’22 and is well-positioned to remain hot heading into Q3’22. Fundraising activity in Europe fell off record pace, with $13.3 billion in fundraising at mid-year, while fundraising in Asia remained very subdued compared to previous highs, with $16.9 billion raised in the first half of 2022. No end in sight to uncertainty but interest in new tech to grow Heading into Q3’22, the global uncertainty plaguing the world is expected to continue, which will likely continue to keep the IPO window shut and VC investment soft. Down rounds could become more common as companies are forced to raise funding rounds despite the challenging fundraising environment. M&A activity globally could increase as investors look for deals among companies experiencing challenges and start-ups in various industries look to consolidate to improve their economies of scale and market positions. In tech, the crypto tide is likely to turn with further consolidation among firms heading into Q3’22 as many try to cope with a major sell-off in assets. “While there’s still dry powder out there, over the next quarter, VC investors are going to become a lot more critical of targets and are likely to place increasing emphasis on profitability,” said Conor Moore, Head of KPMG Private Enterprise in the Americas Region & Partner at KPMG in the US. “We’ve been talking about potential consolidations for a while, particularly in more mature industries like e-commerce. While the top one or two or three companies in a particular space might continue to be attractive to investors, the rest will likely see a pullback. This will likely drive consolidation as companies run out of cash.” About KPMG International KPMG is a global organization of independent professional services firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. KPMG is the brand under which the member firms of KPMG International Limited (“KPMG International”) operate and provide professional services. “KPMG” is used to refer to individual member firms within the KPMG organization or to one or more member firms collectively. KPMG firms operate in 144 countries and territories with more than 236,000 partners and employees working in member firms around the world. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such. Each KPMG member firm is responsible for its own obligations and liabilities. KPMG International Limited is a private English company limited by guarantee. KPMG International Limited and its related entities do not provide services to clients.

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FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

KKR Completes Acquisition of Barracuda from Thoma Bravo

Barracuda Networks, KKR and Thoma Bravo | August 18, 2022

KKR, a leading global investment firm, and Barracuda Networks, Inc. (“Barracuda” or the “Company”) a leading provider of cloud-first security solutions, today announced that KKR’s investment funds have completed an acquisition of Barracuda from Thoma Bravo, a leading software investment firm. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Barracuda is a cloud-first provider of cybersecurity solutions for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). More than 200,000 customers worldwide count on Barracuda to protect their email, networks, applications, and data. “We’re ready to deliver on our next phase of growth with KKR and remain dedicated to investing in our team and product portfolio to provide innovative cybersecurity solutions for our customers and partners, We‘re grateful to Thoma Bravo for their valuable strategic and operational support over the last four years.” -Hatem Naguib, CEO of Barracuda We are excited to complete this transaction and begin working with the Barracuda team to support their continued growth and delivery of next generation cloud-first cybersecurity solutions that protect SMEs from an evolving landscape of threats, said John Park, a Partner at KKR. Barracuda has been a tremendous partner over the last four years and has experienced strong product, customer and revenue growth, We have enjoyed working closely with Hatem and his team through multiple acquisitions and operational improvements, and we are confident that the company is well-positioned for continued success,said Chip Virnig, a Partner at Thoma Bravo. J.P. Morgan served as exclusive financial advisor to Thoma Bravo and Barracuda. Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal counsel to Thoma Bravo and Barracuda. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP served as legal counsel to KKR. Guggenheim Securities, DBO Partners and Barclays served as financial advisors to KKR. About Barracuda Networks At Barracuda we strive to make the world a safer place. We believe every business deserves access to cloud-first, enterprise-grade security solutions that are easy to buy, deploy, and use. We protect email, networks, data, and applications with innovative solutions that grow and adapt with our customers' journey. More than 200,000 organizations worldwide trust Barracuda to protect them – in ways they may not even know they are at risk — so they can focus on taking their business to the next level. About KKR KKR is a leading global investment firm that offers alternative asset management as well as capital markets and insurance solutions. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and supporting growth in its portfolio companies and communities. KKR sponsors investment funds that invest in private equity, credit and real assets and has strategic partners that manage hedge funds. KKR’s insurance subsidiaries offer retirement, life and reinsurance products under the management of Global Atlantic Financial Group. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds and insurance subsidiaries. About Thoma Bravo Thoma Bravo is one of the largest private equity firms in the world, with more than $114 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2022. The firm invests in growth-oriented, innovative companies operating in the software and technology sectors. Leveraging the firm’s deep sector expertise and proven strategic and operational capabilities, Thoma Bravo collaborates with its portfolio companies to implement operating best practices, drive growth initiatives and make accretive acquisitions intended to accelerate revenue and earnings. Over the past 20 years, the firm has acquired or invested in more than 380 companies representing over $190 billion in enterprise value. The firm has offices in Chicago, Miami and San Francisco.

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CORE BANKING

Argyle Joins Financial Data Exchange to Establish Industry Standards for Payroll Data

Argyle, Financial Data Exchange | July 07, 2022

Argyle, the leading employment data platform providing companies access to user permissioned employment records, announced today it has joined the industry standards body Financial Data Exchange (FDX). Through its FDX membership, Argyle will help shape industry standards for how banks and data aggregators format, authenticate, and transmit consumer payroll data. The use of payroll data—which encompasses all personal employment and income information—is gaining significant traction as an indispensable alternative to outdated verification processes, such as evaluating credit scores to determine credit worthiness. Real-time payroll data offers a more transparent scope of one’s ability to pay in order for banking and lending institutions to grant consumers access to necessary financial resources. “As an FDX member, we have the unique opportunity to collaborate with other industry players to help define how payroll data is formatted, authenticated, and transmitted,” said Shmulik Fishman, CEO and founder of Argyle. “As an FDX member, we have the unique opportunity to collaborate with other industry players to help define how payroll data is formatted, authenticated, and transmitted,” said Shmulik Fishman, CEO and founder of Argyle. “Employee payroll data is an incredibly rich source of information that can help workers secure housing, vehicles, loans, and valuable financial services—it’s crucial we come together as an industry to standardize on how this data is managed.” The FDX is dedicated to connecting the ecosystems that make up the financial services industry to create a common, interoperable, and royalty-free standard for secure, user-permissioned financial data sharing. FDX memberships are open to organizations within the financial sector interested in contributing to the development, growth, and industry acceptance of the FDX API and other objectives through collaboration with FDX working groups and task forces. As a member, Argyle has the unique opportunity to work with other FDX participants to create the first standardized method of payroll data authentication and transmission. “FDX and Argyle share an equally vested interest in standardizing the methodology of how critical data is transmitted in order to receive necessary financial services,” said Don Cardinal, managing director at FDX. “Our members help promote greater adoption of Open Finance and banking standards and drive significant industry growth through their contributions and collaboration with one another. We’re thrilled to have Argyle join us as a valued member of the FDX.” In 2021, Argyle announced the creation of the Open Employment Data Standards (OEDS), an organization established to standardize how employment records are stored, accessed, and transferred. These records serve as a core foundation in American society and are used in renting an apartment, buying a car, purchasing a home, applying for a new job, receiving a loan, and more. OEDS aims to foster transparency and alignment of a data-set that institutions across the industry can rely on. Joining FDX in conjunction with OEDS furthers Argyle's stance as a thought leader in payroll data and Open Finance. To learn more about Argyle, visit argyle.com. About Argyle Argyle is building the leading user-consent-based platform for employment data, helping people avoid situations where their personal information is sold or used without their consent or knowledge. With Argyle, any business can process income and work verifications, gain real-time transparency into earnings, as well as view and update worker profile details. By removing the barriers between a worker, the companies they make money from, and the business they buy services and products from, Argyle has reimagined how employment data can be leveraged to benefit both institutions and individuals. About Financial Data Exchange Financial Data Exchange, LLC is a non-profit organization operating in the US and Canada that is dedicated to unifying the financial industry around a common, interoperable, royalty-free standard for secure and convenient consumer and business access to their financial data. FDX empowers users through its commitment to the development, growth, and industry-wide adoption of the FDX API, according to the principles of control, access, transparency, traceability, and security. Membership is open to financial institutions, fintech companies, financial data aggregators, consumer advocacy groups, payment networks and other industry stakeholders. FDX is an independent subsidiary of FS-ISAC. For more information and to join, visit www.financialdataexchange.org.

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FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

Prime Trust Launches Future Builders Brand Campaign: The Digital Economy is Just Getting Started

Prime Trust | September 08, 2022

Prime Trust, a leading provider of financial infrastructure for fintech and digital asset innovators, today announced its new branding campaign "The Future Builders" to increase market awareness, improve brand equity and give recognition to the generation of builders and unseen developers who have pushed the crypto and decentralized finance industry forward. "The Future Builders" campaign is focused on how Prime Trust enables crypto and fintech innovators to build their creations within a stable and strong foundation. Prime Trust's products and services help B2B2C businesses lead in their categories and pave their way to success despite a bear market. Over the past couple of years, the face of finance has changed dramatically, and Prime Trust has become a trusted and integral part of the fintech ecosystem. "Prime Trust is trailblazing the future of finance with the vision to build a bridge between traditional and decentralized finance, Over the past six years, we've seen dramatic shifts in what consumers are interested in, and our products and services are helping organizations meet these demands and bridge the gaps in their offerings. While our name is known throughout the industry, Prime Trust also knows our efforts are nothing without the innovations of the community. Whether it's an open-source developer or a Web3 aficionado, we believe that the unseen builders are the most important to our industry. We at Prime Trust recognize their achievements and are truly honored to work with them." -Lizzie Bildner, CMO, Prime Trust The industry has a habit of speaking to the public about the evolution of finance as happening automatically, as though there aren't hundreds of people having to push our digital economy forward. We know this isn't the case, There are countless professionals from every background actively working to create the new generation of financial services. These innovators are the backbone of what we do today. Our Future Builders campaign is a way to recognize the incredible, often unseen, people behind the adoption of DeFi,said Tom Pageler, CEO of Prime Trust. According to a Prime Trust Market Research Survey that will be released in Q4 2022, fintech innovators are focused on three key findings: Desire to work with a trusted and reliable vendor Disruption of the the status quo and appeal that crypto is providing inclusivity in this new digital economy The need for speed and a fast time to market This campaign addresses the current market conditions in crypto and the requirements of Prime Trust's customers. It is designed to make the audience feel like they are part of the larger crypto movement, and to deliver a brand campaign that resonates. Some elements of Future Builders campaign include: An evolved brand voice New branding for creative assets Executive interviews and blog posts Updated booth designs New employee swag New slogans Prime Trust's "Future Builders" campaign launches on September 7th with: Website landing page takeover Media buys In Person Events About Prime Trust Prime Trust powers innovation in the digital economy by providing fintech and digital asset innovators with financial infrastructure. Through a full suite of APIs, we help clients build seamlessly, launch quickly, and scale securely. Regulated by the State of Nevada, Prime Trust processes hundreds of millions of API calls per month. Prime Trust's team has extensive regulatory and financial services backgrounds from the OCC, SEC, Federal Reserve, US Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security/Secret Service, JPMorgan Chase, American Express, PNC, Bank of America, and Visa. The company is recognized by Forbes as America's Best Startup Employer 2022 and is also Great Place to Work-Certified™ 2022. Prime Trust has also been named to CB Insights Blockchain 50 for 2022.

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