How can law firms help fintechs accelerate?
As dozens of fintech organisations sign on to Ashurst’s FinTech Legal Labs programme, it is becoming clear that accelerator programmes are the way forward.
Fintech is an industry that continuously challenges laws by venturing onto new grounds.However, these very same laws are stinting hopes of fast progression within these companies.
To combat this and drive expansion, there are steps fintech organisations can take to accelerate their business with legal support by joining programmes. Ashurst is one law firm that has started FinTech Legal Labs, designed to assist fintechs with legal compliance. The leading international law firm announced its cohorts for the programme that will run from 20-22 November.
Programmes like this provide fintechs with the chance to network with a provider's clients and contacts in order to progress legal strategies as well as discussed walkthrough all key legal topics that apply to the fintech industry. In return, investors will gain access to a number of digitally disruptive companies and startups, allowing opportunities for partnerships.
Proposed Areas of Law to discuss:
- UK law firm on cryptos and where to find them
- FinTech's five favourite digital banks
- Payments 2020: five key trends
- Read the latest edition of FinTech Magazine, here!
Abradat Kamalpour, who leads FinTech Legal Labs, said: "We had an overwhelming response to the launch of the inaugural programme from a wide variety of great FinTech businesses operating in the sector. We are really delighted with the businesses that we are talking into the first cohort and the programme is set to be a fantastic platform to bring together know how, collaboration and create partnerships from across the FinTech and institutional sectors."
With over 100 applications, the FinTech labs chose 36 businesses to join the programme. The first group comprises of the following companies:
For more information on all topics for FinTech, please take a look at the latest edition of FinTech magazine.
Stripe backs Step - the digital bank for teens
The Series C round raised US$100m in capital from a number of backers, including Coatue, TikTok star Charli D’Amelio, actor Jared Leto, and Will Smith’s Dreamers VC, for the enterprise.
Step provides a free FDIC-insured bank account and Visa card to teenagers. The accounts are backed by Evolve Bank and there is no subscription charge for its usage. Users don’t pay for their accounts and there are also no overdraft fees.
The mobile banking app enables parents to set controls and limits on spending and encourage responsible finances. According to data released by the company, 88% of the platform’s users say this is their first bank account.
To date, Step has seen great success in the marketplace. The company has raised more than $175m from investors and now has 1.5m users.
Stripe, which was founded by Irish brothers Patrick and John Collison, previously led Step’s $22.5m Series A round in 2019.
Step's Series B funding round also brought in $50m, and has a distinctly celeb-tinged reputation with investors including Justin Timberlake and the pop duo The Chainsmokers.
Users get access to a free, FDIC-backed bank account, a spending card and P2P payments platform to send and receive money instantly.
CJ MacDonald, chief executive of Step, said the company is aiming to improve the financial futures of the next generation. “Step is the only banking platform that enables teens to start building a positive credit history before they turn 18 and does not charge fees of any kind.
He has previously spoken about the importance of financial literacy for young people. “Money is just one of those things where I think the more educated and equipped you are early, the better decisions you can make down the road,” he told . “And you can also prevent yourself from making costly mistakes. I mean, the average American doesn't have $400 in emergency savings and pays $350 a year in banking fees. If we can help this next generation just ultimately be smarter and more educated as it pertains to money, I think we'll all be better off.”
Kyle Doherty, managing director at General Catalyst and Step board member, explained, “Gen Z is flocking to modern financial solutions that can be easily embedded within their digital lives and Step has a unique model for how to do this right.”
The news follows on from Stripe’s recent announcement that it plans to acquire TaxJar. The fintech, which builds software for online businesses that automates the reporting and filing of sales taxes, will most likely be integrated with Stripe’s billing services.
Currently, No terms have been disclosed but the Boston start-up had raised more than $60m from investors including Insight Partners.
Stripe chief financial officer Dhivya Suryadevara said of the move, “With TaxJar, we will help millions of internet businesses running on Stripe with their sales tax and make it easier for them to sell internationally.”