Marqeta goes out with a bang

The company's IPO represents another win for fintech

💰The big deal

We’re not even halfway through 2021 and there have already been more than 500 IPOs on the U.S. stock market this year. To put that into perspective: There were 471 new listings in all of 2020, which was a level of activity not seen since the tech IPO bubble of 1999.

Many of those listings were Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs), so-called blank-check vehicles that raise money via IPO with the intent to merge with an actual operating business. Frankly, early returns for SPACs this year haven’t been great—although, according to friend of the newsletter Alex Willhelm, not all of them have been complete garbage.

Even so, to call today’s IPO market unprecedented is a bit of an understatement.

Enter Marqeta, which was able to raise more than $1.2 billion by selling 45.5 million shares at an above-target price of $27 apiece. Its stock popped another 20 percent to $32.50 during its market debut before settling around $30.50 at the closing bell.

At that price, Marqeta has a market cap of $17.3 billion, which is a fair bit above its last private valuation of $4.3 billion from a funding round it raised around this time last year. And all in all, it’s another success story for the broader fintech industry, which could see filings from companies like Stripe and Plaid if market conditions persist.

Like those companies, Marqeta doesn’t have a consumer-facing brand but instead offers services to other businesses that rely on it to help power their financial services. The company issues physical and virtual debit cards and handles payment processing for companies like Square, Uber, DoorDash, and Instacart, which use Marqeta to offer cards to customers and employees. It’s also the underlying tech provider for Marqeta then makes money based on payment processing and interchange fees.

Altogether Marqeta says it has issued more than 320 million cards to customers, and it’s seen its revenues double from $143.3 million in 2019 to $290.3 million in 2020. So far, so good.

The question for Marqeta is not if it will benefit from the trend toward more digital payments and money management, but how much and how quickly. As more and more businesses seek to offer their own branded debit cards and payment processing, the market will continue to grow—and Marqeta is well-positioned to grow with it.

💸 Money moves

Sinch snaps up MessageMedia for $1.3B to compete with Twilio in business SMS services [TechCrunch]
MessageMedia has 60,000 customers and handles 5 billion+ messages annually, which will help Sinch to compete with Twilio in the market for providing SMS services to small- and medium-sized businesses.

Scalable Capital fundraise gives Germany its sixth fintech unicorn [Sifted]
Europe’s largest digital wealth manager Scalable Capital raised a $180 million funding round led by Tencent.

Analytics Startup Amplitude Valued at $4 Billion in Sequoia-Led Funding Round [Bloomberg]
The $150 million investment was led by Sequoia Capital. Existing investors, including GIC, Battery Ventures, and IVP, also participated in the financing.

Mythical Games raises $75M to launch ‘playable NFTs’ and blockchain gaming tech [SiliconAngle]
The round was led by WestCap Group, with participation from 01 Advisors and Gary Vaynerchuk’s VaynerFund. Total funding raised increased to $120 million.

Contentstack raises $57.5M for its headless content management system [TechCrunch]
The Series B round was led by Insight Partners, with Georgian, Illuminate Ventures, and GingerBread Capital also participating.

People analytics startup ChartHop raises $35M [VentureBeat]
The Series B funding round was led by Andreessen Horowitz and brings the company’s total raised to $54 million to date.

Former Reddit CEO’s new startup Terraformation raises $30 million to restore forests and tackle climate change [Forbes]
The funds, which will be used to invest in rapid reforestation, came from Sam & Max Altman’s Apollo Projects, along with nearly 100 angel investors.

Parisian real-time financial data wrangler Pennylane corrals €15 million in new funding []
The funding was led by Sequoia Capital and brings total funding raised by the company to €26 million.

Commit raises $6M seed round to match senior engineers to startups they want to work for [TechCrunch]
Accomplice led the round, with participation from Kensington Capital Partners, Inovia, and Garage Capital.

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