Walmart the disruptor. You have to love that. Money transfer and remittance is heating up and this is all just the first volley in what will be a non-zero sum war. I suspect consolidation and M&A will occur soon. We (@RRE) already sold Venmo and Braintree but I bet Azimo, Boom, Remitly, Xoom, etc are/will be on many acquirers minds’ soon.
Wow, Canaan Partners owns 32.4% of Zoosk. That’s a huge ownership stake for a startup that has raised a ton of cash. As a venture investor I give Canaan a lot of credit for being able to maintain that ownership (usually not very easy to do).
I think the world of tech startups can feel like a game at times, removed from the real world and consequences because a lot can be accomplished sitting in front of a screen without having to get one’s hands “dirty”. I’m not going to opine on Charlie’s innocence or guilt and do not intend to, but I do wonder if Charlie would have done the things he’s accused of having done if he had been forced to do them IRL. My guess is he would have behaved differently IRL. (See: blog comments versus in person conversation)
Amazon is most definitely not taking BTC anytime soon. What’s the upside for them? Not much. Lots of downside. Amazon would be more likely to issue an AmazonCoin than use something beyond their control.
On the other hand, Amazon bringing their near zero % gross margin world domination marketplace approach to bear on credit/debit against V, MA & Amex, now that is interesting.
My guess is they would partner with Discover. There are probably some other plausible paths for them too including doing a better job of promoting Amazon Payments to merchants and buying Stripe. Other thoughts?
Amazon is getting ready to re-tool and expand Amazon Payments:
"The payments industry has been waiting for years for Amazon, with its 215 million credit cards on file, to flex its muscles. Apparently, CEO Jeff Bezos has been, too.
Industry sources have recently told Re/code that Bezos has identified payments as one of the top areas of focus and investment for Amazon…”
There are also rumors Apple with its 300M+ credit cards on file is looking to do the same. Despite many false starts, you have to assume Google is reinventing Google Wallet and Payments as well. Hard to predict who will win this battle of juggernauts (Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google) but I’m pretty sure the next 24 months will be interesting.
Will be interesting to see how Wealthfront, Betterment, etc. fare against Vanguard (and the other incumbents) new services charging only 30 bps. I am already a Wealthfront customer but I must admit I will think about switching to Vanguard for their extra services.