🤑 50/50 split

Equality is often assumed, right? Not exactly in the VC landscape of fintech.

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Hi fintech fam! đź’ś

I can't express enough thanks for the incredible support Fintech Is Femme (Nicole's Version) has received since its launch on Tuesday. Before we dive in, I want to answer a couple of questions I've received, including curiosity about what it means to be independent and how to support my success.

Independence means that Fintech Is Femme is entirely operated and curated by myself, not just on a day-to-day basis, but also when it comes to growth and financial stability.

As a proud female and AAPI-owned small business, your support isn't just a vote for me; it's an investment in the future of our industry and a step towards a more equitable financial landscape for all.

There are two key ways to support me right now:

Spread the Word: Forward Fintech Is Femme to friends who value fintech as a force for good while championing female-led journalism. Your recommendations can spark a movement.

Invest in the Future: Make Fintech Is Femme part of your 2024 roadmap. Your financial support propels my work forward and helps shape a female-driven fintech ecosystem that makes us all more profitable. 

I'm on a mission to harness the power of thought leadership, content, and community to help you achieve your 2024 goals. 

Got ideas? Drop your wildest content dreams and goals for 2024 to [email protected], and let’s explore how we can make an impact next year together. 

Now, onto the news! 

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  • WebStreet is the first platform to offer accredited investors passive ownership of cash flowing online businesses.

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  • So while real estate bubbles are popping and the stock market is looking shaky, WebStreet is on track to deliver over 20% IRR to its investors. 

  • Find out why investors are buzzing about their newest round here.


What’s Up In Fintech

On Thursdays, I share news stories and trending pieces I’m keeping tabs on. Consider it your shortcut to sifting through the noise in the fintech news world.

#1 Why VC Firms Need More Than a 50/50 Portfolio Split For Gender Parity

Achieving gender parity in venture capital firms seems straightforward, right?

Just ensure that half of your portfolio companies have a female founder, and voila, the problem is solved.

Well, not so fast.

Recent revelations from Anthemis Group shed light on the nuanced reality of leveling the playing field in fintech.

According to their fresh insights, VCs aiming for true gender equity should set their sights higher, with a target of 70% of the companies they invest in having at least one female founder.

Why It Matters:

Here's the rub: a portfolio where 50% of companies are woman-founded doesn't necessarily equate to having 50% women founders.

Anthemis unravels the complexity with two portfolio examples:

Via Anthemis Group Equity in Entrepreneurship Report

Crunchbase data reveals that only 35% of seed-funded companies founded between 2019 and 2022 have a lone founder; the majority, a whopping 65%, boast two or more.

To bridge the gender gap within a portfolio, the strategy goes beyond merely investing in companies with female founders.

To attain gender parity, VCs should target 70% of their investments having at least one woman founder. Assuming parity at 50% misses the mark by 20%, constituting a substantial miscalculation in reporting and action.

Here’s A Quick Guide to Strategies for Success:

  1. Set a Target: Drawing inspiration from Mellody Hobson, establish a measurable goal—no target, no goal. Aim for the 70% benchmark to drive tangible change.

  2. Challenge Traditions: VC leaders, it's time to redefine the founder archetype. Break free from the "hubris factor" and welcome diverse perspectives. Solve problems with those who truly understand them in decision-making rooms.

  3. Collaborate: Sallie Krawcheck wisely points out that strength lies in unity—partnering with organizations championing women's entrepreneurship. Collaboration amplifies impact.

  4. Move the Money: Anthemis stresses the need to invest where it matters. For genuine change, increase funding for women founders. Supportive efforts will truly succeed once financial backing follows suit.

The full research breakdown provides deeper insights into this intricate narrative. Achieving gender parity isn't just a goal; it's a recalibration of strategies and a commitment to reshaping the landscape of venture capital for the better.

#2 Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman’s Fintech Vision

Nasdaq, known as the stock exchange for big tech, is orchestrating a bold transformation under the leadership of CEO Adena Friedman.

While most associate the Nasdaq with tech stocks like Apple and Google, Friedman sees beyond the stock ticker tape—she envisions a Nasdaq that's not just a stock exchange but a fintech pioneer.

Why It Matters:

In a strategic move underscoring this fintech metamorphosis, Friedman recently sealed the $10.5 billion deal with financial software heavyweight Adenza on November 1. This acquisition marks the pinnacle of a series of savvy moves—Friedman's dozen acquisitions—to reshape Nasdaq into a fintech force, reports Bloomberg's Katherine Doherty in this fascinating story about Nasdaq's transition.

Here's the TL;DR from Katherine's story:

The revenue generated from fees for listings and trading on the Nasdaq exchange has been declining, but the exchange itself is still a significant factor in establishing the credibility of the Nasdaq brand.

However, Nasdaq's core business heavily relies on the market's performance. With the acquisition of Adenza, a software company specializing in managing investment risks and automating regulatory compliance communication, Nasdaq is poised to offer services to fintech companies and become a fintech company itself.

Nasdaq faces a pivotal challenge: making its newfound fintech identity as recognizable as its storied stock market legacy. The linchpin is the successful integration of Adenza's software systems and its 2,000-strong workforce.

Friedman is steering the ship towards success by folding the business into a revamped financial technology division, spearheaded by Nasdaq President Tal Cohen. 

Friedman's fintech strategy had its roots when she served as Nasdaq's president. At the helm, she embraced a directive from then-CEO Robert Greifeld: focus on everything but trading.

Engaging in extensive dialogues with customers, a resounding theme emerged—regulatory headaches and the imperative to minimize fraud and financial crime. Though a tech leader with deep market ties, Nasdaq wasn't perceived as a problem-solver for finance's most pressing challenges. The exchange needed to become more. 

This transformation isn't merely about rebranding; it's about Nasdaq taking the reins in addressing the critical pain points of the financial industry. As Friedman propels Nasdaq into the fintech frontier, the question lingers: Can this economic juggernaut pivot from stock charts to fintech breakthroughs?

Stay tuned—because the answer might reshape the financial landscape as we know it.

#3 PFM Takes a Hit But Is Not Dead

Recent headlines have shaken up our industry's personal finance management (PFM) side.

HMBradley, once a stronghold for savers, has thrown in the towel on its consumer bank. Simultaneously, Mint, the budgeting app we've all come to rely on, is facing the guillotine wielded by its parent company, Intuit.

But here's the kicker—it's not the end. It calls for fintech pioneers to pivot, reshape the game, and redefine the future.

Why It Matters:

Millions of Americans still find themselves on the sidelines in the financial labyrinth, excluded from the systems that could unlock credit, build wealth, and pay the bills.

Let's be honest: consumers aren't itching to micromanage their finances. What they crave is a seamless orchestration that makes them happier humans. To navigate the criticism against PFM, we must divorce our skepticism of capital markets from fintech's potential to bridge wealth gaps and extend financial lifelines to those in dire need.

As long as we believe people will continue to buy, sell, and strive for financial security, criticisms against PFM's relevance will remain unfounded regardless of market fluctuations. There's a vast population yearning for financial services, and the true prowess of fintech lies in closing that gap.

Consumer fintech may face claims of oversaturation, yet its focus on investing and wealth management leaves a significant mass underserved. While flashy retail investment platforms abound, 44% of Americans can only cover a $400 emergency if they borrow or sell assets. Globally, 1.7 billion adults lack access to formal financial services.

Back to Fundamentals:

Consumer fintech needs a recalibration—a shift back to financial fundamentals. Plaid's 2022 Fintech Report reveals that users are clamoring for apps that guide them in building emergency funds, enhancing credit scores, and instilling sound savings habits.

Success for consumer fintech hinges on cultivating better financial habits. It's not about bombarding users with more products; it's about dismantling mental barriers and nurturing healthier financial behaviors. While the results might not sparkle immediately, companies playing the long game stand to make a lasting impact and capture a significant market share.

The future of consumer fintech lies in creating experiences, not mere services. Companies must harness micro-moments and build anticipation around fostering financial stability.

So, in the face of market uncertainties, let's not write off consumer fintech. As long as unmet financial needs persist, technology will continue to be the linchpin in facilitating these transactions. The game is still afoot, and those who embrace the basics and infuse creativity into real-time financial visibility and personalized guidance will lead the charge in reshaping our financial futures.


As I sat down with Nina Mohanty, the brilliant founder of Bloom Money, I was immediately captivated by her story.

Having grown up as a first-generation immigrant, she understood the unique challenges and struggles that come with starting a new life in a different country.

It was this personal experience that sparked the idea for Bloom Money, a platform that provides financial options and services specifically tailored for immigrants.

Nina's passion for diversity and inclusion was evident as she delved into the importance of representation in the fintech industry. As two biracial butterflies, we also bonded over our shared experiences and how they have influenced our desire for financial inclusion.

It was clear that Nina's upbringing had a profound impact on her mindset towards money, and she made it her mission to create a platform that serves distinct communities, just like her own.

I was truly inspired by Nina's determination and drive, tune into her story here.


One of my favorite tracks from rapper Chika, as the song touches on a very relatable experience as a woman building my own empire.

That’s all for now! Stay safe everyone. Hug your loved ones. See you Tuesday!

— Nicole