The FGB Digest brings you the latest news on the world’s fastest growing direct-to-consumer and challenger brands. In today’s edition: Harry’s incubator launches cat-centric brand; Revolut launches in the US; and Brex acquires three companies for startup funding.
Harry’s incubator launches cat-centric brand
Cat Person co-founders Lambert Wang and Jimmy Wu say they see an attractive opportunity to sell to an underserved population of consumers in a canine-dominated pet market.
They also believe this is the right time to launch a brand they say supports the bond between felines and humans.
“Obviously, we are in unprecedented times right now,” Wu said, acknowledging that he and Wang considered postponing the launch due to the coronavirus crisis. They went ahead with it, he said, because “more than ever people need cats in this time,” and because the crisis is emphasising the importance of the human-pet connection.
“We’re always excited by opportunities to tap into the infrastructure and expertise at Harry’s to better meet people’s needs,” Harry’s co-founder Jeff Raider said. “We see Cat Person as a great opportunity to do that,” he added. In 2018, the incubator rolled out Flamingo, a women’s shaving brand.
Revolut launches in the US
European fintech startup Revolut is launching its app and service in the US. In the US, Revolut has partnered with Metropolitan Commercial Bank for the banking infrastructure — deposits are FDIC insured up to USD$250k.
In just a few years, Revolut has managed to attract over 10 million customers by building a financial hub that lets you spend, send, receive and manage money from a single app. The company recently raised a USD$500m funding round, valuing the company at USD$5.5bn.
Tens of thousands of customers have signed up to the waiting list and they’ll now be able to access all of Revolut’s core features.
Revolut offers a plethora of additional features in Europe, but the company is starting with this basic feature set in the US. You can expect more features in the future, such as the ability to purchase cryptocurrencies and invest on the stock market.
Brex acquires three companies for startup funding
Brex, a bank looking to help startups get the money that traditional big banks won’t lend them, has just acquired three companies to help with its mission: Neji, Compose Labs and Landria.
While the San Francisco fintech startup declined to share how much each deal cost, Brex doesn’t have a shortage of capital. It has raised more than USD$300m in known venture capital from investors like Kleiner Perkins and DST Global.
While on first thought the COVID-19 pandemic may have slowed the acquisitions, Henrique Dubugras, the co-founder of Brex, said that it simply enhanced the importance of the investments, which span across security, e-commerce and customer support.
Regardless of our economic state, Brex’s buys are another move from the company to show that it is more than a corporate credit card company, and inherit some expertise from other companies at the same time. Brex wants to be a bank for startups, and has largely swung at payment processing behemoth Stripe since launch. Stripe has launched its own credit card for startups and, unlike Brex, has years of operation to prove why it should be trusted as a major fintech company.
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