Rippling’s tender offer decision draws mixed — and strong — reactions

Rippling’s tender offer decision draws mixed — and strong — reactions

Welcome to TechCrunch Fintech! This week, we’re looking at Rippling’s controversial decision to ban some former employees from selling their stock, Carta’s massive valuation drop, a GenZ-focused fintech raise, and more!

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The big story

Investor demand has been so strong for shares of hot HR/fintech startup Rippling — over $2 billion worth of term sheets, it says — that it is allowing former employees to also participate in its giant tender offer sale, the company told TechCrunch venture desk editor Julie Bort. But there is one big exception: It has banned former employees who work for a handful of competitors from selling their stock. The news had people in a bit of an uproar on X, with some vehemently supporting — and some strongly denouncing — the move. 

Analysis of the week

Carta, a once-high-flying Silicon Valley startup that loudly backed away from one of its businesses earlier this year, is working on a secondary sale that would value the company at $2 billion, TechCrunch EIC Connie Loizos learned. That’s a massive, if not entirely unexpected, drop in valuation for Carta, which originally focused on cap table management software but began over time to evolve into a “private stock market for companies.” While Carta’s cap table business is still growing — a source familiar said Carta generated $380 million in revenue last year — it also lost $65 million in 2023, and there “aren’t a whole lot of other places for it to grow.” Conclusion: It’s becoming more and more rare to see companies hold on to their valuations, much less increase them.

Dollars and cents

Insurance provider Understory has seen 500% year-over-year growth. Armed with a fresh $15 million in funding, it is now launching a product focused on the renewable energy sector. 

Torpago, a commercial credit card and spend management provider for community banks, has secured $10 million in new Series B funding on a valuation of $55 million.

Stock-trading app Robinhood is diving deeper into the cryptocurrency realm with the acquisition of crypto exchange Bitstamp for $200 million in cash.

Stake has raised $14 million to bring its fractional property investment platform to Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.

Kleiner Perkins led a $14.4 million seed round into YC alum Fizz, which offers a credit-building debit card aimed at Gen Z college students. You can listen to the Equity crew discuss this deal and much more below. 

What else we’re writing

In early 2022, the fintech startup Bloom was accepted into Y Combinator as the first-ever startup from Sudan to participate in the famed accelerator. Now, after an initial limited launch, a major political upheaval in its home country, a pivot, a small fundraise and a rebrand to Elevate, the startup is now open for general availability.

The tension between incumbents and fintechs has existed for decades. But every once in a while, the two groups decide to put their competition aside and work together. In an unusual move, Capital One is teaming up with payment giants (and rivals) Stripe and Amsterdam-based Adyen to offer a free product aimed at fraud reduction, the financial services giant told TechCrunch in an exclusive interview.

High-interest headlines

US Bank teams with Greenlight on teen bank accounts

Bunq, the $1.8 billion European neobank, hopes to secure license for UK expansion this year

The Brex boys’ uncomfortable reckoning

Priceline, Ramp sign deal to disrupt ‘archaic,’ high fee business travel booking model


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