Welcome to TechCrunch Fintech (formerly The Interchange)! In this edition, I’m going to look at some hits and misses in the real estate fintech space, Carta’s missteps (again), and more!
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The big story
Equity management platform Carta was in the news . . . again. And not for good reasons. Again. A prominent customer accused Carta of misusing sensitive information that startups entrust to the company in pursuit of its own goals. The claim raised wider questions about how Carta operates, even as Carta argued the incident was isolated, and led to the company shutting down its secondary trading operations. So what happens to Carta now? Rebecca Szkutak does a deep dive. Meanwhile, Alex and Anna argued that Carta’s growth story is being overshadowed by its stock trading snafu.
Analysis of the week
The real estate fintech space continues to have its ups and downs. We started the week by reporting on the news that Here, a fractional short-term vacation rental marketplace we first reported on in 2022, had shut down its investment platform after just over two years of operation. The company claimed that it’s still alive, but we’re not sure exactly what’s left. Despite the fact that so many companies in the industry have struggled or shut down, investors aren’t giving up on it.
I also reported this week on Downpayments’ mission to help investors purchase new properties with interest-free down payments.
Finally, we looked at Overmoon, which also has a unique model that is a hybrid of Airbnb and hotels — but with the best of both worlds. Listen to the Equity crew discuss Overmoon more here:
Dollars and cents
Latin American startups continue to attract venture dollars. We reported on two raises out of the region:
Meanwhile, in Africa, YC-backed African fintech Cleva, founded by Stripe and AWS alums, raises $1.5M pre-seed
And, here in the U.S., Pier banks $2.4M to launch ‘Stripe for credit’
What else we’re writing
Deal Dive: A Stripe secondary deal worth paying attention to: There apparently has been a flurry of buyers looking to get shares in the company in recent months.
Arc wants to make venture debt popular again: Arc is taking on the $30 billion venture debt industry with a new marketplace for startups.
GenAI could make KYC effectively useless: There’s no evidence that GenAI tools have been used to fool a real "know your customer" system — yet. But some relatively convincing deepfaked ID images are cause for alarm.
Scoop: Treasure Financial lays off staff just months after reporting ‘explosive growth’: The layoffs affected some 60% to 70% of the company.
Other high-interest headlines
Follow me on X @bayareawriter for breaking fintech news, posts about coffee and more.