Whether or not you are an avid fintech investor, there is no denying that remarkable and innovative companies continue to emerge from this space. In this segment of Backstage pass, recorded on January 11Fool contributor Rachel Warren discusses a fintech company called Twig.
Twig was founded in 2020. Individuals use the platform to sell their used goods and receive instant cash payments. The company, which describes itself with the slogan “Your Bank of Things”, also allows users to create a free bank account through which they not only send and receive funds, but also get a Twig debit card.
Rachel Warren: This is not a company I had heard of before. I was very curious to see how it works in practice. All of which brings me to this article I saw today on Tech Crunch it was having quotes from the founder, Geri Cupi, I think that’s how you pronounce his name, and talking about this company’s approach to reducing carbon footprint, entering the fintech space, reselling articles. How does it all connect?
One of the ideas that I think, from this platform, is not only to encourage people to extend the life cycle of their assets, but the money you earn from the platform, you maybe you’ll use it to spend on other items, but maybe you’ll also use it to invest in digital things, not physical ones, like NFTs, like cryptocurrency.
So the story announced that Twig had just closed a $35 million Series A funding. So at the moment I guess the platforms are only available in the UK. This article indicates that they plan to launch in the US later this quarter and then in the EU in the next quarter.
The article noted that “growth via user referrals appears to have helped fuel its early rise as Twig charges users a £1 transfer fee for users to send money to a third-party account. , but there is no charge if you transfer from one Twig account to another”.
Now we know they market themselves as the ‘Bank of Things’, the article says, “it should be noted that despite this slogan, Twig is not actually a bank, but rather an e-money account”, so a key regulatory difference there. Interestingly though, he said “Twig is applying for something called a B Corporation certificate, which emphasizes social purpose and environmental performance”, and the CEO said they’re at the stage final of this application.
The interesting thing that this article questions that I thought was an interesting question to ponder. This company is very focused on social responsibility on reducing the impact on the climate, reducing our carbon footprint.
But if you’re making money from a platform and maybe spending it on something new, you’ve just undone that effort you’ve made.
The interesting thing here was to say “selling things currently owned to free up money might encourage the consumer to spend more and buy new things. It’s not clear that the reduction in friction involved and the resale will allow consumers to buy less overall.”
There was a quote from the CEO although he said “essentially our core business is to allow consumers to get paid for their old items and in the process we breathe new life into their items and that increases the supply in the secondary market, at least. The reason we can afford to be on the supply side of the markets is that there is a much greater need for additional supply right now. “
He said “it condenses Twig’s business into a very simple pitch” that “we tokenize assets that combine banking-like functionality with a baked-on resale service is a pitch on measure for the Gen-Z target and young millennials,” the article said.
And then finally something else that really caught my eye, which I said, “there is a sustainability issue to address, however, given how integrated blockchain is into what Twig does. This Upcoming feature will allow users to tokenize real-world assets and make them tradable in seconds.”
The idea here that he says in the article is that “Twig will enable digital and physical items to be monetized and traded in new ways. Such an approach will allow users to trade goods on the checkout page and ‘buying cryptocurrency, as well as NFT by trading in their clothes or electronics.’ I think that’s a long-term view. Really interesting company so.
I’m curious to hear your guys’ thoughts. It’s obviously a really new space in the fintech space, but it looks like it’s doing a lot of good things.