June 19, 2020

090: Money Talks #16: WhatsApp | Backstage | Revolut | Olivia

090: Money Talks #16:  WhatsApp | Backstage | Revolut | Olivia

On this week's episode, Pete and Eoin dive into payments on WhatsApp, the paradox between investing in underrepresented founders and the current demographics of venture capital, and getting digitally closer to your spending through Revolut and Olivia.

This episode is kindly sponsored by Ireland’s fintech and financial services recruitment specialists, Top Tier Recruitment.  If you would like an intro to the team at Top Tier Recruitment, please click here.

In this episode, Eoin and Pete dig into pieces of content from this week that are relevant to the cosmic cloud of startups, tech, venture deals and enterprise in which they live and work. At the end of this episode, Eoin announced the big news on the first edition of the MoneyNeverSleeps newsletter on SubStack, more news to come!

The stories covered in this week's episode include:

Soundbites include:

  • Eoin gobsmacked by the WhatsApp payments opportunity:  “The sheer volume of payments that will be processed if people start using WhatsApp for paying for things is massive."  
  • Pete looking at the next stage:  “What will be really interesting is when those payments are processed not only in the currencies that we all know and love, but also in Libra [Facebook-driven cryptocurrency project].”
  • Pete on the WhatsApp payments opportunity: "Regardless of all of the ‘OMG, they’re monetizing WhatsApp’ backlash, it’s about time [WhatsApp did this].  This is a massive opportunity to start making transaction fees off of information flows, and if you can do it in a secure manner, and copycat WeChat, then hell, go for it.”
  • Eoin on if he’d use it WhatsApp for payments: ”If it’s running on the Mastercard or Visa network and it’s secure, why wouldn’t you for the smaller stuff in the same way that I’d send someone 10 euro on Revolut?”  
  • Pete on underrepresented founders: “With COVID-19, if a VC has capital to deploy now, it’s harder to get to know new founders and their teams to do new deals, so they many are just re-investing in founders they’ve already invested in.  With the status quo of the demographics of VC investments, their existing investments will likely be in startups led by white male founders, so we’re really narrowing the funnel even more."  
  • Pete's further thoughts:  “If this change in how people get to know each other is going to make it harder for VCs and founders to do just that, there will definitely be even less money going to such a vastly underrepresented demographic." 
  • Pete on unconscious bias in interviewing - “The approach that a lot of interviewers take is trying to find the common ground with the person they’re interviewing, and the interviewer is trying to find out if that person can eventually take over for them.  So [consciously or unconsciously], you’re looking for someone just...like...you.”
  • Eoin on investing purely opportunistically,  “Even if you step back and take purely a commercial viewpoint, you’re cutting out a large part of the market by not looking at these opportunities, which makes no sense.”
  • Eoin on UX with banking apps: “You see a lot on robo-advisory and wealth management [apps] in the US, but it hasn't really creeped into Ireland yet.  Now with what Olivia is doing and with Revolut’s announcement today, I now expect that not only can I get better insights from my bank or someone else, but also [an app] to help me manage my finances better, make the right suggestions, and do that for me automatically based on my track record.”
  • Eoin on Softbank's news this week on their 'circular reference' investing: “Softbank are like the gift that keeps on giving with the stories that come out about them.”

To listen to more, please visit https://www.moneyneversleeps.ie/ for all of our other episodes.  Also, follow us on Twitter @MNSShow, @PeteTownsendNV and @EoinFitzgerald9 for updates and more information.

Finally, If you'd like an intro to Pete, please click here.  If you'd like an intro to Eoin, please click here.

Pete TownsendProfile Photo

Pete Townsend


Web3 & fintech investor, MD @Techstars Web3, founder of Norio Ventures, mentor, non-executive director, podcaster and bad guitar player.

Eoin FitzgeraldProfile Photo

Eoin Fitzgerald


Fintech investor, podcaster, wannabe VC