Robinhood is in the news once again, this time for how many complaints US consumer protection agencies have received regarding the buzzy startup this year. In the first half of 2020, more than 400 complaints were filed about the $11.2 billion startup, according to Bloomberg.
The entire story is worth a read, as it details steps Robinhood has taken to get on the good side of regulators, including opening an office in Washington, D.C. However, this one section stood out to me in particular.
“Some regulators have privately vented that they feel like they have become Robinhood’s de facto customer-service line because so many of the firm’s clients contact them after failing to reach anyone at the company, said people with direct knowledge of the discussions.”
Customer service is a critical issue for nearly every fintech in personal finance. Many startups don’t have easily accessible phone numbers for customers, instead opting for email addresses or submission forms to file issues or complaints. When asked, fintechs’ go-to line is simple: Younger people don’t like talking on the phone.
In reality, choosing to not have a phone number for customer service helps companies cut costs.
However, as these startups grow — along with the balances of their customers — many are realizing that when things go wrong, people are eager to get on the phone with someone.
The summer of SPACs continues with Reid Hoffman and Mark Pincus announcing plans for a $600 million special purpose acquisition company.
While I’ve previously poked fun at people with seemingly no experience getting involved in SPACs — *cough* Paul Ryan *cough* — this is a different story.
Hoffman, a billionaire, has a proven track record. A member of the PayPal mafia, the group that sold the payments company to eBay and includes Peter Thiel and Elon Musk, Hoffman went on to create LinkedIn, which he eventually sold to Microsoft for over $26 billion.
Julie Bort has all the details on the new SPAC. One interesting note is the fact that it will be in the market specifically for tech unicorns, or startups valued above $1 billion.
It’s a tale as old as time: Work at a government agency for a bit, and then cash out with a nice payday in the private sector. This rings especially true for lawyers. At least, it used to. Jack Newsham has the latest on how easy, or difficult, it has been for lawyers in the Trump administration to find jobs in BigLaw.
This might be outside our regularly scheduled programming, but who doesn’t love a pitch deck. Bradley Saacks has a look at a startup hoping to compete with the likes of Uber Eats and GrubHub by helping restaurants handle deliveries in-house. Read the full story here.