Walmart to launch a fintech startup with investment firm behind Robinhood
Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, announced Monday that it will launch a fintech startup designed to develop and offer modern, innovative, and affordable financial solutions. According to the announcement, the new startup will be created as part of a strategic partnership with Ribbit Capital, one of the investment firms behind Robinhood.
This is not the first time Walmart makes its foray into tech startups. In May of last year, we wrote about Walmart after the retail giant quietly shut down Jet.com, a tech startup it acquired in 2016 for $3 billion. Walmart announced in its quarterly report dated May 19, 2020, that it would be discontinuing Jet.com, the online-only marketplace that it acquired when it was just over one year old. Jet.com was co-founded in 2014 by Marc Lore (who had previously sold Diapers.com to Amazon.com), along with Mike Hanrahan and Nate Faust.
In today’s news release, Walmart President and CEO of Walmart US, John Furner, said, “For years, millions of customers have put their trust in Walmart to not only save them money when they shop with us but help them manage their financial needs. And they’ve made it clear they want more from us in the financial services arena.” Furner added: “We’re thrilled to work with Ribbit Capital in a new venture to help us deliver innovative and needed options to our customers and associates – with speed and at scale.”
The company will be majority-owned by Walmart. The company plans to add independent industry experts to the board and to build a management team of experienced fintech leaders. It anticipates that growth may come through partnerships and acquisitions with leading fintech companies.
Ribbit Capital is a global investment firm with a mission to change the world of finance. Founded in 2012, Ribbit’s mandate is to invest in the best entrepreneurs and businesses disrupting financial services. Its current portfolio includes no-fee mobile investment platform Robinhood; consumer technology platform Credit Karma; and Affirm, which provides innovative payment options for customers.
“Walmart has a relationship with millions of customers and associates built on trust, security, and integrity,” said Meyer Malka, Managing Partner, Ribbit Capital. “When we combine our deep knowledge of technology-driven financial businesses and our ability to move with speed with Walmart’s mission and reach, we can create and deliver financial offerings that are second to none.”
Walmart will continue to serve customers through its existing financial services and partnerships with a number of third parties, including Walmart Credit Card, Walmart Money Card, check cashing, money transfers, installment financing, and more.