Fintech Firm MoneyLion CEO on Launching IPO Via SPAC Merger
Kristen Scholer: Well, MoneyLion is hoping to roar on Wall Street after officially going public yesterday. The all in one financial platform going the SPAC route to the New York Stock Exchange after announcing it would merge with blank check company Fusion back in February. Shares of MoneyLion ending today’s session in the green up more than two-and-a-half percent. Joining me now is Dee Choubey, CEO at MoneyLion. Uh, Dee, thanks so much for coming on the show. I know you joined, uh, right after you announced the plan to go public back in February,
Kristen Scholer: saying it was the time to increase awareness about, uh, your platform to Americans disadvantaged by the current financial system. What strides have you been able to make since then?
Dee Choubey: Yeah, we’ve had a phenomenal year. It’s been a great historic milestone for us this week to finally be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The teams worked incredibly hard. Um, you know, we’re always innovating, uh, financial products. So this year we were able to launch crypto, uh, round ups to our consumers, and we’re continuing to make the platform better on a daily basis here. Um, it’s been a long process for us to enter the public markets, but boy are we excited, uh, to finally made it.
Kristen Scholer: And now that you are part of the public markets, what is the expansion plan from here?
Dee Choubey: Yeah, we’ve got a lot of great growth ahead of us. Um, you know, this is a- this is the perfect point to enter the MoneyLion story for public market investors. If you look at what we have spent our time building over the last many years is our technology platform, we’ve built it from scratch. This is one of the best tech platforms, not only here in- in the United States, but globally. This is one of the most, um, you know, interesting platform approaches. Well we own the technology around banking, investing, financial advice, rewards. Um, and what we now have the opportunity to
Dee Choubey: do is really get the product MoneyLion’s entire community driven ecosystem in the hands of millions of Americans. So this is an incredibly exciting po- opportunity for us, but also for public market shareholders to enjoy the ride, uh, as we grow into being an iconic American brand.
Kristen Scholer: We know that the fintech space is certainly a crowded one, Dee. And so talk to me about how your company is trying to stand out.
Dee Choubey: Yeah, we’re in the, uh, consumer advice business, right? So we’re not necessarily competing on individual accounts or, um, you know, just kind of what you see in fintech broadly. But I think the opportunity is really interesting. We’re in the early innings of digital transformation. We believe all of the tailwinds around adoption of fintech as a primary financial relationship exists. We are the interface layer. So depending- in regardless of what other financial products consumers are using, we wanna be the advisor.
Dee Choubey: And that’s really the opportunity to think about FinTech 3.0, which goes into being a daily destination, a lifestyle brand where a consumer’s individual data allows us to personalize and contextualize the entire financial experience to help them live, uh, a better life. No one is really using financial products just to have individual road accounts, but they’re using financial products to live better lives. And the intersection of lifestyle and financial services is really what we’re- we’re hoping to build here in the public markets.
Kristen Scholer: Uh, cryptocurrency down today, but a hot growing space not in China, but around the world. How is your platform interacting with that and what do you offer when it comes to cryptocurrency?
Dee Choubey: So, you know, we heard our customers loud and clear. Um, you know, 77 percent of our customers said that they really wanted the product. Eighty-six percent of Americans have actually never touched a crypto product. Our mission is to create financial access. So we’re all about how do we get more Americans educated, exposed to different ways to think about currencies, commodities and what have you. So when we launched crypto, it wasn’t necessarily to, you know, um, incentivize people that day trade cryptocurrencies,
Dee Choubey: but instead to start learning about Blockchain, to start learning about, um, how to think about crypto as part of a technological movement, as part of the community. So we were able to do was use crypto more as roundups. So every time you swipe your money line debit card, you can now round up into bitcoin. And that’s really interesting because 17 cents, one dollar, two dollars at a time, our consumers are able to dollar cost average every single day of the week, as opposed to really trying to time the market on
Dee Choubey: some of the volatility that we see in- inherent in these asset classes.
Kristen Scholer: This announcement, though, by China. Do you anticipate that that will negatively impact your business?
Dee Choubey: While we’re- we’re US focused, we’re 100 percent in the United States today. We believe, uh, you know, Blockchain, DeFi cryptocurrencies are here to stay. There are lots of excellent use cases for it. Um, I think there’s gotta be a transparent two way, uh, conversation with the regulators. The US regulators have an opportunity really to define the future of money using this technology set. Um, there’s lots of experiments if you will, where we’re living in one large experiment if you will, around it. Um, so, you know, it’s a small part of our business, but it shows you from
Dee Choubey: just a mission perspective that we’re going to make available these asset classes to our customers. And then, you know, really be part of that journey to educate them on how to think about it as part of their overall holistic portfolio, which includes, of course, managed investing, stock trading, banking, saving and other products as well.
Kristen Scholer: I’m curious too. There’s a lot of focus on the financial markets right now, just in terms of the path forward for interest rates, and we did hear from the Fed earlier this week that higher interest rates could come as soon as next year, the end of next year, uh, even though the expectation earlier this summer was that that first rate rise might not come until 2023. How would that impact your business di- and your offerings to consumers?
Dee Choubey: So- so look, I mean, we are built for everyday use. We’re a utility for, uh, the working population, 30 percent of our members are day economy workers. They’re using money line as a payments platform. They’re using it to buy now, pay later. They’re using it to invest for the future. So as you think about the fully managed investment account, as rates rise, there’s just different allocations. And that’s where our regular advisor comes into play, takes into account the changes in the macro environment whether it’s interest rates, whether it’s other, you know, employment related or other, uh, metrics.
Dee Choubey: So we believe it’s just part of what we do. It’s, uh, it’s- it’s, you know, inputs we take into our models and we believe that, look, you know, there’s going to be some, of course, changes in allocations, but there’s a good blueprint and a good way for us to educate our consumers around it.
Kristen Scholer: Uh, building out the business as well. I see a June 19th press release here, adding some accomplished executives to the board of directors Matt Drella, Lisa Gersh, um, Michael Paul. What do they bring to your company?
Dee Choubey: Look, I mean, we’re super excited about our new board. If you think about, you know, what we need to do to really accelerate and drive user growth. We’ve got the best from, you know, the- the- the data world, Matthew Darella, who was the chief revenue officer at Twitter, Michael Paul, he’s the president of Disney Plus and ESPN Plus so think about, you know, as we think about MoneyLion becoming a daily destination where it’s much more content lead, uh, we’re now putting the best from data and content on our board. If you look at compliance and regulatory, Annette Nazareth,
Dee Choubey: uh, she was uh, the, the chairperson of the SEC. Uh, Ambassador Dwight Bush was the U.S. Ambassador to, uh, Morocco. Lisa Gersh she’s been on multiple public boards. So from a governance, compliance and regulatory perspective, we’re rock solid. And then from a data and community, and community engagement and product building perspective, we’re, uh, in- in- incredibly set as well. We- we have the existing board also, uh, you know, kind of continuing on for something where the Petraeus, John Krystal are all veterans of financial services.
Dee Choubey: We couldn’t have asked for a better board. This is a, uh, you know, and everyone really is coalescing around this mission of using technology, artificial intelligence, machine learning for the good of, uh, the 90 million Americans that- that struggle daily with financial services.
Kristen Scholer: I am curious, Dee, as we head into the end of the year, uh, there is uncertainty out there after we have seen the stock market for the past 18 months generally grind higher. What are the biggest questions right now that your customers have?
Dee Choubey: Um, so- so look anything. We’re going through a still unprecedented changes in- in the markets. As we saw in 2020, of course, the pandemic a lot of, uh, people, the way they work has changed to whether it’s remote, whether it’s hybrid, whether it’s multiple jobs, uh, whether it’s multiple gigs. Um, so our customers are always looking to live better financial lives. They’re looking to, uh, see how they can make micro changes to- to earn more, uh, to spend less, to save more. So as we think about those inflection points as we come towards the end of the year, there’s of course going to be opportunities for, uh,
Dee Choubey: consumers to spend a little bit more going into the holidays, uh, and to do that, you have to have financial tools that not only help you, uh, drive your financial life, but how do you also think about, uh, saving when you’re spending, earning more through the holidays? And those are the things that on a daily basis, our community engages together to, uh, to help each other.
Kristen Scholer: All right, Dee, we got to leave it there. Uh, congratulations again. I hope you’ll come back on the show. That’s Dee Choubey, CEO at MoneyLion.