Walmart to Launch FinTech Firm with Ribbit Capital
One of the nation’s largest and most iconic retailers is about to enter this FinTech field. This week, Walmart announced that it would be launching a financial technology startup alongside venture capital firm Ribbit. While no details about a name or debut for the company were revealed, the goal of the off-shoot will be to “deliver tech-driven financial experiences tailored to Walmart’s customers and associates.”
While this development may seem a bit out of left field, Walmart actually has some experience in financial services as well as technological advancements. For example, several Walmart locations offer cash checking, prepaid debit card options, the ability to deposit cash into a PayPal account, and more. Additionally, the company operates its proprietary mobile payment service Walmart Pay and recently expanded its Mobile Scan & Go feature to Walmart+ customers after testing the technology at Sam’s Club warehouses. As for Ribbit Capital, they’ve been one of the top FinTech investment firms in recent years, with a portfolio that includes Upgrade, Revolut, Robinhood, Credit Karma, and many others.
The new company will be majority-owned by Walmart, with Walmart U.S. President and CEO John Furner as well as Walmart EVP and CFO Brett Biggs sitting on the Board of Directors alongside Ribbit Capital Managing Partner Meyer Malka — with plans to expand this board to include industry experts. Notably, in addition to bringing FinTech leaders on board the new company, it also mentions that growth will come through both partnerships and acquisitions. Meanwhile, Walmart intends to maintain its current services and partnerships, including the Walmart Credit Card from Capital One) and the Walmart Money Card from Green Dot.
In a press release, Furner said of the new venture, “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. 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.” On the other end, Malka said of working with Walmart, “Walmart has a relationship with millions of customers and associates built on trust, security and integrity. 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.”
Even with few details to judge this offering on, it certainly seems like a big deal. The combination of Ribbit and Walmart makes for a potential Goliath that could easily snap up some significant players in the FinTech market. Of course, the big question is what they’ll do with them afterward. With that, we’ll be paying close attention to what becomes of this endeavor.