Entrepreneurship Podcast post

The Future of Fintech with Drew Glover

George Grombacher November 10, 2022

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The Future of Fintech with Drew Glover

LifeBlood: We talked about the future of fintech investing, what percentage of venture funds are devoted to marketing, what needs companies are working to solve, and how to meet the needs of a lot of people, with Drew Glover, Founding Partner of Fiat Growth and General Partner of Fiat Ventures. 

Listen to learn the qualities of successful fintech entrepreneurs!

You can learn more about Drew at FiatGrowth.com, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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Our Guests

George Grombacher

Drew Glover

Episode Transcript

eorge grombacher 0:15
blood blood. This is George G. And the time is right welcome today’s guest strong, powerful drew Glover Drew, are you ready to do this?

Unknown Speaker 0:21
Let’s do this.

george grombacher 0:23
Let’s do this Drew is the founding partner of Fiat growth and the general partner of Fiat ventures their organization working to bring access to financial services to everybody that simplifies life and builds wealth since 2018. They partnered with over 85 brands and generated over $1.6 billion in additional revenue. Drew excited to have you on tell us a little about your personal lives more about your work and why you do what you do. Of course,

Unknown Speaker 0:49
of course, personal life, man, I just had a child I have a I just have over three and a half month old daughter her name is Coco, Coco Glover. She is the bright light in my life right now along with my beautiful wife and family of course gotta give gotta give the wife a shout out but but Coco has been amazing. Yeah, so Sophia growth and beyond ventures to grow that the ventures are very much kind of sister brother companies. Yeah, Ventures is the venture fund that we have in Fiat growth is our growth consultancy. My background grew up in the Bay Area, you know, went to UC Berkeley, didn’t go to business school or anything like that, but found myself really in the tech world early in my career. And I found myself reconnecting with an old friend, who was head of growth and partnerships at chime the large neobank At the time, I was head of growth in partnerships at a company called steady, which helps folks in the 1099 world improve their financial health. And we had this crazy idea where we should start co advising a lot of the companies that were we were kind of partnering with and helping them grow in Super equitable ways, you know, 30% of venture dollars today go directly to marketing, a lot of that money can get set on fire pretty quickly, if you don’t have the right people at the helm, that are deploying those dollars into the marketing, the marketing ether the marketing world out there. So I’m Alex and myself, we started advising a number of companies together quickly that that organically turned into an uncomfortable amount where we quit our day jobs and we kind of had a fairly unique model, we would ask for or we get a retainer for our services, we would get advisory shares. And then we would also ask for the right to invest. We knew at some point we wanted to get the opportunity to invest in all these companies that were helping scale but at the time, we didn’t have the money, nor did we have the infrastructure to deploy capital. So I’m to fast forward through the story here today, Fiat growth or growth consultancy, is 25 full time employees, businesses slit down the middle between partnerships and paid performance. We basically act as a turnkey cmo for a lot of the early stage FinTech companies that we work with. And in some cases, we’re like owning an entire growth channel. But we are the strategy. We are also the execution, we act as an extension of our clients team. 2021, we found it to be out ventures be out Ventures is a $25 million venture fund. We’re still in the process of closing that out. But we’ve made 22 investments to date, around 50% of those investments are our clients that we worked with on the Fiat growth side. And then the rest are really just companies that we’ve seen really incredible trends in the FinTech space trends that we believe are going to be around for the next 3040 50 years. So taking a step back to close this outright Fiat growth, our consultancy, which doubles is one of the best due diligence arms in the venture world because we get to work in the trenches with these companies prior to investment also gives us the ability to have exposure to the entire FinTech ecosystem. Half of our clients are late stage, the other half are early stage, we understand the macro and micro trends in the space. Then we have Fiat ventures where we get to deploy our capital into the companies that we hold near and dear to our heart.

george grombacher 3:59
Awesome. Well, congrats on cocoa.

Unknown Speaker 4:02
Thank you. Thank you.

george grombacher 4:04
That’s awesome. And certainly the companies to that. That’s that that’s that’s also cool. So

Unknown Speaker 4:09
I appreciate I appreciate it.

george grombacher 4:11
So I’m curious to hear what you think the trends in FinTech are as as you kind of look forward. And did you set out to to get into fintech? You were working with this company steady, and then your partners with chime? Did y’all have a passion for the space are just kind of worked out that way?

Unknown Speaker 4:32
You know, definitely had a passion for the space. I grew up again in the inner city of Oakland and grew up in a family that you know, came from the nonprofit world mom was the principal for 30 years in the Oakland Unified School District. I keep going down the list of all the family members that are very much in the kind of civic action civic engagement space. So I kind of grew up kind of living in this space of, you know, how can we constantly be thinking about designing products and technology Big for the communities across America that need the most help. I didn’t know what what industry that would fall into throughout the growth of my career. But I fell into FinTech and really started seeing a trend where historically, FinTech products were being built for the 10% of America that already had money that just needed help managing that money, where now products were starting to be built for the 90% of America that needed the most help. The folks that have don’t have $500 in savings in case of an emergency, they need help managing their money, they need help saving their money, they need help, kind of reimagining how they can build generational wealth, and even help earning money. But all of this really fell into the FinTech space, which turned into this, this, this, this opportunity to not only like build a life for myself, where I could be monetarily happy, but also to where I could make a massive positive impact on the world and make sure that that gender that that tech, not technological and financial literacy gap was being narrowed over time. Well,

george grombacher 6:07
I certainly appreciate that. It is a it’s wild, when you look backwards, and you say everything is really catering towards this very, very small segment of population that’s already wealthy. And that’s all fine and well, but why, where’s the where’s the help for the folks that actually have a need for the help. So, enter technology, and I’m sure that there’s things you’re working on that we don’t even realize are our thing.

Unknown Speaker 6:36
It’s true, it’s true. I mean, there’s, um, there’s a number of different trends that we’re seeing today in terms of, you know, where the opportunity said, one thing that’s near and dear to my heart is just like really future of work and, and the different opportunities and products that we’re going to see coming down down the road here. I’m a big believer that from a generational standpoint, the relationship with money is getting younger, teenagers are working now they’re no longer just doing a lemonade stand, or they’re no longer just having a paper route. But they’re reselling shoes, they are creating their own businesses on Shopify, they’re actually finding a way to earn money. And it’s a really great opportunity where I think we all talk about historically like me, and we went to like elementary school, like, we were learning all these things about math, but it wasn’t like day to day math, the type of math that you need to like run a business or, or the type of economics that you need for like everyday life. So a lot of times, the best thing you can do from a literacy standpoint, is learn about finance by doing finance. And when you earn money, there’s no better incentive to learn how to manage the money that you’re earning. So, you know, working with, you know, Team banks, you know, working with platforms around the population of the world that is no longer just looking for a park for a full time job. And that being the job they have for the next 30 years, but having multiple part time jobs to create a full time salary, that could be uber driving that could be selling bracelets on Etsy, that could be you know, buying shoes on this Nike sneakers app and reselling it on on, on stock X, but all these different forms of income to create a full time salary is very much the future that I see. So that generates opportunities, like you know, 1099 workers are doing taxes in a very different way than w two workers. So tax products that are popping out how to better out a bit better manage your money, where you’re not getting paid, you know, every two weeks, and you’re getting paid when these different platforms that you’re doing business on wants to pay you. If you’re an influencer, you get paid almost immediately with YouTube, but you have to wait almost 30 days from Instagram to get paid. So all these different things, or all these different opportunities and products are going to be popping up. And it’s like future of workspace that I find super exciting.

george grombacher 9:03
Yeah, yeah, there’s no doubt that fascinating everything you just laid out how the appetite and desire to have a more non traditional career path, if that’s even the right term for it just different ways to make money. I think it’s super cool. And then opportunities to come in and to to help people get their arms around that. So you’re not making mistakes, somebody’s not falling through the cracks. Do you see an opportunity for for lack of a better term, like a super app? Are we going to see a lot of those or is it going to be lots of lots of sort of independent companies?

Unknown Speaker 9:40
You know, historically, I’ve spent some time on this, like just seeing, you know, these trends that happen like every 20 years where we bundle everything up, and then we get annoyed that it’s all bundled up and then we unbundle it. You know, very, very easy example is like cable television now We’ve seen Netflix pop up, we see Hulu pop up, we see now that they all offer or YouTube TV, they all offer live television now. And now you’re, you’re asking yourself a question like, What do I need? What don’t I need? How do I create this ultimate experience? I, I wish I can answer that question. With confidence, I’ve seen a lot of Super App start popping up from a finance standpoint where you can walk in and do everything, I do believe there’s a ton of value there. Because you know, if you have a 401 K, and then you will also have some money in the stock market on Robin Hood. And then you also have equity in some companies that are private, it really, it would really be great to have one dashboard, where you can see everything, almost like a minority report type of world with like, where all of your finances sit. But there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of challenges that come with one with one company that like owns all that data. One thing that I am seeing is is embedded finance is getting really popular to where you don’t necessarily have to be the company that owns all the technology that does this, but you can basically be a hub, and you can embed all these different individual outside products and bring them into your products, which I think would probably probably be the type of kind of super app world that we see, it won’t be one company saying I’m going to build 10 different products and try to get everyone to sign up, it’s going to say, hey, we do something really well. And you can integrate these 10 Different platforms that you use to manage your money within. Therefore, we’ll have a dashboard where you can get eyes on everything, but we don’t own everything.

george grombacher 11:39
It makes a lot of sense. How do you see? How do you see humans partnering, if, if at all with these apps as you’re trying to serve, and crack this nut of 300 million people give or take right?

Unknown Speaker 11:57
You know, I think what I’m seeing today is, is a lot of it is going to be we’re in the middle of a generational shift right now. And I think Gen Z is going to be thinking about their relationship with money completely different than millennials. And and obviously, we think about it completely different to our parents. But I think we’re truly going through like a disruptive phase right now, where ever everything comes back to how we’re earning money, and how we how we’re earning money very much dictates how we live our life. And so I believe that the relationship will change drastically. And there’s going to be a lot of really great companies popping up that are building their product around this new new relationship that’s currently being designed right now organically based on how this next generation is coming up. I think what we saw in this transition from call it like, you know, Baby Boomers to Millennials is we no longer want to walk into a bank to create a bank account, we are totally fine with opening up a digital bank account and basically opening up a ton of digital financial products. Over time, I do believe that folks are going to want to find a way to make it so we can start embedding like banks will probably have tax services within that will be a separate thing where throughout the year, taxes can constantly be taken out of our view. So we always have an understanding of where our money sits versus having to constantly be fearful of this like once a year event where we were not sure if we have to get back 40% Or 20%? Or did I click the right thing when I signed up for that job a year ago. So again, like there’s going to be lots of like nuances that seem like they’re not a big deal now because they’re naturally embedded into our into our world that I believe are going to become this like industry standard, again, like taxes and expenses. And like all these things that a 1099 worker versus a W two worker have to think about.

george grombacher 14:11
That makes a lot of sense. So what are you looking for what, what is, what does Fiat need more of?

Unknown Speaker 14:22
The Great question. I’m going to stick to the to the side of adventures. Because on Fiat adventures, you know, we are constantly just looking for really incredible founders with really great ideas that are just like incredible executors have that DNA in them of like I know that if you run into a wall and you have to pivot you have the mind and the DNA to kind of figure it out. You know, so for us, we’re just constantly, you know, even more so than, you know, do you have a product with a million users. We’re just looking for really great founder DNA, right. Folks that are thinking creative Really, and just know how to execute on a really deep level, that are also able to see like the macro and micro trends. So I think just talent in general, we also just launched be out labs, where we’re actually going to be incubating a couple of companies, but also just like working with founders at the earliest stage of the space that they’re looking to conquer. So I’m also looking for folks who just like really great ideas that are that are again, like, like mirroring that that DNA that I just described. But the one thing I can say about this market and the market shift is it’s it’s, it’s weeded out a lot of folks that just said, Hey, let me start a company. So I can try to get rich as possible. And it’s brought in this like, this, like old school ilk of a founder that’s like, no, no, like, this is the best time for me to start a company. Like, don’t forget, Uber, and Lyft, and Airbnb, they all came out of that, like 2008 timeline, like course, they went public 1213 years later, but this, this stage of where the economy is, and today, there’s gonna be a lot of really, really great talent and really great companies that come out of it. And so we’re really looking for that.

george grombacher 16:10
Yeah, I think that that’s exciting. And it makes sense. So many of those of the really successful companies, at least from the outside looking in companies like Airbnb, the folks that founded it didn’t necessarily have a background in in hotels. And so they brought that fresh perspective in. How do you think about that? Does that matter? Good, bad.

Unknown Speaker 16:36
It doesn’t, it doesn’t at all. I, I’ve always been a believer that there are some back of the card stats that are alluring. You know, when you first see it again, sure, I went to Cal like I have friends that went to Stanford. But there’s something that you can’t really solve for, which is hunger. Some of the best founders that we’ve invested in, didn’t go to a top tier university. It was something it was like their hunger and their DNA came from failing at something, learning from it, and then getting back on. And like iterating. And coming back with this, like ferocious mentality of like, I’m going to run through brick walls. So from my standpoint, of course, like, we’re looking for incredibly smart individuals, but that doesn’t always have to go hand in hand with a four year university or your upbringing. It just has to do with, you know, what got you to have this mentality that I know, you’ll, you’re gonna win by any means necessary. Got it.

george grombacher 17:44
I love it. So circling back to one of the ideas, or one of the things you mentioned, right, when we got started that 30% of funds are spent on marketing, and easily burn through that when I hear that’s that that’s, that’s mind boggling, but it’s not surprising. So is that really a big part of your secret sauce?

Unknown Speaker 18:06
It’s a big part of our story. When we’re talking about working with clients, I mean, the fact that 30% of venture dollars go directly to growth, it really puts into focus, how you need to think about growth. Because it’s not like when the VC gives you $10 million, they say 3 million of this needs to go to marketing. They give you the $10 million. And it’s up to you to kind of figure out how to think about it. You know, we started Fiat growth, our consultancy, because at one point we were in house and we saw how to do it right. We also saw how to do it wrong. And what we found out was the best growth marketers are the best testers. They’re the ones that measure twice, measure five times, even before they cut, and figure out how to figure out if if something works, or even more importantly, does it work for $50 instead of $50,000. And so, you know, growth in marketing is all about measurement. It’s about intellectual, smart, patient measurements, so we can fail fast, so we can win big. And so we spend a lot of time and making sure that that that call it, you know, 5% of that 30% is spent to figure out what works so we can spend the majority of that 30% scaling up what works.

george grombacher 19:30
I love it. Who can figure out that this works or doesn’t for 50 bucks instead of 5000. That certainly makes sense. Well, Julie, thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? And if somebody’s listening and they say you know what? He was just talking about me? How do they connect with you?

Unknown Speaker 19:49
Yeah, most definitely. You can definitely connect with me on LinkedIn. I’m super active on LinkedIn. It’s just drew Glover again, founder of The Ventures and founder of Fiat growth. And yeah, that’s that’s where I would I would look for me also check out our website fiat.vc is our venture fund. Fiat growth.com is our consultancy so you can also learn more there and also shoot us an email directly from the site. Excellent.

george grombacher 20:17
Well, if you enjoyed as much as I did show drew your appreciation and shared today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas, find drew on LinkedIn, I’ll listen to the show, but just type in drew Glover Fiat, and I’m sure that he will pop right up. You can also go to fiat.vc as well as Fiat growth.com. It’s f i a t growth.com. Thanks again, Drew.

Unknown Speaker 20:40
Thanks for having me.

george grombacher 20:41
And until next time, remember, do your part by doing your best

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