TIFIN raised $109 million at unicorn-like valuation to deliver 'single largest data platform for the world of wealth and investments' -- would deliver 'embedded' products through super apps in micro-capsules
The Colo. firm just sold 14% of its conglomerate based on an eye-popping valuation to keep up with rising cash burn and appetite to buy, buy, buy...
Author Brooke Southall
May 18, 2022 at 12:26 AM
May 18, 2022 — 6:59 PM
As a fintech executive in the space, I read through this article with much interest to see how the industry was "betting" on the next generation of financial services. After-all if Tifin has raised >$200MM and employs over 300, they must be onto something. I also read the TechCrunch release as well as the end of year investor letter to help me grasp the relevance of the Tifin tools and envision how they might change the industry. To me, it seems like Vinay and the Tifin team have got a "quasi-strategy" in place that is too disjointed to scale...as they mentioned in the investor letter they are currently offering a number of "point solutions" to address different aspects of wealth management - both from a B2C and B2B perspective. They discuss how each of these point solutions is scaling independently with adoption amongst consumers and advisors. The key monetization methodology at present seems to be around investment product providers using the Tifin tools to get awareness & better digital distribution amongst advisors and consumers. Product providers pay Tifin to place their products in search results, investment recommendations & model portfolios. Got it. The big problem I see (and one I've seen many times before in other startups) is that there is no underlying unified "framework" on which all of these point solutions rely. A quantitative framework would not only unify the various point solutions, but allow for much quicker iteration of new products and business models. Instead of solving for all of their own product offerings once using the unified framework, Tifin seems to be drawing on a shared database for independent Apps. Not an efficient use of resources. The framework is the base layer, everything else gets mapped into the same factors and then reverse mapped to the solution layer. Far more efficient...but then you also gotta know the industry and how to build the framework. And, yes, I've not only thought about the optimal framework for the industry going forward, but have already implemented a V1 of it. Good luck regardless. Brian