NEWS AND INSIGHTS FROM FINTRX
In utilizing the FINTRX family office data and research platform, which provides intel into thousands of direct deal transactions made by 3,260+ family offices worldwide, we explore three family offices making direct investments in the financial services industry...
Founded in 2005, Bezos Expeditions (Jeff Bezos Family Office) is a Mercer Island, WA-based single-family office managing the wealth of Jeff Bezos and his family. Bezos is an American entrepreneur, investor, computer engineer, and media proprietor best known for founding and serving as Executive Chairman, President and CEO of Amazon. From 2017 to 2021, according to both Bloomberg and Forbes, Bezos was the wealthiest person in the world.
Prior to founding Amazon, Jeff worked on Wall Street in a variety of fields from 1986 to 1994. Bezos founded Amazon in late 1994 originally as an online bookstore and has since expanded to a variety of other e-commerce products and services, including media streaming, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence. In 2000, Bezos founded the aerospace manufacturer and sub-orbital spaceflight services company Blue Origin. Several years later, the company's first vehicle, New Shepard, reached space and navigated a successful landing.
A few of Bezos' notable acquisitions include purchasing The Washington Post in 2013 for $250M, Whole Foods Market in 2017 for $13.7B, Zappos in 2009 for $1.2B, and Twitch Interactive in 2014 for $970M. In July 2021, Bezos stepped down as the CEO of Amazon and transitioned into an executive role, with Andy Jassy, former chief of Amazon Web Services (AWS), taking the vacant position.
Regarding his philanthropic work, Bezos has been active by donating and pledging to several foundations and causes. Some of his most notable donations include several gifts to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, TheDream.US, Day 1 Family/Academies Funds, and more. In addition, Jeff founded the Bezos Family Foundation with a vision to invest in the science of learning and experiences that young children need to pursue their own passions. Other notable passion projects for Bezos include his work on the 10,000 Year Clock in West Texas and the Apollo 11 F-1 Engine Recovery Program.
Today, Bezos Expeditions invest primarily in private equity and venture capital companies via direct investments. The firm takes a global approach to its deal sourcing but has typically favored North America-based investment opportunities. Sectors and industries of interest include financial services, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, home goods, data platforms, workplace software, food & beverage, 3D printing, artificial intelligence, ride-sharing, social media, and more. The firm seeks to target private companies operating in the early to late-stage venture and seed rounds but will consider later stages individually.
Bezos Expeditions have made several investments in the financial services landscape. For instance, in July 2016, the firm made a Seed investment in Funding U, an Atlanta, Georgia-based financial services company with a mission to expand equity in education by making affordable student loans to high-achieving students. The company makes non-cosigned loans based on academic performance rather than credit score. In March 2021 Bezos Expeditions made a Series C investment in Pilot, a San Francisco, California-based financial services company specializing in bookkeeping, tax preparation, and CFO services for startups and small businesses.
In March 2022, Bezos Expeditions made a Seed investment in Outgo Inc., a venture-backed, all-in-one finance solution for freight carriers. Its products help automate broker setups, invoicing, factoring, collections, and banking services without annual contracts or minimums. Other notable past private investments (not necessarily in the financial services industry) include Twitter, Airbnb, Uber, Stack Overflow, General Assembly, Workday, and Business Insider.
Established in 2021, Zinal Growth (Guillaume Pousaz Family Office) is a St. Helier, Jersey-based single-family office managing the wealth of Guillaume Pousaz and his family. Pousaz is a Dubai-based Swiss billionaire entrepreneur who founded and served as CEO of the payment platform Checkout.com. In 2007, Pousaz set up NetMerchant for Europe's money transfer service. He then founded Opus Payments in Singapore in 2009, enabling companies in Hong Kong to process payments from buyers on a global scale. The company then rebranded in 2012 and became Checkout.com, a global payments solution provider that helps businesses and their communities grow in the digital economy.
Several years later Checkout.com raised $230M in funding, the largest Series A funding round ever for a European fintech company. In January 2021, Checkout.com raised another $450M at a $15B valuation, leaving Pousaz about two-thirds of the company. A year later, Checkout.com was valued at $40B. Zinal seeks to partner with passionate entrepreneurs and private companies who are actively challenging market structures.
Today, Zinal Growth invests primarily in venture capital and private equity companies via direct transactions. The firm takes an agnostic approach to its deal sourcing, using a global scale. Zinal has historically preferred targeting e-commerce and blockchain companies that display high growth potential with scalable business models. Other sectors and industries of interest include financial services, marketing, retail, and automation. The firm's single-source capital provides for consistent and patient funding, with no specific deal mandates. Historical portfolio companies have included Ziina and Wayflyer.
In May 2021, Zinal Growth made a Series A investment in Wayflyer, a financial services company providing flexible funding and actionable insights to the world's fastest-growing eCommerce businesses. Since the founding of Wayflyer, the company has built a global team, partnered with major industry brands, and raised funds from some of the world's top investors. Zinal made a follow-on investment in May 2022. In June 2021, Zinal Growth made a Seed investment in Ziina, a financial services company in Dubai. As the UAE’s first peer-to-peer payment app, Ziina is on a mission to simplify finance for everyone. Ziina offers bank-grade security and end-to-end encryption, ushering in the next generation of financial services to the Middle East.
In February 2022, Zinal Growth made a Series A investment in Stitch, an API infrastructure company that enables easy access to user financial accounts. Stitch offers an API that helps businesses and fintech companies in Africa build financial products more effectively through seamless, fraud-free bank payments and easy access to financial data.
One month later, Zinal Growth made a Series B investment in Yokoy, an all-in-one spend management platform. Founded in Switzerland in 2019, Yokoy provides an AI-based full spend management suite for midsize and enterprise companies. By combining automation, API integrations, and machine learning developed in Yokoy’s own cutting-edge research lab, the company offers expense management, supplier invoice management, and smart corporate credit cards in a single intuitive tool. Yokoy’s mission is to rid the corporate spending world of the legacy processes that have plagued it for decades.
Founded in October 2018 with the spin out of the private equity investment team of Soros Fund Management, Newlight Partners is a New York, NY-based multi-family office managing the wealth of a select group of high-net-worth individuals and families. Newlight seeks to partner with growth-minded founders and management teams to help build their companies by providing the capital and support they need to execute. For Newlight, the most important criteria when sourcing partnerships is the chemistry and alignment between them and the company's management. Ultimately, Newlight Partners empower companies with breakout potential to execute their growth initiatives.
Today, Newlight Partners invest primarily in private equity companies via direct transactions. The firm takes an agnostic approach to its deal sourcing, focusing primarily on North American-based companies. Newlight incorporates specific investing themes across its portfolio, with some including the evolution of bandwidth consumption, financial services, insurance, value-based healthcare, sustainable energy, and tech-enabled services.
Newlight Partners prefer to invest in growth-stage companies through buyouts. The group's capital model provides teams with a capital influx over time for them to invest in their own organic growth and opportunistic M&A. The firm's patient and stable capital source allow for long-term investment horizons with no strict deal mandates. Check sizes vary and typically have been in sizes up to $150M.
In August 2020, Newlight Partners made a private equity investment in Propeller Industries, an enterprise-grade financial partner that empowers the most ambitious companies to reach their full potential. Propeller Industries is a fractional CFO and accounting partner to companies that have outgrown bookkeeping but aren't yet able to support a full-time finance team. The company offers services ranging from CFO-level strategic planning to day-to-day transaction processing through its team of full-time CFOs and accountants. The firm has US offices in SF, LA, NY, Austin, Boulder, and Sun Valley, and currently serves 300+ clients across a diverse portfolio of industries including eCommerce, technology, food and beverage, manufacturing and business services, as well as healthcare. Other portfolio companies for Newlight include Honest Networks, BayTech, Zing Health, and APR Energy, among others.
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June 01, 2022
Renae Hatcher is a member of the marketing team at FINTRX - focused on delivering targeted & relevant family office and registered investment advisor content to our subscribers.