NMI’s Payment Playbook Podcast

Episode 2: Sarah Hinkfuss and Tina Dimitrova from Bain Capital Ventures

Growth gurus Sarah Hinkfuss (Partner) and Tina Dimitrova (Associate) from Bain Capital Ventures are our special guests as we continue our new series offering listeners a deep dive into embedded finance! How do you define it, benefit from it, leverage it and determine whether or not it’s a viable option for your business? Not to mention, just how big can this industry get, and why is it continuing to see such rapid growth? These are some of the questions Sarah and Tina help us answer.

First and foremost, how does one of the world’s leading private investment firms actually define embedded finance? According to Tina, embedded finance is defined as any financial exchange whereby a non-financial institution offers financial services that are made possible by a financial services company. Some examples she gives of industry leaders that fit this definition include Toast, Shopify and bill.com. Also worthy of mention is, according to Sarah, each one of these recognizable brands started as pure play software but now have more revenue from the financial services they’ve embedded.

So, why has embedded finance taken off and scaled so rapidly? And, more importantly, why have payments led the charge when it comes to all the offerings under the embedded umbrella? Sarah chimes in with the top 4 reasons why payments have come first, as well as a list of contenders we have in line for the embedded space beyond just payments. Spoiler alert: Lending is the next runner-up!

Tune in to hear about all things embedded finance, including just how big this already $7 trillion industry is projected to grow. We also discuss the Holy Grail of embedded insurance, the various reasons why banks will be forced to participate in the embedded ecosystem and why the strength of fintech is also its shadow.

Greg Myers: Hi, Sara, and Tina, and welcome to this episode of the leaders and payments podcast where we’re going to be doing a deep dive into embedded finance. So welcome to the show.

Sarah Hinkfuss: Thank you appreciate you having us.

Tina Dimitrova: Excited to be here.

Greg Myers: Great. So, let’s start with you, Sarah, if you don’t mind, tell us a little bit about your current role at Bain Capital, and maybe a little personal and career background about how you got there.

Sarah Hinkfuss: I would love to so I’m a partner at Bain Capital Ventures. We are the venture capital arm of Bain Capital. And I partner with founders of the growth stage that series B and beyond, in Fintech, of course, and then also in application software. And then in terms of my path here, and a little bit of background. So, I’m originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I studied economics and engineering at school and started my career in software, actually, at an enterprise software company in the big data, predictive analytics space. And then I was there for six years helping scale the company, a member of the executive team, and my entry to the payments world was when this company was acquired by Mastercard back in 2015. And so still have a number of alums and great friends really across the organization, which has been wonderful from the perspective of really now being a Fintech investor. And then I transitioned to investing during my time at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in California, which brought me up here. And then three years ago, I joined Bain Capital, and I was first on the Tech Opportunities Fund. And I worked on a number of payments deals while I was there, including Hey in Japan and SumUp in Germany. And now, as a partner at Bain Capital Ventures, I have the pleasure of working with Matt, Tina and others on our growth team on Fintech, including the opportunity to embed Fintech and vertical software, as we’re going to talk about today. And then also have the wonderful pleasure of supporting our portfolio companies Moov, Orum among many others.

Greg Myers: Awesome. Well, thanks for sharing that. So, Tina your turn maybe a little bit about your role today and a little personal and career background?

Tina Dimitrova: Definitely. So, I’ll start chronologically, actually. So originally, I’m from Bulgaria, but I grew up in Texas. And growing up, I would spend my summers in Bulgaria, where I would hear my family talk about the impacts of inflation and the difficulties of the financial system there. As a kid, I didn’t really understand what those terms meant. So, when I went to college in the US, I studied finance and accounting. After school, I did a couple years at another growth stage software investment firm. And then I came to BCV. And so similar to Sarah, I focus on growth stage Fintech and application software. I’m based in New York and have the privilege of working with some companies in the BCV payments portfolio, such as ansa, Catch, Passport, and Paytrix.

Greg Myers: Okay, great. All right. Well, Sarah, back over to you. So, let’s talk a minute about Bain Capital Ventures, can you give us a high-level overview of the company?

Sarah Hinkfuss: I’d love to. So, as I mentioned, Bain Capital is one of the world’s leading private investment firms. And so across the firm, we have over $165 billion of assets under management. And if you think about that, as as an umbrella organization, there are 12 strategies underneath Bain Capital, including private equity, credit, real estate, public equity, and of course ventures. And so, we are one of the 12 strategies. And we think about BCV as a partnership of business builders and domain experts. And we are in search of passionate visionaries who see the world differently than everyone else. And so, as you heard from Tina and my backgrounds, we are focused on specific spaces. So, we’re coming to work with founders with a perspective on themes, and a position on how the world is evolving. And so, we can really partner on that level. And we’ve also spent time building companies ourselves until we could really jump in and think about how to be the support that a founder needs at various stages of their development. We are multistage. And so, we have partners on the early stage team that focus on seed and series A opportunities. And then as you heard, Tina and I are on the growth team focusing on Series B and beyond. And we have offices in the Bay Area, New York and Boston. And across Bain Capital Ventures, we have over $10 billion in assets under management. We’re currently investing out of fund 10, which is $1.9 billion.

And we focus on Fintech of course as well as infrastructure software, application software and commerce tech. And our investments look at everything from the $1 million all the way up through 100 billion of growth equity. So, we have a pretty wide mandate, but within each partner and each vertical, there are specific themes that we’re focused on.

Greg Myers: Okay, and just a quick follow-on question. So, I know that the company as a whole also produces content, like there was an embedded finance article written, I think, September launched September of last year. So, is that something that is a different group? Or do you guys get involved in kind of creating those thesis and content around trends in the space?

Sarah Hinkfuss: Yeah, it’s all part of the job. So, the report that you’re referring to is one that Tina actually worked on, which was really exciting. And I’ll let her talk more about that, and kind of how we thought about embedded finance in there. But also earlier this year, in February, for example, Tina and I co-produced a report on Fintech valuations. And so, what has happened in the market over the past three years, really tracking valuations from the pre-COVID period through the surge. And then where are we now, and thinking about what are qualities of enduring value for Fintech companies. And so, we all have areas where we’re not just doing our own work internally, but we see publishing as an important way to really put a signal out for others that are thinking about issues in a similar way to come talk to us. And we hope to start conversations with founders from a knowledgeable base, rather than asking founders to do all the work to get us up to speed. And we think that’s truly a differentiator and shows how we think about relationship building as well with companies over the over the lifecycle of being investors.

Greg Myers: Okay. All right. Thanks for sharing that. All right over to you, Tina, we’re going to dive into the topic now. And of course, we’re here to talk about embedded finance. So, let’s just start by simply defining it. How does Bain Capital define embedded finance? And can you give us a couple of examples?

Tina Dimitrova: Great happy to. So, I think there’s a few ways to think about the category of embedded finance. And I’ll start with the definition that we had actually used for the report mentioned earlier, that we had released in conjunction with being the consulting firm. So, for this report, we had defined it as whenever a non- financial institution, which we call a platform offers financial services made possible by financial services companies, which we call enablers. And so some examples of this are companies that we all know well. So, one being Toast, which has embedded payments and lending, Shopify, which also has embedded payments, lending, banking, as well. And then Bill.com, all public companies, what I would note about all three is that they each started as pure play software, but now actually have more revenue coming from the financial services that they’ve embedded, which I think speaks to how significant the opportunity is. And then one last example, from our portfolio actually is a company called TruckSmarter. So, they offer a free load board mobile app for freight carriers to search and instantly book loads. And the company leverages the data collected through the load board to monetize through embedded Fintech starting with factoring and debit cards. So going back to our report, I think this was a very specific view of embedded finance for purposes of sizing the market. But going back to your question, more generally, when people think about embedded finance, I think they define it as all the ways that any distribution platform can offer non-core financial services product. So that could be like a wallet that embeds an investment product, for example.

Greg Myers: Okay, no, I appreciate you defining that. And I think one of the things that I wanted to make sure as we talked about this, and as people were listening, there was a time when it was all about sort of embedded payments, right. That was the buzzword. And I think my goal here was to broaden that. Right. I think, we all can probably agree there’s a bigger future beyond just embedding payments. And so, Sarah, the question over to you, what are those major segments, when we think about moving beyond just payments and more financial services? What are those major segments in the space?

Sarah Finkhuss: Yeah, great question. And maybe if I even start with your preamble on that, too, because I totally agree, I think we’ve seen payments really be the first and furthest along the adoption cycle when it comes to embedded finance. And so just to pause on that for a second, because I think it helps put payments in context with the other categories. The question is, why is that right? Like, why has payments come first. And there are a few different reasons that we think that’s true. And so maybe just to give you four of them. So, first payments are higher velocity. And so, if you think about, as Tina was describing, what an embedded financial product is, it’s someone that is not a financial services company offering a financial product. And so, because payments are high velocity, they’re more top of mind, they create more value to the customer and add more value to the platform. And so, the platform cares about actually embedding payments as a result. The second reason is that there are more entities involved in the value chain that can actually enable these Fintech or non-financial services entities to become involved. And so, by that, I mean, for example, you have the card networks, you have Visa and Mastercard, you have licensure for payments, that is separate from banks themselves, like money, transmitter licenses, and so there are more opportunities for people to get involved. Third, payments was actually one of the areas that had scaled non-bank innovators much earlier than all of the other spaces. And so, all predating to 1998, you had players like Fiserv, FIS, Global Payments, Jack Henry ACI, all of these guys who were really the first wave of innovation, and that happened to happen in payments versus the other categories. And then fourth, ecommerce really pulled innovation forward in the payments market. And so, in order as digital commerce took off, and as the desire for people to transact online, the only way that could happen was through digital payments. And that was a process of embedding it natively into the checkout flow, which then translated into other opportunities for embedded payments as well. But you really had ecom pulling that innovation forward. And so, I just wanted to pause there, because I think it’s really interesting that you’re exactly right, payments have come first, and there are reasons for that. And then zooming out, where else do we see that embedded Financial Services is relevant? Well, it includes the other activities that a bank does. And so, a bank or regulated financial services institutions, they think about payments, and that’s part of their activities. But they also lend, they also issue cards, they also have deposit accounts. And they also have investing in brokerage accounts. And all of those are additional opportunities for embedding financial services. And we’re seeing them start to take off to varying degrees. And then the final space I would mention is insurance as well. And so, insurance are often separate, regulated financial institutions. But similarly, it’s a financial services product that is sold and not bought, and needs to have specific information about that entity holder in order to sell the product. And so is a natural candidate for embedded financial services as well.

Greg Myers: Okay, do you think that there’s a one of those that you mentioned that will be second in line behind payments? Or do you have a feel for that?

Sarah Hinkfuss: I think we’ve seen lending. If you just zoom out and think about where are the biggest pools of profit right now. So, for payments, first of all, consumer payments has come first before b2b payments. And that’s because more consumer payments have gone digital faster versus b2b payments, or larger value and more check based and so b2b payments have lacked consumer. And then we’ve seen lending really be the second opportunity where there’s an explosion. And even in Tina’s early examples, when she was talking about Toast, Shopify, you saw that and TruckSmarter, whatever our portfolio companies, and the reason is that their platforms have so much information about the individual customers, and what their activities like what their business activities look like. And so that information over time, is the core to actually underwrite that company to understand the risk and therefore how much you could lend to them and make available and that financing opportunity is often what is the wedge to create a deeper relationship and help that customers business grow. And so similar to in payments, where you have multiple players in the value chain, a lot of companies have evolved that are not just banks that are lending today, right? Like you have GreenSky and like you have a number of non -bank financial institutions that are also involved with lending. I think those are all the similar reasons why we’re seeing lending probably be the second category that’s taken off after payments. But there are great companies really across the board. And so, we have many fintechs that we have great conversations with that are banking as a service, which is traditionally the space where issuing and deposit accounts are, as well as an insurance as well. There are a lot of very new models that are thinking about across personal lines insurance, across life insurance and health insurance and across commercial lines embedding that insurance opportunity into the platform.

Greg Myers: Okay, yeah, I love all those definitions and explanations very helpful. So, Tina, we’ve defined embedded finance, we’ve talked about some of the major product categories, but we haven’t talked about the value. So, what is the value of this? Is it truly the better together story? Can you talk about the value chain?

Tina Dimitrova: Absolutely. So, across each of the different financial services that Sara outlined, I’ll start by answering your first question, talking about the value to platforms, and then I’ll talk about the whole value chain. So, we really see three primary benefits of embedded finance, the first being an increase in LTV or the lifetime value of a customer, which by function increases the total addressable market. The second is decreased CAC or customer acquisition cost. And then the third is improved customer satisfaction. And each of these benefits is a function of a few things. So, for increasing LTV, this comes down to increasing the surface area of what you’re able to monetize, but also improving customer retention. And then in terms of decreasing CAC, these are each a function of really the fact that you’re selling these products to your existing customers. So, you don’t have to go out and find these customers again. But then, secondarily, this also decreases risk as these platforms are able to leverage data to better underwrite their customers. And so that all leads to those decreased customer acquisition costs that I mentioned. And then as it relates to improving customer satisfaction, this comes down to a couple points. So, the benefit is that a customer can receive all their products from one vendor, they don’t have to manage multiple relationships, or multiple contracts. And second, it also reduces the manual effort in a lot of instances. And so those are the ways that we think about the value for platforms, or the companies that embedding financial services themselves. And so just to talk about the value chain for a little bit, I’ll lay it out from kind of the front to the back end. So, this would include, first, the actual end customer or business that’s receiving the financial service. Second, it would be the platform, which is again, actually embedding the financial service to offer to their customer.

Then third, there’s the enabler who’s providing the infrastructure in the piping, so that the platform can offer those financial services. And sometimes the enabler will be fully regulated themselves. But oftentimes, they’ll actually work with a partner or financial institution, which would add another stakeholder to the transaction. And that’s usually a traditional financial institution, or bank partner. And so, as you can see, it can be a pretty complex value chain. But each stakeholder really sees benefits from this agreement, as they’re all receiving something that they otherwise would not have by partnering together. And this is really the core of what makes us so excited about embedded finance.

Greg Myers: Okay. All right. So, Tina, we’re going stick with you. And this is sort of a two-part question. One, how big do you see the industry getting and why is it continuing to grow like it is?

Tina Dimitrova: Yeah, great question. So, we had recently quantified the answer to this in the report that we had mentioned earlier, which we published in conjunction with Bain. So, we believe that the market will be sized at around $7 trillion, which is not trivial. We think this is driven by primarily the increase in transaction values, as end customers are ultimately consuming financial services in the context of their existing software platforms much more frequently.

Greg Myers : Okay, and Sara, did you want to chime in about why it’s growing?

: Sarah Hinkfuss: Yeah, I’m happy to. And just to as well comment, the report focused on some, but not all of the categories and embedded finance. And so, we can even think about that 7.1 trillion as really a conservative end. And you, as you heard me describe earlier, the different categories embedded finance, each one has its own drivers and its own indicators of progress as well. And so, for instance, the report didn’t cover investing or brokerage opportunities, or insurance. And so when I think so interesting on why it’s growing, so just first to comment on what Fintech in the market has been for the past couple of years. So financial services is linked to the market itself. And so, as the market grows, there’s more money in the economy, and people have more money to spend, then payments grows and available capital to invest grows, and more people are opening businesses. And so, they need more insurance products, like it’s a positive cycle that’s very affirming. And so that’s what we saw the past couple of years in the post COVID era, and like the era of low interest rates. And so, you had this surge of both number of fintechs, who are focused on the enablers, as Tina was describing, so those who are enabling embedded financial services, as well as those who were interested in adding these additional products onto their platform to hang off financial services. And so, there was just a ton of activity in the market. But what I think we’re now seeing as we’re really pulling back, like the market is pulling back and in a reset moment, is that it doesn’t make sense at all cases, actually. So, it’s not always appropriate to embed financial services. But in the places where it does, it can be transformational to the relationship and the value that a particular form can offer to customers. And so, I think we’re in this really exciting moment of finding what fit truly looks like rather than just imagining that it’s peanut buttered at all places. And one of the areas that I get excited about personally is actually an insurance. And so, insurance has lagged the other forms of finance in terms of the journey of embedding. And one of those reasons, as you heard is that insurance is not within the domain of banks. And so, a lot of the bank’s activities have been fractured and embedded, but insurance companies are totally different financial institutions. And so, we have seen some insurance products be embedded. And those are the products that are more one size fits all. And so, I’m sure last time you bought a flight, you probably totally clicked right past the opportunity to buy flight insurance, for example, or like to buy that travel insurance. Or maybe when you were purchasing a ski lift ticket, you had the opportunity to purchase insurance in case you’ve got injured, so that you could not have to work through your health insurance to actually address that. Or maybe you had weather insurance that was about whether or not there’s a rain event that interrupts your concert. So, all of these are forms of warranty, your insurance products, but they’re one size fits all products. And I think the holy grail of actually embedding insurance and where it creates the most value for the customer on the platform is when they are custom underwritten products. So, these are like most insurance products that are different by pricing and by value based on the individual consumer or individual business themselves. And it’s a function of the characteristics of that individual. And so, I’m not going to offer the same policy to a small restaurant owner, as I am going to offer to a small accountant, business owner, because they need they have a very different risk profile. They need very different things. And so what I get really excited about is that because of the amount of data and the availability of data and the speed of actually consuming and understanding that data, we’re finally at a point now where we have the tools and the data integration and platform integration to enable that point in time underwriting that’ll allow the actuarial specialists at the insurance companies to consider these custom products to offer them within platforms and truly embed custom insurance. And so, a lot of that is just the function of where we are in the adoption cycle of technology. And I see that finally coming into insurance which gets me very excited.

Greg Myers: Yeah, I think the bottom line of what I’m hearing is the growth potential is just incredible for when you look at the big picture and you start talking about all these added products like insurance, it’s just, I mean, the growth is you can’t even you know, I don’t think you can easily define what it could be when you start looking at the data, and how much data and how to use the data and how to create these, like you said custom products. I mean, it’s just a huge opportunity.

Sarah Hinkfuss: Yeah, yes. And you also heard me say that it doesn’t apply in every case. And so, I think it’s also important for companies, so platforms like software companies, or other marketplaces, or for anyone who’s considering embedding financial services to really think about, what are the most important? What’s the information that I have about the people on my platform? So, like what do I know uniquely about them that other people don’t? What are the types of financial services that they need to use as a part of the activities that they’re doing on my platform? And then am I in the best position, like through partners to actually offer that? And I say that just because it is a lot of effort, right? There’s a whole tech component, there’s a whole partnership and business development angle, and there’s managing risk as well. And so, it’s not appropriate in every case. But when you find that right combination, it has all of those amazing value effects that Tina talked about in her answer earlier.

Greg Myers: Well, Sarah we’re going stick with you for another question. And you mentioned banks earlier. And I don’t think we can talk about this without kind of talking about the implications to banks, whether they’re positive or negative. But where do you see a traditional bank fitting into this model? And are they are they all being disintermediated? Or some of them taking advantage of this trend? What do you think about the traditional bank and how it fits?

Sarah Hinkfuss: Yes, and I agree to all the components of your question. So maybe taking a step back to think about it, the business of the bank is about truly, if you simplify it, it’s about making money, the spread between the lending interest rates, and the deposit interest rates, as well as through transaction revenues. So, if you boil it down, that’s what a bank is doing. And so, the way that banks then can think about this ecosystem, and the way that we’ve seen this evolve over time, is through partnership as an opportunity to drive incremental revenues or profitability across these categories. And so it could be that there are more deposit accounts than a bank can have by working with a partner institution that is offering account through a platform, right, like as an embedded service? Or could it be that a bank is working with a partner institution to offer more loans, because it’s a distribution angle that they couldn’t otherwise have, where the complexity comes in is that oftentimes, the technology that banks are using today that are that they’re typically employing is pretty dated. And so that is challenging for fintechs. Because the fintechs need access to much more precise and specific information. Maybe I’ll give you an example. So, for money movement, for example, a lot of it moves overnight in batches. And so, you’re batching together a day’s worth of transactions. And then the issue of reconciliation is quite complicated. Because the next day when you’re thinking about what actually cleared you have to disaggregate all of those transactions. And that’s really tricky. If you are a platform that is trying to apply to every single customer count the payments that actually cleared in order to do that final reconciliation of the payment’s ledger. And so, what actually ends up happening then, is that in between the bank and the platform, there’s this entire ecosystem of enablers that are helping to translate the banks technology, as well as the banks regulatory and risk frameworks to the fintech in order to make the licensure and the financial service products available to that fintech. So are that platform like what, who, whoever is actually embedding financial services. So that’s the way that like, we see them fitting together and then to your point on how they’ve evolved. So, the ecosystem itself, so traditional banks can partner with enablers or platforms directly, as we said, and boldly. If you look at the vision of this ecosystem, the reason why we think banks have to participate, is because if they don’t, they could in the full instantiation of the ecosystem face adverse selection. And so, the way to think about this is, let’s say for example, let’s go back to the Toast instance. And so, Toast as a platform for restaurants has available many of the small restaurants in the U.S. and they have all the information about the transaction data about when they’re open, what they’re offering, how many people are working there, all of that is on the Toast platform. And so, Toast is in a very good position to actually underwrite a loan to that restaurant, because they understand the full context of what’s happening at that restaurant. And they also have really good early warning signals, if there’s something that’s not going well at that restaurant to pull back on the size of that line of that line of credit. Now, imagine you have a traditional bank, a merchant bank that’s on the corner, and that bank has the opportunity to offer a small business loan to a customer or to a restaurant that’s on the choice platform. If that bank has that opportunity, that means that that restaurant did not get an offer from Toast for that loan. And so, it’s this potential of adverse selection. So maybe there’s something that the bank does not see, and whatever financial documents they’ve requested from the restaurant, that actually makes that restaurant a very bad borrower. But they’re totally blind to it, because they don’t have the full set of information that Toast has. And so, we think that banks have to participate in this ecosystem, otherwise, more and more categories, as embedded financial services take off, could be actually at risk for this type of adverse selection. And then just before I leave this, I also wanted to mention the third model that we’re seeing. So, we talked about the first model of banks partnering directly, we talked about the enablers. And a third model is actually a few new banks like Column Bank, Luna, Lead Bank,there are a few of them, that are packaging together, the licenses and the technology in one bank. And so, Column, for example, describes itself as a developer infrastructure bank. And so, this enables them to more directly and holistically actually serve platforms and fintechs themselves. And so, this is also a trend that we’re watching in the market.

Greg Myers: Okay, and Tina, did you have something to add there about, about the conversation around banks?

Tina Dimitrova: Yes, so I think the regulatory winds for banks are changing. And the example of this is Evolve Bank, who is known for frequently sponsoring fintechs, but has recently been working to cut partnerships with some fintechs, who had loose compliance procedures. I think the highest profile disaster that Evolve is affiliated with was the crypto exchange FTX. But the takeaway is that in this current regulatory model, the obligation for ensuring compliance ultimately resides with the licensed bank. And so that’s just something for these financial institutions to think about.

Greg Myers: Okay. Okay. And Sarah back to you. And you kind of alluded to this a little bit earlier. But I’ll go a little bit deeper on it. Do you think that the recent slowdown, one in technology investments and to the fear of the upcoming or maybe upcoming recession, do you think that slowing down the momentum of this whole trend around embedded finance?

Sarah Hinkfuss: Yes. So, one way of thinking about this is this very strength of Fintech is also the shadow of fintech. So, this idea that every strength has a shadow. And so, I made mention of this earlier, but because financial services is really a correlate of the economy overall, exactly. As you said, the slowdown in technology investments, or the slowdown in the economy overall has an impact on what we’re seeing in financial services, too. And so when things are going really well, it’s a great thing when things are not going well, or when they’re tough. It’s a really hard thing. And so, across Fintech generally, there was a lot of capital that was raised at high valuations. And so, the impact of that as we’re seeing venture activity is down. But we’re seeing what’s has continued as at the best companies are continuing to grow and are continuing to get funded as well. When it comes to embedded financial services, I think it’s this really special moment where platforms themselves. So, these are the software players, the Fintech players who are offering embedded financial services. They’re in a moment where they’ve had to pare down the number of priorities that they have, but they’re able to focus on the things that are that have the potential to create the most value for customers and add the most to the bottom line. And what’s been exciting is we’re hearing that the embedded financial service journey is often prioritized on that list, because of the ability to really achieve those two twin objectives that are most important in this environment. And so just in summary, the Fintech market is definitely winnowing down in terms of the number of players that are relevant in each category as fundings more difficult. But those best companies, the ones that have the best technology, the best leadership, the best approach to the regulatory environment, those companies are continuing to see success and growth. And they’re finding a great home with platforms that can now really focus on this as a key part of what they need to do to deliver value to their customers.

Greg Myers: Okay, and Tina, over to us for the final question. From Bain capital’s perspective, what makes a good or an interesting investment in this space?

Tina Dimitrova: There’s a few things we look for. So first and foremost, I would say we’re really looking to back visionary founders, with a large scale view on how the future will be different than the present, but also the ability to go deep into the minutiae and explain their respective topic with expertise. So that’s number one. Number two, is we’re looking to partner with companies that operate in large markets, either driving or benefiting from systems level change. And the third, which is quite relevant for Fintech in particular is, we generally look for asset light software like products that inspire delight, and high satisfaction among their customers. And we see that materialize and in many different ways. The last thing I’ll mention it, there are specific areas of focus for us currently. And I would say that each of these is not necessarily mutually exclusive. But currently, we’re really excited in a few categories. Those including InsurTech, which Sarah talked about already, CFO tech, procurement, wealthtech. And, of course, the opportunity to leverage generative AI and fintech. I would say we mostly focus on companies that are selling b2b. But we do also spend a bit of time with b2c companies as well. And then last thing, I would say, as Sarah mentioned, at the very beginning, we have colleagues that focus across the venture spectrum from seed through pre IPO. So, we’re always excited to chat no matter the stage of business.

Greg Myers: Okay. All right. Well, Sara, Tina, we’ve covered a lot of ground. Is there anything else that either one of you wants to mention, before we wrap up?

Sarah Hinkfuss: I just have one thing I wanted to talk about, which is the value of really building relationships in this time. And so, you asked directly, and we talked about how this is an uncertain time, I would say in the tech ecosystem, and especially in Fintech. And so, I think sometimes when there’s uncertainty and discomfort, the reaction that we have it from, like a purely empathetic place is that we kind of close in and don’t want to talk because maybe things aren’t going exactly the way that we expected them to a year ago when we imagined what 2023 would be. But my biggest recommendation is to really see this time as building relationships and figuring out who are the players and the partners that you want to have around the table as you continue to scale your business. And so that’s relevant for the management teams at platforms who are thinking about embedding financial services, that Tina and myself and our team are really excited to think about the strategy of when to offer financial services, what are the different methods to do it, how to think about the different players or partners you could work with? Which financial services to lead with in which to follow with? How do you think about modeling the potential impact on the P&L. We would love to speak with teams about and really partner on. And then also for the Fintech players themselves, that we are really excited because this is a moment, especially post the SVB crisis, where the trust that you have in the people around the table is critical to really building the company and fulfilling the vision that you have for your company. And so rather than you see this as a time to close in, I would just really encourage folks who are excited about some of the topics that we talked about here to reach out and use this as a time to build that bridge and build that relationship and see if we’re the type of partners that they’d want to work with overtime.

Greg Myers: Okay, great. Tina, anything to add to that?

Tina Dimitrova: I think Sara hit the nail on the head.

Greg Myers: Okay. Great. Well, thank you both so much for being on the show today I know your time is very valuable so again thank you for being here.

Sarah Hinkfuss: Thanks for having us we really enjoyed it

Tina Dimitrova: Yeah thanks so much for having us This was so fun

Greg Myers: Good, good and to all your listeners out there I thank you for your time as well and until the next story.

00:02:06 - Sarah and Tina's Professional Backgrounds

00:04:52 - Bain Capital Ventures Overview

00:08:10 - Embedded Finance Defined

00:10:32 - Embedded Payments & Other Financial Products

00:14:13 - What Finance Product is Next in Line?

00:16:15 - What is the Real Value of Embedded Finance

00:19:39 - Embedded Finance Growth

00:26:05 - The Role of Banks

00:31:54 - Embedded Finance Momentum

00:34:16 - Investment Criteria for Embedded Finance