The big events in the fintech world over the last week felt like a very different vibe from 2021, which was filled with mega rounds, celebrations and lofty valuations.
First off, 3-year-old one-click checkout startup Fast announced it was shutting down after struggling to raise more capital to keep operations running. The announcement wasn’t a complete shock considering there were hints of trouble, as reported by The Information, the week prior. Those hints included the revelation that the startup had generated just $600,000 in revenue for all of 2021 despite raising $120 million in venture capital earlier in the year (in a round led by Stripe) and rumors that the company was having trouble raising more funds, and as a result, might be seeking a buyer.
There were conflicting sentiments on social media (Twitter mostly) about the company’s demise. I’ll spare you the actual tweets but will say this: a company shutting down should not be cause for celebration. No matter how much irresponsibility on the part of leadership or others within the organization may have contributed to said demise, the majority of the company’s employees likely worked very hard to help it be successful and don’t deserve to be mocked or ridiculed, even if not directly. Now, hubris on the part of executives is another story. (Like maybe don’t refer to yourself as a trailblazer when announcing that your company is shutting down). The takeaway here? Humility goes a long way in life, and especially in the startup world. Don’t go bragging until you have something to brag about, and even then, let your results speak for themselves. On a positive (and somewhat unusual) note, BNPL giant Affirm said it would be giving job offers to “the vast majority” of Fast engineers, as reported by the brilliant Natasha Mascarenhas.