A native of Venezuela who took an entrepreneurial route into fintech financing, Meyer (Micky) Malka says Ribbit Capital is prepared for an environment in which it is harder to grow companies what he terms a natural part of the cycle because the firm is able to venture far afield, geographically and by sector. We did Brazil when no one was in it, says Malka, pointing to the firms investment in accounting software provider ContaAzul. Weve doubled down in that Latin American country, he adds, with Ribbit increasing its position in personal financial management platform GuiaBolso and financing student lender Ideal Invest. The now-$460 million portfolio also includes Berlin-based Raisin, which offers above-market interest rates on savings deposits, and Cheddar, which streams financial news and other video content from New Yorks Flatiron Building and other locations for the Millennial demographic. Cheddar generates more views than CNBC, says Malka, who after starting and selling two companies in Venezuela co-founded Bling Nation, a mobile payments company that was renamed Lemon in 2011 and sold to LifeLock for $50 million in 2013. Sensing opportunity in the emerging fintech sector, Malka launched Palo Alto, Californiabased Ribbit in 2012, taking the name from the sound a frog makes, to convey the notion of leapfrogging. We like companies building consumer financial brands that bring massive transparency and value-add to the consumers, says the 42-year-old managing partner. He believes opportunities abound in start-up firms in money management a potential $10 billion market. Finance is a commodity industry; youre not inventing anything new, he says. The channels and the way you communicate are whats new.
The 2016 Fintech Finance 35 Click below to view profiles