Three Things to know (Jan. 13th)

Commentary14 days ago
“Plaid underpins virtually all of fintech; it is the strategic pillar that is allowing this industry to be built at unprecedented scale and speed.” - Alex Rampell, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz
1. Visa and Plaid just called off their $5.3 billion fintech deal amid regulatory opposition.
One year after Visa announced a deal to buy fintech startup Plaid (which powers most major fintech apps, including Titan), the companies walked away from the $5.3 billion deal amid regulatory opposition. The DOJ had voiced antitrust concerns, claiming that Visa (the largest credit and debit payments network in the U.S.) aimed to acquire Plaid in order to quash a "competitive threat." While the deal is off, we think Plaid will continue to be the most important piece of financial infrastructure powering the fintech services we use today. Plus, might it now be the target of a SPAC?
2. Apple’s China market share crossed 20% in Q4 2020 due to iPhone 12 sales.
iPhone 12 sales hit 18 million units for over 20% market share in China, according to data available from the local media. These numbers indicate an impressive increase in market share for the iPhone in the Chinese market, as prior to the launch of the iPhone 12, Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo accounted for over 90% of China’s smartphone market. Apple’s strong foothold on Chinese soil is reportedly due to the adoption of 5G which is already mainstream in the country.
3. Uber and Lyft are pushing for a role in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
“The pandemic has weighed on ride-sharing companies as the spreading virus shut down restaurants and curbed social gatherings and travel. Ferrying people to vaccine sites could boost their business in the near term and may help kick-start a rollout that has gone more slowly than federal officials planned. Both major ride-sharing companies have talked to public-health officials across the country about helping with appointment transport [and] have publicly offered millions of free rides to and from vaccine-administration sites.” (WSJ)

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