Walmart is partnering with Ribbit Capital to create a new fintech startup organisation with a focus on developing innovative and affordable financial solutions.
Optimising Walmart’s scale
This new partnership brings together Walmart’s retail knowledge and scale with Ribbit’s fintech expertise to deliver tech-driven financial experiences. The global investment firm is focused on investing in entrepreneurs and businesses to disrupt traditional financial services. Notable companies within its portfolio include Affirm, which provides innovative payment options for consumers, and Robinhood the mobile investment platform.
Building on existing financial services
Walmart is developing the new company in response to demands from its customers for help with managing their finances. This builds on the relationship that Walmart has with its customers through a broad range of financial services and partnerships. These include the Walmart Credit Card, Walmart Money Card, check cashing, money transfers and instalment financing. The company will be majority-owned by Walmart, with John Furner, president and CEO, Walmart US and Brett Biggs, the retailer’s CFO on the board. Growth is expected to come through partnerships and acquisitions with leading fintech companies.
Developing its ecosystem approach
This is not the retailer’s first foray into the world of fintech startups. In 2019 it partnered with Green Dot to establish a fintech accelerator, TailFin Labs, with financial services a component part of the ecosystem which Walmart is developing. This aligns with a move to focus its efforts on activities beyond physical and digital retailing. Over the last five years it has made a series of acquisitions, formed new partnerships and divested non-core businesses to support this.
It has also become more proactive in testing new models and technologies. The acquisition of Flipkart was a pivotal deal. Not only did it bring significant new capabilities around logistics, payments and social platforms, it also helped Walmart to learn more about developing an ecosystem. This is still a work in progress for the business, but it has all the fundamental pieces in place.
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