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The Front Page of Global Fintech

The the largest fintech community in the world. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on the latest in news opinions, and all things financial technology.

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🎧The Fintech OG Series: Peter Renton and Simon Taylor

🎧The Fintech OG Series: Peter Renton and Simon Taylor

In this week's episode, Peter Renton, co-founder of FinTech Nexus/LendIt, and Simon Taylor, head of content and strategy at Sardine, discuss their professional journeys and the evolution of fintech over the past decade. They share insights into the industry's surprises, mistakes and milestones, and whether fintech remains an attractive field for new graduates. 

The discussion also delves into the high and low points of their careers and the future of fintech innovations, including AI integration and personal financial management apps. 

Both Peter and Simon reflect on their personal highlights from the past year, emphasizing the importance of supportive networks and mentors. The conversation combines professional insights with personal anecdotes, providing a comprehensive view of the fintech industry's past, present, and future.

PS: Don't forget to follow, like and share the podcast!

Lastly, thanks to LoanPro for sponsoring this week's episode! If you’re in the market to streamline your lending processes or if you just want to see what next-gen loan management looks like, go to ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠ and book a demo. 

‎The This Week in Fintech Podcast: 🎧The Fintech OG Series: Peter Renton and Simon Taylor on Apple Podcasts
‎Show The This Week in Fintech Podcast, Ep 🎧The Fintech OG Series: Peter Renton and Simon Taylor - Jun 25, 2024


Julie: I just got done filming with Nigel and Frank, so y'all got a tough act to follow.

Peter: Wow. Okay. We'll try.

Simon: Not possible.

Julie: i'm so excited we could make this work out and I always did it where we have two people on at the Same time that know each other and it's been such fun like banter and conversational and I know that you guys will definitely have some good banter and conversation along the way and I get more accents I go from nigel's accent to your guys's accent.

Peter: We got three accents going

Julie: Yeah

Simon: you went for the show of funny accents this time, didn't [00:03:00] you? We're all over the place.

Peter: Indeed.

Julie: Too funny. Backing up, I know that you both have been in FinTech for a while, but how did you two actually meet? Because you guys have known each other for a while as well, right?

Simon: Yeah, a little

Peter: I think it was in the, from the 11 FS days, if I remember right, Simon. And I know we've I can't even remember the first time we met with the 11FS team, but it's been, I've been to your offices in London multiple times there and I've recorded one of your podcasts there, but I'm not sure exactly when it was.

I think we probably met virtually, I'm guessing, Simon,

Simon: Yeah, I think it was and I think it was when Bo was coming out to London and he was you were looking at doing the first Nexus conference in London back in the day and Bo moved out for a little while and we were chaperoning around and all of that stuff and it was just like hey, you're in content We're in content you do events.

You're coming to the UK. You're strong in the US. Let's hang out and you're like, okay That sounds fun. Let's do it. And I was like, wow These people are [00:04:00] like

Julie: What year would that have been?

Simon: I wanna say coming out the pandemic, so

Peter: yeah, it was actually like probably 21. Was it? I've no, I've, I think we might've emailed back and forth pre pandemic sign, but I don't think we actually, really connected until 21. I think something

Simon: Yeah. So we late bloomers in that sense. Whereas there's the, there's some folks like the Ron Chevlin of the world that I've known for 10, 12, 13, 14 years, like that sort of thing. Sam Maul, I've known forever because he, I think he's actually somebody who is.

Peter: going

Simon: I think he's just gonna live forever, he doesn't get old.

He was there with the dinosaurs. He's just the same age, his back still hurts. Like, all of that.

Peter: hurts, 

Julie: Okay, so you guys actually haven't met that long ago. I would have guessed it would have been a little bit pre pandemic, because both of you have been in the fintech space for much longer than you've known each other then. Peter, tell me a little bit about how you fell into fintech and then got into fintech content since all three of us [00:05:00] have taken that path.

I guess me more like content and then fintech content, but you get the drill. I

Peter: investing in Lending Club all the way back in 2009 and soon after I started a Prosper account as well. And then I'd sold my second business and was looking to do something completely different. And that I, I was in the label printing space, random, but it was a family business.

So I I started just. Investing and I thought this is really great and I'm going to start, I like to write, so I thought I'm going to start a blog here and write about peer to peer lending and lo and behold, I was the only person really doing that and got to know the CEOs and got to know the investors and then everyone said, you should really start.

a conference in the space. And this is 2012 when people were saying that. And so I, in 20, January of 2013, I decided somehow I'm going [00:06:00] to start a conference and that just lo and behold, like literally 10 days from the start of the new year in 2013, I got cold email outreach on LinkedIn by someone saying, Hey, you want to start a conference in peer to peer lending.

So it was, so that was serendipitous. And so we it was June of 2013, we had the first LendIt event and that's really what kind of catapulted my involvement in fintech as, that conference took on a life of its own. We ended up, growing it from the first event was, 300, 000 people up to, 5, 000 people at convention centers.

And then we expanded into the UK. We went to China, we went to we do Latin, did Latin America as well. And that, I thought this was going to be a little sideline business, do a conference on the side and still do the blogging and do we were getting into investment management as well for peer to peer lending back then.

But the conference. business became all [00:07:00] consuming and it was really where I've focused most of my time and then we've expanded obviously from the lending space, lend it, eventually became FinTech Nexus and really the, became a broader, as the lending space broadened beyond online lending and a lot of the companies like SoFi became diversified financial services firms.

We went with that trend and then, last year in June of 2023, we actually sold our events business to FinTech Meetup so that's the long and the short of it.

Simon: You come full circle, man. See, look at that, proper entrepreneur doing proper entrepreneurial things. I was quite different, I was the perennial guy with a day job that wished they could be the blogger. I got a job working for a payments company back in 2009, and I was always into the tech blogs.

I was always a nerd, always a video gamer, and I would get this job and quickly find out that I'd talked my way in there, because I haven't done anything in [00:08:00] financial services before, but I worked with a bunch of dudes who were ex army and they were like hazing me to try and get me to admit that I didn't know what I was talking about and I lacked the emotional maturity to realize what was going on at the time.

So of course I would go hide in the bathroom and scroll Twitter on my BlackBerry because that's what you do when you lack emotional maturity. But I would read about all of this stuff on TechCrunch that started to resonate with payments. Guy called Jack Dorsey is going to launch a nutty new startup called Squirrel, which would later be renamed Square.

That's interesting. And I didn't care if I got fired, so I emailed the CEO and a few senior people and instead of firing me, they created a job for me as head of innovation. My job there was to build new products, sell it to the first client, and then hand that over to the sales team. And we did that with a mobile app in 2011,

Peter: In 2011

Simon: Sorry, 2010.

It was one of the first in the UK. I think it was second to market. And from then I [00:09:00] got a job at Barclays. And through all this time, I was sort blogging on the side personally, but it was the fintech world as it was in those early days, you know It was you had cyboss in o tribe then eventually you got money 2020 and fintech nexus But that was all happening in the u.

s. We didn't have much in europe. It wasn't until 2016 that we really got the European money 2020 and that kind of took off and you've got Monzo and Starling and all of that stuff. And it was 2016 when I left Barclays to co found a company called 11FS, boutique advisory firm. best known for Fintech Insider, the podcast.

And so became a mini Fintech known person in media through the Fintech Insider podcast, and it went on to do extremely well. And then started a little blog in the pandemic because I had loads of time and no kids called Fintech Brain Food. And that's why people best know me. And it's very interesting.

Felt like America discovered fintech a little bit more during the pandemic. Peter, I don't know if you felt the [00:10:00] same, but fintech was always there for us, those of us who were nerds, but the tech community didn't really talk about it. The VCs weren't really there in the same way. Do you feel the

Peter: to know these, weren't really there in the same way.

Do you feel the same? decade or more. But the general population didn't care, didn't know, didn't really feel like they needed to understand it. And then the pandemic hit and suddenly we've got to all do everything digitally. And that's where, we thought the world was going to end at the start of the pandemic.

And then pretty quickly we realized, Oh no, This is actually going to be a boom. And then the VC money just went nuts. And that's, I feel like we did probably five or 10 years of development in a year and we've never looked back.

Simon: I wonder if we'll have a like little baby boom of fintech companies, will the, will [00:11:00] we see the vintage in 20, 30 years time of so many were created? And, oh, that was back during the fintech boom. Who knows?

Julie: Love that I love that if we do have that you just minted the term for it right there So I mean y'all heard it here first You guys alluded to this part But what have been some key decisions that you made other than not worrying about if you got fired So go ahead and pitching the idea.

Anyways that brought you to where you are today Peter. I'll go back to you on that

Peter: Yeah, I think for, from my perspective having the, like the freedom to I knew I wanted a career change completely. And I feel like having that freedom to dive into something, I remember telling my wife saying, I got no idea how I can possibly make any money from this, this innovation in financial services.

But. I love it and I want to do it. And I think that's putting my supporting, putting myself out there and, starting at, starting a conference as well. It's it's a leap of faith because you have to, I remember doing the first event, putting a hundred grand [00:12:00] up and thinking, okay, we could lose all this money and have 20 people show up.

And that's going to be a real bummer. And then it gets bigger. And then you put 5 million up and you're thinking I hope this keeps going. And then then the thing that was really challenging, I think from our perspective was the pandemic, because we had put millions and millions of dollars into an event that didn't happen.

And that was that was foundational for us. Because we suddenly had to re think what do we do here? What do we have? We have a community. But the community is always meeting in person. And and also we did a virtual event, which was okay, but what we did was reinvent the company completely and became a digital media company.

And that was out, born out of necessity. And, we needed both PPP loans back then because we would have gone out of business. I remember we had very little money in our bank account when the second PPP loan came in. And then we were, we [00:13:00] scraped through, but looking at the digital media business.

Now that's what we do. We have, we built a business from scratch out of necessity. And it's something that we feel like the industry needed. And and I was, I've been pleasantly surprised that we've all gotten back to in person, things like, webinars and white papers and all those sorts of things that, We focused on in the middle of the pandemic are still very popular today.

Simon: I think that's a broader trend, which is like B2B content is trending towards B2C voice and the most mispriced asset in the world is audience of high quality. And this was the thing we did with FinTech Insider way back when, is we decided that it should have a two drink minimum. And I mean that as a metaphor and as like a thing, we would crack open beers.

Which is, the conversation after the meeting is usually the best part of the day, right? How do you bring that in front of everybody? Because that's when you [00:14:00] really learn. And so that's if you go read Fintech Insider now and you hear my voice, you will see that I cannot write, but I can rant.

And this is exactly what I'm doing now. And Turns out that's really compelling for some people for some of the time because it makes the content crossover And there's something that's happened like people really those little operator details Those little nuances about the industry if you work in the industry that we talk about every day, but made interesting and given a bit of a flourish so that was insight number one is like That conversation you have that you think is a bit nerdy and the fact that you actually enjoy it and want to talk about this industry doesn't make you weird it makes you one of us and maybe that does intrinsically make you weird but there's more people like you out there and social is a great way to do to find that and find your tribe and I found my tribe Because I was the guy with the day job who kept getting told, Oh yeah, that's nice Simon, but no.

That's nice Simon, but [00:15:00] no. No, that stripe company's never gonna take off. It's really cute, but, we'll just buy them one day. That sort of thing was what I would hear in my day job when I would say, I think that could be something. Should we do something like that? And, You know sometimes it's just listening to that little voice inside and knowing that your tribe is out there and find them on social find them any way you can and I think that's why b2b media has taken off is because there's a lot of people in the industry who Do want things to be better who do care about their job that aren't just clocking in and clocking out And if you're one of those people Don't worry.

Keep going. We've been there. I described myself to zach once at money 2020 is the Perennial Kid with their face pressed against the window of the toy store. It always felt like I had the day job, and I could see FinTech was happening over there, but I could never get in. Now, ten years on, I'm at the conferences, I'm meeting the people, but if you're listening to this and you feel like that kid, It's possible to get [00:16:00] through keep going don't give up you will get there.

I believe in you I

Peter: store expert, Simon, that people turn to when, instead of being the kid looking in and just one thing I want to say to that, those early FinTech Insider podcasts, I just love those those shows, cause it did feel like it was so informal just having a chat over, over a few beers after work or whatever.

And I I feel like that's when I got to. Hear from you and got to, I didn't, we didn't have a two way conversation back then, but I felt like I got to know you just from those early episodes on that podcast.

Julie: a good podcast host right there. Going back to the Toy Store analogy, is that Toy Store still worth going into? A. K. A. is FinTech still a good place to join if you might be like a recent grad from either undergrad or an MBA program?

Peter: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely.

Julie: a couple people say no, not for a recent grad, because things are like dull in the tech market right now, so it's not as fun. But I you think yes

Peter: [00:17:00] that is so not true. I feel like there's there's more opportunities now than there was five years ago, or certainly 10 years ago. And I think there'll be more opportunities still in five years time. I think we forget sometimes we get so wrapped up in where things are right now that we think, there's going to be a company that's going to start in five years time.

That is going to completely revolutionize financial services in 20 years time. They're going to be a sofa or a stripe or someone like that. And so I think there's so much we haven't done yet. And I think the opportunities are endless. You're talking, you're preaching to the choir.

Simon's, Simon and I are both super excited about this

Julie: I mean you

Peter: not like we're objective.

Julie: Would it be better to just go work at an investment bank for two years and then join fintech or go work at one of these big facebook google etc open ai and then joined fintech

Simon: take which is use your 20s to take on massive amounts of career risk and make contrarian [00:18:00] bets and the most exciting thing about fintech at the moment Is it's contrarian that for a couple of years, it was the easiest way to win.

Everybody was a winner and sadly, unfortunately, and even some people listening to this may have been laid off. But the reason I love this industry is because financial services.

Peter: that 

Simon: It's the only industry that really touches everything. If you want to build a school, you need money. If you want to prevent a climate catastrophe, you need to figure out the money incentive.

If you want to do anything at all, there is commerce in there somewhere, and there is a money movement in there somewhere. It's the incentive mechanism for the economy. It's the incentive mechanism for the species. Once you figure that out, it's like a, this giant river network, and you, I just find it.

Endlessly fascinating and endlessly curious. If you care about preventing modern slavery, human trafficking, you can move in that direction. Whatever you care about, I can show you how financial services [00:19:00] impacts that thing. Chances are, somewhere, that's pushed somebody's button who's listening.

And if it hasn't, maybe it's not for you. But that's why I'd work in this industry. And yes, financial services, like when you're near money, you're never gonna struggle to make money as long as you get a half decent job. And I would never ever bet against the future. But one thing I can say would pretty much be certain in the future is there's gonna be some value exchange on Moneyflow.

Oh, my daughter just walked in. Hello, Frey. Yeah,

Peter: let me just take a let me just piggyback on that.

Julie: the newborn

Simon: aggregation

Peter: Let me just piggyback on that. Because I, I would say that if you go to any city in the world and look at the signs on the tall buildings, and you will see. A third, a half of them have something to do with financial services and financial services is a massive industry. And that in and of itself means there's huge opportunities to build a career [00:20:00] and it's being reborn, it's being re created this decade. And the financial services, it looks different to what it did a decade ago, but not not remarkably but I think in a, in one more decade, I think there'll be a remarkable, remarkably different look to it.

And so you've got massive industry, as Simon said, touches every impact, every area of society, and it's going through a transformation. That's exciting.

Julie: All right, so when you guys both joined What is something you thought would have been solved for by this point in time that hasn't been solved for?

Peter: Okay. I think I got one that I can, that I always I'm Waiting personal financial management apps.

Julie: Levchin had that same answer the other

Peter: He did. I just feel like why, like I, I started using Quicken. In 2006 when I got a CD ROM in the mail and started [00:21:00] managing my finances, on that way. And I've been doing it.

Then I moved to Mint as, Intuit bought Mint and, then I moved to Personal Capital and then Rocket Money. And No one's really solved it yet. I think that to me is astounding because the there's help. You can do little bits and pieces. You can certainly contract your expenses and get a really good sense of budgeting and that sort of thing.

But the holistic all in one kind of, I'd almost dare I say it financial super app that hasn't been built. And I would have thought 10 years ago. We'd have probably five different super apps to choose from not a super app in China where you can do absolutely everything inside Alipay, not so much that, but I'm just talking financial services in one app and many have tried and, I think we may get there, but I thought we'd be there by now.

Julie: Why do you think it hasn't worked? Part of, so I had mentioned this to Jake at BTV when we were recording our episode and his response was that, 99 percent of people don't [00:22:00] want to think about their money. And then that other 1 percent is using an Excel spreadsheet or something to track it.

So a PFM just doesn't have a good product market fit. Is that why? Or do you think there is some other reasoning around why we haven't seen a successful PFM yet? Yeah,

Peter: like thinking about money. People don't like learning about money, but they want money. Okay. and they want to be, they don't want to run out of money. And so we haven't, we, I remember interviewing Ken Ken Lin from Credit Karma, like probably four Five years ago.

And he was talking about autonomous finance and how things, these intelligent agents, we're going to make decisions for you. None of that's come to pass. Yet, but I think we're with this world of generative AI, we're going to have, an intelligent financial assistant that will go, will help us through our day.

So when I think fully autonomous, no, but when it's as simple as, Hey, Siri, can you. Or can you find, can you free [00:23:00] finance my my house for me and find the three best options and come back with a real actual intelligent answer and then go do some of the work to actually get that done.

 The technology isn't quite there yet, but I think people don't want to be poor. People don't want to ignore their money, but they just want it to be easy and we're not, that's why we haven't made it easy enough yet.

Simon: Do you know the if you look at what the ultra wealthy have you can probably say that in 10 years that's going to come down to everybody else, right? What the billionaires are doing now for their health. It'll be normal in 20 30 years for us And what do the billionaires have they have a family office that's looking out and maximizing their money and taking care of it for them And they occasionally pay attention to it, but it's explained to them.

That's where generative ai goes It just massively reduces the cost of what you would really want to do, which is outsource the cognitive load to somebody else. Whereas what PFM does is it simplifies the cognitive load, [00:24:00] but not enough. I don't want to think about money. I want to think about being able to buy a house.

I don't want to think about money. I want to think about my future and I want to engage in those conversations depending on where I am at life. I think PFM was a great design for a problem most people don't want to deal with. My personal pet peeve from Fintech is there's no universe, there's no email address for money.

That's actually why Twitter and payments got me so excited and got me down this rabbit hole in the first place. Because it was like an at handle for people to communicate as a protocol, with simple short messages. And that What became the square cash tag could have been so much more. I still think that's inevitable at some point in the future.

Maybe we stack it on top of IBANs. Maybe we do something else, but somebody needs to build the universal money addressing system. Why can't I at reference Peter and Julie and just send you 5 and pay you back. That's so [00:25:00] unbelievably difficult. And yet from a user experience standpoint, it's so unbelievably intuitive.

Julie: Both really good

Peter: That, that is something that is overdue. And I remember when PayPal, when I first opened a PayPal account, I thought it was a miracle, I could email people money. And that was, what innovation have we had since then? That was 20 years ago. 

Julie: I think there's been some on the business side and then obviously PayPal itself you don't have to have those, two deposit requirements. We have Plaid that makes it so I can just instantly integrate and whatnot. But I agree that it feels like there's been a lot of these highs and lows, which brings me to my next question.

And I want you to answer this from a personal standpoint. In terms of you and your career journey What are what's an example of a high and a low that you've had on your fintech journey? 

Peter: I think for me, I, there's a lot of been a lot of highs in the last decade, but the first thing that popped into my head when you asked that Julie was In our 2015 event I [00:26:00] remember we had Larry Summers, former treasury secretary, former head of Harvard big name. He was on the board of lending club and I remember I reaching out to Renault Laplante.

She was the CEO and saying, Hey, what are the chances of getting Larry Summers to come and speak at our event? And he goes, let me ask him. And the next thing you know, we have as our big keynote, we were a little industry. This is, and this is really when we were lending focus. So he came to talk about lending and but I remember introducing him and looking out and we were in the ballroom of the Marriott Marquis in New York city.

And this is our last it was the last New York event that wasn't at a convention center and looking out and there was, we had, there's could seat about 1600 people and it was completely packed. There was lined up around, around the sides with three or four deep of people standing up and saying, wow, we have really.

Done well, we've, we we've, not thinking about me personally, but the industry, the online lending space [00:27:00] has garnered one of the leading economists in the country to come and talk about in any, he was 15 minutes late and he went 15 minutes over, which is, which from an, conference organizer is a bit of a disaster, but I didn't want to, I didn't want to get him off stage.

He was he was on for 56 minutes. And that was, it was the, that was one of the highs. And the other high that I do want to mention is coming out of the pandemic, the 2022 event that was in New York at the Javits Center. God, that was so much fun. That was so great. Cause it was the first time we'd all come back since 2019.

It was, we'd missed two, we had two virtual events and just, that was the most fun that I think I've ever had at an event, my own event in in it was like May of 2022.

Simon: I think lows for me are hiding in a bathroom reading Twitter, but sometimes your lows create your highs, like actually that all happens. And I get them regularly. I've always been somebody that lives or dies by confidence. And, I have a blog that doesn't perform well and I [00:28:00] take it really personally for a day. It's just anything like that, can get you on the ups and the downs. But the personal highs, there's a couple that stand out. One is the first ever live podcast Fintech Insider did. Fintech Insider After Dark. We did not expect that. a few hundred people to show up to a WeWork and to

Peter: to absolutely

Simon: absolutely lose their damn minds at what we put on for them.

It was crazy, and it was in the days of Monzo versus Starling, and there was booing and hissing and drama. It was

Julie: Who were the guests on that episode?

Simon: So I think Valentina Christensen from Oak North, and I can't recall the other ones off the top of my head, but I gotta go look that up. It was really fun, but that was back when it was like David, Jason, and myself.

We would always anchor the show and then we only had a couple around it, I think. And so that's number one and number two which i'm torn I think again this [00:29:00] in this day and age. It's a little bit passe to be like a fangirl for andreessen horowitz, but I was again somebody who was watching tech happen in the early 2000s trying to figure out how to buy google stock at ipo and there was no online brokerage that would work with me at age Like 20 And so to step inside the Andreessen office when I went to the first ever Sardine board meeting felt like a real just oh, I finally made it.

Maybe the party's over for Fintech, maybe the party's over for San Francisco, maybe I'm too late. But that was like a real, oh God, the kid made it all the way into the toy store. Look at that. This is, and it's been coming for a while. Little things like that, and now, it's commonplace for CEO of X company to want to chat because I've got the media brand.

But there's a, the nerd inside me is still alive every time that happens, and I still get super excited. That's what a gift. I have my health, [00:30:00] my happiness, a healthy family, and I get to do something I really enjoy day to day. Like how blessed am I?

Julie: Growing family, nonetheless 

Simon: indeed. Indeed.

Julie: While I'm asking Peter this question, I want you to go look up what this episode was, because I'm very curious now. I want to listen to it. But, so if we're looking at the, I love the toy store analogy, what's been the coolest toy to come out of that toy store since you've been in FinTech?

And that can be either a company or a certain innovation as well.

Peter: That is a really, that's a tough one. There's been so many, I feel like that it's funny. Cause I, I come from the lending background where that I think has been, there's been a lot of interesting things that are, that have developed there, but I think if you go back to the whole History of FinTech.

And I think the being able to, when I remember when I first downloaded a banking [00:31:00] app and realize that, Oh my God, I can do so much on my phone. Simple things like depositing a check. And I used to hate going to the bank. I still like going to the bank. I don't have to anymore. But the fact that. FinTech led the way with the adoption of mobile technology.

And I think having that, being able to operate with our entire financial lives now on our phone, I think it's hard we get used to it now, but if you go back 20 years, when I'm just going to a, when banks had basically websites that replicated their branches and. only moderately useful. Be able to manage your entire financial life on a phone.

That to me is an incredibly cool development. And there's millions of little things that kind of are in that where, you know, being able to underwrite people through their cashflow. [00:32:00] I happen to think that's extremely cool. It's a little nerdy from a lender perspective, but going when starting out, when you're looking at traditional credit reports and not being able to really get an accurate picture of someone's creditworthiness, cash on underwriting, creditworthiness.

That and all the, all of the developments that have come around that with, linking to payroll data and and linking to, through, through Plaid to all the different all the different data that you can get. You can now, lenders can now have a really accurate picture of the ins and outs of someone's financial life and consequently the people that really didn't have access to credit at all.

Now can get loans. And that I think has been life changing for millions of people that I think FinTech would not have happened without the, without FinTech. Yep. So it

Julie: Simon, were you able to multitask and find it?

Peter: is

Simon: so it was episode 134, which is [00:33:00] actually episode 34, so right back at the beginning. Recorded in September of 2018. Oh, it's 2017, sorry. I'm getting my years mixed up. That was the first one. So yeah, absolutely wild. The Valentine's Day one was also phenomenal.

Peter: fun, which I

Simon: Best widget I would say , like the apis that have helped with lending is probably what would have got my vote as well I would have said for the longest time digital onboarding because it got us out of a lot of trouble with the pandemic But it also has created a fraud pandemic off the back of it yes, I work for a fraud company, but go look at the fbi's numbers.

It's growing 30 percent year on year That's faster than the nasdaq and the s& p combined. There is a fraud boom and we need to do something about it That's what gets me out of bed every day and it's why I work at the company I do shout out to everybody who works at the competitors because we're doing the right thing but The broader topic for me is actually the fact that we have an API for everything.[00:34:00] 

Any department for a bank can now be hired as an API and we're building things that are frankly better than a lot of what the banks are. If I look at B2B fintech, the user experience is not only better, the product offering is better and it solves more of the problem. And we've created a new category.

We've moved away from This is the place where you move money to, this is the place where you move money and you manage your invoices, manage your taxes, like all of the data flows and the software's there. And if you look at what the B2B fintech space is doing, imagine if you had that intelligence, but then also you had the finance team in your pocket.

I think that will be possible in the future and the API infrastructure is just enabling that.

Peter: infrastructure 

Julie: I love that. Okay switching gears away from FinTech. four quick fire round questions simon, if you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Simon: I wish you didn't ask me that first.

 Could have dinner with anybody. [00:35:00] Probably Steven Gerrard, the ex Liverpool player. I want to get inside his head. That guy had a different level of motivation when he played football, soccer, and he's just, yeah, he's my all time favorite. That or Dwyane Johnson, just because I love his level of motivation.

These people who seem to have endless energy and endless motivation inspire me. 

Peter: I'm I'm going to go with the first person that popped into my head was Steve Jobs. And just how what I want to know is this like where we are today? Is this, was that his vision that he think, cause I think he died.

It was at 2011. I think it was a long time ago and the iPhone hadn't been out for that long, but it's just so foundational. Apple was not the biggest company in the world by market cap back then, nowhere near it. And is that what he expected and just how he approaches innovation and the visionary that he was.

I think he's just such a fascinating individual. 

Julie: Love it. So Peter, you're first up for this one. What's something that no one could find out about you online?

Peter: [00:36:00] Boy I have a family blog that I, I write every Sunday night. And so there's a lot, there's not much that's not out there in the public, it's not Crawl Guy Google. I do not let Google crawl it, but you can go and if you've worked hard enough, you'll be able to find it.


Julie: might have to think about pre internet days. 

Peter: Oh boy. Now, if you talk about pre internet days, there's a whole bunch of stuff like Some of the some of the, the mischief that we got up to in college that I just don't know what, I think we couldn't have done it with, if we had phones around back then, because it was I went to a downtown college in downtown Sydney and it had A party subculture, shall we say that I was very entrenched in and just the craziness the pub crawls that we did, and all the different fun that we had, all of that, none of that's online.

And it was just so foundational to my life. And it still remains the most carefree fun times that I ever had. And yeah, that's it's all just [00:37:00] locked up in here. 

Julie: I love it, Simon. 

Simon: Good question, because I've probably answered questions like that on a podcast before, and the transcript might be available online, so there's a race to the bottom of how many things have I not admitted before, and I have some sense of verbal overgoing it, but I think the one thing is, I have a real obsession with pro wrestling.

And it's kinda unhealthy. So for my 30th, I made sure I went to Wrestlemania I went this past year, and I'll be going next year. That is the thing that is my weird little obsession. It shouldn't make sense. I shouldn't like it. I know it's The it's predetermined. I know it's super silly and super lowbrow and I love it anyway, because it was my teenage years and oh, and I briefly had long hair as well and went through a skater phase.

Oh, man, what from those, which is more when I asked 

Julie: for a headshot for this podcast, send over one with the long hair just to really throw people off. 

Simon: [00:38:00] Yeah, let's do it. 

Julie: This question is going to be so easy for you, Simon. personal highlight from the past year. 

Simon: Oh, I don't know if you heard, but I had a second child and she's amazing and healthy and growing.

My wife is a hero. She is absolutely a superstar. We're building a family and it's really, like I was, who was I talking to earlier? And I said, There's like a contact buzz of hugging your own children that people just don't tell you about that you don't understand until you feel it.

But I swear if you could bottle that stuff, it would be the best selling drug on earth. It would compete, outcompete anything. Yeah, that's that's definitely the highlight. 

Peter: Boy I'm going to have to go with two because I have two kids there, 15 and 17. And it's been a blast to watch them grow.

But I think in the last year, my, my daughter was voted at her middle school graduation she was an eighth grade graduation that happened in, in June of 2023 as the most But [00:39:00] this was a peer, it was a peer group and teachers voted and she got like most admired kid in in her entire class.

He won that award, which we were obviously very proud of. And then my son watching him develop, he loves soccer. He's a soccer fanatic. And seeing him play as a junior now and seeing him play on the varsity soccer team and make the playoffs and hang with Some really great young soccer players and and once you can do that was just a, such a thrill for me.

Julie: I love it. Okay. Final one. And we're going back to Peter for the first answer. When you're having a hard time, who's on your 9 1 1 list? Who are you calling? 

Peter: Oh boy. I have first of the person, my wife has always been incredibly supportive. So she's there. My business partner, Beau, who I is like a marriage when you're in business together.

And he's someone who's been incredibly supportive along the time. And then. I'm going to throw out another name that some of the old [00:40:00] FinTech people will remember. Ron Suber, who is a one of the OGs of FinTech and someone who I've known for many years, he was the president of Prosper and now he's a basically an angel investor.

And and he he's some, he lives in Denver as well. And we connect pretty often. 

Simon: Yeah, same answer. My wife is just the most rational, logical, capable person on earth.

A genuine superhero and can take any problem and break it down into logical steps and figure out a path forward. It's a, it's an awesome skill. It really is incredible. I call her the Velvet Sledgehammer because she'll get the, you'll feel like nothing bad's happened, but she's got there super quick.

It's bang! Don't know how she does it. But then the other one I've got to give a shout out to is Lisa Gansky Lisa is a genuine technology pioneer was one of the founders of GNN with Seth Godin and Tim O'Reilly, the first website on the internet to use advertising an advertising executive at AOL who came up with the idea of sending out CD ROMs [00:41:00] to people and when, and she was a sort of consultant back in the Barclays days and when she was going around and meeting some of the team She just decided she was going to be my career fairy godmother and has been my blocker and tackler and confidant professionally ever since and what a hero Lisa is.

I'm very lucky to count her as a friend and mentor and many others too. I got to give a shout out to John Goodale as well who I use for that. I used to work with at Thesis. 

Julie: That's 1 of the reasons that I think I've stayed in FinTech so long is I've just grown to really enjoy meeting the other people in this space, right?

I think is again, a reason that you guys have stayed in this space as well. And I always just find that the people. That I meet motivate me to be better. They're smarter than me. They've got interesting stories to tell, et cetera. And I just find that makes me be a better person as well. And I count both of you in that camp.

So I really appreciate you guys taking time today. It means a lot. 

Peter: My pleasure, Julie. It was great. A lot of fun and fun to do it with you, Simon. 

Simon: Yeah. Likewise. And [00:42:00] Julie, you're a superstar. Thank you for doing this stuff. Thank you for keeping rocking. I'm looking forward to much, much more out of this and I'm looking forward to this series.


Peter: awesome. 

Julie: Yeah. I'm really excited.