Consumer investing continues to grow in popularity across the world, and now it has entered Latin America. Last week, Flink raised $12M Series A funding, led by Accel, to continue their efforts scaling up across Latin America. A Mexico City-based FinTech, Flink is the first Latin American consumer stock-trading platform. Flink addresses a need to democratise investing and provide access for consumer investors in Latin America. And there definitely was a need, as Flink already boasts over one million customers after less than a year, 90% of whom are first-time traders. Flink is levelling the playing field and already, consumers from across South America want in on the trading app. In tackling traditionally risk-averse Mexican consumer investors, Flink is sowing the seeds for financial inclusivity. As we’ve recently seen with GameStop and Robinhood in the news, it’s clear that consumer investing is both popular and profitable. Though controversial, we take away the fact that there is an growing demand for consumer investment products. Emerging solutions to encourage financial accessibility are growing across the globe, simultaneously creating and addressing new markets.
According to a Bloomberg report, Twitter has confirmed plans to begin a subscription service. As of now, we don’t know what it is that Twitter plans to charge for. Subscription services could provide access to Tweetdeck, “virtual tipping” for exclusive content, and advanced user features (like an “undo-send” button and changing colours on profiles). Subscriptions could also be applied to recently acquired newsletter startup Revue. Twitter’s move to subscription commerce is an effort to recoup loss from declining advertising sales and find a self-reliant and durable revenue stream. At the moment, Twitter’s revenue relies on targeted advertising, but is significantly lagging behind Facebook and Snapchat as Twitter only makes up about 0.8% of the digital ad market. However, a turn to subscription services could diversify Twitter’s revenue. In the months following March’s lockdowns, subscribers spending tripled. Many companies saw this too, from Pret A Manger coffee offers to paper towel subscription boxes. But is the market becoming oversaturated with subscriptions?
Touchless technology is disrupting customer experience (CX), fuelled by demand brought on by the pandemic. From both a health and accessibility point of view, touchless technology has the potential to revolutionise how we interact with technology and the greater world. Some of our favourite budding touchless UI technologies include: Tobii (eye tracking hardware/software); AudioTelligence (audio source separation technology for speech and voice recognition); EnableX.io (facial detection technology based on deep neural networks and human perception AI); and Ultraleap (infrared camera hand tracking technology). These Zero UI startups are paving the way for an innovative diversity of communication and interaction. Capgemini found that 77% of customers expect a touchless customer experience during COVID-19 and 62% expect touchless should continue after pandemic. In many ways, the pivot to zero UI is a reversion to natural forms of communication (voice, glance, gestures). The development of touchless technology will thrive if it prioritises the end user and human communication above all.