Inside Marqeta’s fascinating fintech IPO

The IPO market is gearing up for a hot close to the second quarter and a hotter Q3.

That’s The Exchange’s takeaway from recent IPO filings from (enterprise planning and communications) and a number of SPAC-led combinations from Bird (scooter sharing), Bright Machines (AI-powered microfactories) and others. Looking ahead, Squarespace (site design and hosting) will direct list this week, while Oatly (pressed grain juice) and Procore (construction tech) will price and complete traditional IPOs in the next few days.

Late last week, Marqeta (card issuing and payments tech) filed as well, and just this morning, Flywire (global payments) set a price range for its own debut. The two fintechs are our targets today, though we’ll take them in sequential posts.

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Public equities have seen some price declines in recent sessions, and there’s been observable multiples-compression afoot among both tech stocks and shares more generally. But many companies are betting that it remains a fertile moment to list. A slow drift downward in the value of technology revenue, in other words, is not stopping what could be an enthusiastic exit market from here to the end of the year.

Forget the larger market for now. Let’s narrow our focus to Marqeta, long a darling of the fintech market though less well known than some companies in its sector due to its infrastructure nature.

If you are not familiar with Marqeta, it powers the payment card tech behind products that you use, like Square, a key customer and driver of the unicorn’s growth. Marqeta exhibits a number of fascinating fintech characteristics (majority revenue from interchange, a rabidly competitive market) that make it very interesting to unspool.