Insights

Introducing Cohen Circle

November 03, 2022
8 minutes read
by: Cohen Circle Team

We recently announced a new name for our firm, Cohen Circle, founded by banking and finance pioneers and mother-son duo Betsy and Daniel Cohen.

We provide transformative capital to late-stage companies, and we invest up and down the capital stack, across both public and private markets.

A little bit of history – we were one of the earliest SPAC sponsors, with our first deal with CardConnect (later acquired by First Data) closing in 2016. Since then, we’ve raised more than $5 billion in capital and formed 12 SPAC vehicles, five of which have successfully completed acquisitions (Intermex, Paya, Payoneer, and Perella Weinberg Partners). We also make later-stage investments in innovative fintech companies like Ocrolus, Sure, and BillGO.

Previously, we operated under the name FinTech Masala, whose strong affiliation to a popular Indian dish has caused a lot of confusion over the years, leading many to ask us whether we were based in India or made restaurant investments. We do neither; we are headquartered in NYC, with an office at Columbus Circle, and while we love great food, we haven’t yet invested in it.

When our new CMO joined us this year, she conducted a brand audit to help us better communicate our team’s unique value proposition. One of her findings was that we were confusing our partners between our SPAC and venture naming. For context, we’ve used both the FinTech and FTAC prefix across our SPAC sponsors as a nod to our deep roots in the fintech and banking ecosystems. 

So, we began a journey to find a name that would better capture our firm’s unique identity. To do so, we enlisted the help of both internal and external stakeholders, interviewing everyone from our own team to our founders and investors.

We were trying to get to the essence of what makes our firm different than others in our space. Sifting through hours of interview notes, four main themes began to emerge on why investors and founders choose to work with us.

We don’t do transactions; we do relationships and partnerships. Betsy and Daniel Cohen have an uncanny ability to connect with people. Many of our investors have known our team for decades, and they come to the table as much for the chemistry and the conversation as for the compelling returns. We view our founders as an extension of our team, and we help them in any way we can. One founder mentioned how Betsy mentored his adolescent daughters in launching their first business. Others recalled how meaningful it was for the team to visit their offices in person. We hear that’s not so common these days. For us, it’s table stakes.

We see opportunities where others don't and before others see them. We are known for being imaginative thinkers and pioneers in our space. Betsy and Daniel’s careers in banking and finance are a list of trailblazing ventures—Betsy was one of the first female bank CEOs in the country, and one of the first female law professors in the U.S. Daniel and Betsy founded what is widely considered to be the first digital bank – The Bancorp, which they operated for 15 years. The duo was also of one of the earliest and most successful firms doing SPACs today. Up next: we’re gathering a group of visionary women to grow our impact investing arm.  

Our experience across public and private markets sets us apart. Our diverse strategies allow us to consider a wide range of investment opportunities, from founders raising Series A capital to companies looking to go public. We offer support and an unparalleled network and expertise at all stages of the process. As one partner put it, we are deep believers in the long journey. We have decades of capital market experience, and we have a track record of exiting companies that is hard to match in a firm of our size.  

We are operators, entrepeneurs, former CEOs, and investors with decades of finance expertise. Really. As once CEO told us when discussing the value we bring to his company: “You guys are the OGs of Fintech.” Among our management team, we have founded three banks, led muti-billion asset management firms and founded numerous financial businesses. We know more about operating companies than investment bankers, and more about investment banking than any company operator. We’ve been in our founders' shoes; we understand the unique challenges they face and how to overcome them.  

We recently announced a new name for our firm, Cohen Circle, founded by banking and finance pioneers and mother-son duo Betsy and Daniel Cohen. We provide transformative capital to late-stage companies, and we invest up and down the capital stack, across bThrough our fintech venture arm, we’ve been investing in the next generation of leaders transforming the backbone of finance and banking since 2015. We also see a momentous opportunity to use our venture arm to better the world for years to come by supporting companies solving social issues. As we expand into impact investing, we are excited to be partnering with a group of visionary women leaders to provide capital to companies solving critical health and business challenges in underserved areas.  Follow us for more news on this front.oth public and private markets.A little bit of history – we were one of the earliest SPAC sponsors, with our first deal with CardConnect (later acquired by First Data) closing in 2015. Since then, we’ve raised more than $5 billion in capital and formed 12 SPAC vehicles, five of which have successfully completed acquisitions (Intermex, Paya, Payoneer, and Perella Weinberg Partners). We also make later-stage investments in innovative fintech companies like Ocrolus, Sure, and BillGO. Previously, we operated under the name FinTech Masala, whose strong affiliation to a popular Indian dish has caused a lot of confusion over the years, leading many to ask us whether we were based in India or made restaurant investments. We do neither; we are headquartered in NYC, with an office at Columbus Circle, and while we love great food, we haven’t yet invested in it.When our new CMO joined us earlier this year to support our growing business, she conducted a brand audit to help us better communicate our team’s unique value proposition to our investors and our founders. One of her findings was that we were affiliated with so many names between our SPAC and venture activities that we were inadvertently diluting our brand equity, as well as genuinely confusing our partners. For context, we’ve used the FTAC prefix (Fintech Acquisition Corp I-V) and Greek mythology references (Athena, Parnassus, Olympus), across our SPAC sponsors as a nod to our deep roots in the fintech and banking ecosystems as well as the Cohen family’s academic pursuits in the classics. So, we began a journey to find a name that would better capture our firm’s unique identity. To do so, we enlisted the help of both internal and external stakeholders, interviewing everyone from our own team to our founders and investors.We were trying to get to the essence of what makes our firm different than others inour space. Sifting through hours of interview notes, four main themes began to emerge on why investors and founders choose to work with us.We think these themes capture our vision pretty well. We also know part of what makes us unique is our ability to change with the markets. Identifying capital needs is a creative process, both ongoing and iterative. We spend a lot of time thinking about the 'negative space,' or spaces that are not being served today, and we find ways to serve them.  

Through our fintech venture arm, we invest in the next generation of leaders transforming the backbone of finance and banking. We also see a momentous opportunity to better the world for years to come by supporting companies solving social issues. As we expand into impact investing, we are excited to be partnering with a group of women leaders to provide capital to companies facilitating critical health and financial services to the underserved. Follow us for more news on this front. 

We thank our current community for supporting us and look forward to bringing new innovative leaders into our circle in the years to come.

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