Foundation Capital's Zach Noorani joins this episode of the LA Venture podcast to talk about how traditional banking will change in the future and why he's excited for the rise of neobanks.
As a partner at Foundation, Noorani leads the firm's early-stage investments in financial technology (fintech).
"And 12, 15 years ago, telling someone at a big fund that I was a fintech investor, they get sort of a blank stare, you know, it was just kind of a niche… Fast forward to today: It's wild to see the growth in all dimensions," said Noorani.
Noorani landed a corporate strategy role at Capital One right out of college.
"From there, it was a lot of exposure to kind of the vanguard of what's happening in the industry from an innovation perspective," he said.
He started working with early-stage fintech companies as they experimented with innovations like the prepaid debit market–early versions of "buy now, pay later" approach–a model, he said, that has become popular as an alternative payment option.
Noorani is also watching the rise of neobanks closely. To a young person, he said, going to a physical bank is completely alien. Services like Venmo and Cash App have become popular for features that include early paycheck cashing and avoiding bank fees.
Noorani said the wallet may be the next analog casualty as companies like Apple make strides in digitizing how we pay for things and what we need to carry.
"Do we slowly get rid of our checkbooks? Do we slowly get rid of our wallets?” he asked, “Yeah, we totally do."
Noorani doesn’t think traditional banks will go away completely. Branch offices will still be important for those buying a house or small business owners.
dot.LA Engagement Intern Joshua Letona contributed to this post.