The 13 most important leaders of the Fintech ONE supported by Walmart
- Walmart entered the fintech space with the launch of ONE.
- Leadership came to ONE from companies like Goldman Sachs, Apple and Lyft.
- Meet the 13 top executives running ONE, from C-suiters to product and engineering talent.
Walmart has hinted at its ambitions in the fintech space for nearly two years.
In January 2021, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retail giant first announced it was suing a fintech company in partnership with venture capital firm Ribbit Capital, which was l an early backer of Robinhood.
Details about the project were scarce, but it wasn’t long before Walmart was making headlines again.
The following month, news broke that the project had lured two high-profile executives, Omer Ismail and David Stark, away from fledgling Goldman Sachs consumer bank Marcus.
The group has been steadily adding talent from blue-chip tech and financial companies, but it has kept most details of its strategy under wraps.
The secret firm, formerly known as Hazel, caused a stir again in January, announcing that it had acquired both Even, a salary access startup, and neobank ONE. Following this latest acquisition, Hazel took on the ONE name and brand.
The deal also offered a behind-the-scenes look at the new company’s plan. Ismail told the Wall Street Journal at the time of the acquisitions the company was planning to create a super finance app.
Super Apps consolidate multiple activities, such as banking, budgeting, shopping, and stock and crypto trading, into one place. Universal banking models have had huge success in markets like China and Southeast Asia, but similar efforts in other startups have struggled in a U.S. banking market dominated by incumbent financial firms.
The field is rife with other competitors ranging from big players like PayPal, Cash App and SoFi, to smaller companies like Chime and buy-it-now and pay-later providers like Klarna and Affirm.
Legacy banks are also increasingly responding to the threat of fintech startups with varying levels of success. From JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America to Marcus, major financial firms have revamped their digital offerings throughout the pandemic and emphasized technological approaches.
However, attempts by major banks to digitize can sometimes fail. Finn, JPMorgan’s digital-only bank aimed at a younger demographic, was shut down less than two years after it launched. Marcus has also faced challenges, as Insider previously reported, as he matures and struggles to launch new products, like a checking account and a robo-advisor.
The departures of the main leaders of these changes can therefore have consequences for the actors in place. In February, for example, Bloomberg reported that Goldman executives, dismayed by the departure of Ismail and Stark, clawed back stock bonuses for the already acquired duo.
At ONE, meanwhile, Bloomberg recently reported that the company plans to beta test its own checking accounts in the coming weeks and will soon launch a refund feature for select purchases made with ONE’s debit card, including those from Walmart.
Insider identified the key people shaping the secret company’s strategy using LinkedIn profiles and news stories. ONE currently has approximately 300 employees, many of whom have combined experience in both early-stage startups and large financial services firms or technology companies.
ONE representatives declined Insider’s request for comment.