Spade, Co-Founder & Head of Operations Tess Bloch: Pioneering the Future of Merchant Intelligence

Wharton FinTech Podcast

29-02-2024 • 22 mins

Rhea Advani Bobba hosts Tess Bloch, co-founder and Head of Operations of Spade, a fintech startup reshaping the card ecosystem with real-time merchant intelligence. They delve into how Spade is revolutionizing transaction data clarity, enabling FIs to enhance fraud detection, authorize more transactions, and foster innovation in financial products and services. They discuss the journey of Spade from its inception and path to product-market fit. The conversation also covers the challenges and successes faced in expanding globally, the importance of a clear ROI for financial institutions, and Spade's ambitious plans for the future. About Tess Tess Bloch is the co-founder and Head of Operations of Spade. In her current role as Head of Operations, Tess leads Spade’s operations, finance, sales, and people teams, and grew the employee headcount 5x. Before co-founding Spade, Tess spent two years at the leading income and employment connectivity API, Pinwheel, where she started as the Chief of Staff before becoming its Head of Operations. In these roles, she helped scale the Pinwheel team 14 to 100 employees and supported growth that helped the company raise a $50M Series B. Previously, Tess also worked for McKinsey & Company in London, where she focused on payments, private equity, and public and social sector work, but her passion for fintech didn’t start there. Already, before graduating from Stanford, she realized her interest in the financial services ecosystem early on in her career, starting an internship at Venmo in her freshman year and taking time off during her junior year to work there full time. About Spade Spade provides real-time merchant intelligence for the card ecosystem. Spade leverages its ground truth database to link any card transaction to a real merchant identity – providing granular merchant, category, and geolocation information. Spade leads the market in terms of merchant coverage, geolocation matching accuracy, and speed of transaction enrichment. Customers such as Mercury, Sardine, Ramp, and Unit trust Spade's data to authorize more transactions, prevent fraud, and build more innovative features. — As always, for more Fintech insights and opportunities to collaborate, please find us below: WFT LinkedIn: WFT Twitter: WFT Blog: WFT Home: Rhea’s Linkedin:

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