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Fidelity just bought its fintech partner Shoobx to expand its private company stock-plan business.  

The evolution of Fidelity’s relationship with Shoobx – from partner to parent company – highlights how fintech partnerships can be a good testing ground for deeper connection.  

Fidelity and Shoobx just took their relationship to the next level.  

Fidelity Investments and the equity management firm first began partnering in 2021 to provide financial tools to private companies (Fidelity administers the stock plans of nearly 700 firms, but most are publicly traded).  

“Given the success of our commercial relationship with Shoobx and the increasing demand from private companies to support them as they scale and grow … acquiring Shoobx was a natural next step in our relationship,” Fidelity’s head of workplace investing, Kevin Barry, said. 

The acquisition will allow Fidelity to bake in additional benefits and co-create new tech-related features. For example, with its acquisition, Fidelity will offer automatically created due diligence documents, data rooms for securely sharing confidential business information, and analysis tools for investment planning.  

“The combined Fidelity/Shoobx solution allows start-ups and entrepreneurs to spend less time on administrative needs and more time focusing on growing their business,” a Fidelity spokesperson told Insights Distilled. Additionally, it can “provide peace of mind by reducing unnecessary risk and cost associated with overlooked mistakes and by streamlining processes and making better use of resources.”

This was Fidelity’s first takeover in seven years, following its 2015 acquisition of wealth management firm eMoney Advisor. 

Initial partnerships like Fidelity’s or investments through corporate venture arms gives FinServs a way to test the waters before diving in with an all-out acquisition. For more on that, hear from Synchrony’s head of strategy below…