'Ahead of the game': Slain Cash App founder Bob Lee was a leader in financial tech, expert says

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Thursday, April 6, 2023
Slain Cash App founder Bob Lee was leader in financial tech: Expert
Beyond those who knew him personally, Bob Lee's death has captured the attention of many others who respected and recognized Lee's contributions to the financial tech world.

BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: An arrest has been made in the San Francisco stabbing death of 43-year-old tech executive Bob Lee, according SFPD. They say the suspect, 38-year-old Emeryville tech entrepreneur Nima Momeni, appeared to have known Lee and it was not a random street crime. Get the latest updates here.

The outpouring of tributes for tech executive Bob Lee continues. It's been two days since he was stabbed and killed in San Francisco's Rincon Hill neighborhood. Beyond those who knew him personally, his death has captured the attention of many others who respected and recognized Lee's contributions to the financial tech world.

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On Thursday, there was a growing memorial marking the block of the fatal stabbing. Shock, frustration, and concern continue to consume those who knew him. The same could be said for those who didn't, but respected what he had accomplished in his career.

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"Introducing technology and finance made it faster, safer, and made it available for more people," San Jose State University professor and tech expert Ahmed Banafa said. "That is the whole story of FinTech."

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Friends and family are remembering Bob Lee, the Cash App founder and CPO of MobileCoin who was fatally stabbed in San Francisco early Tuesday morning.

Banafa says that Lee was considered a leader in FinTech.

He didn't know Lee personally, but is very familiar with his influence on the world of FinTech, calling Lee a true entrepreneur who was ahead of his time.

At 43-years-old, Lee was the Chief Product Officer at MobileCoin, a San Francisco-based cryptocurrency company. Before his current job, he acted as CTO of mobile payment app Square and the creator of Cash App.

"He is, you know, ahead of his game. Why? Because he saw that, I don't have to have somebody in the middle, I can just send you the money. You will have the history of the transaction, and I'll have this transaction."

Banafa also noting that today, Cash App has more than 51 million users.

Friends of Lee's tell ABC7 News, he was back in San Francisco for a business summit with Mobile Coin. Lee's friend, Doug Dalton said the two had dinner last Saturday, describing Lee's spirits were high.

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"He literally did not seem to have a care in the world," Dalton shared. "He was very excited about where things were going with MobileCoin. He was very excited to be back in the Bay for a bit."

Days later, at 2:35 a.m. on Tuesday, police say Lee dialed 9-1-1 and told dispatch he'd been stabbed, but didn't give them a location.

Friends explained there were many innovative things he was still working on, which would have helped people going forward.

Tech expert Banafa doesn't doubt Lee's dedication.

"My hope that is people going to look now seriously about where he stopped, and then take it from that point," Banafa explained. "And they say, 'Okay, so we will fulfill his dream or legacy by going to the next level.'"

ABC7 News has reached back out to San Francisco Police for any update on the case. There is still no information about any suspect, or suspects.

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