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🗓 All FinTech news in February 2022

Ashneer Grover got kicked from Indian FinTech BharatPe board

Last week, the board terminated the position of Madhuri Grover, following which she tweeted damaging information about the startup’s other co-founders and questioned the integrity of Rajnish Kumar, a board member of BharatPe and who previously served as the chairman of the State Bank of India.

2022 list of Y Combinator backed companies worth over $150M

YC says 16% of the companies in its current list (44 out of 267) are based outside the U.S., compared to its first list, which included just seven non-U.S. companies.

Singapore FinTech Volopay raised Series A of $29M led by JAM Fund

Volopay, founded by Shaji and the startup’s chief technology officer Rajesh Raikwar, wants to disrupt traditional business banking and offer companies a control center for all their financial management needs without the hassle and limitation of a traditional bank.

Temasek to back OneCard at $1.5 billion valuation

FPL Technologies, the Indian startup that operates OneCard, is set to double its valuation to about $1.5 billion in a new financing round, just a month after it disclosed its previous funding, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

E-Commerce startup Ownit raised seed round of $8M

From the link, consumers go to a web page interface on top of the app and can make purchase choices from their favorite commerce site, including Shopify and Amazon, and pay with Apple Pay, Google Pay, Shop Pay or PayPal — features not often available because some social media sites don’t often play well with certain payment options, said Ownit co-founder and CEO Payman Nejati.

Ex-Coinbase Katherine Wu leaves to become the newest venture partner Archetype

Coinbase Ventures investor Katherine Wu is leaving the company for early-stage crypto venture capital firm Archetype, less than a year after joining Coinbase as a senior deal lead in September.

Automotive FinTech LEASY raised seed round of $17M in Peru

Leasy, a startup that offers automobile financing to ride-hailing drivers in Latin America via a subscription model, has secured $2 million in equity and $15 million in debt.

E-Commerce startup Cococart  raised $4.2M

To keep the momentum going, Cococart raised $4.2 million from Forerunner Ventures and Sequoia, with additional investors including Y Combinator, Uncommon Capital, Soma Capital, Liquid 2 Ventures, Fitbit CEO James Park and Curated CEO Eduardo Vivas.

Hack VC raises $200M fund to back early-stage crypto startups

The investors behind virtual hack.summit(), the world’s largest blockchain programmer event, have launched a $200 million crypto seed fund under the Hack VC umbrella, fund partner Alex Pack told TechCrunch in an interview. Ed Roman, formerly a solo GP, invested in early-stage tech and crypto companies for over 10 years through Hack VC before partnering \[…\]

Coinbase outperforms Q4 earnings, amid its stock going down

Up top we can see that retail trading activity in volume terms remains a fraction of its institutional volume; bear in mind, however, that retail investors generate not only the vast bulk of Coinbase’s trading revenues, but also the preponderance of its total top line.

Renewable Energy startup Nori raised Series A round of $7M led by M13

The Ethereum blockchain isn’t exactly the first thing that springs to mind when you’re thinking of solutions to climate problems, but that what Nori has built as an engine to encourage farmers to use carbon-negative farming methods to pull carbon from the air and put it back into the ground.

FinTech startup Pinata raised Series A round of $13M

The startup also offers renters credit reporting options, so they can have their on-time rent payment reported to the credit bureaus to help boost their credit scores. Piñata wants to reward renters for making on-time payments by giving them in-app currency — dubbed Piñata Cash.

FinTech startup Siteline raised Series A round of $15M

The challenges her father faced as a business owner in the construction industry always stayed in the back of her mind, so when Lin got the entrepreneurial itch, it was a natural move to help start a company that helped trade contractors better control their finances.

FinTech HUBUC raised seed round of $10M led by WndrCo

Bank accounts, payments, virtual and physical cards as well as real-time FX rates and digital wallets can be offered HUBUC, because is sits as a layer between the financial partners it works with and the company’s product.

Debt Collections startup Promise raised Series B round of $25M led by The General Partnership

Promise works with utilities and government agencies to provide flexibility in payments for people who can’t cover their whole water or electricity bill at once.

Wealth Management startup Finary raised Series A round of $9M

Finary also believes that building a new private bank also means that the most active customers should be able to own a stake in the startup. The company is also working on additional features, such as a family mode, a better way to track RSUs (or BSPCE in France) and the ability to separate personal wealth from professional wealth.

FinTech Ramp enables travel spend for corporations

Multiple players have emerged with various solutions — from software to corporate cards — to help businesses of all types and sizes better manage their expenses and save money and time while doing it.

Pipe acquires Purely Capital to expand into entertainment finance

By purchasing Purely Capital, Pipe has now created a new media and entertainment division on its platform, giving independent distributors the opportunity to trade their revenue streams in the same way a SaaS company could.

Kimbal Musk on climate impact of Tesla's bitcoin purchase

Tesla’s decision to buy Bitcoin last year prompted a major bull run for the cryptocurrency, though that surge was famously reversed months later by the company’s announcement that while it did not immediately plan to sell its Bitcoin, it would no longer be accepting Bitcoin as payment for vehicle purchases.

MCV says cryptocurrency payments will drive job market in Africa

The allure of microwork opportunities has grown to capture the interest of Africa youth, who stand to earn up to $7 per day, against a daily urban income rate of $4.35 urban earning average for low-income groups, according to a study conducted in Kenya by Mercy Corps Ventures (MCV), the impact investing arm of global development agency Mercy Corps.

Neobank NiYO raised Series C round of $100M led by Accel

Niyo co-founder and chief executive Vinay Bagri told journalist in an interview that the startup has amassed over 4 million customers across its banking and wealth management products. India Niyo has raised $100 million in a new financing round as the consumer-facing neobank platform looks to add lending and insurance to its offerings and make deeper inroads in the world’s second largest internet market.

Financial Services startup NayaPay Pvt. Ltd raised seed round of $13M led by Zayn Capital

Pakistan-based fintech platform NayaPay has raised $13 million in a seed round to roll out its multi-service messaging and payment app, and to build payment acceptance and financial management tools for businesses in the South Asian country.

Analytics startup Varos raised seed round of $4M led by Ibex Investors

To keep up with the demand, the company raised $4 million in seed funding, led by Ibex Investors, which also included Y Combinator, Financial Venture Studio and a group of individual investors.

Michele Romanow becomes new Clearco's CEO

Clearco co-founder Andrew D’Souza tells journalist that he has stepped back from his role as chief executive at the fintech company.

Backed launches second €150M fund to back founders in Europe

London-based early-stage European VC fund Backed is bolstering its position by adding €75 million to its seed fund, while adding another €75 million via a new follow-on fund vehicle.

BNPL startup MarketForce raised Series A round of $40M led by V8 Capital Partners

During an interview in December last year, Mbaabu told journalist that RejaReja expects its merchants to grow to 1 million by the end of this year as it works toward digitizing the estimated 100 million small traders across sub-Saharan Africa.

Real Estate Investment startup GROUNDFLOOR raised Series B round of $118M led by Fintech Ventures Fund

Groundfloor users have a wide range of reasons for using the platform, from new investors who are looking for a safer alternative to public markets to experienced investors who prefer investing through an app instead of using the broker, Dally said.

Web3 startup Jambo raised seed round of $7.5M

Nestcoin raises $6.45M pre-seed to accelerate crypto and web3 adoption in Africa and frontier markets Educating Africa’s young population about web3 and decentralization seems to be a correlating theme with recent web3 upstarts in Africa.

FinTech startup PayMongo raised Series B round of $31M

Philippines-based fintech PayMongo, which enables merchants to accept digital payments, announced today it has raised $31 million in Series B funding with an eye on regional expansion.

Executives leave's boat

The latest events at the company involve the resignations of four more top executives, including Clayton Carol, the company VP of finance; Christian Wallace, head of real estate; Paul Tyger, general manager of purchase; and Stephen Rosen, head of sales.

Indian FinTech CRED looks to invest into Smallcase

Indian fintech CRED is in talks to back the Bengaluru-headquartered startup Smallcase, three sources familiar with the matter said, as the Tiger Global and Alpha Wave Global-backed firm looks to expand its wealth offerings to customers.

FinTech startup Nous raised seed round of $9M led by Mosaic

Talking of money, Nous’ substantial seed raise was led by early stage London-based Mosaic Ventures (an erstwhile Series A investor), with participation from more than 65 angel investors.

Intergiro emerges from stealth to offer embedded finance to FinTechs

The story begins years ago when Root wanted to build new kinds of banking services. Co-founder and CEO Nick Root is a computer science graduate and former CTO, COO, CFO and CEO who did 12 years in the London banking industry before starting Intergiro.

When the founder becomes the story

A year ago, few knew the brand Bolt, a checkout technology company that was founded in 2014, nor its founder, Ryan Breslow, a seemingly archetypal Silicon Valley type: smart, strong-willed and a college dropout who left Stanford after only two years to start a company.

Deel to allow customers to run payroll in crypto

If companies are operating primarily in crypto, Deel says, they don’t have to worry about paying any of the exchange fees to convert it into, say USD, before they pay their employees.

Circle might get $9B valuation in this SPAC deal

Cryptocurrency company Circle has announced that it has terminated its previous agreement with Concord Acquisition Corp., a publicly traded blank-check company — a SPAC.

FinTech startup Coast raised Series A round of $28M

To that end, and like the aforementioned spend management companies, Coast has created a commercial charge card designed for the businesses that operate vehicle fleets, such as trucking companies, plumbers, HVAC businesses or last-mile delivery companies.

Financial Services startup Earnipay raised seed round of $4M led by Canaan Partners

Earnipay, a fintech that provides flexible and on-demand salary access to income-earners, has raised $4 million in seed financing led by early-stage venture capital firm Canaan.

Crypto B2B FinTech Multis raised $7M led by Sequoia Capital

If you run an organization that mostly receives and sends crypto assets and if you want to pay people in cryptocurrencies, chances are you could use something like Multis.

PropTech startup Nomad raised Series A of $20M led by SVB Capital

Specifically, in addition to guaranteeing rent, Nomad has a financial product embedded in its core offering that allows property owners to tap into their future rental income by requesting up to six months of rent advance.

Capital Markets Tech startup Genesis Global raised $200M

Genesis, which has built a low-code/no-code application platform specifically for the financial markets, announced today it has landed a $200 million investment led by Tiger Global Management.

Payments startup CrowdForce raised pre-Series A round of $3.6M led by Aruwa Capital

Ayorinde said CrowdForce will use the funding to distribute more point of sale terminals to its partners in the next 12 to 18 months as the company, in a statement, said it aims to bring financial services within one kilometer, or within 15 minutes, of all Nigerians.

Stronghold Capital emerges with $100M FinTech fund

The new VC arm, called Stronghold Capital, has already invested in companies including Sam Bankman-Fried’s Alameda Research and funds including Precursor Ventures and Backstage Capital, both of which have a track record of backing underrepresented founders.

Payments startup Flutterwave raised Series D round of $250M

At $3 billion, Flutterwave is currently the highest valued African startup, surpassing the $2 billion valuation set by SoftBank-backed fintech OPay and FTX-backed cross-border payments platform Chipper Cash last year.

BNPL startup Wasla Browser raised $9M from

Contact Financial Holding, Egypt non-bank consumer finance provider, has invested $9 million in the country’s e-commerce super-app Wasla, setting the stage for the rollout of new online shopping capabilities, products and regional expansion.

Logistics startup Mundi raised Series A round of $16M led by Union Square Ventures

Mundi, a financial services platform for cross-border trade, announced today it has raised $16 million in a Series A funding round led by Union Square Ventures.

Crypto wallet Rainbow raised Series A round of $18M led by Seven Seven Six

Rainbow, a crypto startup building a mobile wallet app that allows users to interact with decentralized applications on the Ethereum blockchain, wants to be the app users download to tap into that future.

Better Tomorrow Ventures' bew fintech-focused fund $225M

Early-stage fintech-focused venture firm Better Tomorrow Ventures has raised $225 million for its second fund — triple the amount it raised for its debut fund that closed in September of 2020. Founded by Sheel Mohnot and Jake Gibson in November of 2019, San Francisco-based Better Tomorrow Ventures (BTV) has allocated $150 million to invest in startups at the pre-seed and seed stages.

Lending FinTech Funding Societies got Series C+ $144M led by SoftBank

Today, Funding Societies announced it has raised $144 million in an oversubscribed Series C+ equity round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, with participation from new investors like VNG Corporation, and more.

BlockFi paid SEC $100M in settlement

It also announced today its intent to register a new, compliant lending product, called BlockFi Yield, which it says would be the first SEC-registered crypto interest-bearing security.

Payments startup MoneyHash raised pre-seed round of $3M

Integration with payment providers in sub-Saharan Africa (mainly serving Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa) like Yoco, Paystack and Flutterwave will follow suit, said the chief executive, without giving specifics about when it would roll out the product for the region.

Financial Services startup Banked raised Series A round of $20M led by Edenred Capital Partners

Consumers are able to pay without entering financial data, no need to create an account, no financial details are shared, authorization is biometric and the merchant receives the funds in real time.

Africa startup Stitch raised Series A round of $21M

On the call, Pillay, who co-founded Stitch with Natalie Cuthbert and Priyen Pillay, didn’t give any update on this metric but said Stitch had seen a 104% month-on-month growth in payments value since launching the product last April.

PropTech Homie cuts 1/3 of its employees

On its LinkedIn page, the company said: Today, we made the difficult decision to reduce the size of our company based on the impacts of the changing real estate market. Limited housing inventory has also created a challenging real estate market for home buyers; driving up prices and making homeownership less and less accessible.

OnlyFans of NFTs will like this profile picture update

Until you remember that OnlyFans is doing NFT profile pictures now, which means maybe no one wins (except for the intersection of people who both love crypto and also want to compensate NSFW creators for their work?).

Dynamic NFTs is a new Pearpop's product

With big-name backers like The Chainsmokers, Alexis Ohanian, Mark Cuban and Snoop Dogg, Pearpop is launching Pearproof, a web3 app that allows creators to mint NFTs of their social media posts.

Mobile Payments startup Alma raised Series C round of $130M

The payment option can be integrated in the payment terminals, or merchants can generate a payment link and share it with customers. Alma has a payment option that lets you buy something and pay 15 or 30 days later. No late fees.

Republic's Realm rebrands as Everyrealm

The company has built on top of many of its virtual properties — for example, it launched a retail store concept in Decentraland two weeks ago, which it plans to expand into other metaverse platforms, Yorio said.

FinTech startup Sardine raised Series A round of $20M to fight fraud

When customers move money to their wallet via credit card, debit card, or ACH transfer, Sardine assigns a risk score to the card or bank account being used through an algorithm and assumes fraud liability for the transaction.

FinTech startup Neo.Tax raised Series A round of $10M led by Infinity Ventures

Today, Neo.Tax is announcing that it has raised $10 million in a Series A funding round led by Infinity Ventures with participation from Google Ventures, Acrew Capital and Fin Venture Capita.

Payments startup Duplo raised pre-seed round of $1.3M

Yele Oyekola, a former product lead at Carbon, started Duplo based on his experience as an economic policy officer for the UN in Africa, where touring different countries opened his eyes to how people and businesses were heavily reliant on cash.

H20 launches new $50 million fund for founders in LatAm

The fund is supported by G Squared Management Co.; Scott Shleifer, co-founder and partner of Tiger Global Management; Sebastián Mejía, co-founder and president of Rappi; Fabián Gómez, co-founder and CEO of Frubana; Roger Laughlin, co-founder of Kavak; and founders of iFood and Mercê do Bairro.

Meta rolls out Split Payments feature inside Messenger in the US

Split Payments was introduced alongside the news that Messenger is launching new voice message recording controls so users can pause, preview, delete or continue recording a voice message before sending it. The company said that its feature offering end-to-end encrypted group chats and calls in Messenger is now fully rolled out. The launch of Split Payments comes as Messenger added Venmo-like QR codes for person-to-person payments last summer. Messenger also added another security feature that will alert users if someone snaps a photo from Messenger’s disappearing messages.

Open Banking startup Brick raised seed round of $8.5M

Inside Plaid’s plans to build a new, global finance network Other participants include Trihill Capital and returning investors Better Tomorrow Ventures and Rally Cap Ventures, along with individual investors like Creative Juice co-founder and CEO and Plaid’s former head of business development and strategy Sima Gandhi; Bond Financial Technologies co-founder Yan Wu; Brian Ma, founder of Divvy Homes; Iterative co-founder and managing partner Ooi Hsu Ken; Pine Labs CEO Amrish Rau; and Aspire co-founder and CEO Andrea Baronchelli. Brick’s APIs include Brick Data, Brick Verification and Brick Payments, which can enable an end-to-end process for online loans, including verifying user identity, underwriting and making sure that funds are disbursed into the right bank account. This amount includes Brick previously undisclosed seed funding, which journalist reported in May 2021, but the majority of it is fresh capital, said co-founder and CEO Gavin Tan. Brick currently operates primarily in Indonesia, but is planning to expand into Singapore and the Philippines before eventually covering all markets in Southeast Asia.

Real Estate Tech startup Occupier raised Series A round of $11M led by Stage 2 Capital

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and coinciding recent changes to federal lease accounting standards combined have forced companies to have more ownership over their real estate, noted Occupier co-founder Matt Giffune. The New York-based startup has developed lease management software for commercial real estate tenants and brokers. The company original focus was on offices as an asset class but has expanded over time to include any business that has a real estate strategy –– from healthcare clinics to retailers to warehouses. The COVID-19 pandemic has created all sorts of real estate issues for companies as it forced so many employees to work from home, leaving empty space all over the globe.

Curve Finance's CEO talks about future of DeFi

Egorov is a DeFi superstar, and he’ll take the virtual stage with three other mighty minds — Andre Cronje, co-founder of Fantom Protocol; Taariq Lewis, founder of Volume; and Ivangbi, builder of narratives at Gearbox and LobsterDAO — for this must-see session.

Hardhat's developer Nomic Labs becomes nonprofit

The grant sparked a closely collaborative relationship between Nomic and the Ethereum Foundation that resulted in the latter becoming Nomic’s single funding source before Nomic’s pivot to nonprofit status, Zeoli said.

FinTech startup Addition Wealth raised seed round of $4M led by Nyca Partners

Partnering with companies rather than providing services directly to users, she added, helps Addition create a more customized offering by leveraging data on the companies’ employees and their specific financial needs.

Apple's Tap to Pay enables iPhones to accept contactless payments

Apple has announced plans to introduce a new Tap to Pay feature for iPhone that turns the device into a contactless payment terminal. The company says that later this year, U.S. merchants will be able to accept Apple Pay and other contactless payments, including Google Pay, by using an iPhone and a partner-enabled iOS app. \[…\]

African startups raised 16% more in 2021 up to $5B

Some tech insiders don’t view companies such as Zepz, Zipline or Tala as African companies — some see them as international companies headquartered in the U.S. or the U.K. with Africa as one of their markets, unlike other companies that are headquartered in Africa or both Africa and the U.S. The Big Deal tracks funding rounds from $100,000 and above from startups operating in Africa with their headquarters on the continent or HQ outside Africa but with founders from Africa. Fintechs in Africa continue to overshadow all other startups in funding gained Nigeria and South Africa are in the top two; Egypt and Kenya switch Briter doesn’t say, but it reveals more frightening stats that go almost a decade back: 3.2% of African VC total funding and 8.2% of deals have gone to all-female co-founded teams since it started keeping track in 2013.

American Express goes digital, and plans to partner with Opy for BNPL

American Express has launched its first all-digital consumer checking account, the company announced on Tuesday. The new offering, American Express Rewards Checking, is currently available for eligible U.S. Consumer Card Members. The launch comes as the emergence of digital banking services is causing traditional banks to enhance their digital strategies and offer more competitive banking \[…\]

Cameron Peake joins Financial Venture Studio to lead FinTech

Peake’s background as a founder will be crucial for FVS when identifying potential investments and helping portfolio companies grow, said Ryan Falvey, FVS co-founder and managing partner.

Bitfinex is gone, and DOJ seized $3.6B in bitcoins

The U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) has seized over 94,000 bitcoins that were allegedly stolen in the 2016 hack of crypto exchange Bitfinex and arrested a married couple suspected to have laundered the money, the department announced today. While Morgan and Lichtenstein were not formally accused of perpetrating the hack.

Wealth Tech startup thndr raised Series A round of $20M led by Tiger Global Management

According to him, about 87% of Thndr users invested for the first time through the platform; 40% of its users come from outside of Cairo and Alexandria — rural areas with zero access to financial institutions; and Thndr accounts for 36% of all new registrations in the local Egyptian exchanges in 2021.

FinTech startup Daffy raised Series A round of $17M

As for where the donations go to ostensibly grow, Daffy currently provides its customers access to nine funds but Nash said to expect many more to appear on the platform over time.

E-Commerce company Shopware raised $100M from Paypal and Carlyle

The e-commerce boom that started with the Covid-19 pandemic shows little sign of slowing down, and today a company called Shopware, which provides a set of open source tools to power online shopping experiences for some 100,000 mid-sized and larger brands, is announcing $100 million in funding to capture the opportunity.

FinTech Alchemy raised Series C1 round of $200M and $10B+ valuation

As proof that web3 is not some passing trend, blockchain infrastructure startup Alchemy announced today that it has closed on a $200 million Series C1 equity round that values the company at $10.2 billion.

Banking startup Grey raised pre-seed round from YC and Mono's CEO

While some customers use these accounts, others still exchange currency from their cards or domiciliary bank accounts with limited bank partners supporting foreign exchange transfers in Nigeria.

E-Commerce startup Silvr raised Series A round of $21M

And Silvr doesn’t necessarily replace VC money, as 35% of Silvr’s clients have raised capital from VC funds. When a company applies to unlock some credit with Silvr, they grant access to various data sources — the corporate bank account.

Real-estate startup Infina raised seed extension round of $4M

Like other Southeast Asian investment apps that have attracted venture capital over the past year (a partial list includes Indonesia’s Pluang, which recently raised a $55 million follow-on to its Series B, Bibit, Ajaib, Pintu and Syfe), Infina is focused on first-time Gen Z and millennial investors.

MortgageTech startup Selina Finance raised Series B round of $150M

The approach is a relatively new one in the U.K., although Fenwick believes that this will likely (and rapidly) evolve not just because HELOC businesses like Selina’s are being given the green light, but because of the ubiquity of home ownership; and the fact that more people, as they move around less due to the pandemic, have turned their attention to spending bigger amounts on things like home renovations or less-frequent but much bigger vacations.

Banking startup Vivid Money raised $114M led by Greenoaks Capital

In a market full of challenger banks — and some very close Vivid competitors such as Sequoia-backed neobroker Trade Republic — Vivid’s backers believe the company’s traction and all-in, easy approach that appeals to new consumer investors will see the company picking up more users and usage as it expands.

Blockchain startup Polygon raised $450M led by Sequoia Capital India

Polygon has raised $450 million in a new venture financing round as the firm, with a market cap of about $13 billion, aggressively expands its portfolio of Ethereum scaling solutions and works to attract the larger developer ecosystem.

Artisanal Ventures newest $62M fund bets on connected capital approach

Among the portfolio of companies, the firm has invested in email security company Abnormal Security, which raised $50 million back in 2020; biotech software developer Benchling, which raised $100 million in Series F funding last November; and Transmit Security, which took in a $543 million Series A last year on a pre-money valuation of $2.2 billion to rid the world of passwords. Artisanal Ventures, a Bay Area venture capital firm investing in B2B cloud startups, closed on its first fund, the oversubscribed $62 million Artisanal Ventures I. Cloud is the big buzzword these days, with people talking about why it a smart move for companies, and lots of venture-backed startups developing easy ways for companies to make the shift. That includes combining the expertise of the firm’s limited partners with Artisanal Talent’s executive search capabilities to help portfolio companies build best-in-class teams.

Ashneer Grover requests BharatPe's CEO to be removed

BharatPe co-founder and managing director Ashneer Grover has asked the board for the removal of chief executive Suhail Sameer from the board in the latest of a series of remarkable turn of events at the Tiger Global-backed Indian fintech startup.

French FinTech Numeral raised $15M led by Balderton Capital

While clients interact with Numeral using a modern application programming interface (API), the startup connects directly to bank servers to upload payment files and interact with outdated information systems.

Cameo Pass is a new NFT product from Cameo

Starting on February 17, fans can mint a Cameo Pass for 0.2 ETH — about $550 at the time of publication — which provides access to limited release artworks, exclusive in-person and virtual events and early access to new Cameo features. The collection of NFTs will be hosted on OpenSea, featuring art by Burnt Toast of the Doodles collection, Vinnie Hager of the Letters collection and artist Luke McGarry, who sells personalized artwork through his Cameo. Some creator platforms like YouTube and Patreon have flirted with the idea of NFTs, but Cameo is forging ahead with its plans. But when journalist asked about which celebrities on Cameo were involved in the project, the company did not provide any names. lost more executives after ex-CEO's comeback

journalist has learned that Sarah Pierce, who served as executive vice president of customer experience, sales and operations, and Emanuel Santa-Donato, who was senior vice president of capital markets and growth, are no longer with the digital mortgage company.

Metaverse term found in 500+ apps according to Sensor Tower

This was followed by Social (70 apps), Entertainment (57 apps), Books (37 apps), Lifestyle (33 apps), Tools (26 apps), Business (25 apps). However, mobile game publishers led the adoption of the keyword, as 107 apps in the Game category now reference the term, or 19% of the apps studied.

Wormhole says the breach costed their users $320M of lost assets

Wormhole released ETH to an Ethereum wallet based on those wETH, so the exploiter essentially stole some ETH from Wormhole’s reserves. It’s unclear what’s going to happen next with the assets and if wETH in Wormhole’s reserves are still backed by ETH.

WealthTech startup Jar raised Series A round of $32M

Users’ investments in digital gold is backed by physical gold of the same amount and they can choose to withdraw that much gold or liquidate their investments at any time, said Misbah Ashraf, co-founder and chief product officer of Jar.

Technology startup PalmPay raised Series A round of $100M last August

The investors that participated in the round include China-based Chuangshi Capital, Yunshi Equity Investment Management, Trust Capital, Chengyu Capital and private equity fund AfricaInvest.

Payments startup Bold raised Series B round of $55M led by Tiger Global Management

Bold, a technology company working to enable financial access to electronic payments in Colombia, has raised $55 million in a Series B funding round led by Tiger Global Management.

Student-focused FinTech Mos raised Series B round of $40M

Human rights activist and Mos founder Amira Yahyaoui couldn’t afford to go to college, so when she first launched a platform to connect students to scholarships, the innovation felt full circle. It an evolution from Mos as an edtech business built to help students navigate their way through applying and attending college into a fintech that can support the same user base through all of life’s similarly complicated demands.

Banking startup Pluto raised seed round of $6M

With Pluto, he said, businesses can control spend before it even happens, by creating unlimited virtual and physical cards with spend controls that can be connected to existing business bank accounts and category restrictions.

Travel startup Hopper raised secondary round of $35M at $5B valuation

Hopper, the mobile travel booking startup and app that lets users book flights, hotels, cars, and — most recently — short-term home rentals a la Airbnb and VRBO, has been on a fast pace of growth in the wake of Covid-19 travel restrictions loosening up in the last year, with 70 million downloads to date and $2 billion+ in travel sales last year.

Marathon Ventures doubles down on invesing into Colombian startups

Alejandro Echavarria and Leon Papu, both managing partners, co-founded the venture capital firm in 2020 with Pablo Navarro, operating partner, to focus on early-stage, business-to-business startups in emerging markets. They started Marathon initially as a company builder in 2020, which is how they ended up investing in Tul, ​​a B2B e-commerce marketplace that optimizes the construction-material supply chain for hardware stores across Latin America. Brazil and Mexico are most known as Latin America hot startup ecosystems, but other countries, like Colombia, are gaining visibility and interest from investors. In addition to Tul, the fund has invested in eight companies and is already seeing an approximate two-time return over the total fund size to date.

InsurTech Lami acquires Bluewave and expands on its African presence

Lami co-designs products with its underwriting partners, extending unique insurance products to their customers, and through its technological infrastructure, facilitates the distribution of insurance products via a B2B2C approach.

PayPal shares drop 25% this morning

PayPal’s Q4 warning PayPal’s fourth quarter saw total payment volume (TPV) at the company rise to $339.5 billion, up 23% compared to the year-ago period, resulting in revenues of $6.9 billion, up 13% on a year-over-year basis.

Trading Platform startup Dune Analytics raised Series B round of $69M

Many crypto detractors contend that the web3 space is buoyed by meme money, so Coatue leading a $69,420,000 Series B in a blockchain startup shouldn’t leave them too surprised. The investment — made in crypto analytics platform Dune Analytics — brings the startup valuation to $1 billion.

Anthony Levandowski launched a P2P crypto telecom

The peer-to-peer open source wireless network called Pollen Mobile will incentivize its users with cryptocurrency to run their own mini cell towers and build out the network coverage in the Bay Area where the service is initially launching

NFT Gaming startup Pixel Vault raised $100M

Users had the option of exchanging the comic NFT over a short period for a spot in the Pixel Vault founder’s DAO, a crypto collective which gave them ownership in a substantial collection of NFT artwork which included a number of CryptoPunks NFTs worth millions at current prices that were the main characters of the Pixel Vault comic.

E-Commerce startup Melonn raised Series A round of $20M

Melonn, a Colombian startup that provides fulfillment and software services to small and medium-sized e-commerce companies in Latin America, has raised $20 million in a Series A round led by QED Investors.

InsurTech startup Casava raised pre-seed round of $4M

The idea for Casava came while VisaCover provided an alternative in the auto insurance market by allowing drivers of Uber, which was one of its partners, to make weekly insurance payments instead of quarterly or yearly payments insurance partners before it operated.

Alexis Ohanian and his fund 776 just closed new $500M fund

Companies within the 776 portfolio include Alt, an alternative asset trading platform; Pipe, a global trading platform that makes recurring revenue streams tradable for their annual value; Axie Infinity, a web3 play-to-earn online gaming universe that witnessed over 200x growth in the last year; and Metafy, a video game education platform providing one-on-one access to champion-level gaming coaches. When launching 776’s first fund, the firm said explicitly that it sought a diverse investor base, of which 50% identified as female and 15% as Black or Indigenous people. Seven Seven Six, better known as 776, announced today that it has closed on $500 million across two vehicles for its second fund. The most recent survey revealed that 51% of 776’s LPs identify as female, 13% as Black or Indigenous people and 10% as Latino/a/e.

Earlybird VC rolls out in France with a new fund

Earlybird, best known as the Berlin-based VC which has backed myriad German and European startups such as SoundCloud and N26, is today expanding its reach in Europe with the creation of a team and adjunct fund based out of Paris, France. According to most annual European surveys, France regularly appears as the third biggest startup ecosystem in Europe, (behind first the U.K. and then Germany) and last year investment in French startups doubled. The background to this of course is that European VC is (finally!) becoming more competitive as it feels the heat both from U.S. VCs, and also other European VCs using remote working and deal-making to suck up deals well outside their territories. The fund’s core focus lies on early-stage companies — predominantly seed and Series A — and will be supporting French entrepreneurs with initial investments of between €1 million to €10 million.

FinTech Wayflyer raised Series B round of $150M led by DST Global

To underscore the demand for solutions to address this, today a startup called Wayflyer — which has built a new kind of financing platform, using big data analytics and repayments based on a merchant revenue activity — is announcing a big round of funding, $150 million. In terms of competitors, the size of the loans it typically makes, and the frequency — depending on the nature and size of the customer, loans could be made as frequently as monthly — has partly meant that Wayflyer doesn’t compete against, but complements, some of the other companies that have emerged as financiers to e-commerce businesses. E-commerce has continued to boom in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, but running an e-commerce business has also become significantly more chaotic, with unpredictable supply chains, logistics hiccups and overall higher costs upending even the best-laid plans. The company’s technology is a classic big-data play: It uses a number of sources of data, from Shopify and Woo Commerce through to TrustPilot reviews and Google Analytics and even wider information about how shipping services are performing, to determine how a merchant is doing as a business.

What is DAO, these VC-backed companies want to define its meaning

Though compliance presents an ever-evolving suite of challenges, the most persistent landmine for DAO tooling startups has been helping DAOs educate their users on potential threats — something that will only become more important as crypto startups and DAOs look to entice an increasingly mainstream user base.

Cryptocurrency startup Nestcoin raised seed round of $6.5M

While DCG focuses on western markets and building products for HNIs and institutional clients with custodial features, Nestcoin primarily builds, invests and operates web3 and non-custodial products that are more accessible for everyday people in frontier markets. Before starting Nestcoin, founders Yele Bademosi and Taiwo Orilogbon led the charge at Bundle Africa.

Small and Medium Businesses startup withco raised Series A round of $28M

Withco mission is to purchase properties and then rent them back to small business owners with the option to purchase the property at a future date. For Song, withco is also about putting more control in the hands of small business owners, which face more challenges than ever before.

FinTech veterans back Metronome in its Series A round of $30M

While this is easier for customers, it has created headaches for many software, or SaaS, businesses that are not equipped with billing systems that can easily charge customers on a usage basis. Woody agrees, adding that Metronome can help companies that have built a new product that they want to get out into the market as quickly as possible.