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🗓 All FinTech news in May 2022

African FinTEch Talk360 raised seed round of $4M

While saying that the calling business will continue to grow in Africa, Talk360 co-founder and managing director for Africa Dean Hiine anticipates great growth for its payment platform, which he says will also make it easy for international merchants to sell to users in Africa too.

Stripe's newest BNPL is powered by Affirm

Affirm — which was founded by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin — has built technology that can underwrite individual transactions, and once determining a customer is eligible offer them the option to pay on a biweekly or monthly basis. Some customers are in fact charged interest but Affirm says it doesn’t charge late fees and that there are no surprises with the amount of interest it charges. In an interview earlier this year, Libor Michalek, Affirm’s president of technology emphasized the company’s efforts to be transparent.

Blockchain startup Vendia raised Series B of $30M led by NewView

Wagner also noted that the company recently launched a new product line around CRM data sharing and since the company is seeing a lot of traction around its file-sharing capabilities, it is also investing in that as well.

Bonfire Ventures raised two B2B software funds with total of $230M

Bonfire Ventures, a Los Angeles venture capital firm, invests in seed-stage business-to-business software companies and aims to change the odds so that more than the average 33% of companies in this sector make it to Series A.

Onramp Funds raised $42M led by LKCM Investments

The company doesn’t just look at top-line sales, which Youngstrom believes differentiates his company from competitors but takes in historical sales data to build a sales forecast.

SBI doubles down on Digital Asset newest round of funding

The objective of the partnership is to bring programmable money, or digital money that can be coded to act in a certain way based on predetermined conditions, into the Japanese market, said Digital Asset in a separate statement.

Cryptocurrency startup Ayoken raised pre-seed round of $1.4M

Using the funds raised from the investors, among them Founders Factory Africa, Texas-based Kon Ventures, Europe-based venture capital collective Crypto League, Ghana-based R9C Ventures and Maximus Ventures, Ayoken plans to sign a number of exclusive deals with artists and partnerships with telcos, besides growing its team and secondary marketplaces.

E-Commerce startup BetaStore raised pre-series A round of $2.5M

These challenges befall millions of micro-retailers across the continent, and Betastore, a B2B retail marketplace for informal retailers, is working to resolve in Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Senegal.

FinTech Finix, new killer of Stripe

Finix is not coming out of nowhere. The SaaS startup — which started out in early 2020 by selling its payments tech to other businesses — raised a $35 million Series B led by Sequoia.

FinTech Jar is looking for another $50M on its cap table in India

In fact, such is the demand for gold in India — Indians stockpile more gold than citizens in any other country — that the South Asian nation is also one of the world’s largest importers of this precious metal.

FlexID won a grant from Algorand to provide self-sovereign IDs to unbanked in Africa

When people have little or no confidence in the financial system, or they don’t know certain financial services that meet their needs exist or they don’t have formal identification documents to seek these services, achieving optimal financial inclusion can prove herculean.

Financial Services startup Letsbloom raised Series A round of $377M led by Credo Capital Management

startup platform Bloom has now secured a £300 million / $377 million financing round led by Credo Capital and Fortress Investment Group LLC (NYSE:FIG), making it one of the better-funded revenue-based lending businesses in Europe.

OnlyFans founder launches Zoopcards to break into web3

Stokley will serve as co-CEO of the company alongside RJ Phillips, another former OnlyFans exec joining Zoop this summer. Zoop plans to release 500 cards per influencer for its initial drops and has long-term plans to launch its own token, Phillips told The Block.

New $90M fund for proptech startups backed by 1Sharpe Ventures

As it seeks potential investments, 1Sharpe is focusing on three categories: financial transactions and access to capital; real estate human capital; and data and intelligence. The new firm will invest in 30 to 40 early-stage companies in the real estate technology world, with check sizes ranging from $500,000 to $2 million.

Viola Credit' new FinTech focused $700M fund will back asset-based lending

Fintech startup and alternative credit asset manager Viola Credit, has closed its latest $700 million fund which provides asset-based lending capital to FinTech, PropTech, and InsurTech startups.

Old Fashion Research launch new $100M crypto fund

Zhang said she has noticed a growing interest of funds coming into the crypto space or new funds launching to invest in crypto after they saw the potentials of blockchain technology and crypto ecosystem.

MotiSure to drive InsurTecg via micro-payments in Kenya

The startup, which targets motorcycle taxi (boda boda) operators, their passengers and users of other forms of public transport (hereafter commuters), is building a business around daily micro-payments for personal accident covers, with some premiums going as low as $0.1. Macharia’s interest in the sector began in 2018 when he launched a pay-per-use micro insurance product for motor vehicles — which was informed by data and patterns he had observed when he operated an automobile repair shop. The personal accident coverage for motorcycle taxi operators, which requires premiums of $0.1 day ($3 a month) includes medical expenses up to $6,000 annually, and payment for loss of income due to hospitalization following an accident, disability or death. Macharia said their approach was informed by studies showing that boda boda riders desired insurance products that went beyond asset coverage.

Another FinTech layoff: Bolt – 100 employees

In response to the allegations and reports, Kuruvilla then said that Bolt has seen a 131% year over year increase in shopper accounts and a 192% year over year increase in total active merchant accounts. One-click checkout startup Bolt has laid off at least 100 employees, and counting, across go-to-market, sales and recruiting roles.

E-Commerce startup JABU raised Series A round of $15M led by Tiger Global Management

Akinin narrated how merchants would use a platform’s BNPL offering, generate revenue, and proceed to pay for the next invoice with this profit or purchase stock from another supplier in an entirely different supply chain.

Polygon wants Terra projects move to its blockchain with a $550M fund

The fund will be financed by the $450 million Polygon had raised previously, its treasury, and a $100 million ecosystem fund, Wyatt said, adding the company will deploy more capital as needed.

Cryptocurrency startup ZenLedger raised Series B round of $15M led by ParaFi Capital

Larsen said the situation with Hannum didn’t affect investors’ attitude towards the funding round, and that ZenLedger had already secured ParaFi as a lead investor before Hannum’s misdeeds were made public.

Web3 startup Primitives raised seed round of $4M led by Redpoint Ventures

Primitives’ ultimate goal is for the digital wallet to become a central location for a user to hold NFTs and cryptocurrencies, interact with friends, store music, play games, and more, Gabeau said.

Procurement startup Zip raised Series B round of $43M led by Y Combinator Continuity Fund

As part of the product capabilities around workflow, Zaparde said that Zip provides a no-code interface for building approval workflows within the product and has specifically focused its workflow capabilities on solving the intake-to-procure problem.

Cryptocurrency startup Babel Finance raised Series B round of $80M

Babel has evolved from a crypto lending business targeting miners and others into a comprehensive crypto asset manager for institutional investors. The growth of Babel Finance, which offers a suite of institution-facing crypto financial products, could be an indicator of how banks, investment funds, and other traditional investors are embracing the emerging digital asset class. It’s one of the many crypto firms to have recently opened an office in Singapore, which is competing with Hong Kong to be the crypto nexus of Asia.

Tech layoffs: Paypal to fire 83 employees in the Bay Area

PayPal layoffs, while just now coming to the surface, were conducted around a week before the fintech confirmed that it was shuttering its San Francisco office. PayPal, which has over 30,000 employees, told staff during a recent all-hands meeting that there will be no mass layoffs, sources say.

Adam Neumann's GreenTech startup Flow Carbon raised $70M

Of the total funds raised in this round, $32 million came from venture capital firms and $38 million from the sale of Flowcarbon’s Goddess Nature Token (GNT), a crypto token on the Celo blockchain backed by carbon credits, Reuters reported.

NFT startup Doppel raised seed round of $5M led by FTX

Doppel indexes NFT data across various blockchains, including Ethereum, Solana, Polygon, Flow, and others, and uses models that incorporate keywords and metadata to spot fraud, Tian said.

Artificial Intelligence startup Nowports raised Series C round of $150M

Nowports, an automated digital freight forwarder in Latin America, has raised $150 million in a Series C funding round which values the company at $1.1 billion.

eBay + OneOf yield first NFT Web3 partnership

eBay is the latest company to enter the NFT business, as the online marketplace announced today that it launching its first collection of NFTs in partnership with web3 platform OneOf.

Klarna to fire 700 people

Unfortunately for Klarna employees, the company hasn’t said who will be affected by the job cuts. Cutting 10% of the company’s workforce means that around 700 people will lose their job at the fintech company.

MainStreet is likely to price its next round at 60% discount

Sources say the down round comes as MainStreet also pursues a recapitalization, in which older investors are selling their stakes at a discounted valuation with new ones entering at friendlier terms. Thus, MainStreet’s new said value could be a sign of investors needing cash, and yet another data point of tech startups experiencing valuation haircuts.

YC backed FinTech Pebble to offer 5% yield on cash via stablecoin

Pebble’s 5% cash back is higher than what traditional credit cards tend to offer because traditional credit card providers rely on middlemen like Visa and Mastercard as well as fraud protection services and other third parties to process their transactions, leaving less in reward cash for the customer, Bai explained.

E-Commerce startup Sylndr raised pre-seed round of $13M led by Raed Ventures

The automotive marketplace where customers can sell and buy used cars has raised a pre-seed round of $12.6 million–the largest of its kind in MENA and sub-Saharan Africa, besting what Rabbit, a 20-minute convenience delivery startup, pulled in last November.

GameFi StepN literally pays you to move

For one, it’s working on a price stabilization mechanism to ensure the cost of its coins is always at a rate that the shoes are affordable for new users but also not so cheap that existing users lack the incentives to mint new shoes, that is, create new shoes on the blockchain and sell. Since its launch in December, StepN, an app that lets users walk and run to earn tokens, has quickly become a household name in the play-to-earn blockchain gaming, or GameFi, world.

South Korea might prosecute Do Kwon

The Seoul Southern District Prosecutors’ Office said Friday that it has kicked off an investigation on Terraform Labs, the organization behind the stablecoin project Terra led by Do Kwon, and assigned the case to its Financial and Securities Crime Joint Investigation Team, a special financial crimes unit brought back recently by the newly appointed justice minister Dong-hoon Han, according to local media.

FTX to compete with Robinhood by launching stock trading feature

The exchange says it will not receive payment for order flow (PFOF), a method for order fulfillment Robinhood became notorious for that involves the exchange receiving payment from market makers for directing orders their way.

Residential FinTech Belong, backed by Bezos, raised $80M

Belong, a startup that aims to address both these issues while giving renters a way to save toward home ownership, has just raised $50 million in equity and secured $30 million in debt to expand its offerings and markets it serves.

Data Intelligence startup Near raised $100M before their SPAC

It works with major brands and companies including McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Ford, the CBRE Group and 60% of the Fortune 500, which use Near’s interactive, cloud-based AI platform (branded Allspark) to tap into anonymised, location-based profiles of users based on a trove of information that Near sources and then merges from phones, data partners, carriers and its customers

M&A game is heating up in DeFi space

At the Permissionless conference in West Palm Beach this week, conversations around crypto M&A were heating up as market players discussed this trend growing at the protocol level for DeFi.

Neobank Neon, backed by BBVA, just 3x'ed their ARR

When Pedro Conrade started Brazilian digital bank Neon in 2016, he was a 23-year-old business school student who was frustrated with the service and costs associated with traditional banking in his country.

Mossy launches USDTea

Mossy’s solution for the calamitous sector, a stablecoin called USDTea, is backed by what they claim is America’s most stable asset: cans of AriZona Iced Tea.

Store management FinTech SpotOn raised Series F round of $300M

The investment marks SpotOn third raise in the past year alone and Dragoneer’s sixth time investing in the company over a three-year period. For context, SpotOn’s Series E raise at a $3.15 billion valuation was about 5x of its $625 million valuation at the time of its Series C round. It comes on the heels of a year in which the company says it saw 100% year-over-year ARR growth.

InsurTech Trellis Technologies raised series A round of $5M from Amex

By partnering with existing financial services platforms such as Acorns, Truebill and Albert, Trellis aims to help businesses that have an audience that are already engaged, and that they are having financial conversations with, help bring insurance into the conversation.

Fraud prevention, account funding, ID and income verification by Plaid

Beyond those new offerings, in what is perhaps the most surprising new news to come out of the company today, Plaid said it is also hoping to turn new users into active customers through account funding, which will give people a way to pay, or be paid, for goods and services.

Web3 startup QuestBook raised Series A round of $8.3M

Since attracting a large enough base, QuestBook has been exploring ways to help developers secure funds to build their projects. Even as more than 34,000 new developers committed code for a web3 project in 2021, it’s still a tiny fraction of the global software engineers base, according to a recent report by Electric Capital.

FinTech startup Get Bamba raised seed round of $3.2M

After spending some time in Kenya (where he was now used to paying via mobile money and rarely cash), he noticed that businesses relied heavily on manual bookkeeping and didn’t have software to record their cash and mobile money transactions.

Kids-first FinTech Greenlight launched a credit card for parents

Parents must opt into the automatic investment feature, and if they don’t want their funds invested in the ETFs Greenlight pre-determines are relatively safe, they can also choose to invest that cash in other ways through Greenlight investment app or opt for the cash to go directly to their bank account, Sheehan said. The Greenlight-branded card, offered through Mastercard, offers up to 3% unlimited cash back on all purchases and gives parents the option to automatically invest those cash rewards in stocks and ETFs to spend on family-related expenses, co-founder and CEO Tim Sheehan told journalist. Sheehan said the company considered designing the card so cash back accrued into a 529 plan, a tax-advantaged educational savings account parents can open on behalf of their children. Plenty of investment platforms, including Bank of America, Fidelity and Charles Schwab, offer credit cards that automatically invest cash rewards into the market, but Greenlight hopes its focus on families and their needs will help it stand out.

CyberConnect raised Series A round of $15M led by Sky9 Capital

CyberConnect plans to generate revenues through the social data network, which include different participants like data contributors, indexers and recommenders, curators, and users.

Coinbase' COO announced on the plans to hire less

Choi noted that headcount growth is a key input in the company’s financial model, and that slowing the rate of hiring is important in ensuring Coinbase can reach the profitability guidance it has set for investors.

Robinhood to open up crypto wallets for its customers

With a custodial wallet, Robinhood holds the private key on behalf of a user, meaning that users can invest in crypto by tracking its price movements but they cannot directly transact with their crypto funds. Now that it’s launching a non-custodial wallet, users will be able to access and manage their own digital assets, including cryptocurrencies and decentralized apps (dApps) including NFTs, Kerbrat said.

Web3 Encode Club raised seed round of $5M led by Galaxy Digital

London, United Kingdom-based startup Encode Club, founded in 2020, trained 15,000 developers last year alone through its programming, CEO and co-founder Anthony Beaumont told journalist in an interview.

Fortris Digital Ventures announced $100 million new crypto fund

Even as more traditional financial players enter the crypto world, blockchain investor Fortis Digital Ventures is closing a $100 million crypto fund that aims to bridge the gap between the old and new finance worlds. The firm will focus on investing in web3 companies that are building better user experiences and solving real world issues for people or businesses.

BaaS FinTech UNIT raised Series C round of $100M

In other words, Unit touts that companies using its technology in a variety of industries — such as freelance or creator economy and personal financial management, for example — can build financial products directly into their software.

Marketplace startup Fashinza raised Series B round of $100M led by Westbridge Capital

The round brings Fashinza’s total raised to $135 million, which Gupta says is being used to refine the company’s supply chain technology and expand into new markets, including raw materials procurement. In an endorsement of Fashinza’s approach to supply chain management, the company today announced that it raised $100 million in Series B funding ($60 million in equity and $40 million in debt).

Linktree releases new NFT feature

Linktree is also introducing a new NFT lock feature that allows creators to lock their links using a smart contract address.

Venmo vs Apple Cash: Apple allows you send and request money in Wallet

Key among these are features for managing podcast storage across devices, tools to enable annual podcast subscriptions and the newly announced Apple Podcasts Delegated Delivery system that will soon allow creators to more easily distribute their podcasts directly to Apple Podcasts from third-party hosting providers.

Infinity Ventures, an early-stage VC launch with $158M FinTech fund

A trio of PayPal Ventures alumni has raised $158 million for Infinity Ventures, a new early-stage venture firm dedicated to investing in fintech startups globally. Infinity’s inaugural fund has not been previously announced until today, but to date, Infinity has backed 11 companies in the U.S., Asia, Latin America, and Europe.

Spotify to follow Twitter and Instagram with testing NFTs

In October, the company partnered with Shopify to allow artists on its service to connect their Spotify profiles with their Shopify stores, allowing them to market their merchandise directly to fans through the Spotify app.

Sam Bankman-Fried on Bitcoing vs Lightning to FT

Bitcoin’s most prominent layer-two, the Lightning network, can execute hundreds of thousands of transactions per second by settling transactions off-chain in a separate ledger, Lightning Labs CEO and co-founder Elizabeth Stark told journalist.

Quantum Computing startup Classiq raised Series B round of $36M

Tel Aviv-based Classiq, a startup that wants to make it easier for developers to build quantum algorithms and applications, today announced that it has raised additional funding for its service.

eFounders just launched web3 studio in EU

If you’re not familiar with eFounders, the startup studio comes up with ideas for new startups, teams up with two co-founders and help with the product-market fit phase in exchange for a stake in the startup. eFounders co-founder Thibaud Elziere will be the interim head of studio and Salesmachine co-founder Florent Quinti will be the first 3founders employee.

NARS in South Korea classifies crypto as a virtual asset

The National Assembly Research Service (NARS) of South Korea, which provides information and analysis on legislative and policy issues to lawmakers, classifies crypto as a virtual asset. It says the tax threshold for income generated from virtual assets should be 2.5 million won or $1,946 with a tax rate of 20%, according to a notice posted last week.

What happened in FinTech this week

The round brings the company’s valuation to $842 million, nearly doubling the $447 million it was valued at after its Series C. Egyptian fintech Paymob, which enables merchants to accept digital payments online and in-store, raised $50 million in Series B funding. The rise of digital payments has changed the nature of how people do business with each other; and open banking — a movement in banking where incumbents are finally adopting newer technology such as APIs to open their systems to modern integrations — is leading to a wave of new payment methods, all of which are hoping to become as standard as cash or paying with cards. Last week, a company called Paddle, which has built a large business out of providing the billing backend for those SaaS products, announced a large funding round of $200 million as it gears up for its own next stage of growth.

Vishal Garg "personally guaranteed" $750M loan for FinTech

Specifically, an S-4 filing by Aurora states: The Better Founder and CEO, in his personal capacity, has agreed to enter into a side letter with SoftBank, pursuant to which he may be liable for realized losses or receive payments in certain circumstances from SoftBank in connection with the Post-Closing Convertible Notes, which could divert the resources and attention of the Better Founder and CEO from our business and have a negative impact on his personal financial situation.

Nexi to acquire Orderbird for about $150M for its SMB business

The previous share purchases refers to an existing relationship between the two: Nets already had a stake in Orderbird as a result of an acquisition it had made of payments company Concardis, and it increased that stake to 40% in a secondary transaction in September 2021. to acquire Ubble after raising $1B

A few months after raising $1 billion, payments startup has announced that it plans to acquire French startup Ubble, which operates a remote identity verification service. When looking at digital identity verification startups, had a few criteria, such as accuracy, speed of decision, how many types of different frauds they can detect and how sophisticated it is. Following this acquisition, there could be some customers that start their relationship with through identity verification.

Stephane Kasriel about Facebook Pay becoming Meta Pay

Facebook has been in payments since 2009 and says people use its platforms to make payments in 160 countries and 55 currencies, including person to person, business to business, and business to consumer payments. Facebook Pay will soon be renamed Meta Pay, according to a blog post written by Meta head of fintech, Stephane Kasriel.

a16z backs David Marcus in starting Lightspark FinTech

The firm did not disclose funding amounts oddly but is sharing that their first round is co-led by a16z Crypto and Paradigm with participation from Thrive Capital, Coatue, Felix Capital, Ribbit Capital, Matrix Partners and Zeev Ventures. Bitcoin’s lightning network allows for cheaper and faster transactions than the base level network allows, making it a more ideal platform to leverage for payments and decentralized apps.

Terra/LUNA/UST/TFL to stop their Blockchain after the crash

Terraform Labs, the company behind the UST and Terra (LUNA) cryptocurrencies, halted the Terra blockchain Thursday following the Terra ecosystem meltdown this week, which caused its TerraUSD (UST) stablecoin token to crash, taking with it the rest of the cryptocurrency market. The halt means no new blocks are being generated on the blockchain network after its block height of 7603700, and holders can’t move their Terra assets until the blockchain is unfrozen.

African FinTech Interswitch raised a down round of $110M

African payments company Interswitch has secured a $110 million joint investment from LeapFrog Investments and Tana Africa Capital to scale its digital payment services across the continent, the two private investment firms said in a statement Wednesday. Alongside existing investors, LeapFrog and Tana plan to work with management to continue to drive Interswitch’s pan-African strategy.

Blockchain startup Animoca Brands to merge EdTech with NFT

But just eight years ago, Siu co-founded Animoca Brands, a prolific software and VC company that has invested in over 220 portfolios across blockchain gaming, NFTs, decentralized finance, and the metaverse, among other sectors, he told journalist. Animoca Brands has grown into one of the biggest firms in the metaverse, play-to-earn gaming, and NFT worlds.

FinTech Altro (Perch) raised Series A round of $18M

Altro (Perch) announced today it has raised $18 million in a Series A funding round led by Pendulum, with participation from Marcy Ventures, as well as Citi Ventures, Black Capital Fund, Concrete Rose Fund and individual investors such as Dick Parsons and Deborah Quazzo.

Brazil FinTech Dock raised Venture round of $110M

In 2014, Riverwood Capital and Antonio Soares — who now serves as Dock’s CEO — bought out 100% of Conductor and essentially created the company that is Dock today. The company’s client base includes fintechs, retailers, banks and technology companies that are focused on not only improving the customer experience for the currently banked population, but also on helping bring previously unbanked and underbanked consumers into the digital payments and banking systems.

Wealth Tech startup Tifin raised Series D round of $109M

Since its Series C, the company acquired Qualis, which is focused on bringing private market investments to retail investors, according to Nair — a growing area of interest among wealth managers seeking to provide their clients with differentiated returns from the public markets. The round brings the company’s valuation to $842 million, nearly doubling the $447 million it was valued at after its Series C. Investment manager Franklin Templeton and fintech venture firm Motive Partners joined the latest round as new investors, the company says. raised round of $40M for open banking

Clyde said also that Token’s payment volumes grew 20-fold last year, and currently account for 21% of all account-to-account payments in the UK and Europe — a proportion that is set to rise as more of its customers take their Token integrations live.

BVNK raised Series A round of $40M led by Tiger Global Management

BVNK offers banking services and payments for crypto-native businesses. For instance, many crypto wallets embed MoonPay in their apps so that users can buy crypto assets with a debit card.

Gary Gensler says SEC plans to double the size of its Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit

US Securities and Exchange Commission chair Gary Gensler made his concerns clear in an interview with Bloomberg on Tuesday, calling out crypto exchanges for offering multiple services that are often in conflict with one another, such as custody, market-making, and trading. Gensler specifically took aim at the top three largest stablecoins — Binance USD, USD Coin and Tether — saying that it is not a coincidence that they are all closely tied to crypto exchanges.

Solana's founder about having "fanatical" conviction

While Bitcoin and Ethereum have sustained over 20% declines each over the past week, a number of emerging projects have been hit even harder, including Silicon Valley darling Solana which has seen its token price decline some 40% week-over-week.

U.S. Treasury vs UST, not USDT nor USDC, yet.

While some may be hesitant about stablecoins after the UST situation, the dramatic growth in USDC speaks to the fact that the crypto market does understand what a trusted stablecoin could provide, Allaire said. For example, the two largest stablecoins by market capitalization, Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC), are backed by fiat-equivalent reserves issued by centralized firms.

What's up with UST, stablecoins and Terra

UST is an algorithmic stablecoin that leans on a system of traders who swap between LUNA and UST when the value of UST goes above or below its 1:1 ratio, so it could hold to the U.S. dollar. The impact of this event can have broader implications across the market, as seen earlier this week when bitcoin’s value fell below $30,000 and U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen pushed for more stablecoin regulation during an annual testimony in front of the Senate Banking Committee on May 10, right in the middle of when Terra’s algorithmic stablecoin, UST, struggled to retain its peg.

Shopping startup Oriient raised Series A round of $11M

Oriient, which powers the platform that Instacart shoppers use to gather their orders in hundreds of stores in North America, this week announced that it has raised an $11 million Series A round, which brings its total funding to $16 million. The idea behind Oriient, which currently has 35 employees, is to offer an indoor positioning platform that can work without any dedicated hardware, beacons or Wi-Fi to locate you inside an airport, office, store or anywhere else without access to a GPS signal.

Recruiting startup Deel raised venture round of $50M at $12B valuation

Deel is an example of a company that was in the right place at the right time, aided by what appears to be strong execution. Remote hiring company Deel has raised $50 million at a $12 billion valuation, according to an Axios report.

Supply Chain Management startup Crowdz raised Convertible Note round of $10M

By offering invoice and recurring revenue financing, Crowdz says it wants to help SMEs have a greater shot at success by opening up access to capital. The company’s latest financing is part of an ongoing $200 million investment from Citi into technology creating social impact, and was led by its Spread Products Investment Technologies (SPRINT) team, the strategic investing arm of the bank’s Global Spread Products division.

Real Estate & Construction startup Habi raised Series C round of $200M

Over the past year, Habi says it has worked on building out its services and proprietary database, so that it can offer customers a full stack of services including iBuyer, brokerage, financial services and a marketplace. With this latest raise, Habi says it has become the second unicorn in Colombia and only LatAm unicorn with a female founder and CEO.

Crypto startup raised seed round of $23M

Nnadi says his company will engage more African governments — including those who have an anti-crypto stance like Nigeria and Kenya– to see the benefits of blockchain and assist in drafting licensing regimes for crypto companies to operate in their countries. In a statement, the company revealed that it struck a partnership with the Central African Republic — the first country to legalize bitcoin as a legal tender in Africa and second globally only to El Salvador –to become its official crypto partner and an advisor to the president on crypto strategy and planning.

FinTech startup LUXUS raised pre-seed round of $2.5M to sell diamonds

Its target investors are similar to those participating in crypto, Auslander said — retail investors, collectible lovers, and people who are fans of events like the Met Gala or the Oscars who not only read editorial coverage of those events but also want to participate in the ownership of related assets.

KYC startup IdentityPass raised seed round of $2.8M led by MaC Venture Capital

Powered by this seed funding led by MaC Venture Capital, Identitypass plans to expand its existing infrastructure, roll out new verticals around compliance, security and data collection, and push into new African countries. These end points are government-approved IDs, such as national IDs, driver licenses, international passports, bank verification numbers (BVN), phone numbers, vehicle plate numbers, debit cards, security watchlists and tax history.

Robinhood to offer new 1% interest rate on uninvested cash

Robinhood brokerage cash sweep program used to offer an interest rate of 0.5% to customers that were enrolled for its Cash Management feature, according to the company. 1% APY (annual percentage yield) may not sound like a particularly sexy return.

RegTech startup Chainalysis raised Series F round of $170M

Singapore-based crypto trading and asset management startup Amber Group is reportedly raising a new round at a $10 billion valuation; 11 months ago it had just reached the unicorn status in a $100 million financing round. Chainalysis, a startup that provides crypto investigation and compliance services, has secured $170 million in a Series F funding round led by GIC, a sovereign wealth fund of Singapore.

a16z backed Flow by Dapper Labs launched crypto fund $725M

The fund, which is backed by Dapper’s venture arm and Dapper investors Andreessen Horowitz, Coatue, Union Square Ventures, Coinfund, Digital Currency Group and Cadenza Ventures, among others, is aiming to incentivize more crypto devs to choose Flow as the blockchain they build their projects on with investments, token grants and development support.

US Treasury says stablecoin regulation will be ready by end of year

Earlier today, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen pushed for regulation during an annual testimony in front of the Senate Banking Committee, at a time where Terra algorithmic stablecoin UST struggles to retain its peg. Stablecoins by definition are supposed to be stable and hold their value through a 1:1 ratio that is fixed to an external peg like the U.S. dollar or it can be tied to other assets like UST, which is backed by dollars, but also cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Avalanche.

Bitcoin to become Apple of the blockchain

Its open source network allows custom smart contracts to be built on Bitcoin, enabling developers to use the Bitcoin blockchain to create dApps. Laughlin explained that without the Taproot upgrade implemented on the Bitcoin network late last year, which makes it easier and faster to verify transactions, the growth of Bitcoin as an ecosystem would have been much more limited. Bitcoin supporters, including Thiel, ARK Invest’s Cathie Wood and MicroStrategy’s Michael Saylor, all spoke at Bitcoin 2022 about its ability to act as a store of value when central banks relax their policies and let inflation run hot, as has been the case in the United States throughout the majority of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is building infrastructure for the Bitcoin Lightning Network akin to Visa’s payments network, Lightning Labs CEO and co-founder Elizabeth Stark told journalist.

Logistics startup Mylerz raised seed of $9.6M to expand in Africa

The startup also has its eyes on the growing e-commerce market in East Africa, with the long-term goal of growing into a pan-African shipping logistics provider – by tapping the e-commerce market in Africa, which has experienced 18% annual growth since 2014.

Republics wants to break into crypto with its new $700 million fund

It’s been fairly active in the crypto space specifically — it led an investment in blockchain company Flipside, a data analytics tool for protocols that rewards users for completing queries, last month, and participated in Indian web3 startup CoinDCX’s recent $135 million fundraise. In February, Republic spun out its metaverse and NFT-focused investment division, Republic Realm, as a standalone company called Everyrealm run by Janine Yorio.

NFT startup Paper raised seed round of $7.3M led by Initialized Capital

But Paper, a crypto-focused payments processing company launched in February, is working to make buying, using and holding NFTs easier for the everyday customer or fan trying to buy a digital collectible, James Sun, co-founder and CEO of the company, told journalist. While incorporating email addresses might feel more Web 2.0-focused, Sun said the team aims to maintain the interoperability of what crypto is supposed to be.

Crypto startup Co:Create raised seed round of $25M

Alberto Simon, co-founder of art investing platform Masterworks, is leaving his current role at Gemini’s Nifty Gateway NFT platform to join Co:Create as a co-founder and chief product officer, Fung said. Co:Create will be chain-agnostic, meaning it will support the blockchains on which its customers have built their NFT projects, Fung said.

20+ BNPL startups to watch in 2022

However, now that consumers have grown comfortable with BNPL as a concept and are increasingly using it as an alternative to credit cards, we’re seeing opportunities for new BNPL products for recurring bills, such as rent or streaming service subscriptions.

Crypto startup KuCoin raised Series A extension round of $150M

KuCoin, which has amassed over 18 million users in 200 countries and regions and is one of the largest exchanges by daily SPOT trading volume, plans to invest the fresh funds in broadening its portfolio of crypto wallets, GameFi, DeFi, and NFT platforms and DAOs, Lyu said. KuCoin valuation has surged to $10 billion in its first financing round.

E-Commerce Platforms startup Meld raised seed round of $8M led by Coatue Management

Meld’s customers bring their own third-party service providers onto the platform, and Meld is responsible for integrating each service provider onto the singular API and dashboard the customer uses. Bengani, who previously ran Square’s platform and partnerships team, said he noticed while he was onboarding developers there that they often had to spend more time building and managing third-party integrations than on developing their own products.

Yapily announced plans to acquire finAPI

Based in the U.K., Yapily offers a single, unified open banking API to interact with bank accounts. Companies can leverage open banking to check the balance on a bank account, fetch the most recent transactions, but also initiate payments directly from a bank account. Like Yapily, finAPI clients can obtain account information and initiate payments using an API.

As crypto crashes in China, some exchanges are getting more traffic

Terraform Labs, the organization behind UST, cryptocurrency Luna and Luna Foundation Guard, emptied its treasury wallet of all of its bitcoin, about 42,530 bitcoin, or $1.3 billion, on Monday.

Bitcoin at $30K as LFG emptied its treasury wallet

The depegging of UST is forcing LFG to liquidate reserves from both LUNA and bitcoin in order to correct the pegging of UST to $1, Franzen said. If Terraform Labs is selling its bitcoin en masse into a market that’s already selling aggressively, it wouldn’t offer peg support, Jack Melnick, a token researcher at The TIE.

Cryptocurrency startup Arianee raised Series A round of $21M

When people download the Arianee app and add the digital passport to their smartphone, brands get a new channel to reach their customers. Arianee has raised a $21 million Series A round (€20 million) in a round led by Tiger Global

Kevin O’Leary on stablecoins

It’s a little less than two weeks since Crypto Bahamas began, but we’re still bringing out content from the conference, because, seriously, there was so much good ideas we couldn’t not share it.

Instagram to follow Twitter in testing NFTs this week

Instagram head Adam Mosseri announced today that the platform is going to start testing NFTs with select creators in the United States this week. Mosseri noted that there will be no fees associated with posting or sharing a digital collectible on Instagram. At launch, the supported blockchains for showcasing NFTs on Instagram are Ethereum and \[…\]

Paddle raised Series D round of $200M to take on IAP agains Apple

Sold as a SaaS itself — basic pricing is 5% + 50 cents per transaction — Paddle premise follows the basic principle of so many other business tools: payments is typically not a core competency of, say, a video conferencing or security company (one of its customers is BlueJeans, now owned by Verizon, which used to own journalist; another is Fortinet).

Payments startup Paymob raised Series B round of $50M

Egyptian fintech Paymob, which enables merchants to accept digital payments online and in-store, announced today it has raised $50 million in Series B funding. The Tap-on-phone product leverages contactless payments technology so that these merchants can turn their NFC-enabled smartphones — personal or commercial — into a POS by downloading a Paymob-powered app.

FinTech startup Mentum raised $4.2M led by Gradient Ventures

Mentum is out to change that in Latin America, and is working on customizable investment APIs and widgets so businesses in Latin America can build and offer fully digital investment products, like local mutual funds, ETFs and stocks, to their customers. All of them came to the U.S. from Latin America to study and work, and in the course of using some of the investment apps offered in the U.S., they struggled to find similar products in Latin America that provided a way to fully invest.

Stripe vs Plaid

Stripe’s launch of its new Financial Connections product. The product launch in and of itself was newsworthy, yes. But what elevated it in the world of newsworthiness was that it sparked some controversy, as it is pretty much exactly what Plaid, a one-time partner of Stripe’s, does

Layoffs is a new wave for tech after the pandemic's one

Robinhood to let users lend out their shares in its attempt to diversify revenue On Deck cuts 25% of staff, scales back accelerator On Deck, a tech company that connects founders, laid off about 72 people this week, which amounts to about 25% of staff Over the past week, we’ve witnessed an alarming amount of layoffs across the startup ecosystem, from buzzy, big names like Cameo, On Deck and Robinhood, to B2B platforms like Workrise and Thrasio. Amazon aggregator Thrasio begins layoffs, names new CEO Thrasio’s business model is to buy up and consolidate third-party Amazon sellers, but apparently, that strategy is rife with ups and downs.

CEO Doug Ludlow of Fintech MainStreet about 30% layoffs

MainStreet, a startup that helps other startups uncover tax credits that was valued at $500 million last year, has laid off about 30% of its staff, according to a tweet from CEO Doug Ludlow.

No crypto trading for FinTechs in Uganda yet

The Bank of Uganda, in a letter, said it had not licensed any payment provider or operator, including banks or fintechs, to sell or facilitate trade using crypto — while also making reference to the government’s stand that crypto is still not legal tender. A country of 5.4 million people according to the World Bank, and one of the poorest countries in the world despite being rich in resources like diamond and gold, the CAR became only the second country in the world to legalize bitcoin, after El Salvador.

On Deck to scale back ODX after cutting 25 percent of the work force

On Deck, a tech company that connects founders to each other, capital and advice, has laid off 25% off its staff, per sources familiar with the company. On Deck, not to be confused with small business lender OnDeck, is a company that provides capital and network support for emerging fund managers and founders.

NFT Zora Labs raised $50M led by Haun Ventures

Katie Haun new firm, Haun Ventures, has led its first deal in NFT startup Zora Labs. The NFT ecosystem continues to chug along, but the vast majority of volume is still moving through the centralized halls of NFT marketplace OpenSea, leaving crypto VCs eager to find new channels.

Valia Ventures Launches Fund II with $50M for Early-stage founders

That first fund proved so successful — it ranked in the top 5% of its vintage, according to data from Cambridge Associates — that Jalanbo managed to attract one of the largest investment firms in the world as an LP for his second fund — Tiger Global.

Travel startup Sensible Weather raised $12M led by Infinity Ventures

Consumers purchase Weather Guarantee protection when booking travel reservations and ticketed attractions online and if a weather event, such as rain, is forecasted to occur during the covered experience, Sensible automatically sends a reimbursement. The new capital will allow Sensible to grow its deep pool of top engineering and scientific talent, accelerate the development of its proprietary climate data and risk analytics platform and expand its Weather Guarantee offering into international markets.

Rally Cap Ventures launches FinTech focused $30M fund

They include Breyer Capital, Propel VC, Better Tomorrow Ventures, FT Partners, Bain Capital, Lateral Capital, a few family offices, HNIs and a multibillion-dollar crossover fund also known for investing in smaller funds. Rali_cap, an early-stage venture capital firm focused on emerging markets fintech, has launched a $30 million fund.

Health Care FinTech Walnut raised Series A round of $110M led by Gradient Ventures

Walnut works with healthcare providers so that a patient’s bill can be paid back through $100-a-month increments for 30 months, instead of one aggressive credit card swipe Many BNPL startups, Walnut included, do cash-flow underwriting, in which the company connects to users’ bank accounts to see daily income, spending patterns and savings to see if a loan will likely get repaid by the end of month.

Sustainability startup Enduring Planet raised pre-seed round of $5M

Enduring Planet, a new fintech firm that exclusively funds climate entrepreneurs, is taking the wraps of its first product after securing $5 million in debt and equity financing. Out of the gate, Enduring Planet offers revenue-based financing to companies that bring in more than $25,000 per month.

Finance startup Neo Financial raised Series C round of $145M

In an interview with journalist, Neo co-founder and CEO Andrew Chau shared that he and co-founders Jeff Adamson, Chris Simair and Kris Read started Neo to challenge the Big Five banks that own some 90% of the country’s market share.

Financial Connections pulls banking data now

The margins might be thin on any digital payment — one reason why even a company that looks like it’s growing and doing a lot of business might still fail: The numbers need to be huge to work out in its profitable favor — but this is why so many payments companies work on vast scale, and why building in a number of extra valued-added services in hopes of them getting picked up by customers (and customers’ customers), as Stripe is doing here, is smart business, one way that it hopes to sustain itself for the long (and likely public) haul. Stripe has been making a number of acquisitions to bring in extra functionality into its platform to close up some of the gaps — for example almost exactly a year ago it acquired TaxJar to help automatically calculate sales tax and provide related tools to its customers — but it looks like Financial Connections was built in-house, but powered by MX and Finicity (as pointed out by Mary Ann here). Stripe’s selling point for these tools, beyond a more seamless integration with its other products, is that it helps its customers make more transactions. Details like these can in turn be used to help underwrite risk for loans; to track spending patterns and automatically pay bills; and more — in other words, financial data that’s useful or necessary to run financial transactions over other Stripe services like Stripe Connect, ACH payments or Stripe Capital-powered loans. Just yesterday, I wrote about an interesting startup called Kevin (okay, kevin.) that’s building a whole new set of payment rails and APIs for account-to-account payments that link straight into bank accounts, bypassing card rails and legacy account-to-account payment methods that are harder to implement.

Plaid's newest rival – Stripe

Those updates to Stripe’s ACH Debit product were a hint of the news today considering that it was launched with the ability to instantly verify bank accounts, a feature that is competitive with Plaid’s Auth product.

Robinhood revenue is down, new feature is coming

As long as the shares have been fully paid for by the customer, Robinhood says it will match customers with interested borrowers to take the loans and that customers will get paid once their shares are successfully placed.

InsurTech startup Getlife raised seed round of $6.3M led by Singular

He estimates that only 55% can get a life insurance product with a traditional insurance company. The company wants to make it easier to access life insurance products in Europe.

Binance ❤️ France to expand in Europe 🇪🇺

Binance, the world largest crypto exchange by volume, has gained regulatory approval to provide digital asset services in France, the first European country where it has acquired such permission, the company said in a blog post on Thursday. Binance has been busy trying to show European regulators its commitment to practice compliance and promote the region’s blockchain ecosystem. Many Chinese-founded crypto firms have moved their core management to Singapore, which is quickly emerging as a regional hub for blockchain startups. Originally founded in China, Binance has largely pulled out of the country following Beijing’s sweeping crypto ban.

NFTs to be expelled from China

Unlike NFTs that are minted on Ethereum or other public chains and traded with crypto on open marketplaces, digital collectibles issued in China are minted on permissioned blockchains managed by local tech giants and often sold on these companies’ own channels.

Web3 startup Tactic raised seed round of $2.6M led by Ramp

Tactic's software, Jaskiw said, helps companies automatically categorize transactions and apply accounting logic such as calculating $USD gain/loss and taxable events. Tactic, she said, has partnered with accounting firms to help interpret accounting guidelines for DeFi-specific activities such as staking, NFT minting and airdrops.

FinTech startup Amberdata raised Series B round of $30M

Amberdata provides data and insights into blockchain networks, crypto exchanges and decentralized finance for some of the largest financial and digital asset institutions, like Citi, Coinbase, Nasdaq and Franklin Templeton, among others.

Financial Services startup Fundid raised seed round of $3.3M led by Nevcaut Ventures

In addition to building the card product, Sample intends to use the new funding to acquire its first customers for the loans and card businesses — the majority of its customers are using the grant matching product — and onboarding new employees.

Credit startup Masa Finance raised pre-seed round of $3.5M

The startup’s web3 infrastructure works with over 10,000 off-chain data sources from credit bureaus, bank data aggregators, and alternative data across 78 countries allowing Masa to create on-chain credit scoring for its users. Masa Finance, a hybrid credit protocol and decentralized credit bureau founded by Pngme CEO Brendan Playford in late 2020, has raised $3.5 million in pre-seed funding.

Truist wants GenZ, so it acquires FinTech Long Game

Truist — one of the nation largest financial institutions — has acquired Long Game, a 12-person fintech startup that has raised over $20 million in venture capital, executives told journalist exclusively.

Cryptocurrency startup Syndicate raised $6M

The raise includes strategic investors such as Carta, Circle Ventures, OpenSea and Uniswap Labs’ new venture arm, as well as institutional funds-of-funds, nonprofits and web3 talent networks.

Pangea is raising $1 million for remittance in Africa

Pangea Trust — an East African accelerator and investment platform, diaspora remittances can be tapped to increase the amount of funding injected into startups. However, a perspective-shift is required for this to happen and that is why Pangea, working in partnership with Swedish International Development Cooperative Agency and Kenya Diaspora Alliance, has since last year organized a series of events geared towards educating those in the diaspora on why startups are good investment options.

NFT startup Americana Technologies raised $6.9M led by Seven Seven Six

Americana Technologies, a startup founded early last year by designer Jake Frey, allows brands and creators to turn physical items such as streetwear, collectibles, cars and artworks into NFTs.

HOF Capital launched second fund – $300M for early-stage startups

The new fund complements the firm’s ability to follow on in multiple rounds through the lifecycle of the company, from pre-seed to pre-IPO or token listing, one of the things Elhaddad says makes HOF Capital unique. When you do something well once in venture capital, you want to keep repeating it, and HOF Capital plans to double down on its strategy of focusing on pre-seed through Series A, now with a brand new $300 million fund, its second institutional early-stage fund.

Real Estate startup Point raised Series C of $115M led by WestCap

But in this case, that may actually be serving as a tailwind for Point and companies like it, although Lim emphasizes that Point is not out to replace refinancings, for example. Point then values the home — often with an in-home appraisal — and updates the final offer.

Bolt's B2B merchants are 192% YoY, despite recent press

In early April, Bolt announced plans to acquire crypto startup Wyre for $1.5 billion, a staggering amount for any company, but especially one in a space as mired with controversy as this one. After a week of making headlines, one-click checkout startup Bolt has issued a public response to questions about how it faring in the competitive space.

Apple Pay to follow EU antitrust complaint

According to antitrust investigators, Apple abused its dominant position, as competitors can’t provide NFC-enabled contactless payments on the iPhone to develop other mobile wallets and compete fairly with Apple Pay.

First ever crypto fund in New Zealand just got $5M

This means that GD1 Crypto Fund 1 will not only serve to give New Zealand startups a boost, but also to allow local investors to get involved in overseas startups in the hopes that some of those returns will make it back to the startup ecosystem in New Zealand.

Lending startup Line Financial raised Seed round of $25M

Akshay Krishnaiah, the founder and CEO of Line, thinks he can get users onboard for his vision of a more inclusive financial network. The company also said registrations are up 100% month over month, and have grown the service from instant cash to larger checks as rapport is built.

FinTech startup Xepelin raised Series B round of $111M

The company raised $230 million in an equity and debt Series A round last year, led by Kaszek, and since then expanded into Mexico, growing its client roster over five times to 15,000, growing Mexico revenue by 60 times and launching its new Xepelin Payments product 90 days ago that enables users to organize and automate payments to suppliers, with and without financing.

FinTech startup Concerto Card raised $21M led by Matrix Partners

Acknowledging that credit card issuing and loyalty programs are certainly not new, Duncan claims that Concerto’s approach is unique in that it applies technologies including machine learning to measure and predict risk.

Enterprise Software startup Accern raised Series B round of $20M

Accern provides AI-powered apps and natural language processing (NLP) models trained to recognize, classify and extract domain-specific financial language. Accern, which uses AI to analyze online conversations around particular companies, trends and industries, today announced that it raised $20 million in a Series B round led by Mighty Capital alongside Tribe Capital and others.

Shaun Maguire on scaling back the crypto efforts at Sequoia

Sequoia crypto partner Shaun Maguire talked about the firm’s commitment to the sector, regulatory challenges and what plenty of crypto investors still don’t understand.

Indian neobank Open raised Series D round of $50M

The startup said it is looking to launch three new products — revenue-based financing Flo, early settlement card offering Settl and working capital lending Capital — in the coming months to further broaden its offerings. Existing backers Tiger Global, Temasek and 3one4 Capital also participated in the round.