Stripping out all that marketing jargon, Mosaic provides dashboards, modeling and data visualization tools geared toward financial planning use cases, allowing users to quickly share insights with stakeholders.
After years watching deals falls through due to a lack of payment flexibility, they left Motive to build Vartana, aiming to equip companies with a managed platform that helps sales reps close deals. Vartana also secured a $50 million line of credit from i80 Group, which Kella says will ensure financed deals can be managed through Vartana’s new capital marketplace. Vartana helps to manage tasks like contract tracking, payment terms and signature capture, accepting a range of different payment options (e.g., pay in full, deferred payment) and installment plans. But he doesn’t see them as direct competitors, pointing out that Vartana’s model hinges on delivering financing to buyers and targeting late-stage tech companies.
Noble today emerged from stealth and announced the close of a $15 million Series A round led by Insight Partners with participation from Cross River Digital Ventures, Plug & Play Ventures, Y Combinator, Flexport Fund, TLV Partners, Operator Partners, Verissimo Ventures, Interplay Ventures and the George Kaiser Family Foundation.
It is a digital wallet and password manager for financial services and banking apps, but Soffio calls it a financial digital passport, which helps with user identification, making the task less cumbersome for both consumers and financial services. Soffio said Portabl chose Harlem Capital to lead the round after a call he’ll never forget: Yenkalov, a Ukrainian citizen, was trapped in the country as the war with Russia broke out in the middle of a fundraising call with the firm. Yenkalov noted the emergence of decentralized identifiers, verifiable credentials and zero-knowledge proofs, saying that the industry is closer than ever to enabling financial organizations to benefit from consumers owning and sharing their own data.
Its customers are asset managers looking to offer these alternative investment opportunities to their private wealth clients, who tend to be high-net-worth individuals that meet regulatory accreditation requirements applied to many alternative assets, Advani explained. Advani started Allocations in 2019 as a response to challenges he faced in trying to set up his own investment funds and realizing that none of the tools available to him at the time could help him spin up funds quickly enough to stay competitive in the increasingly fast-paced private markets. Less than three years after its founding, the company, which provides APIs to help private fund managers streamline processes, has crossed $1 billion in assets under administration on its platform, its CEO and founder Kingsley Advani told journalist in an interview. Taking a page from KKR’s book, Advani said Allocations is in the early stages of exploring a blockchain offering as he thinks the technology can help meaningfully streamline fund administration.
These will likely become more acute as customers begin to use BNPL for routine expenses, the agency said — the CFPB found that BNPL customers are increasingly paying for purchases like groceries and gas, spurred by macroeconomic pressures including inflation.
When DolarApp founders Zach Garman, Álvaro Correa and Fernando Terrés were living in the United States and Europe, they would spend time in Latin America, where they saw problems that friends were having when it came to finances and access to banking in dollars.
In the latest development, EQT — the private equity and venture firm based out of Stockholm — is announcing that it has closed a €2.2 billion ($2.2 billion) fund for EQT Growth, which it will be using for investing in European and Israeli founders and startups in areas like enterprise, consumer, health and climate tech, with typical rounds ranging between €50 million and €200 million. Sovereign wealth funds may well be playing a big part here: they have more generally been proving to be strong forces in offsetting current declines, betting when the market is low, with the Saudi state fund recently investing some $7 billion in U.S. stocks; and Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, currently the biggest in the world, also still looking bullish.) This is the first fund EQT Growth has raised specifically for tech investments, Brochado added, and it stands as one of the biggest first-time growth funds in Europe to date. The fact that the IPO market very much remains closed for the moment gives a company like EQT a foot in the door for providing finance to companies that might have otherwise looked at that kind of exit, either to position themselves as consolidators, or simply to keep scaling on their own steam, at a time when money is harder to come by, and thus needing to be treated more carefully than before.
As Clearco international workforce is cut, its global clients will now turn to Outfund, an e-commerce investor that operates in the U.K. and Australia. The latest workforce reduction is just one step Clearco has taken over the past few months, including prior rounds of layoffs, to refocus its business operations amid the changing e-commerce scene. When Clearco cut a quarter of staff in July, Romanow said at the time that it was considering strategic options for its international operations. One month after cutting 25% of its total staff, Clearco is conducting another round of layoffs as it retracts its international presence in the U.K., Germany, Ireland and Australia.
The new product has been created in partnership with National Philanthropic Trust (NPT) and Vanguard Charitable and allows Donor-Advised Fund (DAF) sponsors, community foundations and other grantmakers to move their donations electronically through PayPal’s platform. The company additionally notes it has entered into a commercial arrangement with grantmakers, like National Philanthropic Trust and Vanguard Charitable, to enable them to provide this new solution to their charitable communities. Back in 2016, for instance, PayPal added a new button inside its mobile app to connect users to its thousands of PayPal Giving Fund certified charities, which previously were only available online. In addition to moving money quickly, the system includes an online Grant Payments dashboard available to grantmakers and charities alike where they can view all the grant details, including the donor information, which can be exported to help simplify record keeping.
Spectral, a credit risk assessment infrastructure web3 startup, has raised $23 million in a round led by General Catalyst and Social Capital, the company co-founder and CEO Sishir Varghese exclusively told journalist. The startup built an on-chain equivalent to a traditional FICO score, called the Multi-Asset Credit Risk Oracle (MACRO) Score, which allows users to check their on-chain scores through its platform. DeFi doesn’t have credit risk infrastructure, though, Varghese noted. The long-term vision for Spectral is to make credit scoring a publicly accessible network, Varghese said.
While an investment DAO typically can only have up to 100 members in order to stay compliant with SEC rules, Orange DAO has found a way to bring over over 1,000 Y Combinator alumni together to back web3 startups through an associated venture fund. The DAO itself is structured as a Cayman Islands foundation company, Huh said, while the fund is run as a separate legal entity by Huh and a few other general partners. That way, the fund doesn’t have anywhere near the SEC’s cap of 100 investors for a venture group, though Huh and the other GPs leverage the DAO’s hundreds of members to source investment ideas and conduct diligence. Huh said members can capture upside by becoming members of the DAO and voting on what it does with its treasury without needing to be accredited investors in a venture capital firm themselves.
It’s now teaming up with fintech unicorn Revolut to allow users to donate directly to homeless people through the Revolut app, making it the first U.K. homelessness organization added to the Revolut Donations feature. Revolut users will now be able to donate to Beam, help homeless people raise funds for training, work tools, travel costs, childcare or rental deposits, directly through the app. Beam says it has since raised £3.2 million from members of the public and supported more than 850 homeless people into stable jobs and homes by matching them with ethically-checked landlords and employers. Funds donated to Beam through Revolut Donations are distributed equally between Beam’s beneficiaries.
The new fund will invest in crypto projects and companies that focus on layer-1 blockchains, web3 infrastructure, DeFi, NFTs and gaming, payments, asset management, exchanges, marketplaces and decentralized applications, Pakman said. Seven-year-old CoinFund is launching a $300 million early-stage web3 venture fund, CoinFund Ventures I, which is backed by institutional investors, family offices and crypto-native founders. Pakman thinks the recent drawdown in crypto asset prices generally provides more favorable entry prices for venture capital funds like CoinFund, but the transition from Web 2.0 to web3 is in its early stages. Even in this bearish crypto market, there more evidence of consumer and institutional adoption than previous cycles, Pakman commented.
The new capital will assist Pastel in increasing its efforts in this area as it looks to expand its product offerings and develop more productivity and finance management features and tools around group savings, loans and payments for small businesses.
a16z wrote its largest individual check ever, at $350 million, to Flow, Neumann new residential real estate company focused on rentals, the New York Times reported today.
Penfold, a digital pensions platform, has closed a £7 million ($8.49 million) Series A funding round led by Bridford Group, an investment group. Also participating in the round was Jeremy Coller, chief investment officer and chairman of Coller Capital. Penfold also raised additional funding via a crowdfund amongst its customer base. The cash will be used to expand Penfold workplace pension division.
A group of Voyager Digital customers filed a class-action suit in Florida federal court against Cuban as well as the basketball team he owns, the Dallas Mavericks, alleging their promotion of the crypto platform resulted in over 3.5 million investors losing $5 billion collectively.
Two firms stuck out in recent days, including Urban Innovation Fund, which closed with commitments of $100 million for its Fund III and $20 million Opportunity Fund, and VMG Catalyst‘s $400 million Fund II.
The two moves put Finix squarely on Stripe’s turf, though its CEO and co-founder Richie Serna told us that Finix differs from Stripe in its focus on creating an open ecosystem. Read more.
As to how to restore investor confidence in the crypto sphere, Ge believes regulators are on the right track to bring more oversight over consumer-facing crypto products and protection for retail investors, as is the case in Singapore.
Kontempo, a startup offering buy now, pay later (BNPL) and interest-free installment plans to business-to-business (B2B) customers, today announced that it raised a $30 million seed round in a mix of equity ($6.5 million) and debt ($25 million).
Users aren’t under a legal obligation to repay ZayZoon and ZayZoon won’t take action to collect payments, but nonpaying users will be limited from accessing the service in the future. ZayZoon’s platform allows small- and medium-sized businesses to implement what’s known as an earned wage access (EWA) program.
In the latest development, Youverify, a Lagos and San Francisco–based identity verification company helping African banks and startups automate KYC and other compliance procedures, is announcing that it has secured a $1 million seed round extension. However, in a bid to serve more clients, the company launched its proprietary technology, the Youverify OS (YVOS), which provides a single platform for automating due diligence and combines risk and compliance management with its core identity verification platform to deliver these fintechs an enterprise-grade compliance solution. Nearly two-thirds of Nigeria’s commercial banks, such as Standard Chartered, Standard Bank and Fidelity Bank, use the platform’s identity verification and KYC products, Youverify said. In addition to verifying identities beyond Nigeria’s bank verification number (BVN) and addresses, Odegbami says Youverify layers KYC and compliance products such as transaction monitoring.
Bluecopa, an Indian startup building a finance operations automation platform for high-volume companies, has raised $2.3 million to expand its offering in the global market.
The runaway success of Axie Infinity and StepN has convinced a flurry of entrepreneurs that web3 gaming, where the ownership of in-game assets is in the hands of users via blockchain adoption rather than a centralized platform, is the future.
Interplay current offerings include a venture capital arm that houses two early-stage funds, a foundry that helps build companies from scratch, an incubator to support existing companies and a family office.
Right now, the company gets largely paid through affiliate fees and exchange of data. opts in for a suggested insurance plan Clicks into a location-based offer Answers market research or campaign measurement questions Or scans Pogo card for a discount when buying a prescription In the next iteration, Wong says, Pogo will suggest users to turn to fee-free banking alternatives, and then Pogo can make money through affiliate fees.
Specifically, the SEC framed the following assets as securities: Power Ledger’s POWR token, Flexa’s AMP token, Rally’s RLY token, DerivaDEX’s DDX token, XY Labs’ XYO token, Rari Capital’s RGT token, Liechtenstein Cryptoassets Exchange’s LCX token, DFX Finance’s DFX token and Kromatika Finance’s KROM token.
It’s almost formulaic: 409A assessors will tell a startup what public market companies they look like, and the more mature the startup is, the higher the impact public stock prices can have on the startup’s valuation. That’s because a low 409A valuation allows companies to grant their employees stock options at a lower price.
As capital continues to enter the crypto space, Tribe Capital has raised $25 million from outside investors and has launched its incubator program, Tribe Crypto Labs, its CEO Arjun Sethi.
X1 Card is taking a different tack by underwriting customers based on their income rather than their credit scores, which the company says enables it to set credit limits up to 5x higher than traditional card providers.
Fundrise manages over $2.8 billion worth of real estate equity on behalf of the 300,000 active investors on its platform today, and Miller says the company is growing fast enough that he expects it to climb to a top-ten spot by size in private real estate within the next two years.
Smolin references the great lengths users go to at the end of the year to reach the next level of airline status as a way to signify how they price the value of the service; he wonders whether more services could build this relationship and create better membership programs for users.
Unlike Stripe, Klarna’s valuation was cut by its investors – which include Sequoia, Silver Lake, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the UAE’s sovereign fund Mubadala Investment Company and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments). The Journal reports that the valuation cut comes from a 409a price change, which means that Stripe hasn’t decreased the value of preferred shares sold in the last round.
Pulley is also helping companies weather this economic downturn, and though most of the companies Pulley works with are at an earlier stage and aren’t seeing the kinds of layoffs occurring in later stages, I asked Wu what kinds of questions Pulley was getting from customers.
Bloomberg Beta announced its fourth $75 million fund and also a new $75 million opportunity fund for later-stage checks into startups the firm has already backed. Over at Golden Section, a Houston-based founder studio and venture capital firm, the firm completed the first closing of its second fund in May, but did not disclose the amount. Haris Khurshid, general partner at Chalo Ventures, launched a $50 million second fund focused on investing in Pakistani startups and a smaller percentage in Latin American startups. He did say that LPs wanted to know how the firm would navigate investment in that market, which required the firm to do a bit of educating on why Pakistan needed a focused fund.
The new fund will focus on a handful of areas in the crypto ecosystem, including web3 infrastructure, decentralized finance (DeFi), decentralized autonomous organization (DAOs) tooling, and new business models to collaborate on intellectual property, to name a few.
In April 2022, American Express and Pymnts.com published a survey that found that about two-thirds of firms that have automated accounts receivable processes report benefiting from improved days sales outstanding (a measure of the average number of days that it takes for a company to collect payment after a sale has been made), while about half said that they achieved lower delinquency rates.
The publication reported that Menlo Park-based Sequoia is looking at $1.5 billion for a U.S. growth fund focused on later-stage companies and a $750 million fund targeting earlier-stage startups. The storied venture capital firm announced that it was breaking with tradition, abandoning the traditional fund structure and their artificial timelines for returning LP capital.
At a time when U.S. venture dollars are slowing down, CIBC Innovation Banking is announcing $1.5 billion in growth capital commitments, dubbed “Unicorn Fuel,” to focus on later-stage companies across software, life sciences, healthcare and clean tech industries.
For their second fund, Brand and Rupp will largely continue with the same strategy from Fund I, sticking to making about 15 investments in total after making 12 out of the first fund, they said. In an ecosystem where women make up just 2.4% of partners at venture firms and considering that the vast majority of first-time funds never actually make it to closing.
And when you consider all of the elements that go into buying and selling goods and services, there are a lot of areas left for SumUp to tackle — big data analytics, more tools to build, manage and optimize, online sales experiences for its customers, more technology to use to improve how items are sold in physical commerce experiences and so on — all areas that SumUp can approach either through building its own technology, or indeed through more M&A. The solution for a company like SumUp — with the bread and butter of its business, point of sale payments, fundamentally a part of that in-person commerce experience — has been to diversify and double down on a wider array of services for its small business retailers customers. Nevertheless, turning that statistic around, POS payments still represents the bulk of the company’s revenues, so 60% growth is not just a testament to SumUp being able to grow that business in the last two years, but also the fact that in-person and point-of-sale payments remained active areas for transactions. To that end, it has used significant chunks of the debt it’s raised to date for acquisitions and to build out more services beyond POS payments, in areas like business banking (the basic version of which it throws in as a freebie), online payments and business services around both.
Ben Marrel, co-founder and CEO at Breega said in a statement: Our fourth and largest fund to date will allow us to finance later stage companies at Series A stage and above and to continue to support our existing portfolio startups as they grow.
Eventually, Kasheesh plans to develop its technology so users can use the same card across multiple transactions rather than having to generate a new single-use card each time, Miller said.
Opening a business bank account should be fairly easy, but after seeing firsthand just how hard it was, Salomon Zarruk and Sebastian Ortiz decided they didn’t want another Latin American business to run into the same kind of difficulty.
Represas notes that Able’s focus on the tech that is used for processing, but not decision-making or risk-profiling (which Represas told me is just a small aspect of loan approval and not where the pain point is); the fact that it focuses on commercial loans and not SMB loans (too small an opportunity, he said); and that it does not directly interface with borrowers itself but works through banks I write that it is launching into the wider market because although it’s coming out of stealth, Able’s actually been around since 2020, and the customers it’s picked up are already using Able’s technology — which involves RPA, computer vision and other forms of AI to ingest and process data related to loans as part of their evaluation process.
While Dcode Capital can’t be a substantial financial backer to its portfolio companies based on its small check sizes at the stage it invests at, it hopes to have an outsized impact with its knowledge of getting tech into the government, something most VCs can’t offer.
While much of the deep, fundamental research and infrastructure development in the blockchain space still takes place in the US, Southeast Asia is ideal for web3 startups offering consumer-facing services, said Amy Zhao, lead at crypto investment firm Ocular.
Amex users have been waiting for an announcement like this for some time, as its competitors Visa and Mastercard have already launched their own crypto rewards credit cards through partnerships with digital asset companies, such as Visa’s crypto rewards card offered in conjunction with BlockFi and the Mastercard-powered card issued by crypto exchange Gemini.
Orman said she pushed back on a number of product roadmap suggestion from her other two co-founders, including making it look less like Mint, a personal finance platform adorned with graphs and data and more like a wallet that can inspire people to save.
The company is working to streamline operations at other fintech startups, specifically through its reconciliation software that those companies can use to help ensure they’re working with accurate and precise data even when it comes from different places, said co-founder and CEO Kyle Maloney.
Like other European fintech players like open banking specialists Tink and Truelayer, as well as others in the embedded finance space like 10x and Thought Machine — both of which have raised healthy amounts of funding also from investors that include large financial incumbents.
Coinbase announced today that it will extend its hiring freeze and revoke accepted offers from some candidates who haven’t started their roles yet. The third-largest crypto exchange by volume, Coinbase began to slow hiring two weeks ago, but this move is more drastic.
Last week, former Binance executives at Old Fashion Research launched a $100 million venture fund to focus on the metaverse and bringing greater crypto adoption to emerging markets like Latin America and Africa, according to its managing partner, Ling Zhang, who was previously the vice president of M&A and investments at Binance. Venture capital firms continue to deploy and raise capital for crypto markets despite volatility in recent weeks, with Binance Labs closing a $500 million investment fund to focus on web3 and blockchain technology adoption.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sienna is among several other blockchain startups trying to prevent “front-running”, where transactions on Ethereum can be preempted by someone else simply by them paying a higher transaction fee — just like trumping a trade on the stock market by paying a higher fee to a broker.
Kard manages the relationships with each business looking to offer rewards to promote their brand, making it easy for a new issuer to mix-and-match from Kard’s offerings and integrate those rewards into the issuer’s own user interface, CEO and founder Ben Mackinnon told journalist in an interview. Kard‘s rewards-as-a-service API streamlines the process for card issuers, allowing them to create a customized rewards program tailored to their particular customer base by choosing from Kard set of merchant partnerships.
Ondo is primarily focused on building many of the functions typically associated with the middle and back office of an investment bank on-chain, Allman explained, noting that it does not currently have plans to directly offer advisory services to DAOs or crypto companies as a traditional investment bank might.
In a statement Ashutosh Bhatt, CEO of Pillar, said: Ever since I moved to the U.K. and found I couldn’t access any of the everyday products I had in India this has been a problem I have been passionate about solving. Adding to this roster is fintech startup Pillar, which has now raised a pre-seed round of £13 million ($16.9 million) led by Global Founders Capital and Backed VC. The company claims it will be able to provide immigrants with access to credit products when moving to a new country. Founded by Revolut alumni Ashutosh Bhatt and CTO, Adam Lewis, Pillar has an Open Banking-led data and analytics engine that will be launched in Q3 in 2022.
PayU, as a provider and builder of fintech solutions, will be able to leverage Treinta as a channel for getting its own customer-facing tech deeper into the market in Colombia and the rest of Latin America, but Treinta will also become another retail channel for PayU’s under-the-hood technology.
Founded in 2007 by Perez and Oscar Garcia Mendoza, who now serves as chairman of Novopayment’s board, NovoPayment had been bootstrapped since inception until it raised its Series A round earlier this year, the company announced today. Novopayment has been focused since its founding on building out a tech stack that ties all the critical processes together for financial institutions to build out their digital banking services.
Union54 can reach an agreement with participating central banks and issue its own domestic and continental debit card, it can shorten settlement time and integrate more local payments native to the region. Mlambo also added that through his and a few colleagues’ work via the African Renaissance Conference, Union54 has gotten in touch with three central banks keen to explore how settlement agreements would work with a new card scheme.
What if you could buy a Peloton with pre-tax dollars? How about vitamins and supplements? Skincare products? Or even mattresses and massages? All of those may likely qualify as purchases you could make through a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA).
Since HacWare’s Battlefield appearance in 2020, held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ricks said the company paused its seed-round fundraise, reinvested its revenues back into the company and re-focused on its product.
After a decade at Alibaba and its fintech affiliate giant Ant Group, Max Ma founded SwooshTransfer in 2021 to facilitate cross-border payments for small- and medium-sized enterprises, as well as individuals such as overseas students, for whom tuition payments are often a hassle.
Ghost Financial is developing API integrations with point-of-sale systems, like Toast, and delivery apps, like DoorDash, so it can pull metrics that represent areas including operational health and efficiency, hourly and daily sales, average food preparation ties, ratings and reviews to determine credit limit and provide an instant loan decision. After operating his own ghost kitchen, Keto Kitchen, in Austin for the past year, serial entrepreneur John Meyer saw that fintech resources for the industry were lacking.
Of course, Robinhood also warned of risks in extended-hours trading, but noted the additional hours would give customers the ability to trade based on quarterly earnings announcements made after the market closes, as well as based on activity taking place in foreign markets.
First, it will help it expand the company expand its geographic footprint: Azimo currently has payment licenses in the U.K., the Netherlands, Canada, Australia and Hong Kong, and it operates a payment network in more than 160 countries, while Papaya Global (not to be confused with the other fintech called Papaya) operated services in 150 countries just prior to this deal, Eynat Guez, Papaya Global CEO and co-founder.
Island, a Dallas-based startup that built a secure browser for the enterprise, has raised $115 million in a Series B round, valuing the company at $1.3 billion just weeks after emerging from stealth with $100 million in initial funding.
The $1.5 billion in capital puts Haun Ventures in the company of other crypto native funds like Paradigm and Electric Capital, which have debuted large funds in recent months.
Capital markets focus on giant sums of money handled through foreign exchange, equity swaps and other major capital transactions typical of big banks, but at the end of the day, a lot of the systems in place that big banks use to make these transactions are based on old infrastructure, with money moving through many transaction points that can create delays and, therefore, costs. Canapi Ventures, 9Yards Capital, and SVB Capital led the round.
Delivery Hero worked within what you might think of as the hat trick of the e-commerce world — its three-sided marketplace comprised independent and larger restaurants, delivery people and millions of consumers ordering food; and, as an added layer of difficulty, all of them were making calls into and out of a payment system in real time, 24 hours a day, across dozens of markets, currencies, preferred payment methods and so on. By that, he means that it isn’t necessarily initially positioning itself as a point-of-sale provider or payment facilitator; it’s built a platform that will make it easier to integrate and work with any of these by way of APIs, to work more easily with a wider variety of third-party businesses (paying money in and taking it out), freelancers (payouts) and consumers (paying in), and with a wider variety of payment methods depending on the locale in question.
With these funds focusing solely on crypto and its surrounding ecosystem and investing more in these startups than traditional fintechs at the moment, why is Luno Expeditions choosing a dual focus on crypto and fintech instead of going head-on with crypto?
They started off building a universal e-commerce API for reading and writing data so that tech customers can integrate with commerce platforms and access financial data points to offer loans, launch in new marketplaces and streamline inventory syncing for brand management.
While 73% of financial articles targeting men focused on investing, 90% of the financial articles targeting women focused on spending less. This leads to a disconnect between women’s financial priorities (which may be more focused on longer-term stability as opposed to short, risky financial gains) and what the financial services industry typically emphasizes.
Antler East Africa, the Nairobi office of VC firm and venture builder Antler, has closed a $13.5 million fund to invest in early-stage tech startups in the region. Being a female-led VC team, Antler East Africa is particular about investing more in startups founded and led by women in the region, Kebede said
Toyosaki, who also headed up marketing at Bitcoin.com, told journalist in an interview that many of the strategies available to crypto derivatives traders today are fairly risky, a motivating factor behind why she founded Cega, which she says is the first-ever DeFi exotic derivatives protocol. Now, Cega, a new protocol founded by former UBS derivatives trader Arisa Toyosaki, is setting out to create a new category within DeFi — exotic derivatives.
MD Olly Thornton-Berry said that he and Jack Bidgood first came upon the idea for Thirdfort after a friend of theirs lost £25,000 while buying a flat in London due to a phishing attack: fraudsters had picked up some data about the deal, and created a domain similar to that of the legal firm the friend was using for the purchase, and with that wrote an email impersonating the friend’s lawyer, asking for the sum to be transferred via a link.
Shop owners who intend to offer loans to their end consumers get higher credit lines from Chari, which shares the data collated from Karny (on end consumers’ purchasing behaviour) with FMCG companies that pay for the cost of the higher loans.
This capital raise pushes the Palo Alto-based fund toward the company of larger firms like Andreessen Horowitz, which closed a $2.2 billion crypto fund this past June, and crypto VC Paradigm, which debuted a $2.5 billion fund in November.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
They differ in the type and class of securities they offer; for instance, Bamboo gives access to U.S. stocks, ETFs and ADRs, while Chaka deals with stocks and ETFs trading on local and foreign capital markets, but all have collectively been subjected to regulatory issues at home.
The founders say that while sellers often want the products at their doorsteps, the availability and flexibility of both options differentiate Brimore from similar social commerce platforms such as Taager. The opportunity in the market can be attributed to the growth in online social sellers in the country, over 1.25 million them, helping little-known brands sell and distribute their goods via different networks.
Tribevest plans to use some of the proceeds from its seed round to launch formal partnerships with investment platforms similar to Roofstock, which will allow users on those platforms to make investments directly through their Tribevest account at checkout, Smith said, though he declined to name any specific platforms the company plans to partner with.
As Hunters co-founder and CEO Uri May told us, since its Series B round, the team doubled down on helping enterprises replace traditional Security and Information Event Management (SIEM) solutions with its own tools.
There was an original wave of companies working on partial document automation, which still needs a human review, but Ondrej Antos, Klarity co-founder and CEO, explained that the full document automation market is still very nascent.
Karny gives Chari valuable data on the loans provided by grocery stores to their customers and allows Chari to credit-assess the unbanked shop owners, determining the most applicable payment terms to give each.
On a call with journalist, QED co-founder and managing partner Nigel Morris said that adding Africa is the final jigsaw puzzle that makes QED Investors a fully global fintech-specialist firm. Before QED Investors, Ajayi worked in different roles across Africa and global fintech/tech.
While Crypto.com is the world’s fourth-largest crypto exchange, it has been pushing hard into U.S. markets in recent months, with stunts including viral advertisements featuring actor Matt Damon and a $700 million purchase of the naming rights to the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers Arena.
Given that it’s not a big leap between financial services and fintech — indeed, in cities like London which have strong industries in tech and financial services, the two have long competed heavily to recruit technical talent — it’s surprising that we haven’t seen more banks trying to built personalization in house rather than look to a third-party provider like Personetics.
Finclusion Group, a fintech that uses AI algorithms to provide financial services to African customers via an array of credit-centric products, has raised $20 million in debt and equity pre-Series A financing.
In addition to flexible credit lines for businesses to cover cash flow gaps, Float also has software tools for businesses to manage accounts and wallets in one dashboard, as well as automate bills, vendor or supplier payments and invoice collections.
KP20 is an $800 million venture fund focused on early-stage investments in enterprise, consumer, hardtech, fintech and healthcare companies, while Select2 is a $1 billion fund — the most the firm has raised at once — that extends its core investment strategy to focus on high inflection investments across those same five areas.
It has raised a $6.2 million pre-Series A round while rebranding to ANKA, the SaaS platform it launched for sellers in partnership with DHL and Visa in April last year. In an interview journalist had with the chief executive last year, he touted ANKA as the largest e-commerce exporter startup on the continent, claiming it ships over 10 tons of cargo per month from Africa.
AskNicely is the latest company attracting capital for its app targeting shift or frontline worker success as more businesses rightly begin to see how valuable these employees are to their bottom line and how technology can ensure these key employees are empowered to help the company grow.
This noticeable shift of influence toward ultra-high-net-worth individuals and firms among bitcoin and other crypto circles goes against the very ethos that the Bitcoin white paper was based upon when it described a peer-to-peer electronic cash system.
Dedicated crypto platforms like Coinbase or even Paypal, Venmo and Stripe, which recently added abilities to use crypto for payments, could evolve into the U.S. versions of super apps, assuming crypto issuers can work with regulators to find a middle ground between protecting the consumer and creating new financial and investment opportunities.
The Bay Area startup wants to take a more blended solution to crypto lending with its protocol, building up capital pools and allowing fintech organizations outside the U.S. to make their case to lenders operating on the protocol and get access to funds while showing non-crypto collateral. Goldfinch is a crypto startup building a decentralized lending protocol that allows organizations to receive crypto loans without owning massive amounts of crypto already.
The firm ballooning valuation, which surged from a $1.5 billion valuation it was given just six months ago by Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto arm, is reflective of their own volume growth but also that of other flagship NFT firms including Dapper Labs, which raised at a $7.6 billion valuation last year. The NFT space saw plenty of action in 2021, but OpenSea realizing this valuation will rely on its continued success and its ability to entice newbies into the burgeoning world of crypto collectibles.