This Week in Fintech UK & Europe (04/07)

This Week in Fintech UK & Europe (04/07)

Hello TWIF UK & Europe friends,

Please find another week of fintech news, financings and exits below. If you are reading this but havenโ€™t already subscribed, you can click below ๐Ÿ™

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Funding ๐Ÿ’ธ

Highlights below of deals since the last post in the fintech space across the UK & Europe.

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ B2B payments company iBanFirst acquired UK currency exchange Cornhill.

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ Cyber insurtech provider Stoik raised an โ‚ฌ11m Series A led by a16z.

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บCrypto data provider Kaiko raised a $53m Series B led by Eight Roads Ventures.

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ Android mPOS solution Vibrant raised a โ‚ฌ4m seed round led by byFounders.

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ Invoice financing firm 4Trans Factoring raised an โ‚ฌ18m seed round, โ‚ฌ3m in equity and โ‚ฌ15m in debt.

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บEquity management startup We.Vestr raised a โ‚ฌ2.2m round from Venturerock.

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ Risk and transaction monitoring AML firm Flagright raised $3.2m from YC and Moonfire Ventures.

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ Crypto trading infrastructure Flowdesk raised a $30m Series A led by Eurazeo and Aglae Ventures.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Embedded lender SAPI raised a Series A from Passion Capital.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Plural, a โ‚ฌ250m early stage venture fund for operators set up by Wise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus, has launched.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡งTreasury infrastructure provider Bondsmith raised a Series A from FNZ.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Travel card Currensea raised ยฃ1.35m from 350 investors on crowdfunding platform Seedrs.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Debt resolution startup Ophelos raised a ยฃ5m seed round led by AlbionVC.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง BNPL provider Zilch extends its Series C by $50m.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡งSME lender Swoop Funding raised a ยฃ5.4m Series A.

Challenger Banking ๐Ÿš€

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ Lithuanian neobank SME Bank is partnering with kevin to create a single offering for e-commerce business owners which includes A2A payments.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Neobank Monument has increased its interest rates for its 2yr and 5yr fixed savings accounts to 2.95% and 3.05% respectively.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Mobile banking Kroo has secured a full UK bank licence.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Wise co-founder Kristo Kรครคrmann is being investigated by the FCA after he received a fine from HMRC for defaulting on his tax bill. The public company announced a 33% increase in revenue for its first full year results.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Wise competitor Atlantic Money secured a European licence from National Bank of Belgium.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Curve have introduced limits to its free tier which include only 1 smart rule, adding only 2 payment cards and using the Go Back in Time feature three times in a month.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡งRevolut has promoted its chief banking officer to be its US CEO in a sign of its continued commitment to the US market.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Monzo have added the ability to change your credit limit for their BNPL product Flex.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง UK neobroker Lightyear is planning a move into Germany.

Digital Assets โ‚ฟ

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ The European Union is looking to ban crypto platforms charging interest on stablecoin deposits.

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ Th EU reached a provisional agreement on its Markets in Cryptoassets (MiCA) directive which will provide legislation to regulate crypto across the 27 member states with ESMA responsible for oversight.

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ The EU look to have mostly dropped KYC on unhosted crypto wallets.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Wirex has launched a debit card and higher top-up and spending limits.

๐ŸŒ Mastercard has launched The Belle Block, an industry group to empower inclusivity in the web3 space.

๐ŸŒ Binance have secured the services of Cristiano Ronaldo with a multi-year marketing agreement which will include Ronaldo NFT exclusively available on the Binance NFT marketplace.

๐ŸŒ Solana is getting its own mobile phone, called Saga, which will have a web3 app store and use QR code-based payments with Solana Pay.

๐ŸŒ FTX is rumoured to be looking to acquire BlockFi for up to $240 as well as considering an acquisition for Robinhood. It faces some competition from Morgan Creek Digital for BlockFi. FTX is also rumoured to have looked at Celsius Network but declined due to their finances.

๐ŸŒ Goldman Sachs cut Coinbase rating to a โ€œsellโ€ from โ€œneutralโ€.

๐ŸŒ 35 tech companies including Meta, Microsoft, Sony and Alibaba, have created the Metaverse Standards Forum, to coordinate cooperation on metaverse projects.

๐ŸŒ Crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital has been ordered to liquidate itself by a court in the British Virgin Islands.

๐ŸŒ Grayscale have challenged a recent SEC decision to deny the conversion of its trust into an ETF.

๐ŸŒ Voyager Digital has suspended its withdrawals, deposits and trading.

Traditional Banking ๐Ÿฆ

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ Allianz fintech super app project Heymoney is to be shut down soon after poor user adoption.

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ German savings banks have decided not to offer their customers crypto trading to protect them.

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ Irelandโ€™s banks have selected Nexi as their technology partner for their Synch Payments joint venture.

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ JP Morgan looks set to enter the German retail market and is requesting the ability to issue cards independently within Girocard with a processor partner being Bank-Verlag.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง NatWest has launched a digital carbon planner to help businesses reduce their impact on the environment.

๐ŸŒ Goldman Sachs is rumoured to have projected losses of $1.2bn this year on its retail push through its Marcus brand.

Fintech Infrastructure ๐Ÿšง

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ BaaS provider Raisin Bank has agreed to buy Bankhaus August Lenz payment unit as it makes a move into payments.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Open banking provider Volt is launching Verify, a new bank account authentication service for merchants and businesses.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง GoCardless has acquired open banking provider Nordigen.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Data from the OBIE highlights there have been no new TPPโ€™s since September 2021 and has plateaued at 128.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown has partnered with Ecospend to allow itโ€™s customers to top-up their accounts from their bank account.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Capital raising platform Vauban has been acquired by US equity management platform Carta.

๐ŸŒ Banking technology provider Amount is reducing headcount by 18%.

๐ŸŒ FIS has launched Guaranteed Payments, a solution to guarantee merchants increased e-commerce transaction approval rates and liability of chargebacks.

Payments ๐Ÿ’ฐ

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ Klarna called out Barclays for its โ€œmind-bogglingโ€ and โ€œirresponsibleโ€ BNPL research on BNPL regulation. Its valuation is rumoured to be even lower than first thought, as they are apparently seeking funding at a $6bn valuation.

๐ŸŒ Facebook Pay has been rebranded Meta Pay with its current features and experience remaining consistent over Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.

๐ŸŒ PayPal has launched its PayPal Business Cashback Mastercard, with no annual fee and 2% cash back with no limits through a partnership with WebBank.

๐ŸŒ Marqeta has partnered with First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO) to add 40 APIs to its platform to allow clients to develop credit card experiences.

Regulatory Corner ๐Ÿ”Ž

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง UK Finance has revealed a 39% increase in losses due to authorised push payment (APP) fraud, with over ยฃ1.3bn stolen last year.

๐ŸŒ The CFPB is taking a โ€œclose lookโ€ at lending partnerships between banks and nonbanks.

๐ŸŒ Walmart is being sued for money transfer fraud by the Federal Trade Commission.

๐ŸŒ The Federal Reserve is delaying the implementation of new payment messaging format ISO 20022 until 2025.


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